Wesley Idlette and a couple of his Maryville College teammates are nearing some of the school’s longest-held records, one of them some 37 years old.
A junior All-American receiver, Idlette is closing on Maryville records in three categories. In his time in the orange and garnet, the Chattanooga native has managed 123 catches for 1,873 yards and 14 touchdowns.
The Baylor School product is within striking distance of a 37-year-old record held by former Scot Mike Butler (1972-73), who caught 20 touchdown passes in his career. After two touchdown catches in last weekend’s loss at Methodist, Idlette passed former Maryville standouts Zach Mendance and Justin Jackson to move into the second spot.
Idlette will get a chance to move closer to Butler’s mark when the Scots (1-3, 0-1) host Shenandoah University (0-4, 0-1) in a USA South Athletic Conference meeting at Honaker Field.
Kickoff is 1:30 p.m.
All Maryville games are available on the internet at www.Knoxivi.com.
Idlette’s assault on Maryville’s receiving records is as much about the Scots as it is him, he said.
“It’s something I pride myself on because it’s showing that the coaches are trusting me and my ability to make the plays,” Idlette said.
Perhaps most impressive of the record within Idlette’s reach is yards receiving. Now only 103 yards behind Mendance (1998-02), he seems to have a lot of time to erase the deficit.
“Hopefully, he’ll be able to get all those records by the end of the season,” Maryville coach Tony Ierulli said.
With all that the Scots have been through this season, Idlette is taking nothing for granted.
“It’s definitely good knowing I have another year, but I know each day I have to go out there and perform to the best of my ability,” he said. “I don’t know if it will be my last play. This year, we’ve definitely had so many injuries that I don’t even know when my last play will be. So, you just have to go out there and take it day by day.”
Ierulli said he knew Idlette was going to be a special player because of the maturity level he displayed as a freshman. The Maryville burner had no problems with the routes, partially because of his very athletic family.
“Wesley got it down so fast,” Ierulli said. “He had a brother (Willie) who was a wide receiver at Wake Forrest. We were very fortunate recruiting Wesley. Coming out of high school, he wasn’t highly recruited. As I recall, his senior year, I think they had some quarterback problems because he only had eight or 10 catches the entire season.
“He fell under the radar in terms of recruiting, and, fortunately for us, we were able to get him to come here.”
Willie Idlette was Wake’s second-leading receiver and ranked second in all-purpose yardage on the Deacon’s 2006 Atlantic Coast Conference championship team. He would land free agent tryouts with the NFL’s Cleveland Browns and New York Giants after college, playing this past season for the now-disbanded Greenville (S.C.) Force of the Southern Indoor Football League.
Wesley Idlette says he’s proud of the career marks within his grasp but just wants to get the weight off his shoulders.
“It’s definitely something that I’ve been thinking about,” he said. “The thing is I will be glad once it’s over with. It’s starting to put a little bit of stress on the coaches and myself.”
Idlette is not the only Scot nearing the record books. Senior defensive back Bud Christy is closing in as well, along with a dubious mark within reach of junior punter R.J. Sandmeyer.
With Christy’s two interceptions against Methodist, Christy brought his career tally to 11, pushing his way past Michael Walsh (1986) and John McLeod (1984-85). Christy is now only two snatches behind record holder Nick White (1993-96), but things aren’t going Christy’s way. A knee injury in the fourth quarter against Methodist may hurt his chances.
“He had an injury where he may be done for year,” Ierulli said. “We’re hopeful we can possibly get him back or medical red shirt him, just depending on some things we’ve still got to look at. We’ve already talked about (the record), and that’s very important for him and for the school to have that interception record.”
Christy adds to a long list of Scots who have fallen to injury this season, not the least of which being starting quarterback Tim Conner, whose shoulder injury during fall camp wiped out his senior year. The toll injury has taken on the Maryville offense has helped Sandmeyer close on the record for most punts in a season by Scot.
Russ Thomas (1986) booted the ball 69 times that year. Through four games this season, Sandmeyer’s is almost halfway there with 32 kicks.
“It’s good in terms of him, knowing he’s punting more, but, in terms of your offense, that’s not a record that you would really like to have,” Ierulli said. “It’s like a batter in baseball having the strikeout record. It all ties into the struggles we’ve had offensively, but, at the same time, R.J.’s doing a very nice job punting the ball, and I can’t take that away from him.”