Woolsey impacts LV athletics, life

"I broke my thumb," said junior receiver Andrew Woolsey about his injury. Woolsey became the defender after a Menlo interception jamming his thumb while making a tackle. He is a history major and political science minor and plans to use his degree to teach and coach high school. Woolsey is looking forward to the La Verne's baseball season. / photo by Michael P. Bailey
“I broke my thumb,” said junior receiver Andrew Woolsey about his injury. Woolsey became the defender after a Menlo interception jamming his thumb while making a tackle. He is a history major and political science minor and plans to use his degree to teach and coach high school. Woolsey is looking forward to the La Verne’s baseball season. / photo by Michael P. Bailey

by Simon W. Bouie
Staff Writer

Appearing daily on the bench just outside of the student center is a tenacious junior wide receiver and baseball player who can always be seen surrounded by his adoring masses with a smile on his face, junior Andrew Woolsey.

People have often questioned Woolsey’s ability to play football. Despite the fact that he is no Gary Coleman, Woolsey will never be mistaken for Ed “Too-Tall” Jones.

Football coach Don Morel said, “People have felt that he was an overachiever and he is not, he is a good football player and one of the better receivers that we have had at La Verne.”

“I was not always the biggest or strongest or the best, but I worked hard,” said Woolsey.

It is this perseverance that has enabled Woolsey to become one of the most consistent and productive wide receivers on the ULV football team. This season Woolsey led La Verne in total catches with 39, yards receiving with 518, yards per catch at 13.3 and touchdowns with six.

Woolsey, who was also the starting center fielder for the baseball team last year, said that his father had a major role in creating his love for football.

“I remember when I was young, we would go and toss the football around every day,” he said.

Football is not just a Saturday afternoon exercise to Woolsey; he said he thinks the game has many similarities to life.

“I love the feeling, the rush and the constant check and balance of the game. I think it relates to life because it constantly poses you with challenges that you must try to overcome,” said Woolsey.

This year, the ULV football team had hopes of winning a SCIAC championship, however, the season progressed in a manner in which that goal could not be realized.

Yet in spite of the disappointments on the field, Woolsey still sees success in the season.

“The whole season has been a bunch of great guys that play hard on and off the field. We have played as a complete unit all year. As far as the seniors are concerned, they have no reason to be ashamed of their season,” he said.

Woolsey strives to leave his legacy more off the field than on it.

It is the lessons both on and off the field that gives this cerebral young history major the desire to become a high school teacher and coach. Woolsey said, “I think that teaching is great because it allows you to share your knowledge with others. I like helping people, it is very rewarding.”

The quest for self improvement and the yearning to accomplish his goals are a tribute to Woolsey’s parents, who, he said, are the major driving forces in his life.

“My family and school are the most important things in my life right now,” he said.

However, on top of family and school, Woolsey found something else in his life to be equally important and sacred.

“Maybe I sometimes don’t show it, but God is very sacred to me and my religion drives me to be a better person. When I leave this school, I want people to remember me by good things and positive things.”

The relationships with his friends and the camaraderie with his teammates that playing sports brings are the things that make Woolsey most happy.

Among those friends and teammates who mean a lot to Woolsey, there is one that he has immense respect for.

“If there is anybody on this campus who I have a lot of admiration for it’s Devin Carillo. He deals with a lot of real life situations that I have not. He has a little daughter and he works all day; and then he goes to school and plays football; and then he goes home to see his daughter. He has a lot of things that he has to deal with and to do, but he does them regardless of the sacrifices that he must make.”

Woolsey lives by a simple, yet profound philosophy.

“Take each day one day at a time. Don’t try to do too much or too little. If you can, try to accomplish something everyday it will make you a better person,” he said.

It is his humility and hunger to improve both himself and others with knowledge that makes Woolsey so important to not only the football and baseball teams, but it also makes him an MVP on the La Verne campus and in the community.

Perhaps Morel summarizes this student athlete best; “He is a great guy. He is a model citizen, and he does good in the class. He is a leader by example, especially in the area of work ethic.”

Work ethic is important for Woolsey now that the football season is over.

In the Leopards’ final game against Menlo, Woolsey tore ligaments in his right thumb. It is not yet certain how fast Woolsey will heal and how this will affect his baseball season.

However, if one knows Woolsey, he knows that this setback will only be one in a long list of lessons that life teaches and tests one’s will. It is Woolsey’s perseverance and commitment to improvement that will enable him to pass this test with flying colors.

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