Hoodies, hats, Iron Man pajamas. Everybody is dressed down at Independence High School from the kicker all the way to our male athlete of the week Jordan Wiley. Those are the perks of putting in work on Thanksgiving Day.
“There's nothing better than practicing on Thanksgiving because that usually means you're in the semi-finals,” coach Sean McKeown told 23ABC, “if you're in the semi-finals, that's a pretty good year.”
The Falcons' good year was extended by the great play of their junior quarterback Jordan Wiley up north in a quarterfinal clash with the one seed Tulare Western.
“It was hard, there was a lot of hype,” Wylie told 23ABC, “we were the nine seed, they were to one seed. We had to just come out and I had to come out as a leader and lead the team to victory.”
“He managed the game well in some bad weather conditions,” McKeown said, “he didn't make any mistakes and that's what we need from him.”
It's no wonder Jordan is on the top of his game in these division 3 playoffs. The Independence Falcons have spent 4 years in the division 1 SWYL with the likes of BHS, Stockdale and others.
“Playing D-1 in the power league,” Wiley explained, “it helps us and preps us so we're more athletic than a lot of the D-3 teams even as the ninth seed.”
“We've played the best of the best. It doesn't matter to us,” coach McKeown said, “we'll play any one any time. Football is football.”
The Falcons have practiced on Thanksgiving the past 3 years and are on the road yet again, this time to face Dinuba.
“We've talked with our kids,” coach said, “this is the third time in four years we've gotten to the semi's, we haven't gotten to the finals yet. Be thankful for being able to play football today. We talked about what team is going to break through to the finals and why not this group?”
For his 181 yards and 2 touchdowns leading the Falcons to their third semi-final game in as many years, Jordan Wiley earns a plaque provided by Kern Trophies and is our male athlete of the week.