Jay Walls has made quite a mark in his five seasons as the head coach of the Navarre Raiders. His team has won 10 or more games three times and the latest win was one of the most memorable.
His Raiders topped St. Augustine 28-10 in a 6A regional final Friday night in St. Augustine, propelling Navarre to the state semifinals for the second time in four years and giving Walls his 50th win as the head coach. He has lost only 12 games in his career.
“It’s a special feeling,” Walls said.
While Walls had little to say about the milestone win, the success the Raiders have enjoyed with him at the helm speaks volumes about him as a coach.
Assistant head coach Tony Carter said what makes Walls such a great coach is the attention he gives to detail.
“It’s second to none,” Carter said. “He expects the same thing out of us. If we are going to expect the kids to work hard, we better work twice as hard as coaches. That’s the mentality he takes and we follow along with it.”
Walls has been telling his team all year this season is about unfinished business. After the Raiders fell to Tate in double overtime in the opening round of the playoffs a year ago, wiping out the thrill of a perfect regular season, Navarre has been as focused as ever on making history.
The Raiders (12-1) can move to the doorstep of it Friday night when they battle fifth-ranked Lake Gibson (12-0) in a 7:30 p.m. 6A state semifinal showdown at Bennett C. Russell Stadium.
“Our guys play hard. I’m proud of them,” Walls said. “I’m proud of our coaches, too. Everyone has been grinding since January.”
Read more in the Dec. 1 edition of the Navarre Press or subscribe online here.