• Sat. Nov 26th, 2022

Athlete Spotlight Series: Blue-collar pathways continue beyond the playing field for Wise | local sports

ByMary M. Ward

Oct 26, 2022

ERIE — There’s no denying that the little things in life matter. Keeping promises, eating a balanced diet, exercising and getting fresh air, telling people what you think of them, and even Friday night night lights or weekend mornings at the ballpark with your friends and your family.

For Kyle Wise, a 2014 graduate of Saegertown Junior-Senior High School, those little moments still make a big difference in his life and provided him with many life lessons that he follows every day.

The lessons of hustling on and off the field, showing up on time, being a team player and holding yourself and others accountable are lessons that breed success. It was the way of Saegertown baseball. Many committed parents and coaches have brought a great collection of college talent out of such a small town in western Pennsylvania, in addition to some talented players who are committed to seeing their potential realized.

For Wise, baseball was not his first love. However, it was the sport he grew up in to realize he had the best future. Growing up as one of Saegertown’s star football players, Wise came to love baseball more. It wasn’t as rough on his body and it was the sport that many of his closest friends spent most of their time in. Don’t get me wrong, baseball was definitely a big deal for him as he played for many travel organizations growing up before he started competing in the Youngstown Class B League and American Legion Ball.

A speedster in the outfield and an opportunistic hitter, Wise became a consensus Division II talent and took elite local programs like Mercyhurst, Seton Hill and Slippery Rock more seriously. In the end, Slippery Rock presented a solid security management degree he couldn’t pass up and an opportunity to continue playing with lifelong friends Tyler Walters and Mitchell Wood.

“Everything is super nice and updated there,” Wise said of the Slippery Rock University look. “I already had a lot of friends going there and some of my family members were born and raised in Grove City, where our family hunting camp is. But, more than anything, the school, the baseball facilities, and the connection I made with the Messers (Slippery Rock head coach Jeff Messer) made it the right place.

After arriving in Butler County in 2014, Wise played 113 games during his four years with The Rock. In all, he became a four-time Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Scholar Athlete, recorded 76 hits, scored 64 runs, had 40 runs batted in, and 18 extra hits. Wise also helped the program reach the PSAC playoffs in three of his four seasons, with the team winning 100 games in his career.

While he was a solid hitter, his role on the team was to be a timely hitter and trap any fly ball that came his way in center field. For him, there’s nothing better than tracking down a hard-hit ball or removing a bloop that can sometimes trigger that bad inning that haunts baseball and softball teams.

He assumed his role from an early age. Playing in Little League and high school teams that were up there with some of the best in the state for many years, Wise played in many pressure ball games and even helped the Panthers win three regional titles. and District 10. Those moments prepare athletes for the big stage that is college athletics — though he believes the best lessons in playing sports come from accepting defeat.

It takes courage and power to overcome the vulnerable moments in our lives. Kyle Wise showed just that. While some happened in sports, more serious adversity hit his post-college life. Overcoming a serious motorcycle accident and dealing with a long-distance engagement are certainly not the ideal situations for a young man in his twenties. From the hard lessons he learned playing sports his whole life, he knew he had to deal with those times when the pressure was at its highest.

His support system is also to be thanked for helping him through these times. His parents – Shelly and Brad – always showed up to the games and were patient as he went his own way in life. He also thanks many friends, teammates and coaches for making his athletic career from youth sports through college so enjoyable. For the past few years, his wife of a few weeks, Gabrielle, has been a staunch supporter of his new venture as an apprentice lineman for IBEW Local 1319.

His latest career move has seen him commute back and forth between Erie County and Buffalo and necessitated a temporary move a six-hour drive from Easton. Although it was not easy, it was worth it for the young couple.

“It says a lot about her that she was willing to sacrifice distance because not everyone can do something like that. It really meant a lot to me how supportive she was in every way. She really cares of me and is such an amazing woman.

In just under a year and a half, this current chapter of his career will be complete as he will graduate as an apprentice. Adding this program to one of the nation’s premier security management degrees could launch Wise into an outstanding professional career. But, more importantly, he has returned to his roots and does not live too far from Saegertown. Back closer to home, he enjoys seeing the people who matter most to him, while returning to many of his favorite hunting and fishing spots. He’s already scored a dollar this archery season and is excited for what the rest of the fall and early winter may have in store for him.

Hard times don’t last, but hard people do. The adversities of his young life prepared him for the challenges ahead. His childhood friends remain those he is closest to to this day. For Kyle Wise, playing baseball is what he has done for much of his life. However, he is much more than a ball player. However, the blue-collar baseball ways he learned in Saegertown translated into how he lives his life every day and will be the values ​​he shares with his future family.