The senior will join a strong two-year program that has produced nearly 100 athletes who have continued their careers at four-year schools or in the professional ranks.
This past summer, Parker Woodley was trying out for a tournament featuring prospects from across the country when he was approached by a scout for the Atlanta Braves.
He told me that I was definitely a college baseball player, the Canby High School senior said. He was surprised I hadnt signed up with any college programs and that I had a lot of good tools that just need to develop. That really showed me I had potential playing in college.
Woodley turned that potential into reality Feb. 11, signing a letter of intent to continue his baseball career at Western Nevada College in Carson City, Nev.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound outfielder will play at the two-year school under coach D.J. Whittemore, whose program has achieved remarkable success since its inception in 2006.
Through eight seasons, the Wildcats have compiled an overall record of 344-144-2 while earning three regional titles, three conference titles and three district crowns. Nearly 100 players from Western Nevada have gone on to play at four-year colleges or in the professional ranks.
Its one of the best junior colleges in the nation for baseball, said Woodley, who plans to study business and marketing. Its a good fit to help me up my game and hopefully get me physically ready for a Division I college.
According to Whittemore, Woodley is already prepared for baseball beyond high school.
Parker is physically ready to play college baseball, (and) he runs well for a power bat, the WNC coach said in a news release. Parker will fit in nicely with our offensive philosophy of (getting) a good pitch to hit and (taking) a big rip.
Woodley, who lives in the Aurora area, is part of an 11-member recruiting class that includes one other Oregon product in Klamath Falls-Henley standout Jon Guzman.
He will join a roster that currently boasts several other alumni of area high schools, including Portland-Westviews Connor Zwetsch and Kyle Henderson, Portland-Sunsets Dylan Hollister, Portland-Wilsons Austin Andrews, Forest Groves Jake Bennett and Beaverton-Southridges Corey Pool.
Woodley was introduced to Western Nevada by Zane Kelly, a former area baseball player who now runs a Beaverton-based athletic training program.
He was formally introduced to the sport in fifth grade, when his parents, Tim and Lynn, enrolled him in Canby Junior Baseball.
I was pretty bad when I was little because I didnt know anything, Woodley said. But I started learning the different aspects of the game, and I started to love it, so I kept progressing and getting better.
Its definitely a very mental game. If you get down on yourself or over-think it, you wont do well. Its a game, and its really simple if you think about it. If you relax, it will all come together.
It all came together for Woodley this past September in Wilsonville, where he tried out for the Under Armour All-America Preseason Tournament. Thats when he met the Braves scout who, like his parents and Cougars coach J.J. Stolsig had done, encouraged him to pursue the sport he loves.
Woodley ended up being one of just five players from Oregon to participate in the showcase Jan. 17-19 in Tucson, Ariz., joining Portland-Westview athletes Parker Kelly and Kenyon Yovan as well as Oregon City infielder Bo McClintock and Wilsonville standout Parker Nielsen.
And now that hes signed with Western Nevada, Woodley enters his senior campaign at Canby knowing that his time on the diamond will continue after this spring.
Once baseball season started to come, I didnt want this to be my last season, he said. Its really a blessing to get to play the best game in the world.