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There’s no doubt that Wheeling Park head football coach Chris Daugherty and his coaching staff are preparing Patriot student athletes for the next level.

Eight Wheeling Park High School football players signed their letters of intent to play football at the collegiate level today at the J.B. Chambers Performing Arts Center. Beau Heller, Carson Namack and Sincere Sinclair are headed to West Liberty University while Stevie Mitchell will be attending Wheeling University. Caleb Bryan will be a student athlete at Lehigh University, and Andrew Glass will take the field for Kent State University. John Olako will play for Fairmont State University, and Isaac Wiley has signed on to further his academics and athletics at Marietta College.

Over the past 10 years, more than 30 Wheeling Park High School football players have gone on to play college football, and eight Patriot standouts have gone on to play Division 1 college football. Many of those student athletes have gone on to be starters on their college squads.

Daugherty said there are multiple factors that have resulted in the success of Patriot football players beyond high school.

“The coaching staff does a good job in getting them ready mentally for the next four years,” he said. “But, there is a lot that goes into it. They have to be ready academically. They have to be dedicated in the classroom, and they have to do well on their ACTs. To move on and do well in college as a student athlete, you have to be dedicated to academics and strength and conditioning. It’s great to be fast, but that isn’t enough.”

Daugherty said an important factor in the team’s success over the past decade is the dedication and commitment of the team’s players. He said most players come into the system believing that they can achieve as players and that the team will win. The players have good reason to buy into the system. During Daugherty’s 10-year tenure, Wheeling Park’s record is 81-31-1, and the team captured a state championship in 2015.

“The foundation (of success) starts early,” Daughtery said. “It begins when they are freshman. They put in the time and effort in the weight room with training and conditioning

, and they see important gains over the next few years. That early commitment has a lot to do with players going on to play in college and even making it to D-1.”

Daugherty said he is proud of the number of Wheeling Park football players who have gone on to play college football. However, he said he is just as proud of the character of his student athletes as they move on from high school and college.

“We’re also getting kids ready for life after Park,” Daugherty said. “In this program they learn to work together, and they learn to care for each other. Those are important lessons. They become strong people who have learned to work with others, and they become people who are willing to help and care about their community.”

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