Aspen High punter signs to kick, study at Georgetown
The Aspen Times
Aspen High School senior Henry Woodrow set his sights high in the classroom and on the football field.
He set his sights even higher when it came to kicking a football and envisioning a future in the foreign service.
Check and check.
Woodrow this week signed his national letter of intent to play football for Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., where he conveniently will pursue studies in international economics at the famed Walsh School of Foreign Service.
“Georgetown was my first choice among schools,” Woodrow said in an interview with The Aspen Times. “They called me about (the football program) on the 27th of January. So, it’s the best of both worlds. I get to go to school there, and I get to play football there.”
Woodrow, a member of the National Honor Society and a International Baccalaureate Diploma candidate, said he’s excited about the academic opportunities at Georgetown.
“I want to take advantage of everything the school has to offer … in D.C., the perfect place to study international relations,” said the tall and rangy Woodrow, who was ranked among the best punters in Colorado last season.
Woodrow averaged nearly 40 years per kick as a senior, when the Skiers qualified for the postseason for the third consecutive time in his career.
He boomed a 64-yard punt this season that stands as an Aspen High School record. He also was voted to the All-Western Slope League First Team as the conference’s top punter.
His first football memories date to the third grade.
“Playing college football has been a dream of mine since I started playing in the third grade,” Woodrow said enthusiastically.
Year after year, Woodrow punted for whatever team he played for.
“When I got to high school, I learned how to punt the real way,” he said.
Then, he started going to summer kicking camps.
“I realized I can get a lot better,” he said. “So, this past summer, I went to 12 camps at various colleges. It refined my kicking skills. It showed me how good I have to be to compete at the next level.”
That will be NCAA Division I FCS (Football Championship Subdivision), formerly Division I-AA.
“I was fortunate to visit on the 10th of January, my official visit,” Woodrow said of his trip to Washington. “It’s a completely new realm for me. There, every single kid on the team has been a die-hard football player their entire lives. Everyone is so committed about the sport.”
He’s eager to be part of that energy, he said.
But he’ll have to adjust to a role as a special teams specialist.
“The biggest adjustment for me will be playing just a specialist on the football team,” said Woodrow, who saw duty this year for the Skiers as free safety, tight end, third-team quarterback, holder and punter. He even had an interception for the Skiers this year.
Next year, it’ll be punting.
Maybe some holding for place kicks.
But, basically, he’s a punter for the Hoyas.
To prepare, he’s working out and kicking regularly.
And he’s excited about how his overall fitness level, cultivated at 7,900 feet in Aspen, will translate to fall workouts at sea level.
“My endurance at sea level is almost double. The wind sprints will be the best part (of practice),” said Woodrow, who also was a ski racer in his younger days.
“But at sea level, it’s kind of angering … I can’t kick the football as high or as far,” Woodrow said with his captivating smile.
Henry Woodrow is one of five children. Older brother Jonathan plays center for the Amherst College football team. Sister Isabelle plays on the Stanford club lacrosse team.
He’s the son of Kelly Doherty and Michael Woodrow.
He also was recruited by Columbia University but opted for Georgetown.
Fully aware he was in the midst of the mountain bike race of his life, Aspen’s John Gaston said he “tried to not think too far ahead” to prevent the magnitude of the moment from getting to him. He eventually finished runner-up in the iconic race.
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