Vian Looks To Reach New Heights

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Vian, OK (KFSM) – It’s early August in Vian, Oklahoma, a town with a population of about 1,400 people. It’s a Monday, around 5 P.M. It’s a hot, sweaty summer evening, nothing in the air yet resembling the crispness of a Friday night in the fall. It’s decidedly not football season, is the point. It’s merely day one of practice, and yet, the stands aren’t empty.

“It’s the town,” says senior Bobby Joe Risley. “This team means a lot to them, people come out to support us who don’t even have kids on the team, grandkids, nothing.”

This is definitely a football town,” adds senior Teejay Trotter. “You see it all around, and it makes you proud to play with that ‘V’ on your helmet.”

The team has repaid the town for its devotion by winning. Last year, the Wolverines went 10-3, including staying perfect at home until the playoffs. Still, they want more.

“(The playoff loss) is a chip on our shoulder,” says Risley. “Just makes us want it more than we did last year.”

"I think we worked harder this off season to make sure it goes differently this year," adds Trotter.

"I told them at the end of that game last year, to win championships you have to go through steps," says head coach Gary Willis. "We're a different team now then we were last year, faster and stronger but with the same players."

Indeed, the Wolverines return all but two starters, with many of them seniors. With all that experience, and the talented Wright brothers moving in, Willis feels "this is a much better team than the one that went 10-3 last year."

"You could feel it coming with this group," Willis says of his seniors. "A lot of them have been together since first grade, a lot are four year starters."

That makes this year a culmination of sorts for Vian, and it all gets underway August 31 against Eufaula. You can be sure the stands will be full.

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