A surprise awaited Payette High quarterback Chris Walker as the Pirates took the field Friday for homecoming.
Police officers from seven departments in Western Idaho and Oregon filed onto the field. The flashing lights of their 21 patrol cars formed a tunnel for the Pirates to run through before the game and to honor Walker and his father, Oregon State Police Senior Trooper Greg Walker, who died in July after a battle with cancer.
“The past three months, they’ve been hard,” said Chris Walker, whose father coached him in youth baseball and football. “But my dad’s motto is always, ‘It is what it is,’ and you’ve just got to keep moving forward. I’ve been doing so.”
Chris kept his emotions in check before and during the game. But when an Idaho State Police officer handed him a poster after the game, picturing Chris, his father in uniform and the phrase, “In this family, no one fights alone,” Chris finally let go.
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“Seeing all these people showed I have lots of people to look to,” he said.
We wanted to simply come out here and support his family.
Sgt. Rocky Gripton,