Godwin graduate and freshmen at James Madison University (JMU) Will Wood has developed a niche within JMU’s football team. As the Dukes prepare to take to the field on Saturday afternoons, their equipment must be in tip-top shape. Wood has taken on this task as the team’s equipment manager.
JMU’s football team won their conference championship and then the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), defeating Youngstown State 28-14. Wood will receive two championships rings for his role with the team.
“I help the players get prepared with their helmets and shoulder pads, set up for them for practice, and work with a positions coach as well,” said Wood.
At first Wood did not think that he would get the job as the equipment manager, but now he is hoping that he can retain the position for all four years.
In addition to his job, he sometimes gets to participate in practice, often snapping footballs back to the quarterback. Wood plays an integral part in making sure games run smoothly.
“Pre-game, we have to set up. I set up pylons and after kickoffs, I have to get the kicking tee,” said Wood.
According to Wood, he feels like he is a part of one big family, and being able to share these moments with the team was an amazing experience.
“[The team] has really helped me socially. My relationship with players and coaches has helped a lot. I have gotten to know a couple of the players, and coaches really well. They are all really nice, and that is why the team works so well because everyone loves each other like family,” said Wood.
Wood has very high expectations for the team next season.
“The team is bringing back a lot of players. It’s pretty much the same roster that we have this year. We are the favorites to go back to the National Championship, but of course getting back to that level will be hard. [However], I’m excited. The team is really good and has a bright future,” said Wood.
Wood was a captain on Godwin’s indoor and spring track teams during his senior year in 2016. He is majoring in sports and recreation management at JMU.
“Just last year, I was watching the team win the CAA and then struggle in the playoffs. This year, being a part of the team, getting to know the players, and winning felt really good,” said Wood.