Sports Person of the Week
Walcott Knows How to Perform on the Big Stage
Senior Charles Walcott has rushed for 1,233 yards and 15 TDs with the Guilford football team this fall. Walcott is also serving as one of the Indians’ senior captains. (Photo courtesy of Charles Walcott)
Charles Walcott is as proficient on a football field as he is on stage. With his outgoing personality, Charles has blended his athletic abilities and acting skills quite nicely as a student-athlete at Guilford High School.
Charles is a senior captain halfback on the Guilford football squad. Thus far this fall, he’s rushed for 1,233 yards and 15 touchdowns for the Indians. Last spring, Charles took his talents to the stage when he performed in the school’s production of Anything Goes.
“I’ve always been an outgoing, happy person,” Charles says. “So, I began hanging out with the theatre community, and they took me in like I was family. I’ve had an amazing time doing it.”
Charles not only acted, he also sang and tap-danced during the show. However, this fall, Charles is focused on gaining ground for Guilford football team, and he’s certainly holding up his end of the bargain by averaging 7.8 yards per carry. While the Indians have lost a few games in row, Charles is hoping that they can finish the season strong.
“We’ve had our ups and downs this season. The plan is to try and get back to playing .500 football,” says Charles, who’s 5-foot-7 and 170 pounds. “It will be tough. My philosophy is to always have fun, but I also love winning.”
This year, Charles was reunited with Anthony Salvati, who took over as Guilford’s head coach after spending 15 years as an assistant at North Branford. Charles, who moved from Johnson City, New York to North Branford prior to his 8th-grade year, spent two seasons with Salvati when Salvati was North Branford’s running backs coach.
Last fall, Charles ran for 1,088 yards and 13 touchdowns in his first campaign at Guilford, while helping the Indians finish with a record of 6-4. Now, Salvati and Charles feel glad to be working together once again.
“Charles is one of those kids who runs with his shoulders square up. He’s not afraid to either run into or around a defender,” Salvati says. “Charles has great speed. It’s one of his best assets. He’s not overly big, but he’s no toothpick, either.”
When Charles heard that Salvati had been hired as Guilford’s football coach, he had a smile on his face.
“I was very happy. Coach Salvati knows the game, and he’s great with all of us,” says Charles. “This program is only going to get better. We have some freshmen, sophomores, and juniors who love to play as much as I do. They’re definitely going to improve.”
Charles has rushed for more than 100 yards in seven of the Indians’ eight games this year. Charles describes his running style as a cross between Barry Sanders and Walter Payton—two of the greatest running backs in NFL history.
“I studied film of both of them. I’ve tried to take a little bit from each,” he says. “I like to get into the open field, so I can use my speed. Some people didn’t think that I’d lower my shoulder. When I need to, I will.”
Charles is also leading the Indians as one of their senior captains this season. Charles says that he loves “talking it up around the younger players and assisting them in getting better,” in his capacity as a captain.
Charles is thinking about going out for the boys’ outdoor track team at Guilford this spring. He has enough speed and acceleration to make an impact on the track.
“I think I’d be good in the 100 and 200,” says Charles says. “I’m certainly not a long-distance runner.”
Charles wants to major in physical therapy and potentially play football in college. Right now, Sacred Heart University is at the top of his list.
“If I’m accepted at Sacred Heart, I’ll go there,” Charles says. “And if I could play football there, that would be even greater.”