TOXEY, Ala. (WTOK) The name Wizzie is one you probably wouldn’t find on a keychain in a gift shop. For South Choctaw Academy’s Wizzie Miller, the name stuck after her younger brother was unable to pronounce her real name Lizzie growing up.
It’s a unique name; and it’s fitting for a unique individual who has been able to balance three sports in high school while remaining first in her graduating class.
“It’s definitely helped me become the person I am today – especially with time management," Wizzie explained. "Playing three sports, going from one to the next, and then still having school work on top of that sometimes can feel like a lot but I’ve learned how to set a certain time away for school and also for those extra practice hours for cheer, basketball and softball.”
Wizzie only began playing basketball in the ninth grade, but she couldn’t have joined the program at a better time. The Lady Rebels won their first state championship since 2007 her junior season after falling short in previous years.
“For the past couple years we’ve made it to the AISA Final Four or the championship game and we’ve always come up short," Wizzie said. "Just to have that loss and know what it feels like, we didn’t want to feel that again. We put in hours of practice and hard work and it finally all paid off.”
While she began playing basketball later in life, Wizzie has been playing softball since she could hit one off a tee.
The Lady Rebels softball team came close to winning a state title last season, finishing as runner-ups in AISA AA. Wizzie was a standout catcher and first baseman for the team, winning AISA Player of the Year last season and while also making the Class AA All-Tournament Team.
“My dad was really into sports and I think he pushed me to start playing softball and I just fell in love with it...everything about it," Wizzie said. "It’s honestly made me the person I am today.”
Softball coach Holly Bedwell shared what makes Wizzie stand out from her teammates.
“She’s very competitive and she’s a hard worker. If she had a bad practice or a bad game and she didn’t hit well, you could guarantee that she was going home that night and would get on the tee and practice until she got it right," Coach Bedwell explained. "She just had that desire to improve and get better and she never stopped until she got it.”
Her hard work is also displayed in the classroom where she’s accumulated a 4.3 GPA. She shared her favorite subject is English because she had a great teacher who helped improve her ACT score to a 25.
While Wizzie may not have been able to have a picture perfect ending to her senior year, she reflected on her time at South Choctaw Academy and what she loved most about being a Rebel.
“One reason is because we’re so family oriented. You don’t walk down the hallway and see somebody you don’t know," Wizzie said. "I think that’s one thing I’m going to miss, especially with going to a bigger college. I’m not going to see everybody I know and it’s going to be different. I’m really going to miss that family atmosphere here.”
Wizzie will be attending the University of Alabama in the fall. She plans to study physical therapy or something else in the medical field.