My reasons: Walton's Joe Goydish

Joe Goydish is the point guard for a Walton boys team that began this week 11-4. As the Raiders approach Saturday’s Region 6-AAAAA showdown with visiting Wheeler, the 5-foot-9 junior gives his reasons for Walton’s success, including a 10-0 run to start the season:

1. Together we stand

“Whether we’re winning or losing, playing bad or good, we stay together [emotionally], and that keeps us in games. We’re all pretty good friends, together at school, off campus, or wherever. We all go and scout games together as a team, and if we have practice at 7:30 one night, we all stay after school and do our homework together. We played together all summer and have been pretty tight ever since, even with the [player] move-ins we got. Everyone respects each other and knows each other’s roles.”

2. Spirited support

“Our fan support is amazing. People are always congratulating us in the hallways at school for how much they enjoyed a game. We try to get everyone out, and sometimes I’ve even heard our gym was so full they couldn’t let anyone else in. Almost every home game, you can hardly hear the plays our coach is calling. When we travel, I haven’t seen a fan base like ours. Our fans full-on participate in every game.”

3. We mix things up

“We all know who’s good at what and don’t try to do things we’re not good at. Whether it’s plays in the half-court set to Kam [Belin] down low, alley-oops to G’Mitri [Rice] or Braylon [Williams], or something to our outside guys like Ryan [Harrow] or Lanerryl [Esters-Johnson], we have something going for everybody. We have more ways to score than a lot of teams do. We know so well how each other plays, and we know how to go to one another’s strengths. Even stuff we just naturally do sometimes looks like set plays.”