Thome Walters noted that his older sister Maa-Becca Tucker considered him “too sweet as a child.”

Tucker may have shifted that position over the past couple of years or so, especially with what his younger brother accomplished in the Mayor’s Cup on Saturday against Vallejo.

Walters rushed for a top 248 yards and scored two grueling touchdowns despite a thumb sore in the Jaguars’ 42-28 win at Corbus Field. It was Bethel’s sixth consecutive victory in the annual game.

He is The Times-Herald’s Athlete of the Week.

Walters, 17, said he started playing football in fourth year for the Junior Jaguars and spent four years in the organization before playing for the Junior Panthers in his eighth year.

Bethel only played one game in Spring 2020 (Thome’s junior year) due to the Vallejo City Unified School District’s late start with practice sports. This match, however, was a 14-7 victory over Vallejo in which Walters ran 90 yards. .

Bethel head coach Daniel Martinez said Walters had made a strong impression early in this senior year.

“I think over the summer he established himself as a team manager,” Martinez said.

The Jaguars eventually gave Walters the “Zero” number because of his selfless play on the field. The number cost Bethel 15-yard penalties due to a rule that a player had to wear a number between 1 and 99, but the Jaguars’ offense often made up for the occasional flag.

Public address announcer Perry Moreno called Walters “Agent Zero” throughout the contest at Corbus Field.

“I don’t mind on the court,” Walters said of the nickname. “Sometimes it’s boring when random people come in and call me that.”

Black Sabbath already wrote a song called “Zero the Hero” in the early 1980s. It might have been appropriate for Walters’ play on Saturday.

What made Walters’ performance all the more astonishing was that he got his thumb stuck in the middle of the game and struggled to grab the ball at first.

Despite that, Walters scored on a 40-yard touchdown with 1:30 left in the third quarter and 12 yards with 1:14 left. He carried the ball five times in the last practice of the competition, including gusts of 19 and 15 meters.

“He doesn’t usually wear gloves, but he put a glove on that hand,” Martinez said. “If you look at him, he has both hands on the ball the whole time.”

Vallejo continuously tried to take the ball away from Walters to no avail.

“I just tried to do what I learned as a kid – hold the ball up and out,” he said.

Walters said he enjoyed running behind all linemen all season, especially Sir Fisher, Tyler Dean, Fredy Rodriguez, Marco Lopez Cano and Joseph Tautuiaki, who weighed 270 pounds.

Walters has said he would love to play football at the next level but is not sure where it could be yet.

“I could try to play somewhere near my home,” he said. “(As far as school goes) I’m really interested in Berkeley because of their law school. Since elementary school, I thought it would be interesting to plead your case, whether as a defense lawyer or a prosecutor.

There has been no doubt about Walters’ impact on the Jaguars this season.

Honorable mention

  • Sir’Darius Alexander (Football Vallejo) threw for 204 yards and four TDs in the loss to Bethel.
  • Janari Boone (Benicia football) had 19 carries for 172 yards, including a 57-yard touchdown in the Panthers’ loss to Las Lomas.
  • Travis Jackson (Bethel football) threw two touchdowns and ran for another in the Jaguars’ win over Vallejo.
  • Maxwell Solano (St. Pat’s XC) was second overall (17:16) in the varsity boys’ division in a Tri-County Athletic League meet.
  • Leyana Sunga and Alina Pham (Bethel Women’s Tennis) advanced to the TCAL doubles tournament final and advanced to the North Coast Section tournament.

Toyota Vallejo Athlete of the Week

Name: Thome Walters

Year: Senior

Sport: Football

Accomplishments: Ran for a high 248 yards on 25 carries and scored twice as the Jaguars beat Vallejo 42-28 in the Mayor’s Cup for the sixth straight season.


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