KEYSER - Keyser’s Don Woodworth, at 6’1" and 255 pounds, was a four-year starter for the Golden Tornado and dominated on both the offensive and defensive sides of the line.

By Chapin Jewell

Tribune Correspondent

KEYSER - Keyser’s Don Woodworth, at 6’1" and 255 pounds, was a four-year starter for the Golden Tornado and dominated on both the offensive and defensive sides of the line.

Woodworth, in addition to being named All-PVC, earned first team All-State honors his senior season, and captained the All-State second team list as a junior.

Woodworth also earned the John B. "Jack" Gilmore Area Lineman of the Year Award after his senior season and was named to the roster of the North-South All-Star football game.

The prospect of getting to play one more game representing Keyser High School in the North-South game is thrilling for Woodworth, as is the chance to play again alongside teammate Jackson Biser.

"It’s great to have another chance to put on a Keyser helmet again and I like that Jackson (Biser) and I will be playing together as well," he said.

It turns out the North-South game will by no means be the last time Woodworth will have a chance to play alongside Biser. It’s already been announced that Jackson Biser is continuing his football career at Division II Frostburg State University. After careful consideration, Don Woodworth has signed with Frostburg to continue his football and academic careers as a Bobcat as well.

If you want to know what kind of mark Don left on the Keyser High football program as a four-year starter, you can find the answer in the words of former Golden Tornado head coach Sean Biser, upon Woodworth being selected as the area lineman of the year.

"When you think of a football player, he’s the one you think of. He’s one of the hardest working kids I’ve ever coached. He’s the strongest kid in our weight room and just a great example for our football program," Biser stated. "When we talk to the eighth graders coming up, we point to him and say that’s the kid you need to emulate."

As an offensive lineman, Woodworth helped lead the charge on an offensive unit that scored 573 points in 12 games his senior season, an average of 47.8 points per game. The vast majority of those points and yards amassed came on the ground with the Black and Gold’s punishing rushing attack.

As a defensive lineman, Woodworth helped lead the way for a staunch Golden Tornado defense that gave up only 92 points in 12 games, an average of 7.7 points per game, including eight shutouts.

Statistically, Woodworth excelled in his senior season with two fumble recoveries on three forced fumbles, 77 total tackles including 33 solo and 24 assisted, with 14 for a loss and six sacks. In addition, against Mountain Ridge in game 9, Don scored a touchdown on a 35-yard fumble return.

About that touchdown, Woodworth said, "I just happened to be at the right place at the right time. Really the quarterback and running back had a bad exchange and it bounced out of the running back’s hands right into mine. It was a great feeling being a lineman and always wanting to score but never having the chance to do so. It’s a memory I’ll never forget."

It’s just one memory, but perhaps the favorite individual one for a player that played way more varsity football than most as a four-year starter. Woodworth played a ton of varsity football and became very close to his teammates, however, his football career got started later than most.

"I started playing football in the eighth grade. There have been so many great memories with the other guys and coaches who have become my second family," Don explained.

"The Keyser football program has prepared me in almost every way possible. All the coaches from Keyser push the team to our limits and make us work hard to achieve our goals," Don stated.

In the same way the Golden Tornado football program has prepared Don for the rigors of college football, Woodworth credits an academic experience at Keyser High School that challenged him as proper preparation for the rigors of college academia, "Keyser High has challenged me with tough and demanding expectations. I tried to take the classes that would better me and prepare me for college."

While Woodworth feels prepared for academic life at Frostburg, he understands he needs to continue to work hard in the off season to prepare himself for football at the collegiate level.

"To prepare I’ve been lifting weights and doing some agility work to get better, with advice from coaches of course to ensure the best outcomes," Woodworth explained.

Don has exhibited exceptional drive and commitment throughout his four-year playing career at Keyser, allowing him an abundance of playing time and to be tops in the weight room. While the drive and commitment comes from within himself, Don has enjoyed a tremendous support system that will carry with him to Frostburg.

"My biggest supporters have been my family, friends and coaches. They have pushed me to be my best through everything I do," Woodworth explains.

It’s an exciting time to join Frostburg’s skyrocketing football program. After years of competing at the Division III level, the Bobcats made the jump to Division II last season. It was expected there might be growing pains. If there were, they were certainly not evident as Frostburg exceeded all expectations, finishing 8-3 overall and 7-3 in the conference, placing them high in the standings.

"I have been recruited for defense and will be playing defensive tackle or nose guard. I picked Frostburg because they have a good program and a football mindset, much like the one I’m used to at Keyser. Also, they had the major I wanted," Woodworth stated.

Frostburg State head coach DeLane Fitzgerald is excited to welcome Woodworth into the Bobcats’ football program, "Don’s personality fits our football program, blue collar all the way."

According to Fitzgerald, "Don is going to come in and compete at the defensive tackle position. We have been impressed with Don’s work ethic and toughness over the entire recruiting period. Don’s going to grow bigger and stronger in college and grow into a very good player in the Mountain East Conference."

Don Woodworth excelled in the Keyser football program because his blue collar worth ethic enabled him to make big gains in the weight room and on the playing field year after year. As he prepares for the next step in his football journey, that hard work continues and no doubt will as he joins Frostburg State’s football program. Expect big gains from Don at FSU as well.