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Midtown Monitor

BTW’s Phillip Wheatley Appreciates Leadership Role

Sports Writer


HARRY LENTZ for GTR Newspapers

There is a wide arsenal of weapons in the Booker T. Washington Hornets’ offense that has pushed them to the top of the poll in Class 6AII this season.

Among those weapons is the man behind center, two-year starter Phillip Wheatley (6-0, 180, senior) who has proven capable of throwing for over 300 yards in a game.

The Hornets are off to a very good start including a 63-0 win against Shawnee. An early lone loss was to one of the top schools in Louisiana, in a game played at the stadium that hosts the Independence Bowl in Shreveport. Wins have also come against a pair of solid foes in Edmond Santa Fe and Midwest City.

Wheatley says there is a lot of pressure that comes with the position. He says, “There is pressure not only on the football field but also to represent the community. But I really feel like the community has supported me, especially the coaches. They’re keeping me level-headed. At the end of the day, this is a game I love because it is fun. Football is fun. If I keep that perspective, then the game slows down and there is not as much pressure on me, but there is still some pressure.”

Having played quarterback since the fourth grade, Wheatley relishes the leadership role.

“I love the fact that you’re kind of the leader and everybody looks at you,” he says. “Not because I love the spotlight, but because I love how being the quarterback at Booker T where there is such a camaraderie and brotherhood. If I’m down, my teammates will be behind me and help pick me up. That’s what I love, the team aspect of it.”

Wheatley has faith in his teammates at the skill positions when things aren’t going smooth. “I also value all the receivers around me, and we have great running backs when things go south, I can hand them the ball,” Wheatley says. “If I’m not throwing my best game, my receivers on the outside will help make me look good and really help catch some difficult balls. That really helps make me the quarterback I am today.”

Wheatley is not old enough to have seen Joe Montana play, but he likes watching highlights of him and considers former 49ers great his favorite QB to model after.

“Not only was he able to spin the ball to his receivers, but he also had a great work ethic and he did a great job interacting with the people around him,” Wheatley says. “I just like that he didn’t let the game get too big for him. He kept himself composed in his head.”
Wheatley’s favorite NFL team is the New York Giants.

At this point, Wheatley is not committed to play football in college, though he has his options open. He prefers to go Division-I, “But, really, I’m not picky. I’m interested in anyone who is willing to give me a chance and is willing to help pay for schooling,” he says.

The team aspect in the game of football is what he likes most about the game.

“I like the idea of two groups of people, two teams on the same platform with same goal in mind with one goal and where one team will rise victorious,” Wheatley says. “I like the idea of going into competition and beating somebody else that is trying to do the same thing as you. I like overcoming obstacles and gaining fellowship and camaraderie with one another. I just love the team aspect of it.” 

Updated 10-19-2017

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