“Featured Player of the Week”

Shai Wheeler catching a touchdown pass on Friday night. (Ron Morris)
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Independence Patriots, Shai Wheeler 

The two-way offensive and defensive player Shai Wheeler has been selected as this weeks featured player based on his outstanding performance this past Friday night against the Porter Ridge Pirates.

Wheeler a wide receiver hooked up with quarterback Arnold Taylor for the games first score in the opening quarter when he ran a deep route to beat the defender on a 27 yard touchdown to put the Patriots on top 6-0.

In the second quarter, just before the end of the first half, the defensive back intercepted a pass with two seconds remaining on the clock at the goal line to frustrate the Pirates who just recovered a fumble trying for the go ahead touchdown with the Pats holding on to a slim 6-3 lead.

Then with 5:00 minutes remaining in the third quarter, just after the Pirates scored a touchdown making the score 19-11, Wheeler would catch the football on the ten yard line, break two potential tackles, pick up three blockers, guide them down the sideline for a 90 yard kick-off return and huge touchdown putting the Patriots up 25-11.

The senior showed his leadership and athletic ability in key moments throughout the football game giving Independence their fourth victory of the season. He also had multiple pass receptions including playing shut-down pass defense.

His overall performance on offense, defense and special teams in the Patriots 32-18 road win was outstanding. Wheeler showed his versatility and all-around threat capability as he has become a major ingredient in making the Patriots successful this season.

After seven games into the season, Wheeler has become Mr. Clutch in key situations and is the reason for being selected this week’s “Featured Player of the Week.”

Congratulations from the sports editor and sports writers at the Mint Hill Times for your nomination and achievement.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
Ed can be reached at ed@minthilltimes.com, eberti7777@gmail.com and linkedin.com.