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Wiley verbally commits to play golf at U of L

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By Todd Martin

Most athletes committing early to school will wait until their senior year, but SCHS junior golfer Candice Wiley went ahead and made her decision.

Wiley will play for the University of Louisville in 2009, and she said the decision was easy.

"They're a top 20 program and that's what I've always wanted," she said. "Plus, I've been a U of L fan my whole life. Coach (Kelly Meyers Rothberg) has brought the program a long way, and I'm really excited to play for her. She's already told me a few things I need to work on to be ready."

While Wiley said she wouldn't have minded going farther away for college, she did like the idea of being close.

"When I do play the one tournament here (at the Cardinal Club in Simpsonville) my family and all my friends can come out and watch -- that will be nice. And if the Big East Tournament comes back here, that's would be a lot of fun."

Wiley said that Rothberg is already expecting a lot of from her.

"She already told me that she expects me to be in the top five when I get there," Wiley said. "She said I need to work on my short game and course management, and just play as much as I can."

Playing for U of L, Wiley said, will give her the chance to play right away, and possibly win big.

"I'll get a chance to play for a national title there," she said. "U of L won the Big East last year and finished the year ranked No. 18."

Although she can't officially commit until Nov. 2008, Wiley said making the decision early wasn't difficult.

"Coaches couldn't contact me until Sept. 1, but coach (Rothberg) was the first to get back to me. I went for an unofficial visit and saw the facilities and they were great. That's when they offered the scholarship. I went back last Monday to visit the campus, and I got to meet the team and I really liked everybody. I thought 'Where else am I going to get this good of an offer, play for a top 20 team and be close to home?"

Now she can spend the off-season and her senior year focusing on her game, and not on the college decision.

"I can just go out and have fun," she said. "I didn't really start thinking about it until September, but I wasn't really looking at any other schools. I started getting some stuff in the mail from other schools that had seen me play, but I really wasn't even looking yet. U of L just had everything that I wanted, and I just thought I'd go ahead and take it."