Jefferson graduate Woodworth pivots, now attending Lake Erie Colllege for school, track

Sep. 13—Usually at this time of the year, Wade Woodworth can be found on the football field running the ball, blocking or making a tackle.

But this season is different

for the 2023 Jefferson


Woodworth, who played an instrumental part in the Falcons' historic run to a Division IV state semifinal last fall, was scheduled to attend Grove City College for school and to play football.

He pivoted, however, and is now attending Lake Erie College for academics and to compete in the shot put, discus and hammer throw.

"It's weird," Woodworth said of not playing football. "It's something I've done since I was 7. But it's a new chapter in my life."

Last season, he earned third-team Division IV honors at linebacker by the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association. Woodworth also gained first-team Northeast Lakes District honors.

Woodworth, who also wrestled for the Falcons, finished fifth in the shot put and eighth in the discus during the Division II Youngstown Regional track and field tournament in the spring.

His 52-8 shot-put effort just missed out on a state appearance. Norwayne's Brandt Morlock recorded a 53-6 for the fourth — and last state-qualifying — spot.

"I reached out to [Lake Erie] and sent them film," Woodworth said. "Coach [Derek] Stout is a great guy. He had a great throwing career at Walsh and was a state qualifier in high school.

"He's energetic, passionate and the type of guy I'd run through a brick wall for."

Woodworth has always been fond of competing in track.

"It was always my second favorite sports since seventh grade, so in a sense you could say it's my second love," he said.

He is already preparing for his first season with the Storm.

"We're practicing two times a day," Woodworth said. "In the morning, we run and then we lift."

The indoor season is scheduled to start in early December, and the outdoor campaign at the end of March.

"My hope is to be a national qualifier," said Woodworth, who is

interested in the business administration field. "That would be ideal."

He hasn't entirely closed the window on football, though.

When time allows, Woodworth has been helping the Falcons this season.

"I'm taking on a more supportive role," he said.

Jefferson is off to a slow start at 0-4.

"I'm just telling them to keep their heads up, and they're special," Woodworth said.

Falcons coach Brandon Hanna said Woodworth has been an invaluable resource.

"Wade showed up to some of our summer workouts, scrimmages and games and just like he did last year, he brought energy and knowledge to the sidelines," Hanna said. "He would make one heckuva coach one day. I'm proud of the great young man he's developing into."