Myles Walton has to be good this season.
Homewood-Flossmoor High School lost nine offensive starters, including a running back and a wide receiver now each playing Division I football. Last season's starting quarterback is playing small college football.
“I’m just trying to add more offense to the table,” Walton said. “I’m not really taking over a new role. It’s just stepping up my game.”
New coach Terrell Alexander said replacing that production will be done by committee. Walton will likely have to be the chairperson. He was all Southwest Suburban Conference and all area in the spring and is being recruited by Western Michigan, Illinois State and others.
“He’s as good as anybody - as good as anybody in the classroom and as good as anybody as far as character goes,” Alexander said. “Anytime you’ve got someone like that, that you can call a leader, it’s infectious. You’ve got an opportunity to do something.”
Walton has the same level of confidence in Alexander. The Vikings all feel like they have something to prove and Alexander brought confidence and swagger with him.
Walton said Alexander’s emphasis on things like hard work, being a leader and being a good teammate aren’t necessarily different from his predecessor’s but come with a different vibe.
“The energy’s different now. We’re playing with a chip on our shoulder because we got something to prove now that we don’t have (former) coach (Craig Buzea),” Walton said. “(Alexander) is a coach that cares.”
The offense is built around the run-pass option and will have a lot more action, especially before the snap, Walton said. He’ll be moved around and given more responsibility to make reads, which he likes.
“I could really change my route if I need to,” Walton said.
He spent the summer putting in extra work with the new quarterback, who wasn’t publicly named preseason. They’ll need to be on the same page with those reads at the line of scrimmage.
“Confidence is a big thing for (the new quarterback). I’m bringing him in early before practice, trying to play catch and throw balls. It’s just confidence,” Walton said. “I calm him down in a situation where he’s uptight. Physically, he’s good. Now it’s just mental.”
That’s a responsibility Walton said the whole senior class feels. They’re preparing H-F for a bright future.
“A winning season is good. Of course we want a championship but there’s only one team that can win it,” Walton said. “Mostly, it’s about helping the juniors and underclassmen. That’s my biggest goal, showing them something.”