Excessive Faculty Soccer: The state’s prime honor goes to Jalon Walker – Salisbury Publish
Posted by Mike London
SALISBURY – Salisbury Junior Jalon Walker continued to grow his legacy on Thursday.
Walker is the first Salisbury – or Rowan County – athlete to receive the Gatorade State Player of the Year award for soccer.
Even West Rowan’s KP Parks, which smashed the national record books in 2008 and 2009, was denied the Gatorade Football Honor, a prestigious award launched in 1985.
AL Brown’s Nick Maddox was the 1997-98 Gatorade football winner.
Carson’s Owen White was the 2018 Gatorade State Player of the Year Award winner for baseball in 2018.
When he got the good news Thursday morning, Salisbury Director Marvin Moore went to find Walker in his math class so he could make a formal announcement.
“I made the announcement, but I’m pretty sure he already knew,” said Moore. “If I had won that, I would have jumped up and down and ran around all over the place, but Jalon just sits back down and goes to work on a math problem. I said, “Jalon, this is a really big deal!” He said he realized how big it was and that he was excited, but he still had his job to do. That’s just who he is. “
Academics (Walker has a GPA of 4.03) and characters enter into the Gatorade equation in addition to what happens on the field.
On the field, Walker is a mega athlete who signed up to the University of Georgia after a nationwide recruitment battle.
His versatility was enormous for the Hornets (9-2) in the football championship season that ended last Thursday.
He was primarily an outside linebacker, but at 6-foot-2,220 pounds, he was also strong enough to play defensive endings and mobile enough to spend some time in safety.
“Jalon Walker is a super athlete who is always on the ball,” said Oak Grove head coach Mark Holcomb in the Gatorade press release. “He has a great combination of speed, strength and soccer knowledge and is versatile enough to play on the line or with linebackers or cover receivers. One of the most versatile athletes I’ve ever trained against. “
Walker helped Salisbury out with a quick touchdown in the playoffs. In the state championship game, he made two receptions – one that lost momentum for the Hornets, and one for the touchdown that sealed the title.
For the season he collected 97 tackles, including 19 tackles. He had eight sacks and two fiddly restorations. He was credited with 12 tackles in the state championship game.
Walker is an Armored All-American and was recently named Defensive Player of the Year at the Central Carolina Conference.
Beyond the soccer field, he was all-conference and all-county in basketball. He won the long jump in an athletics meeting on Tuesday, finishing third in the 100.