August 18, 2023

One player, two teams: Seldom at rest, Woodley feels blessed 

Isaiah Woodley’s active agenda consists of football, football and, for a diversion, football. 

A 22-year-old receiver with the Prairie Football Conference’s Regina Thunder, Woodley is also a member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ practice roster. 

“It’s definitely a blessing to be part of not only the Thunder, but also the Saskatchewan Roughriders,” Woodley said.  

“I’ve been taking a lot from the players here. They’ve been teaching me a lot and giving me key things, leadership-wise, to take back to my group to make my teammates better as well as everyone around me.” 

Woodley has more teammates than a typical football player, considering his dual affiliations. 

Offensive lineman Riley Schick and defensive lineman Max Parkinson join Woodley as members of the Roughriders and Thunder — two teams that are both scheduled to return to action on Sunday. 

The Thunder carries a 1-0 record into a road game against the Edmonton Wildcats. Later in the day, the Roughriders will face the B.C. Lions (5 p.m., Mosaic Stadium) in Canadian Football League action. 

On most non-game days, Woodley, Schick and Parkinson have obligations to both the Thunder and Roughriders. 

Typically, Woodley and Parkinson team up on an early-morning drive to Mosaic Stadium for a 6:45 weightlifting session. 

After some time spent with the playbook, the players branch off into positional meetings at 8:30 a.m., with a team meeting to follow at 9 o’clock. 

Roughriders practice usually begins late in the morning and concludes by 2 p.m. 

Woodley will then head home, grab a bite to eat, and have a nap before heading to the Thunder’s facility — Scotty Livingstone Field. 

The PFC team conventionally meets at 6 p.m., with practice to begin an hour later and continue until 9. 

“As soon as I get home from practice, I brush my teeth, take a shower, and I’m in bed at 10:30,” Woodley said. 

“I used to watch Netflix and stuff. Now I don’t even have time to watch TV. It’s just straight work, all the time, and I love it. 

“There’s no leisure time, but you pray for times like this. When God gives you a chance to have them, you can’t be ungrateful. You’ve got to be very grateful for every opportunity you get.” 

The opportunity is so energizing that, despite the long hours, fatigue does not enter the equation. 

“No, not at all,” Woodley stated. “When you’re doing something that you love, you can never get too much of it. That’s the way I think of it.  

“By having this opportunity, I just think it’s a blessing. I look forward to taking advantage of everything.” 

That includes the state-of-the-art surroundings at Mosaic Stadium. 

“It hit me the first day, when I came in here looking around the facility and seeing everything,” Woodley said.  

“You’re star-struck at first when you see the cold tub and the hot tub. The weight room is beautiful. Then you just know you’ve got to get down to work, but it’s definitely amazing.  

“It’s sometimes indescribable, waking up in the morning. Some people ask me: “You’re up at 6:45 to go work out?’ But it’s like, ‘How can you not go work out at 6:45 in that beautiful weight room and get better?’ 

“It’s a blessing.” 


Head Coach Craig Dickenson confirmed Friday that Jake Dolegala will start at quarterback against B.C. 

Dolegala takes over for Mason Fine, who suffered a hamstring injury during an Aug. 11 game against the host Montreal Alouettes. 

Another roster change will take place at a receiver spot, where a Canadian — Kian Schaffer-Baker, Mitch Picton or Juwan Brescacin — will step in for American slotback Jake Wieneke. 

“He loves the game and he wants to play, but he understands,” Dickenson said of Wieneke. “It is what it is. It’s the ratio. 

“He just keeps coming to work and trying to improve himself each and every day.” 

The ratio was impacted two weeks ago, following an injury to national slotback Brayden Lenius. 

With Schaffer-Baker, Picton and Brescacin all unavailable at that time, the Roughriders promoted American receiver Jerreth Sterns to the active roster. Sterns has 11 catches over his first two CFL games.