North-South football: Berkeley Springs kicker to play important role for North
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Berkeley Springs kicker Zach Wise will play a dominant role for the North in Saturday's North-South All-Star Football Classic.
Although Wise has plans to attend Division II Shepherd University in the fall to play football, he finds this upcoming game at to be important for a variety of reasons. Among them is the possibility of enjoying success on a team level.
"We have the best from the state, but so do they (South). Now I'll have more opportunities to maybe not be the only scorer, and make more contributions," Wise said Tuesday at North-South media day at West Virginia State University in Institute.
Wise did plenty of scoring in his career with the Indians. In four years as Berkeley Springs' kicker he converted 22 of 29 field goal attempts, with a career long of 56 yards.
He was honored with an All-State designation as a sophomore in 2010. Since then, however, the Indians' successes have been few and far between. Subsequently, his scoring chances decreased and he was absent from the All-State teams his junior and senior seasons.
Berkeley Springs was 2-7 in 2011 and 0-10 in 2012.
An All-State pick in soccer as well, Wise said he is more drawn to the gridiron.
"I love the atmosphere of football. The crowds, the game, the coaches all get you pumped up and I love that feeling," Wise said. "I also used to watch my brother kick in high school, and one day he told me I was good enough to play so I took his word for it."
Angelo Luvaro is Berkeley Springs' head coach. He said the short time he has spent working with North Coach Jodi Mote of St. Marys has given him some new motivation.
"Before practices he huddles all the players up and gets us hyped up," Wise said. "That is what the game is about for me. Coach Mote is a good man to play for."
Mote himself is just the second person in the history of the North-South series to participate as a player, an assistant coach and a head coach. The first was George Washington Coach Steve Edwards.
"Zach already asked us if he'll be kicking every day, and we have been doing special teams every day, weather cooperating, and we plan to use him as both our punter and kicker," Mote said.
"He is going to be a main ingredient to this phase of the game. Zach Wise is definitely our man when it comes to the kicking game," Mote said.
Wise has fallen off the statewide radar since his 2010 breakout season, but he will get plenty opportunity with the new additions around him Saturday night at University of Charleston Stadium.
"These guys can get me in field-goal range," he said. "Even if they do the job themselves, I'm in there for extra points.
"It's an easy job, and I love it."