JD Woods sets two new NAIA precipitation records – the Baker Orange


Lauren Alley

JD Woods Sr. broke the NAIA touchdown record playing at William Penn University where Baker won 47-21.

On Saturday, September 4, JD Woods created a new National Intercollegiate Athletics Association (NAIA) rushing touchdown record as Baker beat William Penn 47-21. Woods finished the day with four rushing touchdowns, but the most important was the first of the day. The touchdown gave Woods his 76e career touchdown, surpassing the previous record of 75 set by Dusty McGrorty of southern Oregon from 2000 to 2003.

On Saturday, September 25, Woods became the NAIA’s all-time leader in rushing yards during a career. Derek Besgrove of Walsh University set the 2000-2003 record with 5,378 rushing yards gained. Woods finished the game against Clarke University with 142 rushing yards, but only needed 24 rushing yards to break Besgrove’s record.

JD Woods has been a key player in Baker football for years. However, he always thought he would be a basketball player.

“I thought I was a basketball player until I got into high school. When I stopped growing up, I was like, “Okay, that’s not going to work,” Woods explains. “My sophomore year I quit basketball and I was like, ‘Maybe I’m good enough at football.'”

Woods made the All-State team its freshman year at Lawrence High School (LHS) and set the all-time LHS record with 3,909 yards. After high school, Woods committed to playing football at Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Missouri. Woods has redshirted his first year, which means hWe did not face other teams and retained one year of eligibility.

HWe transferred to Baker University in 2017 to be closer to home. The Wildcats were known for their winning culture and were repeat contenders for the national title.

Since their transfer to Baker, Woods and the Wildcat football team have enjoyed unwavering success. Last year marked their sixth straight title in Heart of America’s Southern Division. The team ended their 2020 regular season with a perfect 6-0 record and went 4-0 in the Heart of America South Division. In the regular season, the Wildcats scored 236 points while dropping just 35. Despite the team’s success, Woods has managed to build several strong relationships with his teammates who this is what prompted him to come back for a 5th year.

“[My teammates] were a big reason I came back to Baker. After losing to Morningside University, I was like, “I don’t want this to be my last game with these guys. We’ve built a relationship together and still have some business to do,” said Woods.

Head football coach Jason Thoren has been Woods’ head coach for three years. Thoren praises Woods, saying he admires his work ethic and perfect attendance at training. Thoren also explains that JD is in fifth grade senior, he is a great role model for young players to see someone who enjoys going out and playing football with such skill.

“JD has always been a straight and narrow guy. He never walked through my office for any behavioral reason, ”Thoren said. “JD is the type of guy that you will miss as a player, but you will miss you even more as a person because he is fun and loves to play the game.”

Off the pitch, Woods enjoys engaging with the community. In 2020, he organized a children’s shoe drive in Lawrence called Kicks 4 children. Woods and high school friend Anthony Harvey hosted a local shoe drive where they collected over 300 pairs of shoes for children in the Lawrence community. The two raised around $ 1,500 which they donated to the Boys and Girls Club in Lawrence, Kan.

“I think that’s one of the best things I’ve seen anyone do. His ability to look after the community and these children is truly remarkable. I am very impressed with what he has been able to do, ”said Thoren.

Woods is known for his drive to be successful, not only in football but in life as well.

“He’s always at the office learning football. He has already graduated and is now working on his masters. He does everything right off the pitch. He’s a great example of success, really in anything, ”Thoren said. “He has a gigantic heart. He cares about people, which I think is the greatest and best quality you can get. ”

Senior Nate Pauly has been playing with Woods at Baker since 2017. He describes Woods as caring, explaining how he bring seniors together to secure a gift for Marco Aguinaga, the Wildcats’ starting quarterback. Woods felt the Elders took too long to show their appreciation for Aguinaga and his leadership within the team.

Pauly also says Woods is extremely humble and lets his actions speak. He says Woods trains hard in the summer and winter and his hard work has paid off on the football field.

“He could show and talk about how he has all of these records, but he just lets the game speak for itself. He works in silence. I’m just happy for all the success that comes its way,“said Pauly.


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