WR Isaiah Woodley is bringing the pro experience to the Regina Thunder

Wide receiver Isaiah Woodley is living the football dream right now.

By day, the junior football player is practicing with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, and by night he’s working with his regular team, the Regina Thunder.

Along with Woodley, offensive lineman Riley Schick and defensive lineman Max Parkinson are also on the Roughriders practice roster and suit up on game days with the Thunder.

Woodley says it has been a great learning experience working alongside the Roughriders.

“Some of them have been in NFL programs, some of them have been at some at very good colleges, and being able to take it back not only just for me, but for my teammates, as well, different moves, identifying different coverages, just very savvy football plays.”

Besides the on-field techniques, Woodley added he has learned how to conduct himself as a professional off the field after spending time with the green and white.

WR Isaiah Woodley. Photo: Wanda Harron Photography

“How to take care of your body, really, watching film, doing the little stuff that gets you to the next level, I think that’s been the best part for me.”

Offensive Coordinator for the Thunder, Stefan Endsin, has noticed firsthand the benefits of Woodley attending Roughriders practice daily.

“The way he runs(Woodley) routes, there is quite bit more attention to detail.”

Endsin added spending time with the green and white has helped the Boston, Mass. product adapt to the Canadian game.

“Playing with a waggle, CFL football, different coverages, extra guys. “

The Thunder’s offensive coordinator said that Woodley has become more engaged and confident in presenting ideas he’s learned while practicing with the Roughriders.

It has been a successful start on the field for Woodley and the Thunder. With Regina out to a 3-0 start, the receiver has posted 14 receptions, 383 receiving yards and three touchdowns.

He says one of his goals is to improve each day.

“Focused not only winning, but winning at a good rate, and bringing everyone else with me and make sure all of my teammates are successful and in the right place at the right time.”

The Thunder typically hosts their home games at Leibel Field. But for Saturday’s matchup (7:00), they will be moving to Mosaic Stadium to face off against the Saskatoon Hilltops, who are also undefeated in the Prairie Football Conference (PFC).

Playing a game at Saskatchewan’s biggest stadium is still special for the receiver despite being on the field with the Roughriders during the week.

“When I play in that stadium, I definitely feel like a pro, it’s an honour for us to even play there for our big games.”

Woodley noted his first touchdown reception as a member of the Thunder happened at Mosaic Stadium when they faced the Hilltops in 2021.

There wasn’t much love for the blue and gold this week inside the Roughriders locker room, with the Roughriders gearing for a Labour Day rematch while the Thunder players were gearing up for another Saskatchewan showdown with the Hilltops. Woodley thinks the Thunder are ready for a challenging provincial game.

“Both teams want to win, both teams have successful programs, we’re just going to do what we’ve got to do to ultimately come out on top.”

The Regina Thunder last played at Mosaic Stadium during the 2022 Canadian Bowl, where they lost to the Okanagan Sun in the national championship final.

Woodley said the motivation to avenge last year’s crushing defeat began shortly after the Canadian Bowl. “Right after the game, it fueled the fire, especially for me there was no off-time, it was straight back to work time.” He added, “You grind for those moments, and when it’s that close, such a short number, like three points, it’s never a good feeling.”

The receiver wants to create a different ending for the Thunder in 2023.

“At the end of the season, that is my ultimate goal, is to give my team a great chance to be a successful program so we can win that game.”

The Thunder and Hilltops will meet in Saskatoon in the penultimate game for both teams in the regular season when they square off on September 30 at SMF Field.

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