Stillwater News Press

Sports

July 26, 2012

Versatile Vester ready for OCA All-State Game

STILLWATER, Okla. — The ‘V’ in Jesse Vester’s last name might as well stand for versatility.

In a summer where the Stillwater football all-stater wasn’t academically eligible to play at Oklahoma State University — forcing him to enroll at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M — Vester has learned to adapt to his surroundings.

“It’s been a good learning experience,” Vester said. “I mean, no one wants to not qualify for the school you signed with. But I use it as motivation to just be better than I was the day before and just handle my priorities.”

Friday, Vester’s top priority will be getting back to something he loves — football. Vester will be the lone Stillwater representative in the Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State Game scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday at Tulsa Union’s Tuttle Stadium.

“It means a lot to be selected to play in the all-state game,” Vester said. “These are some of the best players in the state of Oklahoma. It’s an honor to be recognized as one of those players. I want to represent my school, my family and my friends well.”

Vester may feel at home on the field, but his versatility will come into play once again in Tulsa. After scoring 15 touchdowns with 1,125 receiving yards to lead the Pioneers’ offense, Vester will play defense on Friday.

“It’s been fairly difficult for me to switch back to defense,” Vester said. “The last time done anything with football was in November, so it’s been a big transition for me. It’s kind of like going in from eighth to ninth grade I moved from running back to receiver. I just kind of forgot everything and had to adjust to that, but I’m having a lot of fun.

“When you step out on the field, you’re whole mindset changes. You feel that same excitement and you just go play. Everything else will take care of itself as long as I just go out there and have a lot of fun.”

While Vester’s competitive side has made the move to defense for the all-state game slightly frustrating, he said his desire to beat the West squad made him work that much harder during this week’s practices.

“It’s just an East-West thing,” Vester said. “We argue pretty much every day. They say that they’re better and we say that we’re better. But it’s really all just fun and games. I knew a lot of the guys already, but I’ve been able to establish a bond with all the guys in this year’s game. It’s just having fun and building some friendships.”

Building that bond is important — especially with the other players who will be attending NEO, Vester said.

“There are a lot of them up here,” Vester said. “We’ve been working hard trying to get ready for the game, but we’re also having fun. We know that once we get back to NEO, it’s going to be back to business. This is just one last chance to go out and play the game we love for fun.”

Whether Vester ever gets a chance to play for Oklahoma State is still to be determined. The same can be said about whether or not Vester gets any snaps for the East’s offense.

But one thing is certain — the versatile Vester is taking both the game and his future all in stride.

“It’s been awesome,” Vester said. “This has been one of the best times I’ve had in my life. It doesn’t matter where you’re going to college — whether it’s OU, OSU or NEO — we’re all here because we love football. Maybe someday I’ll be able to join the guys going to OSU, but right now I’m just looking forward to enjoying the rest of this week and the game.”

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