orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Sports Headlines

November 28, 2012

Wagner a key cog for Lions

ORANGE — When you first meet C.J. Wagner,  you realize that you have met a young gentleman.

He is a polite, articulate young man.

Wagner is one of those players that is confident in who he is, his ability, his team and has a definite plan for his future away from the gridiron. A very good player, he knows that there is life away from football.

Wagner is a very good broken field runner; he can evade tacklers and make it look like it is no big deal, just a day at the office.

Basketball is his favorite sport and he brings the agility from the basketball court to the football field. Last season he set a TAPPS record by scoring 12 touchdowns in one game.

 In track he competes in four events, two relays and two sprints. His speed is a big part of his football prowess. Even more impressive than his talent is his honesty and modesty.

“There is no way I could do what I do on the field without the rest of my team. They hand me the ball, they throw me the ball and the whole team does a lot of blocking for me,” said Wagner. “We all play together, there is no ‘I’ in team, I had better stats last year, and I’m fine with that, last year we played as a team, but this year we are playing better as a team.”

Wagner started playing football in Little League, until he transferred to Community Christian when he started eighth grade. CCS had no football program at that time, so he did not play until the program started in 2011, his junior year. He was one of nine players on last year’s team. They literally started with nothing and with a tremendous amount of support from the school, parents, and the community built a successful program.

This year the team has grown to 19 on the roster, their record is 10-2 and on Saturday they will play the number one team in their division for a spot in the final game. That is a remarkable accomplishment for a young team in only their second year.

The Lions will face Seguin Lifegate Christian at 2 p.m. at Bellville Faith Academy.

“We lost two games this season, but I feel like that has helped us. I think it gave us a good mindset as a team, sort of showed us that we can’t let things go, we need to keep playing as hard as we can,” said Wagner. “We have to go on the field ready to play and not slow down. This game is going to be a tough game, but we are in good condition and want to win. I’m not worried about their ranking, We are a good team too.”

Wagner likes the speed of six-man play and said he did not have much trouble adjusting to six-man playing after playing 11-man ball.

“I like the way the game goes, I can reverse and get away and have good vision,” said Wagner. “I can see things coming and usually figure out a way to get around the ones coming at me. There are not as many people coming at me as in 11-man ball and it is easier to get away sometimes. I think if I went back to 11-man ball that playing six-man would help me. I’ve got good vision and could use what I’ve learned here to play 11-man.”

After he graduates, he plans to study graphic arts and advertising. There are some scouts that have looked him over on the basketball court, and he is open to any offers for either basketball or football. His preference would be a school in the Houston area.

“I would like to either go to University of Houston or Texas Southern,” said Wagner. “I have some relatives in the Houston area, plus it is not that far from home. But I would consider any offer anywhere.

Wagner and his teammate Alex Parrish have been selected to play in the TAPPS Six Man All Star game to be played on Dec. 15.

He has two older brothers and is the son of Charles and Susie Wagner, of Orange. Observing his character and talking to him it is evident that he learned a lot at home. After the first playoff game at their home field, Susie Wagner  was heard to say, “They really played good as a team.”

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