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Zykevious Walker still wants to give back

ELLAVILLE – Schley County junior defensive end Zykevious Walker has the world ahead of him, and he’s earned it. Walker is a High School All-American. This past season, he helped lead the Wildcats to a 9-3 record and a berth in the GHSA Class A-Public state quarterfinals. The Wildcats nearly made it to the semifinals, but lost a heartbreaker to Marion County 34-27 on Friday, November 23, at Marion County.

The good news for Schley County fans is that Walker is a junior. He has one more year to help the Wildcats win both a region championship and a state championship. He had a sensational 2018 season. In nine games played, Walker had 32 total tackles and 21 assisted tackles for a total of 53 tackles on the season. Walker led the team with 10.5 sacks. He has scholarship offers from at least 20 big-time college programs such as Georgia, Auburn, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Georgia Tech, Tennessee, Nebraska and several others. “Every SEC school has made me an offer,” Walker said.

According to rivals.com, Walker is ranked 71st overall in the list of top-100 players in the country among high school juniors. At his position, defensive end, Walker is ranked as the fourth-best defensive end in the country among high school juniors.

Zykevious Walker playing tight end in a game for Schley County and making a catch. He is being recruited as a defensive end.
Photo by Kricket Barineau

Walker comes from a large family. He has five sisters and two brothers. His sisters are Patience Solomon, Amiyah Walker, Jakayla Walker, Jasmine Dupree and Katrice Walker. Amiyah Walker and Patience Solomon are members of the Lady Wildcat basketball team. His two brothers are Jalewis Walker and Zayden Solomon. His stepfather is Carlton Coggins and his mother is Melanie Dupree.

Growing up in Ellaville, Walker didn’t have to worry about the gang violence, drugs and other things young athletes like him have to worry about growing up in bigger cities. “It’s nice and quiet. Not much trouble happens around here,” Walker said.

Walker began playing football when he was seven years old. “I played a little bit of every position,” Walker said. Some kids have dreams of playing in college and the NFL when they are 10 or 11 years old, but for Walker, he really didn’t consider those possibilities until much later. “It was my sophomore year in high school when I realized that once I got started getting on the weights, gaining weight and getting stronger, it was a possibility. I got invited to the all-star game, and that opened my eyes” Walker said. The all-star game Walker was referring to was the 2017 GACA All-Star Game.

In addition to being a great football player, Walker is an excellent student as well. “I like Math and, to a certain extent, English, but my favorite subject is Math,” Walker said.

As far as what he wants to do academically in college, Walker would like to major in Business.

All of us, whether we want to or not, must go through times in which the crucible of life gets more intense and tougher than usual. The same has been true for Walker. “Last year, when we played Marion County here in the region crossover game, we were getting beat up. It was a hard-fought game,” Walker said. “I was tired. I was hurting and I questioned whether I wanted to lay down or just keep going. I chose to keep going, and we ended up coming out on top.”

Schley County won that game 35-27 on Friday, November 3, 2017.

For Zykevious Walker, the world is his oyster. Great things will come his way as he continues to work hard, but he wants others to have oysters too, meaning that he wants to give back to others to help them succeed in sports and in life.

Walker would like to have a long career in the NFL, but when his football-playing days are over, he would like to help others achieve the same success as he has. “I would like to have my own business. If I can, I would like to do stuff with the youth, coach up young kids and tell kids ways that they can get better and be successful.” Walker said. “If they want to go to the next level in sports, then maybe I can help them out. I just want to have my own business to do something with the youth.” Walker would like to own a business in which he could help aspiring, young athletes improve their skills so that they can get to where they want to go.

Zykevious Walker going up for a layup in a game against Hawkinsville a year ago. Walker is also a pretty good basketball player, but plays basketball to mainly to stay in shape for football.
ATR Archive

Walker credits Schley County head football coach Darren Alford for his development as a player. “I feel that if Coach Alford wasn’t here, I wouldn’t be the type of football player and the type of athlete that I am now,” Walker said. “He pushes us in the weight room. He works us out hard. He may get on our nerves sometimes by pushing us hard. We may not want to do it, but at the end of the day, I thank God for Coach Alford. If it wasn’t for him, I don’t believe I would be the size I’m at right now. I don’t believe I’d be where I’m at with the recruiting process right now. I just thank God for Coach Alford.”

In addition to being a great football player, Walker is also a pretty good basketball player. Once football season ended, Walker joined the Wildcat basketball team. However, his main sport, obviously, is football. “I’m not being recruited in basketball, so I really haven’t thought about playing basketball in college,” Walker said. “If I get a couple of offers to play basketball, then I may think about it. I play basketball to get in shape, but my main focus right now is football.”

While Walker loves football and basketball, there are other fun things that he likes to do when he’s not on the field or court. “I like to play video games and I like to go fishing. It has been a long time since I’ve gone fishing, but when I go, I usually catch a couple of bass.” Walker said. “Whatever it is, if it’s fun, I’m going to do it.” As far as video games, Walker likes to play Madden 2k and Call of Duty. As far as his favorite foods are concerned, Walker’s favorite foods are pizza and hot wings.

Walker has a message for kids who aspire to be great high school players, play in college and beyond. “Of course, work out hard every day. Listen to your coaches. Do what your coaches tell you to do. Stay out of the streets and don’t get into trouble,” Walker said. “Listen to your parents. Do what your parents tell you to do and be respectful.” Walker went on to convey a message to kids that being respectful will get them a long way with adults. “If you are respectful, grind in the weight room. You play and do what you’re supposed to do on the football field, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be successful or get recruited,” Walker said. “I just encourage every young person to try and be somebody. Don’t just go to high school and go through the motions, then get out of high school and do nothing. There are a lot of people I knew who got out of high school and didn’t do anything with their lives. I feel bad for them, but I wish them the best.”

It is safe to say that Zykevious Walker has the right perspective on how to succeed not just in athletics, but in life as well. He is well on his way to being a success at both. He also aims to help young people do the same.