The Vian Wolverines are predicted to win another district football title, and for good reason.
The three-time defending 2A-6 district champs return 10 offensive starters and nine defensive starters from a team that went undefeated and outscored its opponents 401-78 during last year’s regular season. Vian fell short in the playoffs, though, falling to Davis in the semifinals.
Vian returns dual-threat quarterback Rylee Simon, who totaled 2,954 yards and 31 touchdowns last year. He has offers from UTEP and Air Force. The Wolverines also have senior running back Eric Casey, who ran for 1,992 yards and 35 touchdowns during his junior season.
The expectation to win does not provide extra pressure for the Wolverines. Vian playing championship-style football is expected.
“Our kids expect to go out and compete for a district championship every year,” coach Brandon Tyler said. “Ultimately we want to win that gold ball. It’s kind of eluded us. Our kids are hungry and ready to go.”
POCOLA HAS PLAYOFFS ON ITS MIND
A new attitude has been spreading throughout the Indians’ practices.
Last year, making the playoffs was not a conversation Pocola players were having. This year, that’s changed, coach Rick Lang said.
“The kids are talking about playoffs now,” he said. “We didn’t talk much about it last year. It was out there, it was mentioned, but this year it’s like we hear it every practice.
“You hear that word ‘playoffs’ a lot around here this year, and that’s good.”
PANAMA’S RECENT SUCCESS FACES A NUMBERS PROBLEM
Two years ago, the Razorbacks snuck into the playoffs with a 4-6 record, including a 3-3 record in district play. Last year, they improved, finishing the regular season with a 4-2 district record and 7-3 overall.
Continuing Panama’s rise will be difficult in 2014, though. Coach Brandon Ellis’ team consists of 23 players.