Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

A level most wonít see
Big Foot senior Walker third Chief two-way recipient in four years

by Mike Ramczyk

November 24, 2011

WALWORTH ó Travis Frederick, starting left guard for the Wisconsin Badgers, did it in 2008. The next year, Michael Walker did it as well. Now, in 2011, Michaelís brother, Kenny, a Big Foot senior, has mirrored his predecessors, landing a spot on both offense and defense of the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association all-state first team.

And much like Frederick and Michael, Kenny, a Walworth resident, spoke loudly and clearly with his actions on the field.

A soft-spoken, humble, 17-year-old, Kenny burst onto the scene in his breakout 2011 season with four touchdowns in the teamís season opener and never looked back.

For the season, Walker scored 32 total touchdowns via run, catch, punt and kick return in only 11 games. He was a lethal weapon at all times, scoring once every four times he touched the ball. Overall, he amassed 1,714 total yards including 1,444 on the ground. An all-conference cornerback since he was a sophomore, Kenny, a 6-foot-1, 185-pounder who runs a 4.6 40-yard dash, made the all-state team as a corner and a running back.

According to Head Coach Rodney Wedig, Kenny didnít just rest on his athletic laurels. He took it to another level in his senior season.

ďHe had an amazing year,Ē Wedig said. ďHe made leaps and bounds offensively. He worked really hard in the offseason. He got serious and wanted to get the most out of his potential. He deserves all the recognition he got, and I feel he is one of the best football players in the state. Show me another back who had his numbers while sharing the backfield with another 1,000-yard rusher. Kenny literally didnít see the field in the second half of six games.Ē

The enormity of Kennyís performance canít be denied. He helped Big Foot to a 10-1 overall record, and the team went 20-3 in Kennyís two seasons as a starting tailback.

The Lake Geneva Regional News caught up with Kenny Nov. 17 at Big Foot High School.

RN: What does all-state mean to you?

KW: Itís pretty cool. My brother did the same thing. It was nice to follow him. I did everything I wanted to do this year except make it to state.

RN: Did you ever think you would run for more than 300 yards and lose (season-ending 23-20 loss to Madison Edgewood)?

KW: Not really. If we wouldíve played our game, we couldíve easily won.

RN: Was your senior year all you wanted it to be?

KW: Coach (Wedig) said weíre one of the best classes heís ever had. Heís proud of us even though we didnít win state.

RN: Luke Kahl and Garett Cary, two of your teammates, also were first team all-state. How nice is that?

KW: Luke stepped up a lot. Garett got bigger. Senior year always makes people step up.

RN: Did you have a chip on your shoulder this year considering you missed last yearís state semifinal with an ankle sprain?

KW: I wanted to prove to everyone that I do impact what other teams do. I helped our team out, and I wanted everyone to see that.

RN: What was the difference between you now and at this time last year?

KW: I have more confidence. Iím not scared at all. Sophomore year, I was super scared. And I didnít really have anyone to look up to my junior year.

RN: How athletic is your family?

KW: My sister, Vanessa, played volleyball at Big Foot. Also, Mike plays football at St. Cloud. My mom played volleyball and ran track. My dad played basketball, and he was pretty good.

RN: When did you start playing football?

KW: I started in the fourth grade with the Big Foot Wolves. Football is my favorite sport. I like to be able to move around and be shifty. I also like to run over people and the physical contact.

RN: You also play basketball and track. What are the benefits of an all-around athlete?

KW: Itís good to play different sports because you can see how good you are. Track helps with my flexibility. You usually donít get hurt as much if youíre flexible. Basketball leads into track, and youíre in shape already.

RN: What does it take to be a good football player?

KW: I push myself. But people donít see that. I do a lot of stuff outside of our exercises. I do extra running. I work out a lot. Iíve gotten 10 times stronger since last year. We did a lot of strength and fitness training in the summer.

RN: Can you credit any coaches with your success?

KW: Mr. Jones from the Wolves. He always told me to run over people. I used to not be able to run over people as much.

RN: How hard was it to watch your team from the sidelines in last yearís playoff loss?

KW: I felt helpless. I wanted to go in so bad, but I knew I couldnít do anything. I tried in the first series, but someone blocked me and all my weight went on my ankle and I fell down. I had to take myself out.

RN: How excited are you for the rest of your senior year?

KW: The basketball team is good this year. TC (Coach Tim Collins) is laid back, but he knows what heís talking about. I trust him with whatever he is talking about. In track, I want to win state in the 100 and 300 hurdles. This year, Iím going to be killing myself to get better. The 110 is all form, but the 300 is endurance.

RN: How is school going for you?

KW: Iím not bad. Obviously Iím playing sports. I like English a lot. I get good grades in it, and the teachers are always helpful.

RN: Have you thought about colleges yet?

KW: Some have shown interest for football. Army (Division 1), Winona (D2), St. Cloud (D2) and several Minnesota schools have contacted me. Army is coming here soon. Northern Illinois would be my dream. They are nice and close. Itís hard to get recognized by a team like Wisconsin playing at a small school like Big Foot, especially for skill positions. The average running back size is only a little bigger than me in Division 1.

RN: What NFL team do you like?

KW: I like Atlanta and the Eagles. Michael Vick is my favorite player.

RN: What have you heard about playing football in college?

KW: Mike told me itís a lot different, and itís a faster pace. But if you push yourself, you can succeed. Iíve looked up to Mike, and we talk a lot. Heís congratulated me on all-state, and I always tell him good luck for his games and he does the same. I do miss him, and I donít see him very often. Heís coming home for winter break.

RN: What do you want to be in 10 years or so?

KW: I want to be an NFL sports trainer. Itís cool how they get to be on the field with the professionals.