If you had thrown out names before the season on who might be the area’s leading rusher after Week 8, Trent Walker probably wouldn’t have made anybody’s top five.
Or their top 10.
But that’s who sits atop the rushing statistics after Week 8. The Greenbrier West power back is also the area’s scoring leader with 15 touchdowns and five two-point conversions.
“I’m not going to take any credit there,” Walker said. “It’s just our line. They’ve stepped it up this year. That’s the best line I’ve ever played behind. The line has just done an awesome job this year. They’ve got the job done.”
Walker has ground out 1,354 yards for the Cavaliers, who are 8-0 and rated No. 2 in Class A.
“He’s just been our workhorse for us all year,” West coach Lewis McClung said. “He runs hard.”
There’s nothing flashy or exciting about Walker or his running style. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound junior just hits the hole ... hard.
“Trent’s not the fastest guy,” McClung said. “He’s not the biggest guy, but he has a big heart. When he hits it up in there, he hits it up in there pretty well. He’s hard to tackle and bring down.
“His strong point is just the way he hits the hole. If he gets it going on the downhill, which he usually is when he hits that hole, he’s got it rolling.”
He gets plenty of opportunities to pick up yardage each week, averaging 30 carries a game.
“I just like running the football, I guess,” Walker said. “I like hitting the holes hard.”
Walker credits wrestling with helping improve his elusiveness when he’s running the ball up the gut.
“Wrestling, it helps you,” he said. “It improves your quickness and it makes you mentally tough, too.”
The main reason Walker wasn’t on anyone’s radar, though, was McClung and his staff hadn’t decided where they were going to use him, tailback or quarterback.
“We knew that Trent was going to be the workhorse for us,” McClung said. “We just didn’t know where he was going to do it from. Whether he was going to at quarterback or tailback.”
Walker believes the coaches made the correct decision on where to play him.
“Yeah, I think they have,” he said. “I feel (coach McClung) made a pretty good decision. Actually, a really good decision. Jaron (Childers) does a good job at quarterback and gets the job done just as well as I could.”
McClung is proud of the way Walker and his teammates have performed so far this year, but he knows his squad will have to keep it up if they’re going to go anywhere in the playoffs.
“He’s had a whale of a year so far, but we still have a ways to go, we hope,” McClung said.
A trip to No. 10 Midland Trail and a home contest with No. 20 Fayetteville remain on the Cavaliers’ schedule. Two wins would guarantee the Cavaliers home field throughout the playoffs.
“I think that’s going to be two of our toughest games of the year,” McClung said. “We’re just taking them one at a time.”