Football Player of the Year

A two-way football star

Southmont’s Wyatt Woodall dominates on both sides of ball, earns JR Football Player of the Year

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Wyatt Woodall is the definition of hard-nosed worker. It’s been ingrained into who he is a person and that has translated onto the football field for the Southmont Mounties. Woodall helped lead Southmont to a 6-5 season, their first winning season since 2017 which included a sectional win over Cascade.

The stats speak for themselves for Woodall. Only in his sophomore season a lot is being asked of him. He plays on both sides of the ball for the Mounties and not only succeeds at doing so, but Woodall is a monster on the field. This season playing the all-important full-back position in the Southmont offense, Woodall rushed for 957 yards and six touchdowns. His rushing totals were good enough for second in the Sagamore Conference.

On the defensive side of the ball he’s the leader of the Mountie defense calling out plays, adjustments and anything that’s asked of him. Woodall ranked first in the conference with 107 total tackles.

What makes him so versatile and dominant on the field? It started before the Mounties even took a snap.

“It all started in the offseason and gaining some muscle and weight to be able to play both sides,” Woodall said. “I knew that I wouldn’t be able to play full-back if I was just at 180 so I bulked up to 220. Our conditioning during that time and practice just all came together.”

With the domination Woodall showed on both sides this season, he is the clear choice and has earned the 2021 Journal Review Football Player of the Year.

Southmont football coach Desson Hannum knows the dominance Woodall showed this season and spoke high praise for his sophomore who early on in the season had to play through some pain.

“He was one of the better players in the conference this season,” Hannum said. “He led us on both sides of the ball. Early in the season he had a break in his hand, but was able to play through it and still put up a ton of yards. He’s the type of player that when you need a few yards at a crucial spot, you just turn around and give him the ball.”

Hannum talked about Woodall’s ability to play both sides of the ball. Sure he has the talent to do it, but it comes down to more than that.

“People feed off of his attitude,” Hannum said. “When he’s out there on the field, there’s a certain level of aggressiveness and physicality that he brings that is infectious. With a team that only had two seniors you’re going to have a lot of your underclassmen to play both ways and Wyatt has done it both years so far and I’m sure will continue to it into the future.”

Not only was Woodall asked to be the primary back on offense, but in an offense that relies on the ground game as much as the Mounties, it’s vital to have a someone like Woodall who isn’t afraid of a getting the tough yards.

“I’m more of a run and hit you type of guy,” Woodall said of his running style. “It’s how I raised to play. Getting to play that position now in high school, it’s all fallen into place and pretty perfect for me.”

It’s no secret that when opposing teams scout Southmont, Woodall is at the top of their list. Even with being the guy that every team is trying to stop or at least contain, Woodall was able to make opposing defenses look silly. Not only did he talk about himself, but Woodall credited his teammates with making this difficult for opponents when scouting them.

“I think it comes down to the attitude you come to play with,” Woodall said. “There were a couple of games this season where I think my stats showed how my attitude was coming into the game. If opposing teams are going to stack the box, I invite that challenge. If they focus too much on me then we have guys like Carson (Chadd) who can run on the outside. We make it difficult for teams because we have so much young talent.”

Woodall who still has two more years left in his high school career has his goals set high. The Mounties played in the sectional semi-final against Lafayette Central Catholic and held their own for a half before the Knights pulled away.

With the Mounties only graduating two seniors, Woodall sees the sky as the limit for what his team can accomplish.

“I see dominance in the next two years,” Woodall said. “We can compete for the conference title and even compete for the sectional title. I see us coming together and it all playing out well for us on the field.”

With whatever lies ahead for the Mounties, the next two seasons, one thing is for certain, Woodall will be a huge focal point once again for Southmont and more big things are ahead for the two-way monster for the Mounties.

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