Six celebrities you didn’t know hailed from The Woodlands

By: Julia Marie Apuda
| Published 09/09/2022


THE WOODLANDS, TX – Among the suburbs of Houston, one of Texas’ treasures resides as none other than The Woodlands Township. Home to a population of nearly 120,000 and rising, The Woodlands is best known for its nature, park trails, hospitality, and much more. Ranging from lively dining out and concerts at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, it’s also considered one of the most desirable places to live in the United States.

Whom to keep your eyes peeled for when you’re out and about

Much like many of The Woodlands’ retail and business treasures are hidden by the trees, so too are some notable luminaries hidden in the hustle and bustle of Montgomery County. In fact, you may be surprised to find out who’s from here. Home to musicians, athletes, entertainment figures and more, here is a list we composed of six people you didn’t know are in The Woodlands.’ Kicking this list off, here is our countdown, recapping some people you should know.

Peter McPoland
Signed to Columbia Records, Peter McPoland is a performing artist specializing in Alternative/Indie style music. Growing up in Vermont, it wasn’t until he turned seven that he moved to Texas.

Early into his teenage years, he developed a love and skill for guitar – performing in competitions throughout his education at The Woodlands High School. Graduating in 2019, he had an active role in the school’s theatre club – furthermore being described by teachers as an ‘outgoing student.’

On one recount, he had brought his guitar to play for a presentational project in Journalism class. Since then, Peter has amassed almost 1,500,000 monthly listeners on Spotify – and has an internet presence with over 500,000 followers on Tiktok. His most popular song to date was released in 2020 with the title ‘Romeo and Juliet.’

Laura Wilkinson
Laura Wilkinson has been a running name in the past Olympics, attaining gold medalist status for the Team USA diving team. She’s a three-time Olympian and the first woman to hold three major diving titles.

Before her success in the athletic field, Laura’s hometown has been in the Houston area since birth. She attended Klein High School and made Nationals the year after leaving her school’s diving team. Since then, she received her Bachelor’s in Public Relations through the University of Austin.

She has been a major advocate for those with eating disorders, recounting the struggles people face, especially within the swimming community. Laura Wilkinson prompts those with ambitions to strive for their goals and to overcome fear in the hopes of challenge and hard work. Currently, she resides in The Woodlands, retired from active competition.

Danny Amendola
If you’re a football fan, you’ll be interested to know that Danny Amendola was not only born but also raised in The Woodlands. Attending The Woodlands High School, he went on to play for Texas Tech and majored in Communications.

This NFL wide receiver has taken 26 touchdowns and has been a part of three Super Bowls. He played for the Patriots for almost five years for thirteen seasons, and also played for the Los Angeles Rams, the Miami Dolphins, and the Detroit Lions.

Still active in the community, he visited his former school during a pep rally (along with two former Highlander footballers Larry Izzo & Lee Johnson) to celebrate and show school support. As of 2022, Amendola has retired from the game.

Chamillionaire / Hakeem Seriki
This one might shock you, but if you were up to date with music in the early 2000s, you’d be familiar with the words, They see me rollin’, they hatin’. Chamillionaire, Hakeem Seriki, was born in Washington DC, and moved to Houston at the age of four. He pursued a career as a rapper, and songwriter, also being rendered an entrepreneur based on his investments.

He received his high school education in Jersey Village and became the CEO of his record label ‘Chamillitary.’ Throughout his career, he released multiple albums and still has a significant stronghold in bringing hip hop music to Texas.

Hakeem has lived in The Woodlands, but owns several properties elsewhere. During his time here, he lived in one of the luxury homes in the Carlton Woods community. To this date, he seeks out tactical business plans and has a family and wife.

Chad Hedrick
In the world of racing, everyone is improving at a constant rate. Chad Hedrick is no different. Considered to be one of the people who impacted the speed skating world, he developed the technique used by many today, known as the double push. He won more than 50 world championships and set numerous world records, competing in the Olympics to win gold in 2006.

Born in Spring, he picked up skating before the age of two. Hedrick has been known to have had a competitive spirit, being fiercely pushed by coaches and family. He thrived in his sport, deciding to become a speed skater, even after excelling in hockey – and a world on ice. His life was dedicated to the rink up until he won as a silver medalist in the 2010 games.

Since then, he has found passion in real estate and business, rolling with the slogan, ‘Gold to Sold.’ He’s now based in The Woodlands, but continues to work in areas around Houston. He has two younger children, who are just as driven as he was, hoping to play soccer when they grow older.

Paul Goldschmidt
To all those who support the St. Louis Cardinals, a renowned baseball player should hit home. MLB player Paul Goldschmidt was born in Delaware but moved to Texas at some point in his childhood. He attended the Woodlands High School, and shortly after was recruited to play at university.

It was upon a draft that he was selected in 2006 with The Los Angeles Dodgers. Further, into his career, he gathered much recognition for his plays – signing with the Cardinals in 2018. As of 2022, his current goal is to become a Triple Crown Winner – something the NL hasn’t seen in 85 years.

He hopes to lead his league in batting averages, home runs, and bats - all within the same season. He has a wife and kids, all of whom are supportive members of his family.

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Talent within the Woodlands extends much farther than just within the purported ‘bubble’ of Montgomery County. As alumni come back to visit, and athletes bring back awards, examples have been made by numerous people here every day. Leading by example, hard work and dedication, all of the above have been paragons in their efforts to succeed.

We at Woodlands Online hope this list of Woodlands celebrities is just the first of many – whom do you know that could be added to further spotlights?

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