Thomas Riggins lands spot on International Bowl Team

BY ALLEN A. BUCHANAN, Staff Writer

ST. PETERSBURG — Thomas Riggins IV, a junior linebacker with a 3.25 grade point average at Keswick Christian High School in St. Petersburg, is living the dream this week as one of the featured players who competed and won a spot on the Team USA International Bowl playing against Team Canada this Fri., Jan. 30 in Arlington, Texas.

Riggins’ journey to land a coveted offensive lineman position on the U.S. Under-18 National Team began in the spring of 2014 when he received a letter from the Senior Director Garrett Shea.

Thomas Riggins, sports“Wow, I couldn’t believe it,” said Riggins.

The star linebacker, who also played at Boca Ciega High School, shared what happened: “We had a series of tryouts that began in Florida and ended in Maryland. We were evaluated on our physical performance in drills and discipline. By the end of the summer, I made the team that will play Team Canada tomorrow.”

This international football event for high school athletes aspiring to eventually play at the college and professional levels will be coached and observed by top high school and college coaches from around the country. Riggins definitely has his eyes set on the future.

“I want to play college football in Georgia or even USF,” said Riggins.

What’s most striking about Riggins is his heart. He loves God, his family and football. Although that may sound like a cliché, he gives 100 percent to all three.

“I was so happy when we (Keswick) got a tractor tire to workout with and other kids wondered what I was so excited about,” said Riggins.

No stranger to tire workouts, his father had him lifting tires and running down the street with them long before the sun ever thought about rising.

“We’d start at 5 a.m. in the morning,” said papa Riggins as he recounted their grueling exercise schedule, his whole family laughing as they sat around the table at Chattaway munching on Chattaburgers.

Hard work has a way of paying off as the dividends add up. Riggins hopes to major in sports medicine by obtaining a scholarship in academics and athletics. As he takes to the football field at AT&T Stadium – the home of the Dallas Cowboys – his gridiron dreams will have only just begun.

The Weekly Challenger wishes him the best of luck!

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