Coach Brandon Tyler and the Wolverines bring back 19 starters to a club that ran off 13 victories in a row before their lone loss in the Class 2A semifinal to eventual state champion Davis.
The Wolverines are 38-3 with 30 straight regular season victories and open the season Sept. 6 in the Kickoff Classic at Choctaw in a rematch against Davis in what should be championship football from the first whistle.
“If we stay healthy, we feel we should be in great shape,” said Tyler. “A few injuries turn a 10-0 team to a 5-5 team real quick.”
The Wolverines ended spring ball with team camp at Sallisaw against 3A and 4A teams in Roland, Sequoyah and the host Black Diamonds.
Senior quarterback Rylee Simon returns to operate out the spread offense that Tyler says “will spread the field to run.” Simon profited from that approach last year accounting for 2,885 yards of total offense and 28 combined scores as well as senior tailback Eric Casey. Casey amassed 1,992 yards on the ground to go along with 35 touchdowns.
Junior tailback Daylon McWaters will also see some carries as more of a “physical type” runner whereas Casey is “the slasher.”
The only spot on the offense to be filled is at split-end where senior Josh Cowart gets the call to help Denver Coffee on the opposite side.
Wolverine defenders line up in the pressure 4-3 defense and Tyler says his front seven are “the best he has had” in his tenure as head coach at Vian.
Simon leads the defense as well from his linebacker spot where he has led the team in tackles three straight years. A.J. Rodriguez returns to the linebacking corps where Tyler says, “he has had a tremendous camp.”
“We have to be able to stop the run to win it all,” said Tyler. “And our defensive effort this spring has been superb.”
Vian goes to the University of Tulsa on June 9 for “One Night Under the Lights” and will participate in Fort Gibson’s 7-on-7 passing league before beginning Summer Pride on June 23.
The Hornets’ summary ran in Saturday’s paper. Go to muskogeephoenix.com/sports to check it out.