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Eye on the Gridiron: Pushing to be the best
by Reggie Ross, Staff Writer
Jul 17, 2014 | 136 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Last week was the half-way point for “Eye On the Gridiron,” a series featuring the top 10 best prospects for the upcoming 2014 football season. So far, the area’s most talented players have been featured, and number six is definitely a talented player.

His mother Madeline Woods, named him DeCalvious, but he’s known around Winona as D.C. Olton, one of the hardest-hitting safeties in the area.

Since coming into the mix of things during the 2012 season, his sophomore year, Olton made a name as a hard hitting free safety, and last year he jumped into the mix as a reliable wide receiver for the Winona Tigers.

This season, his final in a Tiger uniform, Olton said it’s time to compete against some of the state’s best.

“The goal is to win the district and move forward after that,” Olton, 17, said.

After the Tigers finished 2-9 in 2013 and missed the playoffs, Olton said the time has come for the Winona to become the powerhouse they have been in the past.

“Last year left a sour taste in my mouth,” Olton said. “So to get where we need to be, the plan is to remain healthy and be the best leader I can be. This year is all about redemption.”

For Olton, his 70-plus tackles in the past two seasons make him the top defensive secondary prospect in the area, but he feels he’s somehow gone under the radar since coming into a Tiger uniform his freshman year.

“I haven’t gotten any attention from any schools, and that’s what I’ve always wanted – to play at the college level,” Olton said. “This has to the be the year for us, and I believe we will make it happen.”

With new head coach Joey Tompkins taking over the team, Olton said the mix of his coaching ability and several key players returning can put Winona where they need to be.

“He’s a tough coach [Tompkins], and I like that,” Olton said. “He’s pretty cool, and I’ve bought into what he’s bringing.”

Standing at 6’3, Olton’s wingspan fits him perfectly when it comes to breaking up passes on the defense. A long stride to go along with soft hands make him a force at receiver. In 2013, he had 13 grabs on the season.

For Olton, playing every down is something he is preparing for, spending long hours in the weight room in the off season. He said that is what the greats of Winona did in the past, and he wants to do the same.

“I looked up to Lemarcus Russell, the Harry Peoples, and the Nick Glovers, that’s who I emulate. My goal is to play ball in the SEC.” Olton is the son of Calvin Ward and Madeline Woods.

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