Walker Valley on the rise behind strong play by Tucker Pope

Walker Valley's Tucker Pope dives into the end zone for a touchdown against Bradley Central on Aug. 27. Pope accounted for six touchdowns in a 49-14 victory over White County on Friday night.

Walker Valley senior quarterback Tucker Pope was determined this offseason to put himself and his teammates in the best position possible for success.

Pope's ability to build chemistry with his receivers and get a firm handle of the offense in year two under coach Drew Akins has made standout performances like last Friday's 49-14 homecoming victory over White County possible.

"This offseason we grinded every single day even though the season ahead wasn't promised," said Pope who is the Times Free Press Player of the Week after completing 15-of-26 passes for 222 yards and five touchdowns while rushing for 68 yards and a sixth score.

"I hit the weights a lot and pushed myself to get in the best shape. I also met the receivers every single day from March on and we would throw and work on routes.