Darnell Woolfolk – 12 Sports Athlete of the Week

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WEST POINT (WBNG) — Four years ago, Darnell Woolfolk was helping Maine-Endwell bring home a fourth-straight state championship. A lot has changed for Woolfolk in those four years, but then again, he’s still the hard-working leader he was back when he was a Spartan.

“He had a terrific high school career and obviously won a lot of games there at Maine-Endwell and he’s really helped this program’s culture,” said Army West Point head coach Jeff Monken. “Just the expectations, he came in here with an expectation to win every game and he plays that way, he practices that way.”

“All you gotta do is watch him play on Saturdays and you realize what a great football player he is,” said Monken.

“I think (coming to Army West Point) was probably the best decision I’ve ever made,” said Army West Point senior running back Darnell Woolfolk.

Over the past four years, Woolfolk has put himself in some elite company at Army. He was named to the Maxwell Award watch list and recently accepted an invitation to the East-West Shrine Game.

“I’m going to that game to represent all of them (referring to his teammates and coaches),” said Woolfolk. “I wouldn’t be in this spot that I am without them.”

For all the touchdowns, his crowning achievement is being named an Army football captain.

“Honestly, that’s probably the best honor you can be given,” said Woolfolk. “It’s team game and when your peers vote you as a captain, that means that they respect you.”

“Even in a place like this where everybody is a leader, everybody is going to be commissioned as an officer in the United States military,” said Monken. “But, even in an environment like that there are some that stand out and Darnell is one of those guys.”

Juggling class, football and military duties is no easy task.

“It can get pretty tough,” said Woolfolk. “You have to be really focused. You gotta keep football on one side, keep your academics on another and then when it’s time, focus on your military stuff.”

Woolfolk has left quite the mark at Army with 37 career rushing touchdowns. Saturday, the Army captain will play in his final Army-Navy game.

“It’s really fun to play in,” said Woolfolk. “Probably one of the best atmospheres I’ve ever been in. It’s just an unbelievable experience.”

“Just seeing how many people are watching that game overseas, who are serving to fight for our country are watching that game,” said Woolfolk. “It just shows that it’s not really just a sport. It’s something for people to come together.”

The Black Knights are pretty excited for their uniforms for the Army-Navy game.

“They are pretty sick,” said Woolfolk. “They are awesome. Everybody was looking forward to it and then the media released one of Big Red One quote. People would put it into google and it would show Big Red One so everyone was like, ‘Oh we’re going to have red in our uniforms,’ and we do and it’s honestly unbelievable.”

As for Woolfolk’s future, he didn’t rule out trying out for the NFL someday.

“We’ll see where things go,” said Woolfolk. “Right now, I’m really focused on Army-Navy and then the Shine Game and then get my body right to serve in the military. I think that’s really the priority right now and then wherever life takes me.”

Graduates at Military Academies have to serve at least two years as officers before they can go pro. Lieutenant General Darryl A. Williams, the Superintendent at West Point, told 12 Sports, Darnell is like a son and he’s going to be a great Lieutenant one day.

Army-Navy kicks off Saturday at 3 p.m. on WBNG.

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Larry Burneal

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