WILSON, S.C. (WMBF) - Every year, high school football fans are introduced to a handful of unfamiliar players that burst on to the scene in a big way when their number is called to become household names by season's end.
“It's always good to have pplay makers guys you can count on to go out and make a play,” said Chad Eaddy, 3
year Wilson head coach. “They make all the plays you design look even better for the simple fact that they can turn a simple play into a touchdown.”
For the Wilson tigers, no other embodies a breakout player more than 6 foot 3 junior Christian Bruce.
“He first came in as a quarterback and we started working him as a receiver,” reflected Eaddy. “We had an injury his freshman year and had to pull a kid off of varsity and he moved up and he ended up breaking the school's record (285 yards receiving) that very first game. Needless to say, he's never been back to junior varsity since.”
Coaches say while Bruce is as talented as they come, in 2014 he became a complete player. In fact, Bruce owns all of Wilson's receiving records with yet another season to play and he credits his off season work as the reason.
“I lifted way more than I did my sophomore year. See I really didn't take weightlifting that serious,” said Christian Bruce. “I really worked on my speed a lot with [Olympian] Lisa Barber. I also did a lot with my quarterback over the summer, so we can get things going and that it wouldn't be a problem during the season.”
Just this season alone, he's broken the Wilson High school record for most receptions in a single season with 72 and his 18 trips to the end zone more than tripled his number of touchdowns from 2013.
“I try to not depend on any of my other teammates,” said Bruce. “I try to be the one that they're depending on. And I also try to aim to break records and set goals for myself so the next week, I can aim for something higher.”
Wilson is coming off its first post season trip in four years thanks in part to what Bruce has done on the field but it's what he's doing off the field that has coaches really excited for the future.
“He's taken more of leadership role, which is something we really needed this year and he's continued to take that role so far this in the offseasonoff seasonaddy. “So we're looking forward to him taking the team under his wing and not just leading by example but also leading by some of the things he says as well.”?