To paraphrase our 26th President, Theodore Roosevelt, Westview running back Tyler Vasko likes to "speak softly and carry a big stick". He doesn't like to talk about himself and his accomplishments, but when he's out on the field, his performance speaks volumes. Tyler is the state's leading rushing through four weeks, averaging 212.0 yards per game on the ground, a total of 848 yards. He has scored 10 rushing TDs, tied for second most. We asked Westview Head Coach Nick Gehrts about Vasko and he mentioned how selfless he is and how he gives all the credit to his linemen for his success. Though he was hesitant, Tyler sat with us for a few minutes earlier in the week to talk about his goals and the season. He also made sure that his center and good friend Alec Williams was with him. Westview travels to Centennial this week to re-new their rivalry after a five year absence on the Cox7 High School Football Game of the Week Thursday night at 7 PM on Cox7 and online at Cox7.com.
1. You haven't played Centennial since you've been in school. Are you looking forward to playing them?
"I'm really excited. They're last year's state champs. It should be a good game. I'm sure when we get to the game there will be that rivalry feeling to it."
2. Playing on the west side of town, do you feel like Westview and yourself, maybe, get overlooked by people?
"I understand that the east side schools are very good, but the last couple of years the west side has made some noise. I do feel a bit overlooked. Last year I ran for over 2,000 yards and this year I'm leading the state in rushing."
3. What would it mean to you to win a state title?
"It would be great. My freshman year we were undefeated and got beat in the first round. You never know. We need to play together as one."
4. You lost to a really good Brophy team earlier this season. What was it like to play them?
"They are a very disciplined team. Their running backs hit the holes really fast. We've really picked it up since that game, trying to play as one and not make any mistakes."
5. You love your linemen. Why?
"They practice way harder than everyone on the field. They don't stop until the whistle's blown. My stats wouldn't be anywhere near what they are without my linemen."
6. You made sure Alec (Williams, center and leader of the line) stayed for this interview. Tell us about your friendship.
"We've been hanging out with each other since our freshmen year. He gave me rides to school every day and we've grown closer every year. We started the tradition of eating at Buffalo Wild Wings after every game. We invite the whole team but it started out with just the offense."
7. Do you have a favorite vacation place you've been to?
"I'd say Florida. My eighth grade year, my family and I got to go there with an All-Star youth football team. There were teams from every state there. I wasn't real cool about the weather, but we got to go to Disney World, which was great. My whole family was there as well. My family and I also like to go to Disneyland whenever we can."
8. What do you see yourself doing 10 years from now?
"I want to be a sports trainer and help athletes get better. I want to help them get stronger physically as well as stronger with their inner strength."