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Grand Lake Sports Zone

Vinita’s Wilson Rife – athlete Spotlight presented by goodfella’s pizzeria

Wilson Rife is a three-sport athlete at Vinita High School where he competes on the football, basketball, and baseball teams. In football, the junior plays on both sides of the ball as the starting tight end and defensive end for the Hornets. On the basketball court, Rife is a two-year starter at the forward position. This season, Rife and the Vinita basketball team have already surpassed the best record (17-6) of any team in the past 13 seasons.

In the spring, Rife returns as a two-year starter on the Vinita baseball team. He will play some infield and be in the rotation as one of the starting pitchers for the Hornets, according to coach Jim Zickefoose.

“Defensively, we’re hoping to get him back on the field after missing most of last year with a shoulder injury,” Zickefoose said. “We’re expecting him to be an impact player on the mound because he throws a heavy ball. He can play third base play some and first base as well. He swings the bat really well and is going to be three- or four-hole hitter for us. He’s an exceptional kid too. His classwork is a top priority to him.”

Rife is also excited to work with Zickefoose, who is entering his first year as head coach for Vinita.

“Coach is a really good guy who already knows the players really well,” Wilson said. “He has a good attitude toward the team and really wants to win. He’s done it for so long that it’s really easy for him to get his message across to each of us.”

Upon graduation, Rife would like to continue playing baseball at the next level and wherever he attends, Rife would like to study business. He wants to thank his mom, Jacie, for always holding him accountable.

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