Antonio Biggs ’22 has attended 561 Catholic Central varsity sports events, a record (unofficially) that he holds (as far as anyone knows). Over the years, his fellow students may have assumed he is in the audience merely to extend his record, but there is actually much more to the story than what meets the eye. To Biggs, it’s about supporting his brothers and the extreme commitment they make to their sport.
“Every high school in the country has the same big sports that people support, but I strongly believe that students in the lesser-known sports work their tails off just as much as the football and hockey teams do. Those other teams deserve more, they deserve to see their classmates in the audience,” said Biggs. “To see students in the stands or in the audience supporting you, it means the world to those guys. All sports are the same in terms of how much time and work you put into it. To be good at anything you need to devote time and practice to it and that’s why other sports at CC should be supported by students just as much as the well-known sports.”
Biggs’s Shamrock pride shines bright, but, before selecting a high school to attend in eighth grade, Catholic Central wasn’t initially his first choice. It wasn’t until he experienced the school spirit that he knew CC was the school for him.
“As I did more research, what made Catholic Central stand out among other schools is its combination of academic and athletic prowess,” Biggs said. “I truly believe that CC is unlike any other school – not just in the Catholic League, or the state of Michigan, but I believe, in the entire country.”
Like many students, Biggs chose to join athletics right away. He made the freshman tennis team as a rookie and ended up making varsity tennis the following year as a sophomore.
“I was shocked when I made varsity tennis, because I was so new to the sport, but it brought out the leader in me and made me want to exhibit my pride and love for my school.”
Biggs also was a member of the JV and varsity baseball teams and managed to balance participation in six clubs at CC.
The biggest learning moment for Biggs, which enabled his high school experience to come full circle, was being cut from the varsity baseball team this past year. Biggs faced a choice – to be upset and pout, or to support his team the best way he knew how – by showing up.
“I’m not the kind of guy to give up on a team or a program,” Biggs said. “I still go to school at CC and I’m still a part of the community, so I want to support and give back in any way that I can. Just being there for my teammates during the games was a way to be part of the success they carried.”
This challenge reaffirmed why he does what he does.
“Catholic Central is my home away from home,” he said. “There are days I will spend more time at CC than I will in my own house. I like doing as much as I can to showcase and experience everything that CC has to offer. I don’t pick and choose favorites. I love everybody – students, faculty, staff, coaches. I consider all of them family. I think that’s the way it should be, especially at a school like Catholic Central, where you have this great community around you always backing you up and supporting you. This is why I attend all these games and meets. It’s not about me. It’s bigger than me. It’s for my fellow classmates.”
Like for most people, COVID-19 threw a wrench in plans for the spring and fall of 2020. Biggs estimates if it were not for game cancellations during those seasons, his number of attended varsity games would be north of 750. Biggs admits that despite his commitment to CC athletics, he hasn’t been to every single game, but that’s not to say he hasn’t gone out of his way to support his CC brothers. In fact, Biggs has traveled as far as Traverse City, Michigan to show his Shamrock pride and support his classmates.
“I’m not perfect, I have missed games. If I hadn’t, you’d probably be thinking ‘what is he doing with his life,’” Biggs joked. “My favorite memory by far is when I traveled 4.5 hours to Traverse City to watch our football team. When I stepped foot in the stands and looked out on the field, I saw the guys in blue with their shamrock helmets – I didn’t care how long it took me to get there, I immediately knew I was with people I like to call family.”
That feeling is why Biggs encourages underclassmen to try their best to support all CC teams.
“Get out of your comfort zone, try something you never have before,” he said. “I guarantee there will be someone on the team who knows you, and it will make them happy to see you there.”
As Biggs nears graduation, he feels that he could not have spent the last four years in a better way. “I take pride in attending athletic events because it means the world to me to see the guys out there doing what we do best – winning. We outwork the competition. I love the thrill of watching a team compete.”
“It was no easy task to complete, but I’m happy it happened,” reflects Biggs on his record legacy he is leaving behind. “I hope future CC generations will come to understand how important it is to support your fellow brothers during high school. There’s only so much time you have in high school and going that extra mile is the best way to go about it.”
Despite the early end to his high school baseball career, Biggs received offers from four colleges to play baseball. He plans to attend and play for Hocking College in Ohio this fall. There’s also a pretty good chance you’ll see him in the stands at Hocking College, too.