Woodward wrestling captures area title, poised for big season next year.
The Woodward Academy wrestling team had one of its best seasons in 2017-18. After traveling around the Southeast seeking out the best competition, the Woodward wrestling team finished with a 28-8 dual meet record. In addition, the War Eagles captured the area dual title and placed in the top six at the State Duals. In the traditional format tournament, Woodward placed 4th at the state championships. Individually, eight wrestlers qualified for the state tournament, with five state placers, four state finalists, and three state champions. Special recognition goes to all those who placed in state, which included Malachi Wiley (5th), McCoy Pace (2nd), Nick Masters (state champion), Vincent Mannella (state champion), and Malcolm Wiley (state champion). Woodward has a very bright future, as all state qualifiers will be returning for a run at another team state title next season.
2017-18 WA Varsity Wrestling Team
Jeff Ragan, Head Coach (Three years)
Prior to arriving at Woodward, Jeff Ragan served as the associate head wrestling coach at The Citadel for 14 seasons, helping send 32 Bulldog grapplers, including four All-Americans, to the NCAA Championships. Ragan also helped coach the Bulldogs to a Southern Conference Championship in 2004 and a top 20 NCAA finish in 2013—all while mentoring 15 Academic All-Americans and multiple top 20 All-Academic teams. During his off-seasons, he has coached wrestlers and fellow coaches in the freestyle and Greco-Roman styles to All-American honors and even the 2012 Olympic Games.
A former adjunct professor of mathematics, Ragan received a Masters of Arts in Teaching Mathematics from The Citadel and a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University, where he was a four-year wrestling letterman with more than 100 career wins and a member of three Big XII Conference championship teams. As a senior, Ragan earned All-American honors at the NCAA Championships, received the honor of Oklahoma State Male Student-Athlete-of-the-Year, and joined the National Wrestling Coaches Association’s Academic All-American team. Ragan also is a four-time freestyle All-American, FILA national champion, and FILA world team member and placer.