Wrestler of the Year

A history making Mountie on the mat

Southmont’s Wyatt Woodall’s podium finish earns him JR Wrestler of the Year


There’s no secret that Southmont’s Wyatt Woodall has had a senior season that many athletes dream of. The success this past fall in helping the Mountie football team all the way to the semi-state began what will be a year that Woodall will remember forever. That success in football translated over to the wrestling mat this winter and saw Woodall achieve his ultimate goal of hearing his name called on the podium at the IHSAA State Finals. Down in Evansville to cap off his Mountie career, Woodall placed seventh at 215 pounds.

While Woodall could’ve made his accomplishments about him, as he has his entire he thanked every single person who helped him get to where he is.

“I’m just super grateful,” Woodall said. “It wasn’t just me out there wrestling, it was a lot of hours with so many different people. There’s too many people to thank for helping me get to where I am. It feels amazing to finally have something to show for all the work that I’ve put into this sport. People don’t realize what a great coaching staff we have here for Southmont wrestling. They were the ones who help me really manifest everything and help me turn my dream into a reality.”

The accolades for Woodall extend a mile wide. He’s a four-time county, Sagamore Conference and sectional champion, two-time Regional champion, runner-up at this year’s semi-state, along with his seventh place finish this season. In his four years for the Mounties, he’s compiled a record of 120-10. Woodall got to end his career on top and for that he is the 2023-24 Journal Review Wrestler of the Year.

Southmont coach Jamie Welliever spoke on just how much a blessing it’s been to be able to have him in the wrestling room and being a leader.

“We all knew that Wyatt was a special athlete many years ago,” Welliever said. “We also knew he was a part of a special class of seniors and all of those guys grew together over the years. With how dominant he was in both of his sports, it’s great that we also got to see him turn into the leader that he was for both of those programs. He certainly made a lot of great things happen in his time here at Southmont.”

Like every high school athlete, Woodall had to overcome adversity throughout his carer. His sophomore season was cut short with a knee injury at the Regional and this football season he battled a toe injury which kept him not exactly at 100%. What stayed constant however for Woodall was his work ethic and determination to get over whatever obstacle stood in his way.

“It goes back to me just being committed to wanting to get better,” Woodall said. “I’ve lifted and done extra curricular stuff my entire life, but I really gave it 110% this summer and it showed. There’s a ton of people who helped me get through some of the adversity I’ve faced and made me not only a better athlete but a better person.”

What made Woodall’s seventh place finish at the state finals, even more special for the Mounties and for his family was that Wyatt placed in the same spot on the podium that his older brother Riley did his senior year. Wyatt’s two losses on Saturday at the state finals, came by a combined four points. He certainly saved his best wrestling for when it mattered most.

“Those two days of wrestling were probably some of the best he’s wrestled in his career,” Welliever said. “People forget on Friday he took down the No. 2 ranked kid. That’s just how this sport is and how everyone there is there for a reason. He wrestled his style on both of those days and was right there in every single match. It was special that he got to end his career with a win and it’s certainly a career that many people are going to remember.”

What makes Wyatt an even better example for the Mountie program is that he’s always been giving back. He along with so many others constantly are assisting with the youth and junior high programs. Welliever has used Wyatt and those other seniors like Marlin Williams, Ayden Dickerson and others as the example for what hard work looks like.

“That’s huge at a small school like ours to see that opportunities like wrestling at a state finals can come about if they work hard at it,” Welliever added. “For our younger kids to be able to see that first hand and them wanting to be the next Wyatt or the next Marlin or one of those great seniors, it’s a fun thing to witness. They look up to those guys and I’m so thankful that they’ve been a big help all of these years.”

What made the state finals more enjoyable for Wyatt was the fact that he got to do it with Williams. The duo got to soak in the moment down in Evansville and cap off what’s been a phenomenal run for this group of Mountie seniors.

“Over the years with different classes, you kind of see them fizzle out, but not this one,” Woodall said. “We all made it though every single one of the seasons in our sports and got to experience things we’ll all remember forever. We showed up together and stuck with it and now we’re at the end of the road and get to look back on what’s been a great four years.”

While Woodall will now be prepping for a football career at Marian, his time on the wrestling mat will not be soon forgotten. This monumental Mountie has left quite the legacy at Southmont.