When the National Signing Day comes around on Thursday, June 1, Stettler’s Chase Walton will be signing up with Edmonton Huskies – a reflection of some of the talent this town has.
Walton started with the Wm. E. Hay high school program a little later, as he didn’t make use of his first year of eligibility.
But, in 2015-2016, which was his rookie year, he realized the potential that his team had.
“I personally felt that our team did very well, finishing second place within the league, losing in the final to Sylvan Lake,” Walton said. “It showed how passionate players are in the game and how without proper cohesion within your team’s ranks, things can begin to fall apart.”
In his senior year with Stettler Wildcats, the team once again made it to the final game of the playoffs, only to lose to Sylvan Lake for the second year in a row.
“Afterwards as a team we vowed to learn from our mistakes that we made in the final, so we could flourish within the provincial run,” Walton added. “I really had an amazing team both years that I played with the Wildcats, learning many things that have got me to the next level of football.”
In fact it is high school ball that has got Walton to the Senior Bowl tryouts.
Because of the Wildcats’ phenomenal performance during the regular season and provincial season, Head Coach Norbert Baharally was able to nominate Mitchell Gudgeon, Keegan St. Denis, Will MacDonald, and Chase Walton to go and tryout for the North team.
“Even though I didn’t make the team it was an amazing experience to participate in the tryouts, and to go down to McMahon Stadium in Calgary to watch Mitchell participate in the bowl game,” Walton commented.
After his provincial run with the Stettler Wildcats, Walton applied to be recruited by the Edmonton Huskies and the Edmonton Wildcats.
“I had to, knowing that to follow my dream of making it to the CFL this would have to be my next step,” Walton said. “I started to go to the gym to lift weights and improve my strength, and I was doing cardio to improve myself entirely as an athlete.”
According to Walton, training with former teammate and friend, Mitchell Gudgeon, helped him immensely and that was when he began to see real improvements.
“During that time, I focused more on my studies so that I could get myself into a post-secondary institution, hopefully earning a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science in the future,” Walton said.
Walton was considered “pretty big” in the high school circuit at six feet six inches, but when he started with the Huskies spring camp, he realized within the junior league, he was just average.
One of the big differences that was immediately noticeable, Walton said, was the work ethic and passion among the Huskies.
“The team was all business, never walking on the field, pushing themselves to the utmost, as fast as they could; the tempo of the practices was a huge jump, and the players within the junior league are way more skilled than at the high school level, as can be expected,” Walton added. “If it weren’t for the many mentors such as Theren Churchill and Iain MacLean, I would not have been where I am today.”
Walton said that the heat during the Huskies spring camp was a major factor in everyone’s performance, it was a true test of their passion, requiring them to withstand the odds and to push themselves to new limits.
“I’d just like to thank my family for supporting me through my decision to move on with my football career, including my teammates from Stettler, without whom I would still be stuck at square one; the wonderful coaching staff that has pushed me through my years as a Wildcat, forcing me to be the best I can be and to always put my heart into everything; and the Edmonton Huskies and Iain MacLean for accommodating me at their Winter Workouts and Spring Camp, and for the amazing opportunity to play within the CJFL.”