NHS coach: Woods deserves to have track named after him

Published 12:01am Tuesday, December 3, 2013

NATCHEZ — Henry “Doc” Woods had one bit of advice for Natchez High School track coach Larry Wesley.

If the school ever named its track after Woods, Wesley said Woods insisted one thing be added to the track.

“He said, ‘Put a rock with my name on it, and have the kids rub it when they run past it,’” Wesley said.

Woods, who coached track and field for 43 years between Sadie V. Thompson, North Natchez and Natchez high schools and won 19 state championships in his time, died in February. A motion was made at a recent Natchez Adams School Board meeting to have the school’s track named after Woods.

“He did a lot for the program and for me,” Wesley said. “He introduced me and motivated me to track. He brought so much energy to the program, so he deserves it. He did more for track than anyone else, because he was around here longer than anyone else.”

Wesley also said Woods was hands-on when the school renovated its track a few years ago.

“He had all kinds of advice and was asking stuff like, ‘Did you get this put in, did you get that put in?’” Wesley said. “He said it was important to get rails put in, because without them, if you set a record, it wouldn’t hold.”

Senior Rosalyn Doss, who competes in track and field, said she never worked with Woods but had the chance to interact with him when Woods helped host meets at the school.

“He gave us encouraging words and would tell us how to run and what ways to run in our lane,” Doss said. “He pushed us to be the best we could be.”

Given Woods’ accolades, Doss said she would fully support having the track on which she runs named after Woods.

“I think that would be good,” Doss said. “He set state records, so I would love for that to happen.”