By Justin Rodriguez
Section 9 Football Insider
Pine Bush linebacker Frank Wise has a tattoo on his chest with the words “Heart over Height” inscribed in black letters.
You probably couldn’t find a better way to describe Wise. At 5-foot-5, 170 pounds, Wise serves as the heart — and soul — of Pine Bush’s team. He is a three-year starter and captain.
Wise rarely leaves the field and never backs down. He plays with purpose, passion and is fears no player on the field.
“I had older brothers (former Pine Bush players Nick and Joe) so I was always the smallest guy when it came to fighting and wrestling,” Wise, a senior, said. “It doesn’t make a difference, there is never not a reason not to stand up and fight. I don’t care if I’m matched up against a bigger player. I’m always going to do what I have to do and give it a shot.”
Wise has 30 tackles this season with an interception and a sack. He also plays on Pine Bush’s kickoff, kickoff return and punt teams. Last week, Wise made his debut as a blocking back in Pine Bush’s run-heavy Delaware Wing-T offense, helping the Bushmen to a 33-6 win over Washingtonville.
“Frank doesn’t come off the field and I wish ever kid had that much heart,” Pine Bush coach Jim Wright said. “I wish I had that much heart. Frank doesn’t let up in anything he does in any facet of his life. I’m really going to miss him when he graduates because he has all the intangibles.”
Wise maintains a 98 classroom average and is interested in several colleges, including Cornell, RPI and the University at Buffalo. He has helped Wright with a variety of fundraisers and offseason preparation. Wise works out religiously at Rate of Force in Montgomery and has also been nominated for the “Heart of a Giant” award that is sponsored by the New York Giants.
The “Heart of a Giant” award is “based on an athlete’s demonstration of commitment, dedication, will, character and teamwork. Candidates must possess a strong work ethic, leadership skills, the desire to succeed both on the field and in the classroom and the ability to inspire others to work together to achieve a common goal.”
To vote for Wise, go to www2.usafootball.com/poll_management/userpoll/20. One grand prize winner will be chosen based on video submission, stating why they have the Heart of a Giant and they will be celebrated at MetLife Park during a Giants’ home game this season.
Each finalist will receive $1,500 for their high school’s football program, with the winner earning an additional $3,500.
“Frank is a true leader and captain,” Pine Bush quarterback Haakon Meland said. “He is not afraid of anyone and plays the game 100 miles per hour. Everyone on the team always rallies around Frank. He’s just the guy out there.”
Wise attributes his toughness to how he was raised by his parents, Steve and Maria, and the fact that he was always mixing it up with his older brothers. Frank Wise’s father also instilled a work ethic and toughness in him that he is proud of. He said his dad, a native of Brooklyn, usually works seven days a week as the General Manager of Frank Siena’s Auto Sales Inc. in New Hampton.
“My dad always tells me you don’t finish a job until it’s done,” Frank Wise said. “You do whatever you have to do to get the job done. I take that mentality onto the football field. If you think you are going to run over me, you are going to have to work for it.”