Ashville grad leaves mark in AHSAA record book


Photo: 2024 Ashville High graduate Walker Griffith prepares to make a save during a soccer match earlier this year. (Submitted photo) 

By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor

For the past four years, the last line of defense for the Ashville High boys soccer team was in good hands.
In fact, those same hands made history in the state of Alabama.
2024 AHS graduate Walker Griffith was recently notified that his 539 career saves in goal set a new Alabama High School Athletic Association state record, and by a substantial margin.
Griffith’s total, which was ach-ieved in 57 matches, was 113 more than previous record-holder Austin Krison of Mountain Brook, who played from 1997 to 1999.
Griffin was a Class 4A All-State selection this past season and a second team pick in 2023. He made the All-Gadsden Area first team the past two seasons.
“It’s pretty awesome to have a state record,” said Griffith, who will attend Snead State this fall on a fishing scholarship. “[Ashville] already had a goalie my eighth-grade year, so in my freshman year, I asked to be the goalie. I’ve always played basketball, so I have good hand-to-eye coordination, and I wasn’t very good with my feet in soccer, so it was a natural fit.”
This past season, Griffith had 108 stops in 10 games. He set a school record during his junior year of 2023 with 225 saves in 17 matches, which put him ninth overall in the state in saves in a season.
Griffith’s 26 saves in a 4-2 win over Fultondale broke the school record for saves in a single game.
Griffith noted that he did not have a specific pre-match ritual of mental preparation, other than adhering to the maxim that goalkeepers must have short-term memories.
“To be honest, I knew that I was going to face a lot of shots in every match, no matter what. I just tried to play my best every game and block as many shots as I could, and the [shots] that went in, went in.”

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