On our Sea to Shining Sea Tour in 2014, we made a stop at Williams High School in Williams, Arizona. The school and its football field is located about 60 miles south of Grand Canyon National Park’s south rim, which allows it to claim it’s the Gateway to the Grand Canyon.
According to my calculations, the Home of the Vikings is the closest high school football team to the Grand Canyon. There is a Grand Canyon High School, but it doesn’t have a football team.
According to Wikipedia, Williams is named after William “Old Bill” Williams, a mountain man and trader who often trapped in the area. Williams is also one of the largest Ponderosa Pine Forests in America.
Wikipedia goes on to note this about Williams:
Williams was the last town to have its section of Route 66 bypassed, due to lawsuits that kept the last section of Interstate 40 in Arizona from being built around the town. After settlements called for the state to build three Williams exits, the suits were dropped and I-40 was completed. On October 13, 1984, Interstate 40 was opened around the town and newspapers the next day reported the essential end of US 66. The following year, Route 66 was decommissioned.
Williams was founded in 1881.