Tonight’s season opener has been the culmination of months of preparation for East, who was named Walker coach in February.
For East, his brief tenure has been a positive experience.
“I love working with these kids,” East said. “It’s been a great experience working with great people at the school. The kids, the parents, the football community, their support has been fantastic. We’re very excited about the season and we can’t wait to get started.”
East is encouraged by the progress that his team made during preseason practice as the Wolverines learned their new coach’s system.
“We’re coming along,” East said. “The kids have had to learn a new offense and a new defense and they are making good progress. We’re getting stronger with each day. We had a good scrimmage with Landmark (last Friday) and we did some good things.”
Once again, running back Evan Kasian will carry the load on offense for Walker. The senior ball carrier led the Wolverines in rushing as a junior last year with 1,247 yards and 13 touchdowns.
“Kasian is a great tailback,” East said. “It’s always great to have a player like that carry the ball for you.”
On defense, senior outside linebacker Mike Ramsay leads the way. Ramsay, who has committed to Duke, led the Wolverines defensively with 42 tackles, 12 sacks and two fumble recoveries.
Another plus for Walker is its veteran lineup as the Wolverines go up against a Temple team that lost 17 seniors from last year’s state playoff team that lost in the first round to eventual Class AA runner-up Buford.
“Walker is a senior-laden team,” Temple coach Seth Rogers said. “They have a big offensive line and a great running back ( in Kasian). We are young and our inexperience will be a challenge for us. We are very young and we will start a lot of juniors and sophomores.”
However, East believes that his Wolverines face a challenge against a Temple squad that took a step forward last year with a 6-5 record — the first winning season in the school’s 22-year football history.
“Temple is a solid team,” East said. “They have some big boys up front. They’re pretty straight forward — they’re a good running team.”