Editor’s Note: The Messenger ran two photos with captions last week about Earl Wheeler of Manti, who threw out the first pitch at a Manti Templars baseball game. At the time we received the photos, we did not have the full story about why Wheeler and his family were at the game. We are providing that story here.
MANTI—Earl Wheeler was honored April 9 for supporting the Manti High School baseball team and other Manti sports teams for decades.
Wheeler was chosen to throw out the first pitch at a game against North Sanpete. The catcher was his great-grandson, Kelan Layton.
“He and Jean (Wheeler’s wife) have been No. 1 supporters and fans for sporting events at Manti for many, many years,” said Bryan Kiesel, varsity baseball coach at Manti. “You could always count on them being in the audience cheering the Templars onto a victory, whether at home or at an away game.”
Born in Milburn, Wheeler graduated from North Sanpete High School. He taught biology, science, agriculture science and was an administrator at Manti High School for 38 years.
He was the first wrestling coach, and coached baseball for two years on a dirt and rocky field in southwest Manti.
He has been married to his wife Jean for more than 67 years. They have three children, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The couple’s health no longer permits them to follow the Templars all over the state. But Wheeler “continues to have a real love for Manti High School and the youth of our community,” Kiesel said. “He and Jean will always be true and mighty Templars.”