It appeared Walker was in good shape to make its first playoff appearance since 2001 when the Wildcats ran through their nondistrict schedule unbeaten, But an 0-5 mark in 4-5A proved too much to overcome — barely.

Despite the five-game losing streak, Walker coach Brandon Lawley said he left Friday night’s loss to Zachary hoping his team would still sneak into the 5A field. Losses by either Live Oak or Sulphur last week, Lawley said, would have been enough to get the Wildcats in, but that didn’t happen.

“It was a precarious situation, not knowing if we were going to be in or not,” Lawley said.

Lawley said only six of the team’s 24 seniors saw action this season. He expects to have 17 starters returning next year.