Oklahoma Sooner Jake Woodley is Hungry for More in Fargo

NORMAN, OK – Jake Woodley departed Pennsylvania last week and headed south for Norman, Oklahoma – a place he will call home for the foreseeable future. The newly minted Sooner is focused on the next chapter of his life.

A 2-time PIAA State Champion Jake represented Team PA at the Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic, was named a Wrestling USA All-American, and graduated from North Allegheny High School. All the boxes are checked. That is except one thing.

Jake burst onto the scene in July 2014 when he placed seventh at the Cadet Freestyle Nationals in Fargo, ND after his rookie season with the North Allegheny Tigers. Woodley has since formed a special connection with Fargo.

In 2015 Jake had his best career finish in Fargo when he placed fourth at 170 lbs. in the Cadet Freestyle Nationals. However in 2016 Woodley, moving into the Junior Division at 182 lbs., fell to eventual National Champion Owen Webster (3-0) in the quarterfinals. Jake won his next match in the consolations to secure his third straight All-American finish in Fargo but was forced to injury default out with a foot injury, thus earning an eighth place finish. 

So why would Woodley, who has accomplished so much thus far, return to Fargo?

“I want to win it and coach Roselli was all for it. Last year I was sitting in the bleachers icing my foot watching the finals and that made me want to come back in 2017.”

Most wrestlers, like Jake once was, are trying to put their names on college coaches’ rader. “I have a lot less pressure this year. I’m already at school and I’m not trying to impress any coaches. I’m just going out to wrestle and win.”

So now Jake is taking it all in, while training hard, for his final go around in the Fargodome. “It was always a goal of mine to wrestle Division 1 and win States, so it’s pretty surreal. It’s not guaranteed at all, you’ve got to work to get there.” 

While Jake is certainly a favorite to compete for the title, he will have a major hurdle by the name of Jacob Warner. Like Woodley the 3-time Illinois State Champion Warner is already committed to compete for the Iowa Hawkeyes. Warner went (174-10) in four seasons competing for Washington Community High School in Illinois and in 2016 was a UWW Cadet World Bronze Medalist at 85 kg. The pair met a few months ago in the prestigious Pittsburgh Wrestling Classic with Warner coming away with a (5-3) victory over Woodley.

Don’t be surprised if there two lock horns again in Fargo as both appear to be the frontrunners at 195 lbs.

Regardless of where he ends up it should be a fun ride for Team Pennsylvania with Woodley at the helm.

“Hopefully we win it again this year, have a few Champions, that would be really exciting.”

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