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Eye on the Gridiron: Wiggins plays with heart
by Reggie Ross, Staff Writer
Aug 07, 2014 | 93 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
For Carroll Academy senior Tristan Wiggins, his stature is the last thing on his mind.

The 17-year-old senior from Carrollton felt he proved what he could do on the field last year, and he hopes to repeat that success this season.

Wiggins is only about 5’7 (maybe 5’8) but his heart is big, and his determination reminds me of the first time I saw him, back in the days when the Rebels played Class AA ball.

Wiggins, who was a sophomore at the time, was seeing play at cornerback. After a Rebel interception, Wiggins tucked in to block the opposing team, and he was leveled by an opposing player. I didn’t think Wiggins would see the rest of the game, but after a sequence, he took the field in the home white jersey that was spotted with blood. I always remembered that about him and thought, “This kid is a tough one.”

Last year’s Rebels came out of nowhere to claim a district title.

The Rebels posted a 4-7 record on the season, but managed to be the only area team to win a district title and make the playoffs.

The Rebels saw their season come to an end in the first round of the Class A playoffs in a 17-14 loss to Riverdale, the Louisiana team. It was the first district title for the Rebels in 15 years.

Carroll Academy moved down to a Class A ball last season and competed against Immanuel Christian, Greenville Christian School, Deer Creek, and Strider Academy in 2-A play.

In 2013, Wiggins got the start at cornerback for the Rebels and played some slot receiver. He was second in tackles among defensive backs for the Rebels. For him, it’s all about improvement, in all aspects.

“We’re a good team,” Wiggins said. “So to play my part on this team, I want to get better. I’m healthy, and this entire team wants to go further than we did a season ago.”

Wiggins said he worked with CA assistant coach and former Rebel standout Ty Gregg on improving his game.

“I want to be the leader that leads this team,” Wiggins said. “I eat, sleep and breath this game, and there are many others that do, too. “

Wiggins said he believes Coach Jimmy McGregor was the perfect fit for the team with his energetic style.

“He knows a little something about the game,” Wiggins said. “We’re the district champs, and we want to get back to those days when people were afraid to play Carroll.”

Wiggins is the son of Tyler and Sherry Murphy of Carrollton.

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