MOULTRIE - When Kennie Burke was growing up and developing his football and baseball talents in Moultrie in the early 1960s, there was only one athlete to emulate.
"He was the best athlete I ever laid eyes on," said Burke, who will join Walker in being inducted into the Colquitt County Sports Hall of Fame at the annual banquet to be held Oct. 16. "He was my idol. I worshipped him. He did everything to perfection.
"And when I heard about the Hall of Fame, I told Dale (Williams), if Amos isn't going in, I can't go in."
Williams, who followed Burke as the quarterback at William Bryant High in 1968 and later at Albany State, also remembers watching Walker on the football field, basketball court and baseball diamond. He rates Walker as "if not the best, one of the two to three best athletes to wear the maroon and gray."
Walker played nearly every position on the football team, was a guard and forward in basketball and pitched, played third base and outfield for the Rams baseball teams. He also found time to run track and lettered in all four sports all four years at Moultrie High for Negro Youth/William Bryant High.
But Walker, who now lives in Atlanta, where he has been a nurse's assistant at the Atlanta Medical Center for 15 years, was at his best on the football field.
Walker said he played some offensive line, but also lined up at split end, quarterback, halfback and played safety on defense. He also returned punts.
The William Bryant High teams he played on his junior and senior years were exceptional. Walker says the 1960 team could have won the Georgia Interscholastic Association Class A state championship, but did not play enough games to qualify for the postseason.
The 1961 team did and Walker helped lead the Rams to the state championship.
William Bryant went undefeated and allowed just two touchdowns all season: a touchdown in a 20-6 victory over Camilla and another in a 13-6 playoff victory over Central High of Waycross.
The Rams shut out previously undefeated Lemon Street High of Marietta 12-0 in the state championship game at Mack Tharpe Stadium for the first state football championship in Colquitt County.
Walker, George Turner and James Brown were all-conference players for the Rams that season. Brown scored one touchdown in the state championship game on a 4-yard run and threw to Fred Daniels for the other.
The Rams that season were led by head coach A.F. Shaw, who won the only state championship of his 27-year coaching career that year, and assistants Ralph Taylor and Calvin "Dad" Small. All three are Colquitt County Hall of Fame members.
Walker said Shaw had a big influence on him.
"He made a big difference in my life," Walker said. "He was a wonderful coach. He was like a father-figure to me.
"I had a temper and he would always get on me. But he always tried to get the best out of all of us. He taught us about football. But he taught us about life, too."
Walker wore No. 13 for the Rams, but was never superstitious about a number that many athletes avoid.
"It was a good number for me," he said. "I didn't care about the number. I just wanted to play ball."
Walker went to Albany State with the intentions of playing football, but soon returned to Moultrie. He was certain that at least he would have been the team's kicker.
"I guess I got the big head," he said. "The coach came to Moultrie to bring me back, but I wouldn't go.
"As I got older, I wish I had stayed."
Walker went in the service in 1966 and served until 1968, when he moved to New York and worked for United Parcel Service. He returned briefly to Moultrie and moved to Atlanta about 23 years ago.
Walker said he will be unable to attend the banquet, but will be back in Moultrie for the reception on Oct. 17 and will be among the 22 Hall of Fame inductees introduced at Mack Tharpe Stadium before the football game between Colquitt County and Lowndes.
Walker said he regrets having to miss the banquet.
"This is exciting for me," Walker said. "I never thought anything like this would ever happen."
This Week's Circulars
MOULTRIE [mdash] Union Morris, 66, of Moultrie, died Friday, April 9, 2021 at Colquitt Regional Medical Center. Arrangements have been entrusted to Baker Funeral Home.
NORMAN PARK [mdash] Antonia Razo Gonzalez, 88, of Norman Park, died Saturday, April 10,2021 at Colquitt Regional Medical Center. Arrangements have been entrusted to Baker Funeral Home.
MOULTRIE [mdash] Barbara Lynn Kennedy, 54, of Moultrie, died Thursday, April 8, 2021 at Colquitt Regional Medical Center. Arrangements have been entrusted to Baker Funeral Home.
NORMAN PARK [mdash] Troy Tyler, 72, of Norman Park, passed away on Thursday, April 8, 2021 at his home. Arrangements have been entrusted to Baker Funeral Home.
MOULTRIE [mdash] Candido Hernandez Gonsales, 60, of Moultrie, died Tuesday, April 6, 2021 at Colquitt Regional Medical Center. Arrangements have been entrusted to Baker Funeral Home.
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