Ridge Spring-Monetta senior running back Travious Wigfall's goal coming into the season was to just be better than 2012.
“My mind set was to help the team in any way I could, and make sure we were better than last year.”
The Trojan's were better. They not only earned their first playoff victory in six seasons, they were also seconds away from earning a spot in the Class A Division II state championship game. Wigfall's 1,721 rushing yards and 27 touchdowns were a big part of Ridge Spring-Monetta's success. The stats are also good enough to earn Wigfall the honor of Aiken Standard Offensive Player of the Year.
Not only did Wigfall make an impact in the running game, He also hauled in 27 passes for 452 yards and 10 touchdowns. Wigfall didn't simply make several big plays, he made them in crucial moments. Head coach Heath Corley pointed to the game against Blackville-Hilda as one of the defining moments of his running back's 2013 campaign. After losing starting quarterback Reggie Preston early in the game, Wigfall carried the offense with 229 yards and four touchdowns on 18 carries. “The biggest game, because of the magnitude of losing Reggie and needing a region win, was probably the Blackville game,” Corley said. “He had some important yardage and touchdowns especially since we lost a team leader like that.”
While Wigfall was proud of all of his performances, he said the Trojans' playoff victory over Wagener-Salley on Nov. 8 was his favorite memory of the time he spent at RS-M. It wasn't just the self-fulfillment of the win that stood out to Wigfall. He cherishes the moment because of the impact it had on the RS-M as a whole.
“That was the first time I won a playoff game. The team really came together and played some good football,” Wigfall said. “It felt great because our senior class has now built a foundation for the younger guys. They know how to win, so they can continue the tradition now.”
Wigfall and the War Eagles weren't meeting for the first time in the game, he and the Trojans had played and lost to them a week earlier. The difference was not only the outcome, but how Wigfall approached the game. In the first meeting, Wigfall had big plays, like his 60-yard touchdown to tie the game in the third quarter. However, in the playoff matchup, Wigfall grinded out yardage on the ground, wearing down the Wagener-Salley defense. The ability to be effective in both ways is part of what Wagener-Salley head coach Ken Tucker said makes Wigfall such a dangerous back.
“He's a very physical runner so going into the games against them, we knew we had to get some bodies up to try and control the line of scrimmage and not let him get into the secondary,” Tucker said. “He's got a lot of ability and can hurt you in many ways. The first game we didn't feel like we did that bad of a job, but we gave up to many big plays. The second time we played him, we actually held him to fewer yards, but he would get one five-yard run after another. He really wore us down in the first half of that game.”
Tucker, a longtime coach at the high school level, said Wigfall is one of the line of pretty good backs he's seen during his time in football. “He's a great back. I don't know were I would rank him necessarily,” Tucker said. “I've seen some pretty good ones over 20 years so I'm not sure where I would rank him, but he's talented.”
Wigfall is hoping to take his winning ways to the next level. The versatile back received recruiting attention from several FCS schools, and he has narrowed his list to Presbyterian, Georgia Southern and Coastal Carolina. He said he plans to make a decision some time around national signing day.
“I plan to go somewhere I can go and help the team out in any way possible,” Wigfall said. “I want to go in and show everybody there that I can play and they can use me anywhere on the field.”
His aspirations reach further than the football field though. Wigfall is also planning to major in Business or Accounting. His academic exploits have been just as impressive as his work on the football field. Wigfall has maintained an above 3.0 gpa
“He's just a great high character kid,” Corley said about his star running back away from the field. “He's a very smart kid. He's a natural leader around school just like he is on any team he's on, which is quite a few of them between track, Basketball, football and soccer. He's kind of that kid who doesn't really say a whole bunch but leads by example and forces everybody to try to get on his level.”
The leadership is what Wigfall hopes he is remembered for after he leaves Ridge Spring-Monetta High School. He feels like it's good to be remembered for what he did on the field, but he wants others to not forget about the hard work that was put in by he and his team.
“You've got to always work hard,” he said. “Hope people see that you don't ever give up on what you're doing. Even if you make a mistake, just keep your head up and keep pushing forward.”
Eric Russell covers Sports for the Aiken Standard. He graduated from USC Aiken in 2012 with a degree in communications.
Wednesday: All-Aiken Standard Team
Today: Aiken Standard Offensive Player of the Year
Friday: Aiken Standard Defensive Player of the Year
Saturday: Aiken Standard Coach of the Year
Staff photo by Mike Adams Ridge Spring-Monetta running back Travious Wigfall accounted for more than 2,100 yards of offense from scrimmage this season and is the Aiken Standard Offensive Player of the Year.×
Travious Wigfall (4) of Ridge Spring tries to break the tackle of Kyiian Miller (10) and Ke"Aunri Holmes (3) of Wagner. Staff photo by Mike Adams.×
Staff File Photo by Mike Adams Travious Wigfall (4) of Ridge Spring-Monetta fights off the tackle of Zach Davis (50) of Fox Creek during a regular season game.×