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Wike back to leading Brookfield defense

November 7, 2013
By JOHN VARGO - Tribune Chronicle (jvargo@tribtoday.com) , Underthelights

Tom Wike knew something was wrong after a punt return during a 2012 Week 4 game at Struthers.

"I got hit pretty hard on a punt," Wike said. "I felt it getting worse and worse. I finally figured out it was a severe concussion that took me out the rest of the season."

The 6-foot, 210-pound linebacker had to sit out as the Warriors rolled all the way to the Division IV, Region 13 title game.

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Tom Wike

Come this season, Wike has been the anchor of the Brookfield defense - leading the Warriors (8-2) with 92 tackles.

"Tommy's done a great job for us," said Warriors coach Randy Clark, whose fourth-seeded team hosts fifth-seeded St. Thomas Aquinas in a Division VI, Region 19 quarterfinal Friday at Warrior Stadium. "He's been a great leader. He's waited up until his senior year and done a very good job for us."

Wike's agressive nature has dictated the style of Brookfield's defense.

"He's a tough kid. He's a hard-nosed kid," Clark said. "He loves contact. Tommy is a clown. He takes it serious when it's time, but you've got to be relaxed to play that position. He's free wheeling at that position."

Brookfield assistant coach George Kurpe has mentored Wike this season.

"Coach Kurpe has been teaching me well," Wike said. "I've been playing downhill. He's taught me keys in reading the offense. I really came out this year and really did well."

Clark said Wike has had little ill effects from last year's concussion.

"Earlier in two-a-days he showed some symptoms," Clark said. "He took some breaks and we monitored him and took care of it the best we could. Lately, he's been pretty well with it."

For the most part, Wike has been pretty good.

"I get headaches every now and then," he said. "Sometimes when I'm involved in a big hit, I feel a headache, but it really doesn't last too long."

Does that worry the Brookfield senior?

"No, not right now. It doesn't bother me," Wike said.

Wike is concerned about taking care of business against an 8-2 Knights team on Friday.

"Come out and play Warrior football," he said.