High school notebook: Wiley comes from football family
It would seem unnatural if T.J. Wiley didn’t coach football.
The newly hired Deer Lakes coach has plenty of football pedigree. Basically, when it comes to football, family matters.
His father, John, was a coach at Danville, Titusville and Clearfield, and was an assistant at North Hills. While at North Hills, he coached Mark Kelso, who not only went to be a standout safety with the Buffalo Bills, but also became T.J.’s godfather.
“I was born on a Friday night,” T.J. said. “And that happened to be the only Friday regular-season game that Mark lost. I still get calls from him on my birthday saying how I ruined his perfect record.”
As for John Wiley, who is in his early 60s, he has been T.J.’s offensive coordinator at both of his coaching stops where he was the head coach — Penn-Trafford and Northgate. Now, he’ll join him at Deer Lakes.
And he’ll get to know the area, at least for a few months.
“Dad’s been great; he’s like my hero,” T.J. said. “He lives in Erie, but he comes and stays with me during the season. He lives in my basement. It’s like an apartment down there.”
The WPIAL wrestling team postseason begins Wednesday with section tournaments to determine seedings for the WPIAL brackets.
Each section has four teams, with the top three teams from each sub-section competing. The third-place teams will battle for fourth- and fifth-place.
An interesting pair of rematches could take place. Kiski Area could see Franklin Regional in the Section 1-AAA final. Kiski Area, the host of the tournament, beat the Panthers earlier this season, 36-23.
In Section 3-AA, which will be at South Allegheny, Burrell and Kittanning could see each other again. Burrell rallied to beat the Wildcats, 35-33, in regular-season action.
Kiski Area must first get past Greensburg Salem, and Franklin Regional must oust Latrobe to advance.
Kittanning faces South Allegheny, and Burrell takes on Avonworth.
Valley will take on Keystone Oaks in the fifth-place match.
First-round matches are at 6 p.m.
Injured St. Joseph girls basketball standout Mallory Heinle, who leads the A-K Valley in scoring average at 20.4 points per game, could return sooner than expected.
Initially thought to be out up to nine games with a sprained ankle, the junior has only missed two, although a pair of St. Joseph’s games — both non-section — were postponed.
St. Joseph coach Dan Slain said Heinle could play Monday against Ellis School on the road, but that is dependent upon her progress at practice and any swelling over the weekend.
Nikki Mielecki, another junior starter, is likely out for two to four weeks, also with an ankle sprain.
Bill Beckner Jr. is the Local Sports Editor of the Valley News Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.