Action Sports Spotlight - Walton Basketball

By Brendan O'Reilly

July 22, 2010 Updated Feb 13, 2008 at 12:44 AM EDT

10 weeks ago they were the Kings of New York following a state title and one of the most dominant football seasons in state history. Today quarterback Patrick O'Brien and his offensive linemen Drew Hammond and Brad Hodges form the nucleus of Walton's division champion basketball team.
Drew Hammond says, "It's like having offensive linemen and running backs all combine, it's like a big family. We all get along good so it just runs right through basketball as well as it did football."
Patrick O'Brien says, "We miss football, but I mean it's over and we had a great year but we got to focus on basketball now but it's fun to have all those guys around."
The division title is the Warriors first since 2000. But after winning every football game by at least 34 points, basketball season has brought a first for the football players... A loss.
Brad Hodges says, "It gets you down actually. You think about it and you're always like wow we don't like to lose."
"It's alright to experience a loss every now and again just to see how it is, it'll make you better. That way you can feel better about winning."
And winning is something that's carried over to basketball season. The Warriors head into Saturday's MAC title game hoping to bring home the school's first league title since 1963. But you can be certain of one thing... Playing on the big stage has become second nature.
Coach Gary Williams says, "That big game experience that they were able to participate in is something that you can't simulate. It's a very positive thing to have some winning attitude like that to come into the program."
So who says Walton's just a football school? These athletes are trying to start another winning tradition. In Walton, Justin Horowitz, Action Sports.

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