By MIKE MOGUIN
IMPRESSIVE PASSER: Victory’s RJ Wakley begins to throw a pass while being pursued by an OKC Millwood defender in the Class 2A state championship game last year.
Josh Maulden/Victory Christian
Memories of the painful loss in last year’s Class 2A state championship game were on the minds of Victory Christian football players as they prepared for the upcoming season. The Conquerors seem to have total concentration for success this season, as they have won their first four games.
In the 2016 title game, Victory led by one point against Oklahoma City Millwood in the third quarter. But five touchdowns down the stretch gave the Falcons a 56-33 win.
“It was awful,” Victory Christian quarterback RJ Wakley says. “I remember getting back at home, probably about 12:30 or 1 a.m., and I don’t think I went to bed until 5 o’clock. I couldn’t watch film. It hurt just to look at the film because it probably wasn’t one of my better games. When you lose something like that, everything runs through your head and you just want to do everything you can this upcoming season to never feel that pain.”
Wakley says, “We want to push a little harder and dig a little deeper. We think about winning every day. It’s just a mindset in our heads, like, what are we going to do today? So, we plan to get that gold ball this upcoming year.”
Wakley (6-2, 200, senior), listed as being among the top quarterbacks in the area, threw for 2,608 yards on 169 completions of 279 attempts and 28 TDs last season. He also rushed for five TDs and logged 79 tackles as a linebacker. He has spent a lot of time working out with the quarterback coach through the offseason.
“I’ve worked with him at least once a week, sometimes twice, improving my mechanics, footwork and my arm swing, just so I can read plays and read the defense a lot better,” Wakley says.
Wakley has been playing football since age six. He began playing behind center snap in the third grade. He is also a member of the Conquerors’ basketball team. What he likes about being quarterback is that “everything flows through you, especially on the offensive side.
“At quarterback, you run the offense,” Wakley says. “I like being in charge. I want my teammates to count on me. I want that trust. I want that accountability, and the accountability doesn’t just come through being the quarterback; it comes in the offseason working hard.
“As for (football), nothing is better,” Wakley says. “The adrenaline rush you get, you’re just out here doing the best you can. I’m out here competing with my brothers, dudes that I’ve been growing up with, that I’ve been so close to, and going out there and getting that win every night, there’s nothing better.”
The experience of having Ron Smith, a veteran coach, who is the father of former Tulsa quarterback Paul Smith, has been unbelievable, he says.
“He makes playing quarterback a heck a lot easier. You’re just out there, and the play he is calling is going to work. Very rarely does he call a play and it not work. If it doesn’t work, it’s probably one of our faults on the field for messing it up. I’m extremely blessed to have him coach me on the field and he also helps me off the field in my character,” Wakley says.
In addition to Wakley, returning are Tyler Hicks (5-10, 168, senior), Caleb Calhoon (6-2, 192, senior), Trey Colbert (5-9, 164, senior) and Josh Sirleaf (5-10, 150, junior). Lineman such as J.P. Hook (5-11, 220, senior) and Braiden Murray (6-3, 265, junior) return.
So far this season as of this writing Victory Christian has defeated Bristow 42-18, Sperry 26-21, 42-0, and Kansas 63-13.
In the district, the regular season finale against Holland Hall is anticipated it to be the Conquerors’ biggest game. It should be a battle for the district championship.