KEYS - Nothing helps morale more than winning. The Wyandotte Bears have been doing plenty of that in 2007.
WHS, one of only 33 unbeaten teams statewide, shoots for an eighth straight victory tonight when they square off against Keys in a key District 2A-8 game.
“The kids are really confident, Wyandotte head coach Lynn Cutshaw said. “We're winning the games we're supposed to win. We've won on the road. We're winning at home. They believe in themselves and they want this.
The game starts a rugged stretch run for the Bears, who still have a home game with Tahlequah Sequoyah and a road date at Colcord remaining.
“I was taking to one of the other coaches and they called it murderers' row' right here, Cutshaw said. “You have us playing Keys and Colcord at (Tahlequah) Sequoyah tonight. All three of us are playing each other the last three weeks. It will sort itself out.
Wyandotte, Sequoyah and Colcord are all 4-0 in the district while Keys is 3-1, its loss coming against Kansas, 25-21.
“We have levels of goals, Cutshaw said. “Our first goal is to make the playoffs. The next to host the playoffs and our next goal is to win a district championship. We are marching on.
It's no big deal for the Bears to be playing tonight. The game has been moved up to accommodate fall break statewide.
“We played Quapaw (the season opener) on a Thursday and we played Joplin (the Joplin JV) on a Thursday, Cutshaw said. “We've done it before. Plus, we played Salina on a day when we weren't in school due to parent-teacher conferences.
Cutshaw can pinpoint several reasons for the Bears' success.
“We've been very blessed in that we haven't had any injuries, he said. “ Coach Wigger (Jared Wigger) has come over and has really helped us. It helps us offensively too, because it allows me to concentrate on what to run at a defense. It's been a good fit. He is running the same defense we ran last year.
“Then you throw in the fact that we have some juniors playing who weren't even on the team last year. Combine those three things and we have a pretty good football team.
Quarterback Ryan Nolan has thrown for 1,604 yards and 20 touchdowns already.
“He's as good as we've seen, Cutshaw said. “they don't talk about him like they do some of the other kids, but he's only a junior and has a rocket arm. He scrambles well. They have some kids who can get open and catch the football.