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The Walton-Verona Bearcats grabbed their first-ever district title in 2012 behind an offense that averaged 33 points and 305 rushing yards per game and defense that yielded just 15 points per contest to their opponents.
Will Latimore, our latest Rising Star, was a big contributor to the team’s success on both sides of the ball during his breakout sophomore campaign. He led a group of five rushers to eclipse the 400-yard mark by netting 961 yards on the ground while adding 345 more yards receiving.
On defense, Latimore finished with 35 tackles, a fumble recovery for a touchdown and four interceptions.
Despite the impressive stat lines mentioned, it may have been special teams where he was most dangerous. The electrifying youngster averaged 27 yards per punt return and took two kicks to the house.
WATCH: Will Latimore - Interview
When the dust settled on last season, Latimore made his way to end zone 16 times. The lessons he learned a year ago were more important to him than his stats though.
“I learned that you got get out there and play no matter what age you are,” Latimore said. “If you work as hard as everyone else you can amount to bigger and better things.”
Latimore’s older brother Chris is also key player for Walton-Verona on both sides of the ball. He’s a year older than Will and has made his mark on his younger brother.
“I love playing with my brother on the field. Sometimes on the field he’s like not even my brother,” the younger Latimore claimed. “I just love the guy. He taught me almost everything I know and worked with me every day.”
After a breakout sophomore season, Latimore looks forward to what lies ahead and for other members of his class as they take their steps in their varsity careers and look to build on the Bearcats’ success last season.
“When we were young there were only a couple of us that was really starting varsity, but we all managed to get up there and did what we had to do,” Latimore said of his classmates. ‘What we bring forth to the table now is to teach the other underclassmen how to come up and they can be successful as well.”
At 6-foot-2, 180-pounds Latimore has nice size at the position and for his skill set, but getting bigger remains near the top of his list of off-season goals.
“Just work hard and get in the weight room and just keep practicing and working,” he said of his summer plans.
Latimore has come a long way in short varsity career and he appears to only getting better.
FINAL TAKE: After a sensational sophomore campaign Latimore is starting to turn some heads. Expect another step forward in his junior year. If he lives up to his potential special things are ahead for both him and the Walton-Verona program. Staying focused and playing hard will lead to him playing at the next level. His ability to make defenders miss cannot be taught, but getting tougher both physically and mentality is a must.
Dan Clasgens is a co-founder of TSF and serves as the President/Director of Media & Content for our parent company, GetSports Enterprises LLC. In addition to nearly a decade of experience in covering local high school football, Dan is a widely recognized as a fantasy football guru. He is both a local and national radio personality, including hosting a weekly show on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. If you are interested in covering your team, please CONTACT US.