NEW PALESTINE — While they aren’t connected at the hip, there is definitely a strong bond between New Palestine High School football players Blake Luker and Tyler Walden.
Not only have the record setting duo played together on basketball, baseball and football teams since youth, they’ll continue to be teammates after graduation when they head to college in the fall.
Both have officially committed to play football for the University of Indianapolis, a Division II Top 20 team. Blake will switch from quarterback to play defensive back while Tyler will remain a receiver for the Greyhounds.
While both were heavily recruited by several colleges, keeping a friendship and their athletic competitiveness together is a special opportunity, they agreed.
“It was probably around fifth or sixth grade when I started to know who Blake was,” Tyler said. “I remember seeing him play and was like, ‘hmm, that is Blake Luker.’”
They were both playing quarterback on their respective youth teams before Tyler made the move to receiver, a position he always wanted to play. That’s when the two started turning heads as part of the Doe Creek Middle School seventh grade team.
“We always kind of had this connection,” Blake said. “It carried into middle school and then onto high school and now it’s going to carry onto college and I think that is something special.”
The players started going to summer football camps together when they were in middle school. That’s where other Indiana high school coaches started to take note of a special connection between the two athletes.
“One of the older coaches who had been running the camp for years pulled the two of them aside and told us in his 25 years of high school football that they were the best duo he had ever seen,” Tyler’s father Chris Walden said. “He told them that if they kept it up, they were going to make some waves and that was the coolest thing.”
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