Gael Woodruff tops the NCC charts in rebounds, blocked shots

Messenger photo by Britt Kudla Will Woodruff of St. Edmond shoots in the Gael gym during the regular season.

Over the past four seasons, St. Edmond’s Will Woodruff has fought through injuries to put together a memorable career on the hardwood.

Woodruff leaves SEHS as one of the most prolific rebounders in school history, recording 611 boards to go along with 450 pounds. Fifteen different times this past season, the 6-foot-6 senior went over 10 rebounds.

The Gaels reached the district semifinals this year, going 12-11. Woodruff led the North Central Conference in rebounds and blocks, and was fourth in assists. He earned second team all-league honors for his efforts.

“It meant the world to me and my teammates (being St. Edmond basketball players),” Woodruff said. “It was a blast putting on that Gael uniform for four years and going out and doing our best.”

Woodruff recorded six double-doubles this year, including a 20-rebound game vs. Algona. Woodruff also had a seven-assist performance against Manson Northwest Webster, blocked five shots in a win over Humboldt, and scored a season-high 17 points vs. Newell-Fonda.

Woodruff’s junior season was cut short with a foot injury, which also kept him from returning to the football field this past fall. He had 66.5 tackles and two sacks on defense, with nine catches for 132 yards and three scores as a tight end on offense in 2016.

“It was difficult, but I just trusted the process,” Woodruff said. “I was forced to sit out for football, and then just had to leave it all on the court for basketball.”

Along with classmates Sean Flaherty and Isaac Lursen, Woodruff took on the task of providing leadership both on and off the court to his fellow teammates.

“We all tried to be positive and have fun,” Woodruff said. “We tried our best as leaders to lead by example, but also lead vocally, talking to the younger guys and helping them out as best we could.”

Along with basketball and football, Woodruff has also been involved in golf and choir. He plans to enroll at the University of Iowa in the fall.


Vacation destination: Tokyo, Japan.

People I would like to have dinner with: Post Malone, Dennis Rodman and LeBron James.

It would surprise people that I: enjoy music.

My sports role model: my dad.

My everyday role model: my parents.

I can’t go a day without: Mountain Dew.

Nickname: Taco.

Superstition: wearing the same pair of compression shorts for every game (they do get washed).

Most heated rivalry:

Manson NW Webster.


Team: Milwaukee Bucks.

Class: Modern World History.

Movie: Into the Wild.

Magazine: Sports Illustrated.

Phone App: Snapchat.