Harker Heights safety Brandon Walls has managed to impact the Knights defense in his first varsity season with two interceptions, both of which came in Knights wins.
Considering Wall came close to never stepping on a football field, the junior has come a long way since he began playing in seventh grade. Now, Wall hopes to help the Knights win out as they face two of the top teams in 8-5A to finish the season.
How long have you been playing football?
I got talked into playing it in seventh grade. I didn’t want to play it. I wanted to stick to soccer because I used to play soccer for a long time.
Who talked you into football?
My friends. They just kept bothering me about it.
I just tried.
What put you over the top with the decision?
(I wanted to) just try something new. My parents always told me to try every sport so I can get an opportunity.
So, what position did they put you at when you first went out there?
I was a receiver (shaking head).
That didn’t work for you?
No. I didn’t like it. I hated it.
You didn’t like it? Why not?
I couldn’t catch. I wasn’t familiar with the game when I first started.
So, then they moved you to defense. That seemed to work better for you?
What position did you play in soccer?
I was a striker.
So, the positions aren’t similar, right? Because you’re trying to score in soccer versus in football you’re trying to defend?
It’s totally different.
Well then what made you stick around?
I got better, and I started taking the training more seriously. I used to go to a trainer. He talked me into thinking ahead. I was like maybe I should keep doing this.
So, when did you start doing football exclusively?
Ninth grade. I didn’t have time for soccer, so I just cut it off.
Now you’ve worked your way up. What’s your first year on varsity been like?
It’s been pretty good. It’s kind of surprising.
What’s surprising about it?
The game’s a lot faster. It’s a whole lot faster. I was not expecting it to be like this.
Has it slowed down for you yet?
No. No, it just gets faster and faster.
Well, you’ve still managed to get two picks, how did you do that?
Just doing what coach taught us to do coverage wise, just fundamentals.
So, where are you still looking to improve?
Coverage. Pretty much everything needs to be better.
How does it feel when you get that interception?
I wasn’t sure what to do.
I just ran with the ball. I was just running.
It felt good after the fact.
With the game moving so fast how do you manage out there?
Honestly, I don’t know. I just played. I just go with the plays.
What’s your favorite part of defense?
Hitting people. I don’t like to get hit, I like to give a hit. I’d rather do that.
With two of the top teams in the district ahead, what’s the team mentality going forward?
Coming in there like we can win. It’s still anyone’s chance at the playoffs. We’ve just got to keep our heads.