The Woodward Academy athletic program officially began in 2003 when an extracurricular strong man competition between dorms was turned into a structured weight lifting club. Two years later (’05), three powerlifters traveled to Texas where they competed in the USAPL High School National Championships for the first time and Woodward Academy crowned it first National Champion. The impact of that accomplishment had a ripple effect across campus that is still being felt today.

Organized athletics was a dream for a lot of staff, but questions of whether it was feasible or not were persistent. Who would they compete against? Where would they play? Can a school for juvenile delinquents play high school athletics against public high schools? The answer to that question is an overwhelming yes and the Knights have had great results competing in high school athletics.

For many, playing on a Woodward Academy team marks the first time participating in an organized sport. But not only do the Knights compete, they excel. Every sport has had stand out performances and students at Woodward Academy have qualified for state, received post-season accolades, and even been crowned champions. Even more important than winning is how athletics has helped showcase what Woodward Academy is as a school. Over the past 10 years, the coaching staff have put sportsmanship first and the players have responded. Every year, officials and fans from opposing schools reach out to express how impressed they are with the various Woodward Academy teams. Today, the Knights are not viewed as a school for delinquent males, but as a school with a powerhouse athletic program with the most polite and respectful athletes on the field.

Athletic Accomplishments

POWERLIFTING – 11 team USAPL National Championships – 24 individual USAPL National Champions – Deddrick Johnson a 2-time National Champion (’12, ‘13) – Julious Walker breaks 5 American Records and Runner Up World Champion at the IPF Sub-Junior World Championships (’15) – 126 lifters competed at the USAPL High School National Championships – BASKETBALL – State Tournament Qualifiers (’15) – 4 All-State players – Dallas Jackson leads state in rebounds (’13) – CROSS COUNTRY – Team state qualifiers (’06, ‘07, ’12, ‘15, ’17, ’18) – WCAC Champions (’12, ’17) – Juanito Hernandez individual conference champion (’12) – FOOTBALL – State Playoff Qualifiers (’12) – 31 players selected for All-District Teams – TRACK & FIELD – Ronnie Henderson 200 m State Champion (’07) – Darius Scott-Crayton 110 Hurdles State Champion (’14) – 2 Team District Championships (’11, ‘13) – 50 athletes competed at Drake Stadium during State Meet – Drake Relay Qualifiers (’07, ’14, ‘15,)

Iowa High School Athletic Association

In 2006, the Iowa High School Athletic Association recognized Woodward Academy as a legitimate high school, paving the way for a powerful athletic program on campus. As a member of the IAHSAA, the Knights compete against area high schools and are eligible for all post-season awards and tournaments.