For Walton's Raider Nation, there's a new master at the helm. The annual contender in Georgia high school football now follow the leadership of a new head football coach...one chomping at the bit to get things rolling.
Maurice "Mo" Dixon takes over the reins from former Coach Rocky Hidalgo at Raider Valley. Hidalgo accepted a position as head coach at Glynn Academy in Brunswick, Georgia.
Mo comes to Walton High School from Byrnes High in Duncan, South Carolina where he was the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator. But Georgia high school football fans remember Mo for his seven-year stint as defensive coordinator for North Gwinnett's Bob Sphire. In a recent chat with Mo, I asked him why he was interested in the Walton job. He said it was simply a no brainer.
"Number one, it’s the right type of school, with tremendous academics and a great pedigree of coaches."
Offensively, he will run an up-tempo offense, with a strong running game and lots of play-action. Defense, of course, is his specialty. He's decided that he'll "marry" his 3-5 defense with the 3-4 set the Raiders have been using.
Mo has made his way throughout the Southeast, coaching in Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina and Georgia. But what does he believe makes high school football so special in the peach state?
"High school football in Georgia is like what the SEC is to college football. The pounding week after week is not matched anywhere else in the country. You go from the frying pan into the fire every week in every classification. It's the best."
Raider Valley is a great place to watch a high school football game. There is never a shortage of enthusiasm from the students, fans and parents. Judy McNeill does a wonderful job as principal and Dr. Chris Williams is outstanding in his role as athletic director.
Now, a new head football coach joins an outstanding Walton family. Congratulations to Mo Dixon, the new head coach at Raider Valley.