Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Bossier City Boys Go Pro

Did you know, Louisiana produces more NFL football players per capita than any other state? With football season upon us, there is no better time to write about two of our Bossier City boys that went pro. These boys developed their outstanding athletic skills while growing up here in Bossier. They both excelled in their sport throughout high school where their hard work and exceptional playing stats led them to successful college football careers. It was no surprise when professional football organizations drafted them.

Wayne Walker Bossier High School 1962
Wayne Walker was a kicking specialist for the Bossier City Bearkats. In The Times, October 12, 1960, he was reported as being ranked as “the city’s punting leader with 17 for 676 yards and a whopping 39.8 average.” During his senior year, in November of 1961, it was reported that he was averaging 40.5 yards on 21 kicks. In 1962 Wayne Walker graduated from Bossier City High School
and was picked up by the Northwestern State College (NSC) Demons in Natchitoches, La.

During Wayne’s sophomore year at NSC, he was “rapidly becoming Northwestern’s most valuable player.” By the end of his sophomore year, he was averaging 39.7 yards and was the leading punter of the 1963 Gulf State Conference. In the 1964 season, he was NSU’s leading scorer. He finished his college career with a 42.6-yard average on 48 punts and scoring 39 points with 21 conversions and six field goals. “He also kicked a 46-yard field goal – the longest ever by a Demon.” The National Collegiate Athletic Association ranked Wayne as 17th in the nation in punting and 11th in the country on kicking scores.
Wayne Walker at Northwestern State College 1963

In 1966 Wayne was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs of the AFL in the 13th round. He played for the Chiefs through 1967, and in 1968 the Houston Oilers picked him up where he led them in scoring that year. In 1970 Wayne had the honor of signing with the Saints; unfortunately, he was released during the preseason. Stats on Wayne Walker also show him playing for the Texarkana Titans of the TFL in 1970.
Randy Walker scores for the Bearkats 1969

Another former Bearkat that made it into professional football is Wayne’s younger brother Randy “the toe” Walker. Randy graduated from Bossier High School in 1969 and he also went on to play for Northwestern State University. Over three years, he averaged 41.9 yards per punt, breaking all of NSU’s records, many of which were set by his brother Wayne. He booted several game-winning field goals during 1972 and 1973. “His longest punt was 68 yards. As a placekicker, he had his best season in 1972 when he scored 53 points. He booted 13 of 19 field goals and 14 of 17 points after touchdowns. His accuracy inside the 40 was uncanny, and he also had a 41 and 43 yarder to his credit.” He won the honors of the Gulf State Conference and All-Louisiana.
Randy Walker 1974 Green Bay Packers

He was drafted in the twelfth round of the 1974 NFL draft as a kicker and punter for the Green Bay Packers. After making the cuts, he became the #1 punter who kicked 69 times with a 38.4 punting average for the Packers. Randy’s punting had the Packers in second place in the NFC through 11 games for the season in average return. Unfortunately, at the start of the 1975 season, he was cut from the team after being placed on the injured list with a sprained ankle. In 1976 he was picked up by the newly formed Tamp Bay Buccaneers and received a substantial pay raise.

The Walker brothers were both named as “Top 100 Players in Demon Football History” as part of the university’s football centennial celebration in 2007.

Visit the Bossier Parish Library at 2206 Beckett St., Bossier City, to learn more about the other homegrown athletes from Bossier Parish.

By: Amy Robertson

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