Along with a nudge from coach Pete Ventresca, the team met last year at midseason and unanimously voted then-freshman Wood as its new captain. It was a loud vote of confidence in the young phenom.
"It was definitely a big deal for me because I always wanted to be [captain]," Wood said. "I was expecting to be a captain in my junior or senior year, so when they told me I had the honor to be a captain freshman year, I was proud, and I didn't want to screw it up."
Despite his age, Wood asserted himself as one of the premier wrestlers in District 1 last season, muscling his way to a 46-2 record at 220 pounds and a runner-up finish in the PIAA state championships in Hershey.
Even with such lofty accolades in his first season, Wood still focuses on his 7-2 loss in the 220 state final.
"I should've been happy with [second place], but I wasn't satisfied still," Wood said. "I wanted to be an undefeated state champ, and this year it's the same goal."
Said Ventresca: "He was only a freshman last year, so I kind of expected him to be successful, but I didn't realize he would be that successful. He's got very high expectations of himself, he's very motivated, he works very hard, and he's a great kid on top of it."
With a 36-0 mark so far this season, Wood said it's state title or bust in the tournament.
"Last year, I was in awe of the big stages and just realizing where I was," he said. "This year, I have a year of experience, and I just want to get it done now.
"I want to get the state title, but it's still going to be tough."
Seeking to advance. Fresh off gold medals in the District 1/12 Class AA tournament, Bishop McDevitt seniors Josh Velez-Arce (120) and Tyler Medina (126) head the Lancers' seven-man qualifying squad in the Southeast AA Regional Championships, scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Wilson-West Lawn.
Velez-Arce (38-6) is looking to place in the regional tournament for the first time after having qualified for the tournament in each of the last three years.
Medina also will attempt to place for the first time. The senior took gold in the district tournament a year ago but did not participate in the regional.
AAA notes. Radnor junior Tom Meyers' quest for an unbeaten season was stymied last weekend in the District 1 Class AAA West final at 160 pounds, but he will look for redemption and his first spot atop the podium in the Southeast AAA Regional tournament this weekend at Pottstown. . . . The Southeast AAA bracket at 220 will feature three unbeaten wrestlers: Wood, William Tennent's Marc Isaac, and Coatesville's Mike Boykin. Boykin and Isaac could meet in a semifinal, and the final could be a rematch of last year's championship dual, in which Wood defeated Boykin, 3-2.