COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Wayln Napper carries a little something with him every time he takes the field.
It’s a chip on his shoulder. The Ridge View senior wide receiver wants his defender and everyone else watching to know he’s the best on the field whenever he’s under the lights.
“Even in practice, he’s the ultimate competitor,” said Ridge View head coach Perry Parks. “As a coach, he’s definitely one of the guys on the field that you know is going to hold the other players accountable and keep them up to his standard of play on Friday nights.”
That work ethic is something that Napper shows both on and off the field. From knowing the offensive playbook from cover to cover to making sure other players are working to improve minor details in their game, Napper wants to make sure he and his receiving corps always put their best foot forward.
“I just try to be the best at everything I do,” Napper said. “It was instilled by my dad…because he made me work hard in everything that I do and nothing’s going to be handed to me. That’s what he always taught me.”
Napper ended the regular season with 62 catches for over 1100 yards and 14 touchdowns. However, he has no football scholarship offers and wasn’t named to the rosters for the Shrine Bowl or the North-South all-star games. Because of those reasons, Napper believes he has something to prove.
“What drives me is that I’m underrated,” Napper said. “It’s made me work harder and just improve my game. That’s why I’m having the senior year I’m having now.”
“You take two of the best corners in the state of South Carolina in Jaylen Mahoney at South Pointe and Cam Smith at Westwood and he had 100-yard games on both of those guys. He’s the type of player that, no matter what the game or accolade is, he’s going to go play football for the love of the game and, as a coach, you can’t put a price tag on that.”
Napper said the ultimate goal is to play football or basketball at the next level. While his game on the hardwood has turned a few heads, he understands his game on the gridiron has to be polished a little more.
“I’ve still got a lot of work to put in,” Napper said. “I won’t be satisfied until I sign to go to college. That’s when I’ll be satisfied, but right now, I’m not satisfied with the player I am. I could improve in a lot of stuff. Speed-wise, I could improve. So, we’re going to see when I can get satisfied.”
Napper was instrumental in helping the Blazers win their first ever state championship in basketball. Now, he will look to do the same for the Ridge View football team. The Blazers will begin their quest for a state title this week when they host Travelers Rest at Ridge View High School on Friday.