Wiles picks the Bat­tlers

St. Charles grad­u­ate signs to D-II pro­gram for foot­ball

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By AJ MA­SON aj­ma­son@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @aj­ma­son301

Eli­jah Wiles had sev­eral op­tions when he was look­ing to con­tinue his aca­demic and foot­ball ca­reer in col­lege. But it was Alder­son Broad­dus Univer­sity that felt like the right fit.

“I went on a visit there and ev­ery­one just made me feel at home,” said Wiles, who made his of­fi­cial visit in Jan­uary. “The coaches and some of the play­ers on cam­pus showed me around the school and it was just the best po­si­tion for me to be in by pick­ing that school.”

The St. Charles High School grad­u­ate of­fi­cially made his fi­nal de­ci­sion on May 23, of­fi­cially sign­ing with the Bat­tlers foot­ball pro­gram to play run­ning back and slot re­ceiver.

Alder­son Broad­dus, lo­cated in Philippi, W.Va., plays at the NCAA Divi­sion II level. The Bat­tlers are mem­bers of the Great Mid­west Ath­letic Con­fer­ence which and will kick off the sea­son on Sept. 1 when it vis­its Divi­sion I out­fit Robert Mor­ris (Pa.) in a non­con­fer­ence af­fair. The con­fer­ence fea­tures teams in Ken­tucky, Ohio, Ten­nessee and West Vir­ginia. The team com­peted with an in­de­pen­dent sched­ule last fall and fin­ished with a 7-4 record un­der head coach Den­nis Cree­han.

“It was a bless­ing to earn a schol­ar­ship and get a free ed­u­ca­tion,” said Wiles, who start­ing gain­ing in­ter­est from the Bat­tlers as a ju­nior. “The area is very quiet and there is not much dis­trac­tion. The school is near the moun­tains and the school is very small, so I will have more one-on-one con­nec­tions with my teach­ers.”

Dur­ing his re­cruit­ment, Wi­ley had other in­ter­ests in Divi­sion I’s Lib­erty Univer­sity (Va.), Divi­sion II’s Dordt Col­lege (Iowa), and Divi­sion III out­fit Frost­burg State Univer­sity, but found his col­lege home with the Bat­tlers. He will ma­jor in com­puter sci­ence.

“We are proud and ex­cited to see Eli­jah get a chance to play on the next level,” St. Charles head foot­ball coach Avery Wil­liams. “He has a great de­ter­mi­na­tion and has worked hard for his op­por­tu­nity. A-B is go­ing to get a good stu­dent on and off the field. They are get­ting a high char­ac­ter stu­dent-ath­lete that will work hard and be coach­able.”

Wiles, who played on the ju­nior var­sity level at McDonough for his first two years of high school, played at St. Charles for his fi­nal two sea­sons where he played as a slot re­ceiver, run­ning back and de­fen­sive back.

Wiles’ se­nior sea­son got off to a rough start as he tore a mus­cle in his groin in a 12-7 loss to Westlake in the Spar­tans’ sea­son opener at home last Septem­ber. He was forced to miss the next six games with the in­jury, but re­turned on Oct. 23 for the Spar­tans’ 12-6 road win over North­ern.

De­spite the in­jury, Wiles was thank­ful to be able to be play­ing col­lege foot­ball, some­thing that he’s al­ways wanted to do since he be­gan to play the sport as a youth.

“I didn’t want to let the in­jury hold me back. I just fo­cused on keep­ing my grades up in school and grad­u­ally got stronger and healed up,” he said. “I was able to over­come some ad­ver­sity with the help from my team­mates and coaches. The sup­port from them re­ally mo­ti­vated me.”

SUBMITTED PHOTO

St. Charles High School grad­u­ate Eli­jah Wiles re­cently signed to NCAA Divi­sion II Alder­son Broad­dus Univer­sity in West Vir­ginia to play foot­ball. Sit­ting, from left, are Allysha Sneed, Wiles’ older sis­ter, Lisa Wiles, Wiles’ mother, Eli­jah Wiles and Ed­ward Wiles, Wiles’ fa­ther. Stand­ing are Wiles’ friends Kayla Thomp­son and Cailah Han­don, Wiles’ grand­fa­ther Ed­ward Wiles Sr., Wiles’ grand­mother Agetha Wiles, Wiles’ younger sis­ter Ly­dia Wiles and Wiles’ friends Aaron Gra­ham and Dashaun Hol­loway.

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