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Sissonville running back looking forward to second season

By | Gazette-Mail High School Huddle
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Sissonville senior Dominic Walker fails to fit the true mold of a fullback or tailback, though his combination of backfield skills and strength developed as a wrestler has given opponents plenty to grapple with this season.

Walker, an Indians senior captain, excels on the wrestling mat during the winter, and this fall, as in years past, he's taking down opponents on the gridiron. Walker and Sissonville will play host to the program's first-ever true home playoff game when the No. 8 Indians (9-1) welcome ninth-seeded (8-2) Mingo Central 7:30 p.m. Friday.

"He's a senior captain that's worked really hard all four years," Sissonville Coach Eddie Smolder said. "He wrestles in the offseason, which obviously helps him to be a better football player.

During wrestling season, he's constantly in the weight room. He's a hard worker. He's full of energy. He's not very big, but he's strong, quick and runs hard."

Listed as a running back at 5-foot-10, 170 pounds, Walker said there's not much strategy to his running style.

"I don't know how to explain it - I just run," he said.

"I feel like I'm a better inside runner, running inside. I can break a lot of tackles. I ain't the fastest kid, so I have to get somewhere somehow, so I just run hard and break tackles."

That approach has proved well for Walker this year. During the regular season, Walker finished fourth in Class AA with 1,310 rushing yards on 159 carries and 20 touchdowns. He averaged 8.2 yards per carry.

The Indians offense doesn't require Walker to fit a certain form, rather the team runs plays designed to Walker's strengths, Smolder said.

"He's more of a hybrid," he said. "He's not a true tailback and he's not a true fullback just for the simple fact of his size and our offense and what we do. His ability fits what we do really well and we've changed a few things to fit him this season, too."

A year after being named a second-team Cardinal Conference linebacker, Smolder said injuries forced the coach to play Walker strictly on offense earlier this season.

"He had some really good games and I just decided to play him one way and I think that's really helped out as well," Smolder said.

"He comes in, he's fresh. He's a quick-hitter up the middle.

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