LOCK HAVEN - Caleb Walton is the new face of Lock Haven footbal.
The dual-threat redshirt sophomore quarterback will head into the 2014 season with the starting job in hand. The question is how has Walton grown this offseason as a quarterback?
"Having him play last season was good for him and put him in the mindset to stay focused," LHU?head coach John Allen said. "Caleb is really starting to mature, and he brings great qualities to our team by allowing his leadership of the offense to show."
Allen has also made some changes to the offense to compliment his quarterback.
"The thing that has really elevated our offense is the approach to the passing game. It is something we have been working on this offseason,"Allen said.
Also, with a new-look offense, Allen has surrounded Walton with some weapons on the field.
"We have two physical running backs in Beau Swales and Matt Gibson. Their ability to catch the ball out of the backfield is a skill that will help us on offense," Allen said.
The new responsibilities for the quarterback position haven't bothered Walton, who started several games last season.
"I am blessed to be in the position I am in, but it isn't just about me. The team has really improved this offseason," Walton said. "I feel like we have a lot of versatile athletes that can play all over the field, which is great."
Walton brings multiple talents to the Bald Eagles and with that comes the importance of protecting himself.
"I am definitely going to avoid the big hits during the season," Walton said. "It is important to stay healthy. It's going to be a long, brutal season, but if I feel like I can make a play for my team, I'm going to do that, but the right way."
As the Bald Eagles entered Friday night's spring game it was all about showcasing their hard work and dedication. The Bald Eagles got off to a quick start at the three-minute mark with a five-yard scramble by Walton. There was also two more scores on offense for the Bald Eagles' by running backs Swales and Gibson.
The defense also took on the challenge of making plays. A fumble recovery in the second half by linebacker Tony Ballon really brought the crowd to its feet. As far as the defense is concerned, players will look to senior George Christas, who plays in the secondary as a team leader. Christas provided some thoughts on the defensive improvements in the spring season.
"It's been so competitive on the defense side of the ball," Christas said. "We are super excited to make big plays next season."
The defense for Lock Haven saw strong plays from the defensive line and linebackers.
"It was a lot of help for us to those guys to get after it," Christas said. "It is a huge help for Mike (Williams) and I to have that support, so that we can focus on our job."