Inspiration Mississippi Magazine chose Walker Wilbanks as our Most Inspirational Mississippian. He has inspired us, and we know his life will inspire you. Today, we share with you the article from Inspiration Mississippi. A special thanks to his family, coaches and friends for sharing their laughter, tears and precious memories of Walker Wilbanks with us.
An easygoing, sweet guy, Walker enjoyed camping, deep-sea fishing, and cooking up fiercely competitive Ping-Pong matches against his little brother, Landon. Only two years his senior, Walker and Landon were extremely close and Landon looked to his big brother for laughs and advice. Walker was an active member in the youth group at First Baptist Church, and enjoyed fellowship with friends at a weekly Bible study.
Walker was a remarkably talented baseball and football player and was fired up about the first game of Jackson Prep’s 2014 football season. Prep’s head football coach, Ricky Black says, “Walker’s attitude was so contagious that adults and other students enjoyed his presence and his friendship. Walker's athletic attitude was motivated by trust.... you could trust him to do his job and he had trust in others to do their job. It was my great pleasure to coach Walker Wilbanks, #65.” On August 22nd, after playing aggressively during the first half, Walker suddenly fell ill. From the stands, his close friend Ashley O’Mara noticed he had been helped to the bench. “The sideline doctors were surrounding him. If it had been any other football player I may have not been as astonished, but number 65 belonged to my beloved friend, Walker Wilbanks, a fighter.”