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The Dart: Retired Woods’ job not done just yet

Natchez resident Willie J. Woods talks about his fifteen years working as a coach and teacher in the Natchez-Adams County school district on Friday afternoon shortly before volunteering to do yard work at Morgantown Middle School. (Jay Sowers \ The Natchez Democrat)
Natchez resident Willie J. Woods talks about his fifteen years working as a coach and teacher in the Natchez-Adams County school district on Friday afternoon shortly before volunteering to do yard work at Morgantown Middle School. (Jay Sowers \ The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — Retired teacher and coach Willie J. Woods knows that even when you retire from the education system, your job supporting the school is never really over.

When The Dart landed at Woods’ George F. West Boulevard house Friday, it found Woods packing up a weed trimmer and heading to Morgantown Middle School for a clean up day.

Woods said he heard the school was looking for volunteers and decided to spend his afternoon helping cut grass at the school.

“I try to go over there and help out whenever I can,” he said.

Woods taught physical education and coached basketball for 15 years at the school and said he feels the need to give back to the school.

Woods’ love of basketball started when he was a child growing up in Natchez. He played ball in junior high and high school and had some great coaches that made him want to work with children.

“They really inspired me,” he said.

Woods even coached high school intramural basketball when he was still in high school.

Mississippi Valley State University gave Woods a football scholarship, and his first job after graduating was at a Georgia school.

When his wife was ready to return to Natchez, Woods got a job teaching and coaching in Waterproof, Ferriday and eventually Natchez.

His love of coaching and teaching goes beyond just a love of sports, Woods said.

“I really love just working with the kids and being around them,” he said.

Woods says he misses the classroom and the court, but he believes volunteering at Morgantown keeps him connected to the school.

And he’s a helper and always has been.

“All my life, I’ve been doing that,” he said. “I was raised like that. If you come into this world and you can’t help anybody, well, that’s what it’s all about … helping people.”

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