By Zach Carter
In the trenches of the gridiron, one player seeks to wreak havoc on the opposing team’s quarterback. While he sometimes doesn’t get much attention, he never fails to make his presence known on the field.
In mid-December, with students at home in a month-long period of eLearning, an announcement was made that may easily have been overlooked.
The Indiana All-State football teams were chosen.
Delta High School had two players make the 4A All-State team this season. One was senior quarterback Brady Hunt, who has signed with Ball State University for football and also is a 1,000-point scorer in basketball.
The other, a defensive monster who has made the All-State team in back-to-back years, was defensive end Riley Woodin.
“I think I had a pretty good year overall, but I wish I could have done more,” says Woodin, a 6-foot-1 senior.
Woodin has played multiple positions. His freshman year, he played tight end for junior varsity. Then for varsity he switched to tackle and defensive end, which he did for the rest of his career.
“One of the best linemen I have ever coached,” head coach Chris Overholt says. “‘Probably the best d-lineman I have ever coached.”
Woodin finished his senior season with 48 solo tackles and 14.5 sacks. He completed his high school football career with 74 solo tackles and 21.5 sacks.
He ended his time as an Eagle ranked No. 1 in school history for career tackles for loss (47).
He also finishes No. 4 in school history for career sacks (21.5).
One part of Woodin’s game that helped was his commitment to the weight room.
Overholt adds that Woodin “loved the weight room” and said that his freshman year was his “biggest and strongest year” for improving.
Riley’s records in the weight room include bench 300 pounds, squat 390 and clean 235.
During the pandemic, Woodin spent his time preparing for his senior season. Throughout the quarantine, he worked out in a friend’s barn and watched films from last season. He also did drills to improve his speed and explosiveness.
In addition to his physical prowess, Woodin was a good teammate.
“He is not a big rah-rah guy, but he goes out there and physically dominates his opponents,” Overholt says. “He takes his time to make sure the younger guys are doing things the right way.”
Woodin credits his parents, Bob and Stacey, for his success.
“They have always supported me no matter what and have always encouraged me to go out and get that extra work in,” he says. ‘“I will always appreciate them for all they have done for me in my life, not just football but everything. I couldn’t have asked for better parents.”
Riley’s teammates speak highly of him.
Senior Logan Manor says, “He has been one of my best friends for a while. I have seen his work ethic throughout the years, and he had a really good season.”
Another teammate, senior Logan Drown, says that it was not a surprise that Woodin had the type of season that he did. During Woodin’s junior year, he had an injury that kept him out of a few games. But he still was chosen to the 4A Junior All-State team.
Besides football, Woodin plays basketball for the Eagles. He credits his football training for his success in basketball.
“It has made me a much better basketball player just because of my style of play,” he says. “‘I can’t shoot very well and I’m not very tall, but I am usually much stronger than the people we play against due to always being in the weight room for football. This has made me a much better rebounder and a better defender.”
Woodin’s pre-game routines are different between the two sports. In football he starts by listening to Frank Sinatra and follows that with Mike Meyer’s “Kill Mode.” For basketball, it’s a little different.
“It is a little similar, but I try not to get as hype playing basketball because it is a much different sport than football from the physicality aspect,” he says. “‘In basketball you can’t go out and take somebody’s head off and get applauded for it like you can in football.”
For Woodin, his college decision is still open. He has been contacted by virtually every NCAA Division II and Division III school and NAIA school in Indiana. Another possible option is walking on at Ball State.
Coach Overholt says Woodin could do multiple things.
“I think he could play a number of different things like h-back or fullback,” Overholt says. “‘He could play defensive end. He could put on weight and have a very quick first step as a nose guard. He could lose weight and play linebacker.”
Whatever Woodin decides with his future, he will be remembered for making plays for the Eagles.