EAST HELENA — There are a handful of changes this year to East Helena athletics. Most notably, the Vigilantes are opening up their very first year of varsity competition.
"I'm really excited for the kids and the community to have that opportunity to be under the lights on Friday night and have that environment here. I think that's something that East Helena has wanted for a really long time," said Tyler Murray. "I'm just starting to get to know the community. And I can feel that they are a football community and they want to have that."
When East Helena athletics started in 2019, everything needed to be built from the ground up. Now in 2021, with a varsity schedule and roster, players are looking back at how far the program has come in just a few years.
"I feel like it's grown a lot," said Vigilantes junior Trevor Held. "Since we've been playing together, we've gotten to know each other and it makes our team chemistry better."
With that growth, the Vigilante football squad feels like it's not just a team of individuals, but a family rather and the continued community support behind them is one of the driving factors.
"It's amazing, you know? A huge, huge amount of energy. Everyone's super excited because you know, last year we didn't have a huge amount of fans able to come out. But this year, I'm hoping we'll be able to get a lot of community support," said East Helena sophomore Caleb Daum. "We're all super, super thankful that we get to play football this year."
The Vigilantes will open their first-ever varsity schedule on Aug. 27 at 7 p.m., when they host the Libby Loggers.