Football players for the Wyoming Wolves, representing the newly merged Wyoming High School.
WYOMING, MI (WZZM) - For the first time in decades, high school football fans in Wyoming are united.
This year Park and Rogers high schools are merged into one building that's now simply called Wyoming High School.
"We are one," says parent Lisa Gerner. "We are the Wyoming Wolves. We are one."
The new Wyoming Wolves played their first football game Thursday night at what was Rogers High School on Prairie Parkway SW.
Fans were excited to see the team perform.
"Now we don't have two small teams -- we have one big strong team," enthused parent Sherri Wosova.
But the merger has been a difficult adjustment for some in the community. The Rogers Golden Hawks and the Park Vikings were always bitter rivals.
"It's always Park doesn't like Rogers, Rogers doesn't like Park," explained Rogers graduate Brad Savin. "We never liked each other ever."
The Golden Hawks and the Vikings are now together in the same building under a new name.
"The kids are embracing it, they are doing great," said Wosova. "Usually it's the parents leading the children but, in this case, it's the children leading the parents because that's where the controversy is."
"Parents have been in this community for so long it's very hard for them to adjust," said cheerleader coach Darline Nguyen. "The students all hung out together, went to each other's dances. They are all friends so the merger was great for them."
Administrators say the merger will save money and enable the district to offer students more learning options.
"We'll be able to provide better opportunities for all our kids," says Wyoming School Superintendent Tom Reeder. "Options we didn't offer in the past we can now offer,"
If nothing else, the consolidation could give the fans a better football team to support. Last year Rogers only won twice and Park didn't win at all.
Together they may have more success on the field.
"That's the theory," says Rogers graduate Don Molyneux. "You would like to see that."
"Put them on one team and they might show up this season and make the playoffs," says Rogers graduate Arvell Kellogg.
The new Wyoming Wolves won their first football game Thursday night, defeating Union High 45-6.