Wrye spends his afternoons and evening going from one practice to another throughout the year. Right now it's soccer, and in a few weeks he'll put on his basketball uniform. Then, right after tournament play is over, he'll lace up his cleats again for baseball. Wrye said he's always been athletic and describes himself as the traditional high school jock.
But Wrye's persona involves much more. Since his dad died of cancer in 2008, Wrye has fulfilled additional responsibilities at home. It didn't come easy right away, though.
"I got frustrated," Wrye said. "Frustrated why my dad had to go. Then I got used to it. I believe we all have guardian angels. He was watching over me. He helped me get better at it."
When he scored a goal at the first soccer game after his dad's death, Wrye pointed to the sky. He and his mother have come to depend on each other for everything. It's inspired Wrye to be even more hard-working.
"You start to look at stuff different," Wrye said. "Instead of just thinking 'he can do that,' you have to start thinking, become more mature, take on stuff and work at it. Because everything doesn't come as easy when other people aren't there to do it for you."
Brandon Wrye, son of Kim and Ralph Wrye (deceased) is the Mid-Continent University Teen of the Week. Each Monday, the Sun features a different MCU Teen of the Week selected from nominees that high school guidance counselors throughout western Kentucky and southern Illinois submit to the Sun. Mid-Continent University will provide each Teen of the Week with a $2,500 annual scholarship to its university, which is renewable for four years. In the spring, a Teen of the Year will be chosen from the weekly winners and will receive a full four-year scholarship to Mid-Continent University, currently valued at up to $55,000, or a cash reward of $2,500 paid through the Paducah Sun if the student selects another college to attend.
Wrye has been involved with political clubs, student council, yearbook staff and many other organizations. His resume reflects numerous leadership roles. Wrye said leadership has come very naturally to him.
"Some people think you have to talk a good game to be a leader, but I think it's more how you act," Wrye said. "You don't necessarily have to be a hot shot. Motivating others, they follow into that."
Wrye will pursue his dream of getting his doctorate in physical therapy. He hopes to go into sports therapy. That is, if he can't be out on the field himself. Though he's not sure where he'll go to school, his top picks thus far are the University of Virginia and Wabash Valley College in Mount Carmel, Ill.