2014: Logan Knowles
2013: Bryce Broome
2012: Eddie Meisner
2011: Conner Hartmann
2010: Gordy Anderson
2009: Leon La Deaux
2008: Matt Foxworthy
2007: Renard Williams
2006: Brent Chriswell, Josiah Kipperberg
2005: Brent Chriswell
2004: Pat Kelly
He was a first-team all-Class 4A Narrows League selection during football season. And, as a wrestler, he was a state participant.
For those reasons, Marshaud DeWalt is the Port Orchard Independent’s Male Athlete of the Year.
South struggled through one of its worst football seasons, but not because of DeWalt. He finished with 1,111 yards and nine touchdowns on 199 carries last year.
But success on the gridiron was not unexpected for DeWalt. He has produced since his sophomore year, where he worked his way into the running-back rotation despite the presence of Bryce Broome and Adam Gascoyne — both of whom went on to sign with college programs — in the backfield in 2012.
Perhaps the more impressive feat came during wrestling season. The 5-foot-5, 256-pound DeWalt, who competed at heavyweight, had not wrestled since he was 8 years old.
During his sophomore and junior seasons, coach Chad Nass tried to persuade DeWalt to wrestle only to see him play basketball. That was until Nass made an irresistible offer: teriyaki before every match.
“It was all because of Coach Nass,” DeWalt said. “He pushed me to do it and he bugged me to do it every day for the last two years. I love teriyaki. It was a go for me.”
DeWalt’s lack of experience seemed to have little effect on him for most of the season when he needed just 1 minute, 14 seconds to pin Woodinville’s Duke Clinch in the championship round during the Class 4A Region 2 wrestling tournament at Inglemoor High School.
“He’s just an incredibly athletic and talented kid for his size,” Nass said. “His speed, strength and agility are just a perfect fit [for wrestling]. It’s just too bad that he didn’t start earlier. What he was able to accomplish — league champ,
regional champ, state participant — as a first-year wrestler, you just don’t see that.”
DeWalt, who still hopes to play football next season even though he has not decided on a college, derives his athletic motivation from his family. During football season, he wore No. 23 in honor of his cousin, Malachi DeWalt II, who drowned at age 6 in July 2008 in Horseshoe Lake.
As for his muscular frame, DeWalt said his motivation in the weight room comes from his aunt. He said Angela DeWalt, who succumbed to cancer on January 2014 at age 50, was an accomplished bodybuilder.
During offseason workouts, DeWalt set a school record for the power clean, where he produced a combined 1,400 pounds on three lifts.
“It’s crazy,” then-South coach Eric Canton said in August.
For DeWalt, he views it as a means to continue a family legacy. His mother, Antoinette, ran track for the Wolves. DeWalt’s uncle, Malachi, who has a similar build to his nephew, is one of the leading rushers in Kitsap County history.
As a senior at Olympic in 1994, he finished with 1,558 rushing yards. Another uncle, Malcolm DeWalt, played football for South, where he graduated in 1987.
“I had to follow them,” DeWalt said. “I remember them coming up to me before games saying, ‘Better do something or else I’m going to make fun of you.’ I’m like, ‘All right, I’m going to do better than you did.’ It’s always competition and fun between the whole family.”
One competition that did not turn out well for DeWalt occurred on the baseball diamond. The catcher was cut, and instead of being a three-sport athlete and celebrating as the Wolves captured their first championship in that sport since 2003, he worked at Dairy Queen.
Despite that, DeWalt said he enjoyed following the team.
“I’m happy for my friends and coach Logue,” he said. “He’s a great guy.”
Outside of the flag football games in his backyard against family, DeWalt knows he won’t play forever.
That does not mean sports ever will be too far from his mind, though.
He hopes to study business in college with an eye toward owning a sports business specializing in “embroidery, nice shirts and socks.”