Braves buying in and building confidence

Published: Sep. 26, 2021 at 9:24 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -The Walton football team played up this past Friday hosting Marianna and came out on top 10-7.

That win moved the team to 4-1 on the season, and it’s safe to say they look a little different than the team that took the field in the 2020-2021 season that went 3-5.

Head coach, Keith White, is in his first year at the reigns of the program, but not his first year with the team. He was the defensive coordinator for the Braves from 2012-2014. Then, he spent a few years in 1A ball at Crestview before coming full circle back to Walton as head coach.

On day one, Coach White knew the culture he wanted to build with the program, a culture of a winning mindset, confidence, and no excuses.

“The kids were still the kids,” said Coach White. “It’s the same kids. They just want to have some guidance, and they want to have some energy, and it’s pretty hard to have more energy than Coach White. I’ve got bunches of it and especially, it being my first time. I had a lot of high goals and a lot of high standards, but I work hard in the weight room. We don’t sit around. We work out. We workout during season. We don’t cut. Three days a week no matter what, and we just practice. There’s nothing special. It’s just hard work, but they’ve got to see the coaches doing that hard work, and they’ll buy in, and the kids, if they know you care about them, they’re going to give you what they’ve got. That’s what we’ve developed here.”

The team is more confident and based on their record, are clearly doing more things right on the field, but Coach says there’s still more work to do.

“We have not played our best football at all,” said Coach White. “We are still making a lot of mistakes because of the fact that we just haven’t gotten to where we want to get to. We’re creating way too many penalties. The other night, we had three turnovers in the wind. We had two fumbles and an interception. If you’re going to get good, you just cannot do those things. We are actually still growing. We’ve got a ton of underclassmen, and we are going to be really fun next year.”

The Braves will play up again for week six of the high school season hosting Rutherford this upcoming Friday.

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