Greensburg Tribune-Review Q&A: Hempfield’s Daniel Walters
Hempfield finished 3-6 last season, but quarterback Daniel Walters said the record doesn’t truly reflect the team the Spartans really were.
They made their mistakes, he said, but they believed they had the ability to play together and win more games. This season, that belief has translated into a never-quit mentality that last Friday sparked the Spartans to rally from a 20-0 deficit to beat Norwin, 35-34.
Walters, a senior, threw a 25-yard touchdown pass with 10.2 seconds left then orchestrated a successful 2-point conversion for the win. He completed 17 of 32 passes for 284 yards.
Q: Last year, you had a seven-touchdowngame. Did that do anything in terms of your confidence or earning you recognition from opponents?
A: Yeah, it gave me confidence, and it probably did make opponents recognize me, but overall I was happy with how I played most of the season, other than what I worked on in the offseason, which was limiting turnovers and being smarter with the ball and not trying to do too much. I’m pretty happy with the way I’ve conducted myself on offense this year so far in that regard.
Q: Your coach said after Friday’s game that it may have been the best high school game he has been involved in. How about you?
A: Yeah, it’s definitely up there. It was a pretty cool game
Q: Norwin goes ahead 20-0 on its first three possessions. What are you guys thinking at that point?
A: Well, it wasn’t that we didn’t feel we could move the ball on them, it was us feeling out their defense. They switched up some things that they did against Latrobe (in Week 1), so we had to adjust our offense. They got out to an early lead, but once we settled down, we knew they couldn’t really stop us. We just kept saying chip away, chip away, and at the end we’ll see where we are.
Q: Were you pretty confident on the conversion play?
A: Yeah, it was a little nerve-wracking, but I tried to hurry up the snap a little so I didn’t think about it, just tried to keep my mind off how important a play it was and just treat it like any other play.
Q: Where does this never-say-die attitude come from?
A: I don’t know, I think a lot of kids just have a lot of heart. We might not be the most talented in the WPIAL or have the oldest kids in the WPIAL, but we never quit and we never think we’re out of a game. We’re scrappy, and that’s what I really love about our team.
Q: What are your plans for next year?
A: I’ve talked to some coaches a lot in the spring and summer. I’m just trying to have fun this year and not look at it as trying to get an offer for college.
Karen Price is a former freelancer.