Patience pays off for Wiesbaden running back Woods
WIESBADEN, Germany — Wiesbaden’s Edmond Woods has several reasons to savor his senior season.
First, there’s the achievement of finally becoming Wiesbaden’s starting tailback. He spent his sophomore season at defensive back and his junior season as starting linebacker and backup tailback.
This year, Woods is the featured back in the Warriors’ offense.
“That’s been my main project,” he said with a smile after Monday’s practice.
The 5-foot-10, 160-pound Woods has made a point of making a difference in his new role. He’s been running for just under 200 yards per game — 198.75 to be exact — as Wiesbaden, which went 1-5 last season, has won three of its first four games.
“I love it,” Woods said of his production, “mainly because of the way my offensive line and my fullback and my wingback are blocking. That’s the way we run this team. No one person does it all. We count on our defense to hold them and our offense to score. Everyone depends on everyone else.”
According to Wiesbaden coach Darryl Schwartz, Woods has made as much of an impact on the Warriors’ team spirit as anyone.
“His leadership is outstanding,” Schwartz said. “He gets guys to focus on what we’re trying to do.”
Most of the time, Schwartz added, the leadership is by example.
“His best strength,” Schwartz said, “is his ability to get himself pumped up. He gets himself in a good frame of mind for every practice and every game.”
Not that Woods’ physical abilities aren’t part of the package.
“He’s a good hard runner,” Schwartz said. “We always knew that he was going to be a good athlete. He’s always worked hard in the weight room and at doing what he needed to do.”
Woods is no finesse runner. Sure, he’ll run sweeps and has even thrown a halfback pass for a touchdown this season, but his preferred style and his attitude are perfectly suited to the Warriors’ power game.
“I like to run between the tackles,” Woods said. “I don’t have really quick feet, and what I figured out was that once I got past the middle linebacker I could just turn it on.”
It doesn’t hurt, Woods was quick to point out, to have lead blockers such as fullbacks Dan Villareal and Paul Fry or gap-opening linemen.
“If it weren’t for Dan and those guys,” Woods said, “our offense would be nothing.”
Woods realizes there’s still room for improvement.
Held to six points in a 12-point loss at Heidelberg on Sept. 27, the Warriors rebounded to defeat three-time defending European Division I champion Würzburg 27-0 on Saturday.
Woods carried 30 times for 210 yards and two TDs in the whitewash, but seemed more pleased with the way his team bounced back mentally from the disappointment at Heidelberg.
“Heidelberg made us realize that we’re not the best team there is,” Woods said, “but we also know that we could be. We just have to be more focused.”