In the process of learning about his team, first-year South Central coach Jeff Karras quickly determined something about senior Ricky Rigsby: He needs to be involved.
"Ricky's a big play guy and we don't have a lot of big play guys," Karras said. "He's a real diamond in the rough. He brings the capability to score from distance. He's quick and he's got great hands. We're working on more ways to get him the ball."
Friday against Whiting, Karras did, with explosive results. Rigsby hauled in touchdown passes of 42 and 53 yards in the Satellites' 23-20 comeback victory.
"Teams are still keying on our run and our passing game has developed," Rigsby said. "It's like they're daring us to pass and we're catching them off guard."
Maybe not for long. Rigsby has detonated on contact with the pigskin, averaging 21.5 yards for his eight receptions. He also took back a punt 45 yards for the decisive six points in the season opener against LaVille.
"This year, it's just been being more aggressive, wanting to score more," Rigsby said. "Coach Karras has really brought a lot to the table with our new offense to help us bring out our real athleticism. We're showing everyone what we're all about. We finally got together, me as well as the team, and we're actually believing in ourselves, that we can actually do something. In past years, we didn't."
Rigsby's impact hasn't been limited to offense. The S.C. speedster has 25 tackles from his safety spot -- he played cornerback last year -- and on kick/punt coverage.
"Safety's a lot of fun to play. You fly to the ball more," Rigsby said. "Special teams is the (most fun) part of the game. It's a time to hit someone. If I see a block (on a return), I pretty much just go to it and run as fast as I can. One good play can switch the whole momentum of the game around."
While his play can be contagious, Karras believes Rigsby's attitude has had a positive impact in S.C.'s 3-1 start as well.
"He's quiet. You wouldn't even know he was around, though you would in game film," Karras said. "He's very coachable. He doesn't have dumb ideas in his head about what he thinks we should be doing. He does everything you tell him to do, and he does it without question, without hesitation. That's why he's making big plays."