Stuart Walters sought out athletics. His mother stressed academics.
That’s how the three-sport student-athlete landed at Academic Magnet in the fall of 2009. Four years later, he will graduate with a 4.0 GPA and might go down as the greatest athlete in the school’s history.
Walters has excelled in football, basketball and track. He has received a scholarship to Johns Hopkins University.
Growing up, Walters knew all about the Academic Magnet football team that rarely ever won a game and even once suffered a 100-0 loss to Hanahan.
But Rhonda Walters was impressed by the school’s academic reputation.
In Walker’s eighth grade year, Newsweek ranked Academic Magnet seventh among national public high schools.
That was more than enough to seal Walters’ fate as a future Raptor.
Walters’ athletic potential became apparent during his sophomore season as a member of the track team. He competed in sprints, but reached the state meet in the triple jump. He won the silver medal with a leap of 45½, finishing second to Hanahan’s Chris Brown, who set a state record in 2010 with a leap of 51-2½.
Last spring, Walters returned to the state meet and placed in two events. He claimed seventh place in the long jump with a 21-9 effort. He finished a disappointing fifth in the triple jump, clearing 44-11½.
This season, he’s fared well so far. He has one of the top times in the Lowcountry with an 11.09 in the 100-meter dash. He also has one of the top triple jumps, soaring 43-63/4.
“It’s hard to believe this is my final sport at the high school level,” Walters said.
“I wish I had one more year. I want to win the state championship in the triple jump. My sophomore year, I finished second to Chris Brown. Last year, I beat him in the region and Lower State. But he got me at the state meet. He’s a great athlete.“
So is Walters.
He helped the Raptors to their best football season ever last fall with six victories. He used that track speed to turn the corner on the football field and run past potential tacklers.
He rushed for 1,603 yards his senior season and accounted for 29 touchdowns.
He rushed for almost 1,000 yards his junior season, but missed more than half the season when he tore a major ligament in his foot.
“People didn’t take Academic Magnet football seriously,” Walters said.
“But I like to think I helped put the program on the map. It’s a great feeling to help our athletic programs develop and produce some wins. I just want more and more people to come out and give it a shot.”
Walters will play football and run track at Johns Hopkins. He played basketball for the Raptors and averaged 14 points per game.
“Playing three sports kept me busy and kept me in shape,” Walters said. “Playing sports sure beat sitting around the house.”
And when Walters is home, he’s studying. He’s planning to major in civil engineering at Johns Hopkins, which is located in Baltimore.
“Academic Magnet has really helped me prepare for college,” Walters said. “I received a great education.”
And that’s something both mother and son can agree on.