Vrana, McKinney and White relishing opportunity to represent Hirschi at Oil Bowl

Jonathan Hull
Wichita Falls Times Record News
Published  June 15, 2018

There’s little argument this past high school sports season was headlined by the success of the Hirschi Huskies.

From football to basketball to track, the Huskies provided headline after headline in 2017-18. It’s only right that the area’s traditional all-star game has a Hirschi flavor to it as well.

The Huskies will be well-represented on the West Texas All-Stars when they take the field to face the East Texas All-Stars in the Oil Bowl at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium. Three Huskies are on the West roster, including quarterback Mar’tez Vrana, cornerback Gerrick McKinney and linebacker Isaiah White.

“It’s a blessing,” said McKinney, who will play at Midwestern State in the fall. “It’s going to feel good to play with them one more time before they leave.”

While McKinney is staying in Wichita Falls for college, Vrana and White are headed to Oklahoma Panhandle State University located in Goodwell, Oklahoma.

Vrana won’t just be leaving behind his high school football career Saturday, but also his playing days with his best friend. He and McKinney have been close for years and spend a lot of time off the field with one another.

“He’s my encourager on the football field,” Vrana said. “We’re on different sides of the football and when I’m down he’s encouraging me to keep going hard. Isaiah is the leader on defense. When he feels like I’m getting a little pressure, he’ll come talk to me also.”

There’s a good chance Vrana, who rewrote the Hirschi passing record book, might be handing the ball off or throwing to his high school teammates a little more Saturday. Players often compete on both sides of the football in the Oil Bowl.

White played some running back while at Hirschi, although it was middle linebacker where he truly stood out, recording an area-best 164 tackles, including 23 for loss. He was a two-time all-state performer and Red River 22 member.

McKinney also made Red River 22 twice as a cornerback, but did play some running back as a sophomore. He’s hoping to line up at receiver Saturday.

“I hope we end up on the same side of the ball again,” McKinney said. “It’s been a long time since we did that in a game.”

This trio is a strong sample of the talent Hirschi featured this season. Friday night’s Oil Bowl basketball game also had three great athletes representing the Huskies one final time with Mark Harrell, Rashad Green and Javen Banks each suiting up for the West All-Stars.

If things go as they have the past nine months for the Huskies, chances are fond and unforgettable memories will be made on the field at Memorial Stadium one final time.

“I’m representing something that I want to continue to grow,” White said. “Hirschi, we really came from nothing. I want to keep building on that. Even when I go to college, I want people to remember where I came from – Hirschi.”