Eli Wilson takes home the Pigskin Award

Jan 26, 2024 at 10:34 pm by Danny Brewer

Danny Brewer presents the Pigskin to Eli Wilson

  High school football in Rutherford County has been something special for many, many moons. In an effort to recognize this excellence on the gridiron, The Pigskin Award was created back in 1994. A star-studded cast of performers have earned some “Skin over the years and the 2023 recipient is one that fits right into the cast of past winners.

  Eli Wilson of Middle Tennessee Christian school is the 2023 Pigskin Award winner after turning in perhaps the greatest single season in Cougar football history. As a senior running back, Wilson put up eye-popping numbers while leading Middle Tennessee Christian to their first ever Division II Class A state championship. Amassing 2,131 yards on 156 carries and finding paydirt an incredible 34 times, Eli Wilson was nothing short of spectacular in 2023. For those mathematicians, that breaks down to an average of 13.7 yards per carry for this Cougar.

  “Eli Wilson is the kind of kid you need to win football games”, says MTCS head football coach Christian Peterson.” We often joked in our coach’s meetings about just giving it to number 22 and let him make us look smarter. The kid was a real lightning bolt on Friday nights for us.”

  Wilson was indeed a bolt from the sky on Friday nights, but his amazing numbers were a result of a lot of hard work on the other days of the week. Leading by example, this dedicated young man was a leader for the football program in every sense of the word. And to make things even better, when the stage got bigger, so did he. In the 28-13 win over Friendship Christian in the BlueCross Bowl, Wilson raced for 190 yards on 17 carries with one jaunt to paydirt. And for good measure, he returned a fumble 29 yards for another touchdown.

  “Eli is a very tough kid that is the ultimate competitor”, says Peterson. “The bigger the stage, the better he played. I absolutely believed he could have this type of season because he has always put the work in and just has a special talent about him.”

  Wilson’s incredible performance throughout the season was indeed special. Lots of hard work under the guiding hand of his head coach was important. But it was perhaps a very simple mindset that allowed him to achieve greatness week in and week out.

  “Our approach as a team was simply we want to be 1-0 this week”, says Wilson. “That was the goal of everyone throughout the year. We were not concerned with anything else and I think that helped us maintain our focus.”

  For a kid that has grown up at Middle Tennessee Christion, this was a magical season. Ending his high school career with a state championship and being recognizing with an award like the Pigskin has made this a year to remember.

  “I am very proud of what this group has accomplished”, says Wilson. “We all worked very hard for a long time. To receive this recognition means a lot to me and I am truly honored.”

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