UPSON COUNTY, Ga. — For Georgia to win its first national title since 1980, the Bulldogs are going to need a huge game from No. 44 Travon Walker.
He is one of the quietest guys on the team off the field, but once he steps on it, he flips the switch.
Channel 2 Sports Director Zach Klein traveled to Upson County to visit with Walker’s parents and learn more about what drives him.
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Stead Walker is a Marine Corps and police veteran. Sonia Walker has been a member of the Board of Education for 14 years. Travon has been running through opposing players since he was a little Bulldog.
How much did discipline, hard work and Stead’s military background help in Travon’s growth?
“A lot. As much as I could. Not only him but my other kids as well. He took in a lot that I would say,” Stead told Klein. “When he first got to Georgia, the coaches were like ‘Glad that Travon doesn’t have a problem getting up early in the morning and with his diet. You did a good job. That must be the Marine Corps.’ It was things like that that helped along the way.”
Walker’s parents said that Travon didn’t have trouble showing initiative at an early age.
“He pushed himself. Once we gave him a little boost, if he did need that, it was not too often. The balling was rolling at that point,” Stead Walker said.
“His dad always told him if you do something, don’t do it 100%. Do it 110%. He always pushed himself to the limit,” Sonia Walker said.
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Walker was a two-sport star at Upson Lee High School and helped lead the basketball team to back-to-back undefeated state championship seasons.
“He’s a beast. It was something to see. I liked to see him in his element. And football, basketball, that was his element,” Sonia said.
With all the success, it’s easy to see why he’s the most popular person in Thomaston.
But close behind are his parents, who are recognized all over town.
“Everywhere I go, it’s not ‘You’re Sonia.’ It’s ‘You’re Tray’s mom.’ And I’m like ‘Yeah I’m Tray’s mom,’” Sonia said. “Later on someone will come and say ‘Wow, he’s a good kid. You have done right by him.’ It makes me feel so good.”
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