Why I Chose North Park: Shelby Wood

Shelby Wood

CHICAGO, IL (January 22, 2009) – Shelby Wood came to North Park University after a storied high school career in which he became known to many as one of the best athletes in southwest Michigan history. Wood garnered All-State honors in football, basketball, and baseball at Berrien Springs High School, and after a long recruiting process with interest from many colleges at all levels chose to attend North Park. Since his arrival, Wood has started 29 consecutive games at quarterback for the Vikings, setting career records for touchdown passes (36), completions (475) and attempts (951) in only three years as a starter. The junior from Eau Claire, Mich., established new NPU single season records for completions (181) and completions percentage (54%), and tied the single season mark for touchdown passes (19) in 2008. Here Wood describes what it means to be a North Park Viking.

What was the main factor in your decision to attend North Park?
There were a couple factors that weighed heavily on my decision to come to North Park. When I came on my visit, the offense that Coach Joe Davis and the rest of the coaches showed me was one that I could see myself having a lot of fun and a lot of success in. With all the different personnel groupings and formations they showed me, I couldn't wait to get here and get into the playbook. The other big reason I came to North Park is the location of the school. Being from a small town in Michigan, I had been to Chicago a number of times, but had no idea what city living was really like. I had always wanted to try living in the city at least for the experience and this was the perfect opportunity.

What advice would you give to high school seniors regarding the overall college football recruiting process?
My advice to high school seniors would be to take your time. Don't rush yourself into a decision that you are not one-hundred percent sure about. I have seen a lot of people make this mistake and regret where they are at. It's not something that you want to be dealing with because it takes your focus away from where it should be, and that is your school work and football.

Who are your biggest influences in life?
Some of my biggest influences were two of my high school coaches. Bill Bergan was my quarterback coach and offensive coordinator in high school. Almost everything I know about football I learned from him or learned in more detail from him. He was a great coach that I feel very lucky to know and have played for. He pushed me to be the best player I could possibly be throughout high school and we are still very close now. John Donley was my head baseball coach in high school and he is the other main person I really look up to and have great respect for. Besides being one of the best high school baseball coaches the state of Michigan has ever seen, he has taught every one of his players throughout the years to carry themselves with a great deal of respect and to be accountable at all times. Not one person who has ever played for him can say that they did not leave a better person for knowing him.

What is your major and what do you hope to do with your degree?
My major is communications with a concentration in media studies and I honestly do not know what I want to do with it yet.

What can incoming freshman football players expect from the coaches in their freshman year?
Incoming freshmen can expect a great environment to re-learn the game of football. Not that everyone needs to be re-taught things but a refresher on the basics of the game is something that can always be beneficial. The freshmen can also expect a chance to get on the field. There is no seniority here when it comes to ability and playing time. If you are the best or one of the best at your position, prove it in practice and you will see the results on Saturday by the playing time you receive. Whether it’s on offense, defense, or maybe special teams, if you can play and work hard and prove it, you will play.

What are your goals for the 2009 season?
My goal for the 2009 season is TO WIN!!!