Walton works towards opener, "buying in" to second year under Bobby Moore
Our tour of area football practice fields takes us to Defuniak Springs, where coach Bobby Moore is guiding the Walton Braves for a second season.
Moore is working with a total of 75 players this month, estimating a third of those will drop down to JV, good numbers indeed for a 4A program. That's one plus over last year, where the team lost eight of its nine games.
Another is that this season, Moore has a full year guiding this program. Last season, he took over just three weeks before the season began when Jimmy Ray Stephens left to take a job with former boss Steve Spurrier and the Orlando Apollos in the Alliance of American Football.
"I think anytime you have the chance to have an offseason, you have a chance to have spring practice and you have a chance to have a summer program, you do things a little bit differently," Moore said. "You know the kids, they've got to buy in no matter what happens. But I think it's a big advantage. It's a little easier because you know the kids a little better even though you've been here."
When Moore speaks of "buying in," this is what he means:
"The first thing that you have to do is be disciplined enough to show up every day and learn to work and do those things on a consistent basis. You know, most kids can do things one time, some kids can do things two times. But you've got to do it all the time and that's the process that they've got to learn."
Walton beating North Bay Haven 48-6 Friday in their preseason classic. They host their regular season opener Friday against Jay.