Walkertown Wolfpack no longer a doormat

Photo by Alphonso Abbott Jr.

Walkertown Wolfpack no longer a doormat
March 08
05:00 2018

Walkertown High School has been opened since the spring of 2012.  They have not ever been known for their success in athletics, but when it comes to basketball that is no longer the case.  The Wolfpack made it to the second round of the 2A state playoffs, losing a heartbreaker to Forest Hills High 83-81.

In years past when opposing teams saw the Wildcats on the basketball schedule, they assumed a victory.  This year Walkertown shocked a lot of teams around the county and Triad area as a whole with their high level of play.

“I thought we had a really good season and we got better as the season progressed,” said Walkertown head coach Kevin Thompson.  “We started to play really good defense and we were able to beat some good teams along the way.”

The Wolfpack won their respective conference tournament and even beat the likes of Dudley out of Greensboro, who is known for traditionally fielding a good team.

“I think if there were two more weeks left in the season, we would probably still be playing because we were playing at a high level,” Thompson continued.  “I was proud of the way the guys adjusted and how hard they worked.”

Thompson says it feels good to have the program come as far as it has.  He credits a lot to his players and their development over the last few years.

Their loss in the playoffs was a tough one, Thompson said.  The Wolfpack were up double figures in the third quarter but were hit by the injury bug that really affected their depth.

Sophomore Jalen Cone along with seniors Quintin Welch and Antione Lowery were all key contributors to the Wolfpack’s success this year.  All three expressed their pleasure with how well the season went for them.

“The season to me went great and it was better than what we planned at the beginning of the year,” said Cone.  “I feel like everyone got better individually and as a team we got better.”

Lowery added, “I think the season went really well, and as we progressed, our defensive intensity went up and that made our offense better on the other end.”

“Our season went very good and it could have went better and our defense really helped us in the end,” said Welch. 

As two of the senior captains, Welch and Lowery say they were amazed by how far the program has come.  They touched on the tough early years of the program but relished how much fun these last two years have been playing for a winning team.

Cone is one of the most highly rated players in the county.  He says as long as he and his teammates continue to put in the work they will be able to build on top of what the program has done the last two years.

“This is just the beginning for what we are building here and what coach Thompson is building here so we are only going to progress and get better,” Cone said. 

The players said they had high hopes for the year but it was better than what the expected.  They said around the time mid- term exams came around, the team really buckled down on the defensive end, which gave them the push to get better.

The young men said when they began their careers at Walkertown, they would receive texts from friends on other teams saying they would beat them by 30 points.  They said it feels good to now have the tables turn in their favor.

With Cone leading the way next season and a nice crop of players coming in from the junior varsity level, the Wolfpack should be able to surpass what they accomplished this year.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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