PREP FOOTBALL

Wendell Walton is the new St. Francis de Sales football coach

2011-07-20T22:00:00Z 2013-04-01T19:42:24Z Wendell Walton is the new St. Francis de Sales football coachBy Mike Nieto mike.nieto@nwi.com, (219) 933-3232 nwitimes.com

Wendell Walton isn't as concerned about putting in his system in as he is having someone to teach it to.

Walton, who has been associated with the Dolton Bears football program, was named interim football coach at St. Francis de Sales on Tuesday.

He takes over for Martin Quiroga, who stepped down in June. Walton is not too concerned with the interim tag. His big concern is increasing the numbers.

"I want to get kids out," Walton said. "My goal is to get some kids who have played before to come out."

The Pioneers won two games last year after halting their varsity program for two years. Athletic director Rich Maggio said there are a little more than 20 kids out, but Walton said he hopes to get some more out, plus get a strong freshman class.

The Hubbard High school and Benedictine graduate said his working with the Dolton program will be a plus.

"We have had a lot of good players come through there and maybe a few will want to come to St. Francis," Walton said. "I think we have a good group of kids, we just need more.

"Dolton was about building relationships with players and their families."

His staff will include former Thornwood and Indiana University football star Aaron Mitchell as his defensive coordinator and Jermeil Ratcliffe as his assistant head coach.

"I have a good staff and kids who want to work," Walton said. "We just have to get moving because we don't have a lot of time until practice starts (Aug. 10)."

The Pioneers play their home games at Clark High School in Hammond and open the season against neighborhood rival Washington.

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