Walton hosts quarterback and receivers camp

Krista Sager

Tuesday marked Day 2 of the 10th Annual Atlanta Quarterbacks and Receivers camp. The camp was started by Walton High School offensive coordinator Tripp Allen and is held in Walton’s Raider Valley Monday through Wednesday morning of this week.


This year’s group consists of about 160 players represented by Walton, East Paulding, Harrison, Lassiter, Lumpkin County, Pope, St. Pius X, Tucker, Walton and several kids from Florida who were in the area for other camps. This is a unique event in the summer offseason. Quarterbacks and receivers perform as many reps as they can, and more often than not, they get matched up with a player from another school. You will see a St. Pius X quarterback throwing to an East Paulding receiver or a Walton quarterback throwing to a Lumpkin County receiver.


In attendance were plenty of big names and guys that are getting in valuable reps before the season. St. Pius X brought two bus-fulls of players, including Auburn commit and safety Nick Ruffin. For host Walton, rising sophomore Karekin Brooks was one of the key players for the Raiders next season that was benefiting from the camp. Brooks has been preparing for a large role in the Walton Raiders’ offense this upcoming season. After the departure of running back Tyren Jones, now a member of the Alabama football team, focus has turned to whom Walton will star in its traditionally prolific backfield. Replacing Jones’ 4,000-plus yards the past two seasons will have to be a collective effort by the offense, but Brooks has been preparing himself to lead this challenge.


As a freshman, Brooks was able to make a major impact on the 2012 Junior Varsity team, showing improvement with each game. By the last game of the season, Brooks rushed for over 250 yards in only three quarters of play while also taking defensive snaps. Great vision and breakaway speed makes Brooks a home run back. His touchdowns against Lassiter in the final game consisted of 50-, 61- and 32-yard scores. On the final drive, he also broke a 50-yard gain.


Brooks knows that with varsity level competition comes a much faster and physical game and he has started to prepare himself physically and mentally now.


“I’m working hard, learning to forget about my mistakes and just keep working everyday,” said Brooks.


The St. Pius X Golden Lions had a lot to think about this offseason. After beginning the playoffs against Dawson County where they scored 72 points, the Golden Lions fell to Buford in the state championship 10-3. With the disappointing loss still on the minds of the Golden Lions, the senior Nick Ruffin, has faith in his team this upcoming season.


“We have a lot of our better players returning and I’m excited about all the hard work that we’re putting in. A lot of guys are improving and a lot a guys are stepping up so I’ll definitely say we’re about the same level [as this time last year] and I’ll probably go ahead and say we’ll make the state championship again this year.”


Among St. Pius’ list of playmakers is senior Fred Dorsey who recognizes the responsibility of the senior class in motivating the rest of the team. The agile wideout won the Class AAA state championship in the triple jump this past spring, and sees the team’s confidence building as the season approaches.


“We just focus on each day one at a time. We are trying to put in our best work into each day and then let the result happen,” said Dorsey. “We worked really hard last year and it was disappointing but we just have to get bigger, stronger, faster and stay positive and we’ll be fine.”


St. Pius X looks ready to finish what they were so close to achieving last year. After most teams had left the camp, head coach Paul Standard kept his players on the field and continued going over plays. Months before their season opener against Westminster, the Golden Lions are in midseason form with their preparation.

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