Bigger than the Ax: Sherman's Walker Wedell - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Bigger than the Ax: Sherman's Walker Wedell

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Walker Wedell has been an important part of the Sherman Bearcats' 2017 season. (KTEN) Walker Wedell has been an important part of the Sherman Bearcats' 2017 season. (KTEN)
Walker Wedell celebrates with the Bearcats. (Courtesy) Walker Wedell celebrates with the Bearcats. (Courtesy)
Walker Wedell (right) on the sidelines with the Sherman Bearcats. (KTEN) Walker Wedell (right) on the sidelines with the Sherman Bearcats. (KTEN)

SHERMAN, Texas – The 2017 Sherman Bearcats opened practice with a simple three-word motto: “Bring It Back."

With their focus set on bringing their program back to the playoffs and bringing the Ax back to Sherman, little did they know one of their most important players would not score any touchdowns or sack any quarterbacks this season.

“We had an opportunity to help out. Somebody who is here at school they wanted to be a part of the program,” said Sherman head football coach J.D. Martinez.

Enter Walker Wedell, a Sherman sophomore with Down Syndrome, and what followed even his biggest fans could not have predicted.

“He had a bigger idea than we did. We just thought maybe he could be a water boy or something,” said Walker’s mother Nicki Wedell.

“I did not know if he was going to come once a week or once a month. I really did not know, but when he first came out the players kind of just gravitated to him,” said Martinez.

“The players have been great and Coach Martinez, they have really embraced him and kids like Walker just want to be a part of the team,” said Walker’s father Scott Wedell.

“A little bit of time for us can lead to a lifetime of enjoyment and memories for the family. That is really pretty easy to do, we can do that,” said Martinez.

While Walker’s parents may have been worried about their son slowing the Bearcats down the reality was quite the opposite, before long everyone involved realized just how important Walker was to this team.

“We are in the locker room and it was right before we were going out to start the game I think he gave a little speech to us before the game. I think he said ‘let’s go kick butt’ or something like that but it was just inspirational,” said Sherman senior running back Nate Omayebu.

“Seeing him be that happy it makes my heart warm to see how happy he is. He is just always running around spraying people with water just trying to cool us down. He is always there for us,” said senior defensive back Austin Bindel.

“He is one of the greatest people that I know and I talk to him every day,” said Sherman sophomore defensive back Gage Smith.

“It has gone a lot farther than we ever thought it would, and it is a tribute to Coach Martinez and his staff,” said Scott Wedell.

“Coach Martinez is a good man to let this happen to teach all these kids that there is more to life than just football,” said Nicki Wedell.

“Everybody thinks that we are helping Walker out, but I really think he is helping us out because we realize that we are better people when he is around,” said Martinez.

You can catch Walker Wedell on the sidelines for the 119th Battle of the Ax Friday night.

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