Andrew Walter enjoys return to Stocker Stadium
A lot has changed since the last time Andrew Walter was on the football field at Stocker Stadium.
The field was changed from grass to a synthetic grass turf and the east stands are new, including the pressbox, hospitality suite and ADA-seating.
“I was shocked,” Walter said of the stadium. “It’s a great idea. It’s great for the boosters, the college and obviously the high schools. I feel like the bleachers were higher.”
The former Grand Junction High School quarterback, who last played at Stocker Stadium in 1999, is right. The bleachers were higher. Now, they are wider and seat more people.
Walter was at the stadium Saturday with his former GJHS teammate Marques Harris, who held his second Harris' Kids Football Camp. Walter couldn't attend last year.
Harris, 30, played with the San Diego Chargers for four seasons and part of a fifth season with the Chargers and San Francisco 49ers (2005-2009). He lives in the Denver-metro area and manages several businesses.
Walter, 30, played four years with the Oakland Raiders (2005-2008). He was in the New England Patriots training camp in 2009 before retiring. He recently finished getting his Master’s of Business Administration and is working at Mid First Bank in Scottsdale, Ariz.
“I’m enjoying the next career if you will,” Walter said. “I consider myself a well-rounded individual while I played. When I finished, it took a good two years to get a handle on what I was going to do. I couldn’t imagine guys that aren’t well-rounded or have an interest outside of football. I’m on the other side of it now, thankfully, but for a while it was very difficult.”
Walter said he watches football from a distance, but he doesn’t pay attention to the offseason, except for the big news like Peyton Manning signing with the Broncos.
He was never diagnosed with a concussion, and isn’t involved in the class action suits against the NFL.
“The attorneys take 35-45 percent from whatever the settlement ends up being, then you split the rest among a couple thousand people," Walter said. "It sets a precedent. I get that, but we all signed the line. We knew what we were getting into. We went into it eyes wide-opened. The medical science was hazy (when he played). It’s not healthy to repeatedly take hits to the head.
“People always talk about the pressure to get out there and play and that’s all true, but that’s no different than an oil rigger feeling pressure to work to feed his kids.”