Walter Ready To Make Impact On Defense

St. Marys’ Lukas Walter readies to rush the quarterback during a football scrimmage against Findlay earlier this month. A senior, Walter mirrors his game around former Roughriders outside linebacker Jackson Harris, who was an All-Ohio selection his senior season.
Sports Editor

Grabbing his first letter at the varsity level last season, Lukas Walter saw spotty action throughout his junior season with the St. Marys football team.

But one game put him on the map and it is serving as motivation for the senior in 2019.

Walter’s breakout game came last year in a Division IV regional final against Clear Fork where he finished with five tackles while he tormented Clear Fork quarterback Jared Schaefer most of the night. Walter ended last season with 41 tackles, but saw more time on the field as the season wore on.

“That was the game [against Clear Fork] that I kind of realized that outside linebacker is the position for me and it was a lot of fun to play,” Walter said. “That served as an eye-opening game for me that I should start trying and start caring for the team more so it set up my whole mood for this year to try to treat every game like the Clear Fork game.”

Given the same No. 4 jersey Jackson Harris wore a couple of years ago to reach All-Ohio status his senior season, Walter resembles the same traits that Harris had. 

When camp broke in July, Walter was vocal — much like Harris was — and has been aggressive in camp by chasing quarterbacks and bringing an energy to the defense , which has a handful of new faces this year on the varsity team.

“It’s the best position to get to hit people, setting edges, hitting guards, tackling running backs and even getting to hit some receivers on pass drops is just the most fun position for me,” Walter said.

The senior credited coaches Tom Knous for giving him the mindset similar to Harris. Walter added that Harris brought an “amazing energy that lightened up the team.”

“In the weight room, I kind of felt that attitude, but it all stemmed from the postseason before hand,” he said. “And it just brought a whole new energy that I loved when I would practice with him so I want to be able to bring that every day in games and in practice.”

Walter said entering his senior season, he wants to garner First-Team All-Western Buckeye League honors. In his second year as a starter, the linebacker/edge rusher Harris led the team with 137 tackles and one interception that he took back for a pick-six against Elida.

“If I make it, it would be crazy, but I would be so proud of myself for it,” Walter said. “Once you turn into a senior, you have more of an understanding that, ‘I have to lead now.’ It is my last year and I want it to go as perfect as it can.”