While there was a bunch of happy Poteau Pirate football players last Thursday night at Costner Stadium, there may have been none happier than senior wide receiver Blake Roley.
Roley and the Pirates beat the Broken Bow Savages 31-23 to snap a five-game losing streak against their McCurtain County nemesis.
“It was huge actually,” Roley said. “I had beaten them in everything but football. In baseball, we roped them. We faced their best pitcher three times, and we beat him three times. We beat them in basketball in regionals. But in seventh grade and eighth grade, they just killed us (in football). My senior year to beat them on the football field was very emotional. We saved our season big time. (Poteau) Coach (Jeff) Broyles told us before the game in the locker room that we were going to win that game. We just went out there and handled them.”
At this time a year ago, one would find the senior wide receiver not on the field at all, but in the stands cheering on his high school football team. Roley wanted to have one last hurrah on the gridiron on Friday nights.
“I haven't played since my freshman year,” Roley said. “I came back this year. The atmosphere of a football game, there's nothing like it. Friday night, there's nothing like it. I didn't want to look back on it 10 years from, and regret it (that I didn't come back out for football). I sat up in the student section a year ago and watched them, thinking that I could do that. Everyone has told me, 'Blake, go play (football)! You love it.' I just never really got around to it until this year. I'm definitely having fun returning to football. It's been a blast.”