Ashley said Wiles has earned the respect of opposing coaches and players.
"I'll quote Nitro coach [Brian Young] at the [Mountain State Athletic Conference] all-conference meeting when he recommended Jack for player of the year,'' said Ashley. "He said [Jack's] a nightmare for defenses. So quick. He can hit his top speed in two or three steps. His ball control and ball skills ... what he can do with a ball!
"One of the things he loves to do, he'll go really fast then kind of slow up and get that defender to relax then just turn it on again. The defenders can't stop it. They can't catch up fast enough. By the time they can catch up, he's already turned the corner.''
Wiles said playing on a travel team with many of Hurricane's players from last year's title team has helped his development. Wiles scored 12 goals last year for the Red Dragons and didn't play much varsity as a freshman.
"That was really good for me,'' said Wiles of playing with all-staters. "I've played all year round the past five or six years. I was not planning on this at all. I was just going to go and try to win some games, but the goals came.''
Wiles said no colleges have contacted him about playing beyond high school.
"After the fourth game this year every team knew who Jack Wiles was,'' Ashley said. "He's really good at recognizing what's working and what's not working and changing up pretty quickly. I think he's too talented not to be playing somewhere in college. It's been a pleasure coaching him. He's one of my favorites because he just works so hard.''
Wiles hopes to extend his prep career a few more games. SA's opening-round sectional opponent is Hurricane, a team the Red Dragons have already defeated.
"I think we've got something left,'' he said.
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at tatkin...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.