Wood enjoyed his three-sport career at Folsom High

By: Matt Long Telegraph Sports Editor
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Graduation ceremonies at Folsom High on May 31 brought an end to Alex Wood?s high school years. When Wood reflects upon his time at Folsom High years from now, he will have a lot of memories to choose from, as not only did he fulfill all the graduation requirements academically, but he also competed athletically year round as a Bulldog, playing football, wrestling and baseball all four years. Wood earned 10 varsity letters at Folsom High, four in wrestling and three each as a football and baseball player. There aren?t many three-spot athletes any more and taken a step further, there aren?t many that excel in all three sports like Wood did. On the football field, Wood played on the varsity team three years, including the state championship team in 2010, was a team captain his senior year and an all-Delta River League player and a member of the all-Metro team. Wood led the Delta River League with 154 tackles as a senior and ended his three-year varsity career with 328 tackles. On the mat, Wood served as captain for two years, was a three-time league champion and Masters qualifier and a state qualifier his senior year. On the baseball diamond, Wood was the freshman team?s MVP in 2009 and on the varsity team as a sophomore, he was second on the team with a .353 batting average, while getting significant playing time in his junior and seniors seasons. ?Nowadays, unfortunately, being a three-sport athlete is more and more rare,? Folsom wrestling coach Mike Collier said. ?To be really good at three sports is pretty rare and Alex was a good example of that. He?s a well-rounded athlete who was good at all three sports and if he would have focused on just one sport he would have been even better. He managed playing three sports pretty well and if you look at his academics, he really took that strong performance to four arenas.? Wood?s football coach, Kris Richardson, concurred with Collier. ?With many student-athletes concentrating on one sport, a three-sport athlete like Alex is something you don?t see often,? Richardson said. ?Alex had a different mentality than most other athletes. He enjoyed all three sports and he played all three. He?s a hard-working, committed guy and he pulled it off. He has a drive to be successful.? Playing sports is something Wood has always done since he was young. He started playing all the sports when he was old enough to sign up and just kept competing. ?I played as many sports as I could since I was 4,? Wood said. ?I was always playing three or four sports at a time.? Things were pretty easy for Wood his freshman year, but he said he had to pick it up a notch during his sophomore year. ?When I got to my sophomore year and was playing varsity football and baseball to go along with wrestling, things just got a lot more competitive and more difficult,? Wood said. ?Playing those sports, though, helped me keep my grades up because I knew I needed my grades to be able to play.? Wood was equally proficient in the classroom, finishing with a 3.5 grade-point-average. While he took his athletics seriously, he also focused hard and took pride in his school work.? ?I knew I had to keep my grades up to be able to play sports,? Wood said. ?I took pride in working hard in the classroom because in the end that?s what?s important.? Wood admitted that football is his favorite sport and also the sport at which he?s best at. He will continue to play football in college too, as he earned an athletic scholarship to attend South Dakota School of Mines in Rapid City, where he will be a linebacker. He plans to study mechanical engineering. Being a member of the state championship football team in 2010 was Wood?s biggest high school thrill from a team perspective. He said his biggest individual thrill was qualifying for the state wrestling tournament as a senior. ?If I had to do it all over again I would do the same thing,? Wood said. ?I remember my dad telling me that I would never get the high school experience again so I did what I could to get the most out of it. By playing three sports I learned the focus and determination it takes to be a competitive athlete.? While Wood?s days of wrestling and playing baseball competitively are over, he?s not a one-sport athlete. Wood said he might pick up the javelin and try his hand at that once he gets to South Dakota. ?I?ve never done it, but have seen it done,? Wood said. ?I know you run fast and then throw and I can run and I can throw a baseball pretty far so we?ll see how it goes.?