professional football championship, Lebanon-native Ken Walton was on the Municipal Auditorium turf celebrating with his teammates.
Walton, Lebanon High Class of 2007, was a rookie backup defensive back for the first-year Venom, who won the Professional Indoor Football League championship Sunday with a 64-43 win over the Lehigh Valley Steelhawks.
“Unbelievable,” Walton said. “I couldn’t imagine that back in December when I got signed that I would be sitting here in July as a professional football champion.”
Though the Venom was an expansion team, the team played live veterans in going 10-2 during the regular season. An experienced secondary kept Walton on the bench for all but four games this season. He did not play in the title game. The Venom has 27 players but only 20 are activated for a game.
“I played behind more experienced guys,” Walton said. “This year was kind of a learning curve for me. I played in some games, but not as much as I would have liked.”
Indoor football [the PIFL is not to be confused with the Arena Football League in which the old Nashville Kats played] features eight players to a side. The secondary typically consists of two cornerbacks and a safety. Walton credited veteran Corey Stewart and his brother, defensive backs coach Cromwell Stewart, with showing him the ropes.
“[Corey Stewart] pretty much taught me the game,” said Walton, who played all three DB positions.