VIAN, OKLA. (KFSM)–“Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.” It’s a little known fact that Vince Lombardi was speaking about Vian football when he made that famous statement. Well, he might as well have been. Since 2004, the Wolverines have won at least 10 games nine times; they’ve never won less than eight in that span.
Second year head coach Gary Willis is very aware of the history. “Vian football is about consistency,” he tells his players in the locker room before practice. “Your friends and family expect 10-15 wins every year.”
"All (they) do is win, win, win no matter what" is what DJ Khaled rapped in a song that's definitely (it's not) about Vian football. In 12 years under coach Brandon Tyler, the Wolverines racked up 128 wins. Coach Willis knows the kind of environment he came into.
"Somewhere like Vian is the only place I was going to go...In this community, you talk to anybody, they're gonna want to talk football."
This is the community that forged his players.
"It's a big deal here," says senior Christian Crist. "All we know how to do is win and when we lose it's a bad taste."
"From the two year olds to the 80 year olds, they all love Vian football," adds junior Bodhi Vann "I've wanted to play Vian high school football since I was two feet tall."
Family runs deep in the town of Vian; doubly so on the football field.
"It's awesome. It's an honor to get to come out here on this field that all of my relatives have played on," says quarterback River Simon.
Family will be important on the field this year too. Quarterback Rivers Simon is following in the fotsteps of two brothers who left their mark on the Wolverine program. Vian loses star running back Terron Moses, who's now on to play at Montana. But one of the younger players they look to replace him with is Moses' cousin, Javyn Wright.
"You cant replace a player like (Moses), but Bodhi Van, Gray Cloud, Jayvn Wright, these will replace him, just in their own style" says Coach Willis.
Coach Willis is confidant with the talent he has this year. "You definitely want to make a run while you got guys like this."
It's difficult to pull off the kind of winning that Vian does year in and year out. But in this football town, it's the only thing they're raised to know how to do.