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Hilltoppers’ Walker Named WVIAC Player of the Week

October 8, 2009

PRINCETON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Conference’s Offensive Player of the Week Award seems to have found a permanent home at West Liberty this season.

      Junior wide receiver Willie Walker was honored as this week’s WVIAC Offensive Player of the Week on Sunday following his dominating performance in the Hilltoppers’ 29-17 victory at Glenville State on Saturday.Willie_Stands

      Walker’s honor marks the fourth straight week that a West Liberty grid standout has been honored as the WVIAC Offensive Player of the Week.

      A 6-5, 190-pound returning junior starter from Cadiz, Ohio, Walker stepped up in a big way for an injury-riddled Hilltopper team that was forced to play without several key performers.

      The rangy wideout pulled in 8 passes from standout QB Zach Amedro – a two-time WVIAC Player of the Week – and finished with a career-high 148 receiving yards as West Liberty (5-1, 3-0) pulled away to its fifth straight win.

      “I’m happy whenever any of our players is honored by the conference,” head coach Roger Waialae said. “Willie’s created a lot of big plays for his teammates with his blocking this season so it’s nice to see his work ethic rewarded with a day like he had on Saturday.”

      In addition to putting up the first 100-yard receiving game of his career, Walker also combined with Amedro on the key play of Saturday’s contest.

      Glenville had cut the lead to 20-17 with a long touchdown pass late in the third quarter and the Hilltoppers opened the fourth quarter backed up to their own 12 after bobbling the ensuing kickoff.

      But on the very first snap of the final quarter, Amedro faked a handoff and rolled right to find Walker streaking down the sideline behind the Pioneer secondary. The perfectly-thrown pass settled into Walker’s hands near midfield and the slender sprinter never broke stride in completing an 88-yard touchdown play. Glenville State never recovered.

      The game-breaking catch tied a 58-year-old record for the longest pass play in West Liberty history. Hilltopper Hall of Famer Jack Donovan had hooked up with Hugh Manley on an 88-yard pass against California (Pa.) in the penultimate game of the 1951 season.

      Concord tailback Brian Kennedy shared this week’s Offensive Player of the Week Award with Walker while West Virginia State linebacker Valentine Bon was the Defensive Player of the Week. Shepherd’s Deante Steele earned his second Special Teams Player of the Week honor.

      West Liberty will host West Virginia State on Saturday in the annual Homecoming Game. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Russek Field.


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