Talent, desire make Whaley a Warrior star

By Jeff Birchfield

   What do you get when you combine an abundance of athletic talent with a ton of competitive desire?
   Happy Valley Warrior fans can answer that question in two words - Tim Whaley.
   No matter if it's on the football field, on the basketball court or even the baseball diamond, stopping Happy Valley this season means first stopping the 6-2, 180 pound Whaley.
   "You never want a senior season to end," said Whaley, who stars at tailback for the Warrior football team. "I wish I could play high school football for the rest of my life if it was possible.
   "I don't want to lose. In basketball, it's the same way. I don't want to miss a game, but I would miss a game to go as far as we can in the playoffs in football. I want to go as far as we can in basketball too and baseball the same."
   Although he's a team player, Whaley was glad to reach one individual goal last Friday night against Chuckey-Doak. Coming into the game 184 yards shy of the 1000-yard barrier, Whaley sped 200 yards in the first quarter alone to top the mark.
   By the end of the night, he had amassed 301 yards and garnered Player of the Week honors county-wide, area-wide and state-wide.
   "That was really special," admitted Whaley. "I've said many times how I was short of 1000 yards last year. I wanted to go into that game and get it. It's not only good for me, but for the school, the program and the linemen especially. Blocking for someone to get 1000 yards is a real accomplishment for them."
   The fiery nature of Whaley's play has gotten him into trouble on occasion. He has been ejected from games in both of the marquee sports, but his competitiveness is also what sets him apart from most players.
   That shows up the best when playing defense at the linebacker position.
   "He's probably a better linebacker than tailback," said HV football coach Stan Ogg. "He's quick to the punch and gets to the point of attack in a hurry. When he arrives, he's in a bad mood. That's the kind of player Tim is.
   "The force he brings to the tackle is impressive. He really lays the lumber."
   Despite all of the accolades he has received running and the attention he's received from his defensive play, the most impressive skill may be his punting ability. He not only has good distance, but his hang time rivals that of major college players.
   "I like all phases of the game," said Whaley. "I like running the ball, but I like playing linebacker and hitting people. I'm just a physical person, but I also like to punt. When I hit a good punt, it feels really good. The 50-yard one against South Greene felt great."
   On the basketball floor, Whaley is just as intense. He is expected to be the top player for the Warriors at the post position after averaging 10 points last year and leading the team in rebounding.
   "We should have a good team," said Whaley. "We have a little height about us with Alex Carroll, Andrew Bowman and myself. Andrew's like me, he's a real physical person too. He likes to get after people. We have some good shooters with Ryan Toney, Nick Sanders and Jeremy Maddox."
   When it's deep in the season, it is senior leadership that Whaley will expected to provide just as he has on the gridiron.
   Happy Valley's Lady Warriors will also have a Whaley in a lead role as Tim's twin sister Terra exhibits the same competitive fire.
   "Tim plays real hard whether it's practice or in a game," said HV basketball coach Charlie Bayless. "He's real quick on his feet and he takes coaching real well. He plays so hard. He's a good competitor that hates to lose. He should be a leader for us this year."
   Several colleges have expressed interest in Whaley, who attends church at Sinking Creek Baptist along with his sister, furthering his football career after high school.
   "Tim's really humble about all that he does," said Ogg. "He's just gotten better and better. At linebacker, he's got that nose to the football defensively mentality. Then look at how he punts, he's really worked at it. He works at it before practice, during practice. He's gotten so good at pinning people inside the 20. He can kickoff inside the 10-yard line. He does a lot of things that individually could help any team."