Cavalier Corner

April 2023

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6 CAVALIER CORNER cavalier sports T wo-sport standout Jay Wool- folk had an eventful first year on Grounds. In the fall of 2021, he became the first true first- year to start at quarterback for the Cavaliers since 1977. Then the following spring, he excelled in 29 relief appearances for the baseball squad. He went 3-0 with a 2.87 ERA and 55 strike- outs in 37 2 ⁄3 innings. This season, Woolfolk is step- ping into the closer role for the Cavaliers. Cavalier Corner: There were 21 newcomers on the baseball team last year, and you don't spend a lot of time at The Dish in the fall. What was the first day of spring baseball practice like? Woolfolk: "It was different because football to baseball is one thing. There were a lot of new faces, and you have to get to know everybody again. The baseball guys are amazing and funny, they're high energy. "It's not really hard to adjust when they kind of have similar energy as last year's team. It was fun, I started to get to know ev- eryone really, really fast and really well. "All the new faces have made a pretty quick impact just by their energy." Cavalier Corner: What does the schedule look like at the end of football season for you to start to prepare for baseball season? Woolfolk: "I start throwing [baseballs] at the end of football season. Probably around the last two [football] games or so is when I start just lightly tossing. When I start getting heavy is that two-week break that we have over Christmas, that's when I really started ramping it up. "I obviously don't really pitch in the fall, but Coach Drew [Dickinson] makes a plan, and I really follow that." Cavalier Corner: In a few sentences, de- scribe both baseball coach Brian O'Connor and football coach Tony Elliott. Woolfolk: "I think Coach Elliott is really understanding. He understands what he wants, and he understands what the players want. He connects with his players really well. Every player who plays college football wants to win a national championship. That's what his mindset is, to win a national championship and for us to become re- spectful young men and graduate. "Coach O'Connor I think is the same way. He wants us to be respectful young men and play the game the right way. "They both share similarities. They both want you to play hard, they both want you to be respectful and they both want you to play the game the right way." Cavalier Corner: In the early part of the season you have been in the closer role in baseball. How do you like it? Woolfolk: "It's been fun. A lot of people ask me, would you rather start? Or would you rather close? For me, whatever helps the team win. I think I get that mindset from playing quarterback. "Coach Elliott implemented in my head that it's not about me, it's about everybody else. And what would you do to make your team win. If Coach O'Connor asked me to go play catcher, I'm gonna go play catcher. If it helps the team win, it helps the team win. "If my role is the closer and that helps us get to Omaha [home of the College World Series], I'm going to do it. If they want me to start, it's not really how I feel about it. I just want to win." Cavalier Corner: If you could play any other sports besides football and baseball, what would it be? Woolfolk: "Basketball, easily. I want to play Reese [Beekman] and Armaan [Frank- lin]. Every time they post something [on social media] about basketball, I'm always there in the comments. "But yeah, I would love to play basketball. It's fun, you really get into the game. It's not like football, something's always going on in the background, you never stop moving and it's so fast paced." — Scott Fitzgerald five questions with Second-Year Pitcher Jay Woolfolk After becoming the first true first-year to start at quarterback for the Cavaliers in 44 years during the fall of 2021, Woolfolk excelled as a pitcher for the baseball team en route to earning Freshman All-America honors in the spring of 2022. (Photo courtesy UVA)

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