A ‘Wise’ dream

Deatrich Wise, Sr., Daniel and Sheila Wise

BY DEXTER MCCREE, Feature Writer

ST. PETERSBURG — A father’s dream is to have his son excel beyond the measure of his own accomplishments. Rarely does a father get the experience of having two sons travel the road that he has paved.

Deatrich Wise, Sr., former Tampa Bay Storm All-Pro Arena Football League player, is having such an experience. His second oldest son, Daniel Wise, played on the defensive line for the West Squad in the East-West Shrine Bowl played at Tropicana Field two weeks ago.

Two years ago, his oldest son Deatrich Wise, Jr., a fourth-round draft pick of the New England Patriots, played in the same game in the exact arena, a field that their father won an Arena Bowl title–the Arena League equivalent of the NFL’s Super Bowl.

“It’s an incredible feeling coming back to Florida for the East-West Shrine game,” said Deatrich Wise, Sr. “The second time feels just like the first time.  Everything is new and exciting. It’s an experience that only God can manufacturer.

Daniel Wise played collegiately for the University of Kansas Jayhawks. He is a 6’3, 280-pound defensive tackle who was selected All-Big 12 Conference First Team. For his career, he had 152 total tackles, 43 tackles for loss, 17 sacks and two forced fumbles.

For his first trip to the Sunshine State, the result of being selected to the East-West Shrine Bowl, Daniel Wise and his teammates were housed in the luxurious Trade Winds Resort on St. Pete Beach. He was greeted with un-Florida like 50-degree weather. Having played four years of football in Kansas, he wasn’t fazed and even made daily morning visits to the beach to meditate.

He was here to take in everything that Florida had to offer. His thought was 50 degrees on a Florida beach is better than 50 degrees in the snow.  Daniel Wise focused on the business at hand, which was to make a good impression on NFL coaches and looked forward to the goodwill visit to the Shriners hospital.

He also celebrated his 23rd birthday the week of the Shrine game. The week seemed destined to show him favor.

“The experience of the East-West Shrine Bowl was incredible. It was fun visiting the hospital and putting a smile on the kids’ faces. Realizing that these kids may never play football put life in proper perspective. The entire experience is ‘more than just a game,’” said Daniel Wise.

In the game, Daniel Wise garnered much attention, often drawing double and triple team from the East opponents. During the week of practice, he frequently beat his opponent during one-on-one drills.

The West opened the scoring with a flare pass to the corner of the north end Zone. Nick Brossette (Louisiana State) caught a 22-yard pass from Brett Rypien (Boise State). John Baron II (San Diego State) kick put the score up 7-0. Following an interception, the west running back,   Devine Ozigbo (Nebraska) had a 2-yard touchdown run. Baron II extra point made the score 14-0 at the half.

Representing St. Pete at halftime, the Lakewood High School marching Spartans showcased their black and gold HBCU-like high steps to the satisfaction of an announced crowd of 19,654.

In the third quarter, the West continued to score with Shawn Poindexter (Arizona) catching a 22-yard touchdown pass from Easton Stick (North Dakota State). John Baron II kicked the extra point to go up 21-0.

The East got on the scoreboard with a six-yard pass from David Blough (Purdue) to Terry Godwin (Georgia). Matt Gay (Utah) made the point after. Godwin had a second 18-yard touchdown pass from David Blough. Matt Gay’s kick tighten the score 14-21.

The East kicker, Gay, rounded out the scoring with a 47-yard field goal making the final score West 21, East 17.

The West team victory was a fitting end to Daniel Wise incredible visit to Florida. He went back to the hotel, autographed footballs for a church youth group and encouraged them individually to do their best in school. A gesture that would make any parent proud.

“Their mom and I just try to live a life that’s pleasing to God, examples and encouragers for our sons,” said Deatrich Wise, Sr.

For the entire Wise family, the East-West Shrine week must have been an incredible dream.

To reach Dexter McCree, email dmccree@theweeklychallenger.com

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