Wiggins honored at EGHS; Herd soccer nears playoffsJan 29, 2024 06:05AM ● By John Hull, Citizen Sports Editor
Photo by John Hull
Angad Singh tries to get off a shot for Elk Grove in its 1-0 win over Cosumnes Oaks Jan 26. Singh has 15 goals in 17 games thus far this season.
Elk Grove (MPG) – Elk Grove High School spent halftime of its boys basketball game Jan. 27 to honor one of its most likeable alumnus, Kenny Wiggins. The 6-8, now 270-pounder, was remembered for his 11 seasons in the National Football League. The school encased his No. 79 San Diego Chargers jersey and hung it on the south wall of the Cartwright Gym, alongside those of Lance Briggs (Chicago Bears), Adrian Ross (Cincinnati Bengals), Bill Cartwright (Bulls, Knicks and Herd basketball) and Stephanie Lopez (Olympic soccer).
“It’s been a dream ever since sitting in the corner of the Cartwright (Gym) when Lance and Adrian got their jerseys retired,” Wiggins said. “I was, like, ‘I want to be there one day.’”
Wiggins signed an undrafted free agent contract out of Fresno State in 2012
with the 49ers. He was on the practice squad that season, the year San Francisco went to the Super Bowl. Next season he was on the Baltimore Ravens’ practice squad. In 2014, while on the then-San Diego Chargers practice squad he had his chance and suited up for a game. The next year, 2015, Wiggins placed in all 15 games and started eight times at guard. He played tackle in 2016 and in in 2017 was a starting guard for the Chargers all 16 games. In 2018 he signed as a free agent with Detroit and played three seasons starting in 13 games. He finished his career in 2021 with the New York Giants.
Ironically, Wiggins was too big a kid to play Jr. Herd football. In those days there was a maximum weight limit in the youth football leagues.
“Maybe that helped me a little bit and kept some miles off the whole body,” he quipped.
Wiggins, his wife Jenn and their two boys live on five acres in the Fresno area and owns a few small businesses.
Elk Grove principal Rudy Ortega, Jr., was Wiggins basketball coach in 2006 and said he has plans to honor more Herd alumni very soon, particularly the guys who played or are still playing Major League Baseball.
Herd soccer eyes playoffs
For the first time in roughly 15 years, the boys soccer team at Elk Grove High School is locked into a spot in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs. That’s because of the energy and motivation of the Herd’s second-year head coach Johnny Cuatecontzi.
He’s an Elk Grove alumnus and excited with the program which has grown from barely enough to field a varsity squad to a junior varsity and varsity with around 20 players each.
“I’ve brought a new culture we did not have,” Cuatecontzi said following the Herd’s 1-0 shutout over Cosumnes Oaks on Jan. 26.
It showed in the enthusiasm and steady play that night when for just about the entire second half Elk Grove was pressuring the Wolfpack keeping the ball in the Cosumnes Oaks half of the field.
“I still play myself,” Cuatecontzi said. “And, I show the boys here’s the flow (of the game). Trust me. I am your guide.”
Senior Angad Singh has grasped this vision in a big way. He leads the Delta League with 14 goals. Singh has inked a national letter of intent to play collegiately at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania.
“(Bucknell coach David Brandt) has inspired me,” Singh said, looking ahead to next year.
But, for now he’s wanting to help the Herd lock in a high seed in the post-season.
“This team has grown together,” Singh said. “We have shown we can compete.”
The Herd is now 8-4-5 with a week to go in the regular season which includes another game against Jesuit, the region’s top soccer squad.
“We set three goals,” he added. “Our goal differential is always plus, we finish in the top three of the Delta League and we make the playoffs.”
That’s happening this winter. Elk Grove has 13 goals in league play and has allowed 11, they are 4-2-4 and in second place which is a playoff spot. Jesuit leads the Delta with a perfect 10-0 mark. They are 16-0-1 overall. Elk Grove will host the Marauders on Feb. 2.
Monterey Trail’s Brandon Gibson set a new school single game scoring record of 52 points eclipsing Andre Crump’s previous record of 50 as he led the Mustangs to a 98-50 win over River City Jan. 26.
Teammate Kentrell Kelly surpassed 1,000 career points by scoring 28 on Jan. 26 in Monterey Trail’s romp over McClatchy.
At Bradshaw Christian senior Josh O’Neal broke his school’s single scoring record Jan. 25 by scoring 43 points in the Pride’s 95-44 romp over Galt.