SERVPRO Athlete of the Week: Westhope’s Walker Braaten

Published: Oct. 18, 2023 at 7:20 PM CDT
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WESTHOPE, N.D. (KMOT) - You won’t believe what Walker Braaten can do.

“You know he has some kind of trick up his sleeve,” said Maddox Juntunen, a senior on the Westhope/Newburg/Glenburn football team.

If you want the full story on Westhope’s junior quarterback, it starts on the playground.

“It’s just something I’ve done since I was younger,” said Walker Braaten.

“We would always be on the same recess football team. I’d be the quarterback, believe it or not, and he’d just go up and get it. I would throw it to him every time,” said Will Artz, a junior from Westhope.

From the seesaw to the slide, everyone knew who would go first.

“He was more athletic than everybody else, he could jump over everybody,” said Juntunen. “He was usually the best guy. Everyone wanted to pick him on his team.”

A decade later, everyone on the playground still wants to be like Braaten.

“Hopefully kids look up to playing like me and doing everything they can do to be like me… be a competitor and put the team in the best place to win,” said Braaten.

Braaten led the way to the Sioux’s first undefeated regular season in program history.

“All the kids will look at our wall of fame in the lunchroom. You’ll see him all-state for a bunch of sports. They’re going to say ‘That’s Walker Braaten!’ A lot of little kids are going to look up to him,” said Artz.

His dominance extends to the dirt; Braaten also plays baseball for the Renville County Muskrats.

“I think a lot of people wish that they were as good as him at stuff,” said Artz.

His hard work is evident on the hardwood.

“Last year for basketball was a big step for us, winning the district and going to regionals. That hadn’t been won in a long time,” said Braaten.

Braaten wants to be the best.

“Over even the past two years he’s gained muscle, he’s gotten better at everything, smarter. More athletic,” said Juntunen.

If you didn’t believe before, now you do.

“He’s not afraid of anything. You’re not going to scare him. He’s not intimidated by anybody,” said Artz.

Braaten says he’s hoping to play basketball or football in college.

He already has a basketball offer from Minot State.

The Sioux begin the playoffs against Linton on Saturday, in Westhope.

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