orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

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June 7, 2014

Orangefield's Wiley Leader's Male Athlete of the Year

ORANGEFIELD — There is little question who left a big mark on the Orangefield athletic program the last three years.

Carl Wiley did it all for the Bobcats, from the football season in the fall, to the hardwood basketball courts in the winter, and on the track in the spring.

Our 2014 Orange Leader Male Athlete of the Year turned his senior campaign last year into a memorable one.

Despite entering the football season with opponents keying on him from his running back position, Wiley shredded opposing defenses to rack up a season to behold.

Wiley piled up 1,581 yards on the ground on 226 carries and scored eight touchdowns.

He very seldom came off the field either. He made 81 stops at his linebacker spot on defense and played on all the special team units.

“I just always made up my mind that I was going to do whatever I possibly could to help the team win,” said Wiley. “I have always loved playing football. It’s always been a passion. I liked to compete and always tried to be the best I could be.”

The Bobcats turned to Wiley’s work ethic to help improve their play as well.

“I wasn’t really loud with the way I worked,” said Wiley. “I just pushed myself hard and went out and practiced hard every day and I think my teammates saw that and appreciated that. I gave everything I had in practices and games. Football is so physical, you have to be prepared each week for the hits you will take and the ones you dish out.”

The Bobcats (6-5) made the playoffs for the first time in 10 years under the guidance of second-year head coach Josh Smalley. Wiley had plenty of help, including from his brother Carmichael Wiley, who was the starting quarterback.

Carmichael racked up 824 yards and eight TDs on 142 carries and passed for 290 yards and four scores.

“It was a great way to go out as a senior, playing in the same backfield as my brother,” said Wiley. “He really made himself into a good quarterback and had a great season. He improved every year. It seemed like we were both always on the field, whether it was offense or defense. There is nothing like getting handoffs or catching passes or blocking for your brother. That gave us even more strength to protect each other when we were on the field.”

Wiley was so proud of the Bobcats’ playoff experience in which they fell to Coldspring in the bidistrict round but battled the Trojans hard for four quarters.

“All along we thought we were a playoff team, way back in the offseason,” said Wiley. “We had doubters that we wouldn’t make it, especially early in district. We put together two big wins against Buna and Bridge City to get in. Many thought we wouldn’t stay on the field with Coldspring. We were right in that thing, especially in the first half. My biggest regret was getting hurt in that game. I really felt bad that I couldn’t give it my all for my teammates but we will always remember the great season we had. It was a lot of fun.”

After the solid football campaign, Wiley turned to his talents on the basketball courts for coach Rea Wrinkle.

Instead of being the focus of opposing defenses’ attention like football, Wiley turned to doing a lot of “grunt” work to help the Bobcats reach the postseason in hoops.

Matthew Kress and Carmichael Wiley did the bulk of the key scoring while Carl was usually the one that played defense against the opposing team’s best player while crashing the boards and picking up steals.

“Basketball, that’s something Carmichael is definitely better than me at,” laughed Wiley. “He’s a scorer and has a shooter’s touch. Me, I just did whatever I could, scoring some baskets inside and hitting the boards. I just did whatever Coach Wrinkle asked of me to help us win.”

Wiley averaged 10 points a game while grabbing a little more than six rebounds per contest as the Bobcats earned the fourth-place playoff berth in perhaps arguably the best 3A basketball district in the state with the likes of Silsbee, West Orange-Stark and Hardin-Jefferson.

“Basketball season was great too,” said Wiley. “A lot of people thought we couldn’t make the playoffs in that either. One thing about being a Bobcat, we always compete hard in everything and we proved to ourselves that we could do it.”

Wiley continued to keep busy after hoop season, participating in both track and tennis.

He advanced to the Area Track Meet after triple-jumping nearly 41 feet in district.

Wiley plans to attend Lamar Institute of Technology to go to Lineman School but will still represent Orangefield a couple more times on the football field as he will play in the Southeast Texas Coaches Association All-Star Game June 14 in Beaumont and will also compete in the Greater Houston Coaches Association All-Star Game June 20 in Huffman.

“It’s going to be fun to put on that Bobcat helmet a couple more times,” said Wiley. “I really  liked being a Bobcat and will have a lot of good memories of teammates and coaches. It was a lot of fun.”

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