Shoemaker offensive lineman Joshua Thomas (77) hoists quarterback Mark Walker after Walker’s touchdown against Waco High on Oct. 19 at Leo Buckley Stadium. The Grey Wolves won 47-10, ending a 27-game losing streak.

While leading the Grey Wolves to their first win in almost three years is the highlight of Shoemaker senior quarterback Mark Walker’s high school football career, it’s been a long journey to this point.

Growing up, Walker watched his dad’s high school highlight tapes, “And I wanted to be like him and play.”

Which is why he signed up to play football in seventh grade.

Walker started off on the offensive line before being moved under center in junior high, but when he got to Shoemaker his freshman year, he started playing safety.

Thanks to cornerbacks coach Michael Woods, Walker also runs hurdles for the Grey Wolves track team.

“Because I used to play safety, he made all the safeties run hurdles,” said Walker said, who has stuck with the event ever since.

“Then I was moved to quarterback my sophomore year,” he noted. “End of my sophomore year against Midway. That was my first start as a varsity quarterback.”

And while he may not be the stereotypical quarterback, Walker is fine with that impression as he is inspired by another not-so-typical player under center — New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees.

“He’s the most accurate quarterback in the NFL right now,” said Walker. “But I like how he leads the team and how he bounces back, even when something goes wrong.”

The streak-ending 47-10 win against Waco is his favorite game to date.

“It means a lot because that lets me know all the work I put in actually paid off,” he said. “But being able to celebrate with my team, that sticks out to me.”

The team bond the Grey Wolves have is one of Walker’s favorite parts of playing for Shoemaker.

“Thank you to coach (Toby) Foreman for giving me a chance,” he added. “And to my O-line for blocking me, and the defense for always giving us a chance to get back on the field.”

Having helped contribute to making history for the Grey Wolves, Walker looks to close out his senior year with the goal of bringing more wins to Shoemaker.

Above all else, he hopes his team remembers him for one thing.

“My leadership.”

fcardenas@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7562

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