Vann has ran wide open on special teams

By JOSEPH ELERSON | News-Telegram Sports Writer

Sept. 27, 2007 - CUMBY - As one of the top kick returners for the Cumby Trojans this year, Jake Vann has already had a highlight making play against the Detroit Eagles during Week 2 action.

Vann had a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the third quarter and also had a touchdown rushing in that game.

For the season, Vann has rushed for 87 yards on 23 carries with one touchdown and has also converted three two-point conversions this year, while catching one pass for 15 yards.

"I feel like I have done good but I have had some bad games," the senior said. "I am not going to let those games get me down, and I am going to go into the next game ready to go."

With the Trojans at 3-1 on the season heading into tomorrow night's game at home against Maud, Vann said playing with his teammates is very special for him every Friday night.

"I am very pleased with how the season has gone so far. Our quarterback (Brixx Hawthorne) has stepped it up this year and our running back (Nathan Dunnihoo) has definitely stepped it up this year," said Vann, the son of Jeff and Sarah Vann. "I feel like we can definitely fix a lot of things to get better, and no team is perfect."

Head coach Kent Hawthorne said Jake is a leader for the underclassman on the team and good things will come to him after high school.

"Jake is a survivor and an adaptor. He is like a cat, and if you threw Jake off a building he would land on his feet," the coach said. "He always keeps coming and when he knows he is wrong he keeps coming. He is very coachable and he tries to fix everything that he does wrong. He is the type of guy that will step up and take care of his business."

After missing out on the playoffs last year due to the tie-breaker situation and looking at how the district teams are playing this season, Vann knows the Trojans needs to focus on one game at a time and not think about the remaining teams.

"You can't underestimate Wolfe City because they have lost a lot of seniors last year and you know they will have athletes this year," he said. "Boles looks like they are going to be a good team, but they are definitely beatable this year."

He said working with classmates Kris Stanford, Nathan Dunnihoo, Brian Clem, Petter Hassel and Michael Cross has brought the team closer together and showing leadership to their fellow teammates has been a main focus this year.

"It is great working with these seniors. Kris Stanford is my best friend and we have been together since freshman year playing JV football," Vann said. "Our coach has asked us to step up and help them and that is what we are going to do this year."

Vann said he plans on attending a junior college next fall.

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