SCHOLAR ATHLETES: Midland High’s Worley played key leadership role in sports and academics

Midland High football coach Thad Fortune described Jake Worley as the picture of how to properly balance the workload between classes and athletics.

Worley became a senior leader for the football and track teams while finishing in the top 10% of his graduating class.

“It’s no surprise having watched him work every day for the last year and a half that he would also be successful in the classroom,” Fortune said. “He’s just steady every day, consistent, he was the same kid every day in a good way.

“You knew what you were going to get and I think he just applied that to the classroom.”

Worley made a habit of getting ahead in his coursework, which set him up to receive recognition in various ways.

He was a four-year academic letterman as well as a four-year member of the National Honor Society, as well as being an academic All-State honorable mention selection by the Texas High School Coaches Association.

The two-sport athlete always made sure he took care of his homework before going to practices, using down time during sixth and seventh periods to finish as many class assignments as he possibly could.

When Worley was selected as a leader by football teammates before his senior season, he knew it was important to set a strong example for younger members to carry on.

Worley played an important part in helping the team transition when Fortune took over in 2021.

“It was really a big transition year and I think that it was good, I wish we could have gotten Coach Fortune a couple of years ago before my senior season,” Worley said. “I think we had a good group of leaders at Midland High this year for our football team to be able to set an example for what the new program needs to be like for the younger kids coming up.”

Fortune believes Worley is part of a group that will always be special to him because of their efforts to shift the program’s culture.

Along with sports and school, Worley also made time to volunteer as a member of the Young Life organization in Midland and he participated in trash pick ups around the city with Keep Midland Beautiful.

Through his volunteering experiences, he learned that giving back to the community should be high on the list of priorities.

He plans on continuing his academic studies at Texas Tech next fall, where he intends on majoring in biology.

He said some of his dad’s friends are doctors and they played a role in helping him decide what to major in at the next level

One of Worley’s goals for the future includes becoming a licensed anesthesiologist.

“I don’t really think that I want to be the person that’s actually doing the surgery on the person,” Worley said. “I want to be part of the room, I want to do something in the med field.”

He won’t be playing sports in college, but he feels pleased with the accomplishments he had throughout his four years as an athlete at Midland High.

One of the last accolades Worley got in high school was the Audrey Gill Fighting Bulldog Award, given to the hardest working individual on the football team.

He hopes he left behind a strong message for his younger teammates that includes equally emphasizing school and sports.

“Always make time for both because at the end of the day, both of them are very, very important,” Worley said. “You can’t play sports without your academics.”

>> Follow Chris Amaya on Twitter at @OA_CAmaya



>> Academic Rank: Top 10 percent

>> Sports: Football, Track

>> Academic bio: Four-year member of the National Hoor Society; Academic All-State Honorable Mention by Texas High School Coaches Association

>> Athletic bio: Football (2-year letterman; Captain, 2022; Audrey Gill Fighting Bulldog Award recipient); Track (2-year letterman)

>> Activities: Young Life; Keep Midland Beautiful trash pickup; First United Methodist Church

>> College and major: Texas Tech (Biology)

>> Goals for the future: To become a licensed anesthesiologist

>> Favorite subject: Biology

>> Favorite book: “Friday Night Lights”

>> Favorite musician: Morgan Wallen

>> Role model: My father, David Worley