Megan Walton: Setting the Standards
Writer and Photographer / Summer Pratt
As senior Megan Walton begins her last year of high school varsity basketball, she has expectations for what she wants the team to achieve. Every year since Walton has played on the team, the Lady Royals have not made it past Sectionals. Her senior year brings the pressure to make it as far as she can – hopefully all the way to State.
“When I was in elementary school, I outgrew everybody,” said Walton. “I was taller and stronger than everybody, even at that age.”
The countless hours Walton spent playing and practicing earned her a position on the varsity team all four years of high school. She received many awards over the course of her first three years of basketball, including the ‘Most Improved’ award her freshman year and the ‘Most Valuable Player’ her sophomore year. Her junior year, though, Walton made it farther than most girls ever do – to Junior All Stars.
“My overall goal is to make Senior All Stars,” said Walton. “It’s the best people in the state of Indiana, and there’s only 12. Last year, I was on Junior All Stars, and usually if you make Junior All Stars, you have a good chance of making Senior.”
Although Walton has been playing the game since first grade, that is not the only reason she stands out among the girls.
“[What sets me apart is] my leadership,” said Walton. “I’m a vocal leader, but I’m more of an example leader too. Secondly, it would be the fact that I’m basketball oriented. I can see a play before it happens, and I have really good court awareness.”
Regardless of the strengths Walton has, she still has to put in hours upon hours of practice with the other girls.
“A lot of it is your mental toughness,” said Walton. “Most [sports] are allowed to have music or a timer. We’re not allowed to because coach wants us to focus on the mental aspect of running versus listening to other things. The amount of time you are at the school in the gym working out is crazy. That’s where a lot of people drop off because they’re not as dedicated to the sport as others are.”
Although the pressure is on for the Lady Royals, Walton’s first priority is to make sure the team is supportive and that everyone feels welcome.
“I want to make everyone’s experience great,” said Walton. “That’s one of my biggest things – to make this journey as easy as possible and to make it as fun as possible. I don’t want people to not be happy. I get it is a high school sport, but then again, it’s also about having fun.”