Staley dismissed from Wheeler football team
by John Bednarowski
sportseditor@mdjonline.com
October 03, 2013 12:34 AM | 4479 views | 13 13 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Wheeler’s Elijah Staley was dismissed from the Wildcats’ football program earlier this week. Staley was Cobb County’s leading passer with more than 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Wheeler’s Elijah Staley was dismissed from the Wildcats’ football program earlier this week. Staley was Cobb County’s leading passer with more than 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns.
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Wheeler quarterback Elijah Staley is no longer a member of the Wildcats’ football program.

Staley, and his mother, Sharon Campbell, confirmed the fact Wednesday.

The 6-foot-7 Staley, a Mississippi State commitment in football and basketball, missed the second half of Wheeler’s game against Milton last Friday, and according to a report by Score Atlanta, the benching, and ultimate dismissal, stemmed from an argument over play-calling.

When reached, Staley, a member of the Marietta Daily Journal preseason Dynamite Dozen, did not provide details about what happened, but he did say that he had been in contact with his recruiting coaches at Mississippi State and said that everything “was fine.”

He also added that he will try to graduate in December in the hopes of being on campus in time to join the Bulldogs’ basketball team for the Southeastern Conference portion of their schedule. Staley, who was a Class AAAAAA first-team all-state selection last season averaged 18 points and 9.5 rebounds a game for the Wildcats’ basketball team and helped lead them to the state semifinals.

Staley was also a major part to Wheeler’s football turnaround over the last two years. As a junior, he threw for 1,801 yards, 12 touchdowns and four interceptions. The Wildcats finished the 2012 season with a 6-5 record and returned to the playoffs for the first time in six years.

Through the first five games of this season, Wheeler is 2-3 and Staley completed 72 of 115 passes for 1,072 yards, 10 touchdowns and five interceptions. He had also run for 102 yards and two touchdowns.

Messages left for Wildcats’ coach Mike Collins were not returned.

Campbell said she felt the situation was blown out of proportion.

“This situation was made into something bigger than it is. In my opinion if you dismiss a student from your team I would think it would be over drugs, drinking, harassment of some kind or grades and of course something criminal. None of these caused coach to dismiss Elijah from the team. In other words Elijah didn’t do any of those things so I’m not happy with a dismissal, but coach did what he felt he needed to do.”

Comments
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George Wilson
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October 06, 2013
To Cats Mom: Thank you for the compliment and support. A friend told me about the "silly George" comment. You are right. The ousted former Cheer Director blames me for her fate, and definitely has an axe to grind with me. I'm glad that there are a lot of mature, appreciative parents like you out there!!

THANKS
Wildcat Coach
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October 17, 2013
This is so funny. True but funny.

You really do think you are more important than you really are Mr. Wilson.
Cats Mom
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October 05, 2013
Re: "Silly George"

What an unfair snipe at a community and business leader that is doing great deeds for our student-athletes. Apparently you have a personal axes to grind or you haven't spoken to any of the players and families he has coached or helped get on the path to college. You should keep your personal pettiness out of the public domain.

Real Wildcat Fan
Travis C
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October 08, 2013
That's your opinion. Most people don't like to be around the guy.
George Wilson
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October 04, 2013
Re: WegotCollinsback

I want it to be clear that I did not offer this comment. Because they used a term that I used in a tweet, "addition by subtraction," I'm sure the family will think this came from me. I am very much above making a personal attack on a student-athlete or his family despite the fact that I disagree with their approach in handling this particular situation. My tweet expressed my opinion ABOUT THE SITUATION. I want it to be equally clear that I support Coach Collins and the Wheeler program. This is a terrible situation that I hope galvanizing the team and our supporters to rise above this temporary setback.

Go Wildcats!
Silly George
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October 05, 2013
I don't know anyone who cares about your opinion Mr Wilson. You're not a Big Deal around here.

Go Wildcats!
M.Jackson
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October 03, 2013
Does anyone look in the mirror?

WE parents of this generation of kids are responsible for how they're turning out. Same thing is going on at Lassiter and I'm sure every high school.

Don't know if it's true that Staley shopped around for a school...and this isn't about Wheeler...

Kids shouldn't be allowed to change schools because they like a football program here or get more exposure to college scouts there or the cheerleaders are better there or the chess club or the band or WHATEVER!

WE adults allow this to go on because WE want to have the best football team or the highest CRCT or SAT scores or be state champions in tennis.......

And then WE turn around and blame other parents or the coach or whoever and wonder why our kids are SPOILED and feel ENTITLED?! Seriously?!

"If you don't like this school or this coach, we'll just move to another school."

Is it really a surprise that when WE indulge our children they feel entitled?

WE allow this changing of schools, etc., I can only surmise for self-serving reasons, and then start pointing fingers when it blows up in our faces.

Hats off to Wheeler parents for supporting the Coach. You may end up with a "losing" football season, but the kids on that team and at that school will have respect for their parents, the coaches, and the administration.

And they'll remember that long after they've forgotten the name of the quarterback that was dismissed from the team in 2013.
wildcat dad
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October 03, 2013
Elijah's mom is correct. He did not commit any of the transgressions she mentioned. His biggest misstep was thinking that he was bigger than the team. It is actually sad because that is the way he has been raised. They shopped this kid to three schools (N.Cobb, Harrison, and Milton) before settling at Wheeler his Jr. year. "None of those coaches knew how to use Elijah..."

In fact neither did GA HS Hall of Fame basketball Coach Doug Lipscomb last year as Staley initially decided to not play the first half of the year because Wheeler's 4-time State Championship winning coach "didn't know what he was doing..." I wonder if the MSU Bulldogs "know what they're doing" or more importantly, if they know what they're getting...

Hat's off to Coach Collins for taking a stand.
Dave Z
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October 03, 2013
A suspension usually precedes a dismissal, but you have to support the decisions of your head coach. However, it does stink for all involved.
wildcatlover
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October 03, 2013
Staley's dismissal was not over play calling. He walked out on the team in the second half because he thought they were not playing up to his calibre, He shed his jersey and refused to play. This is not a leader, he is not even a good follower. Perhaps he should not play team sports.
wegotcollinsback
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October 03, 2013
wildcatlover, we saw what you saw. He was even looking towards the Wheeler stands and taunting the coaches, as if he was trying to garner support from the crowd. Trust me, we weren't supporting him at all. We might lose every game but the parents and true fans will be at peace without that horrible teammate and his crazy parents. This is what you call an addition by subtraction.

All three of them, QB included, are obsessed with Twitter and tweet during the games. They say disrespectful and inappropriate things about the coaches and call out other players. The mom trashed 'white kids' last winter during the basketball tournament. She was tweeting and bragging about meeting with coach Collins and the AD and going all 'sister' on them and laughing about it. Mississippi State had better think twice about bringing that crew to their school.

The parents are trying to make it look like their kid said just one thing to coach and that's why he benched them. That's not even close to the truth. Wheeler is his fourth school and that will tell you something right there.

Coach Collins and the staff have the full support from the Wildcat family. It was something they had to do and we back them.
Chip Ronny
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October 03, 2013
I applaud Coach Collins for this decision. This is best for the team and the Wheeler program. One over-rated player is not bigger than the team.

Coach Collins and the Wildcats may lose the rest of the games this season but they will do it with character. 1 for Coach Collins
MetsFan
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October 04, 2013
I back the Coach 100%.
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