Woods takes Hornets to ASU

Published 12:14 am Friday, September 4, 2009

Concordia College junior quarterback T’Chelpio Woods played two years at Alabama State, but his return to Montgomery to face his former team Saturday will not be a homecoming.

“I’m from Selma,” Woods said Thursday on the Hornets’ practice field. “Whether we win or lose, it’s a milestone for us, showing how far we’ve gone. They’ve got everything to lose. We’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

Woods played two years at Selma High before completing his high school football at Central Christian Academy.

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The Hornets (1-0) of Dallas County have the momentum from last week’s season opener, when they shellacked Texas College 68-0. They will be the opponent in the season opener for the Hornets of Montgomery County.

Alabama State is a larger school than Concordia, but that doesn’t concern Woods.

“My perspective on Coach (Shepherd) Skanes’ philosophy of ‘Play hard, smart and fast’ is that we can play on any Saturday against any given team,” Woods said. “We do have the athletes who can play across the board; it’s just that we have to play hard, smart and fast and not have the penalties and being disciplined.”

“We’ve got two mottos at this school,” Skanes said. “The school’s motto is: God first, education second, football third. Skanes’ tempo is: We play hard, smart and fast.”

Woods said the Hornets still had to improve after last week’s blowout.

“We just tried to perfect what we had been doing,” he said. “We still came out of there with some personal fouls and some mental mistakes that we still need to clean up.”

Skanes agreed.

“I graded us out as a D because we had a lot of dirty laundry on the field,” Skanes said. “We’ve got to change that. I understand it was the first game and we have to get a lot of kinks out. But our kinks were that we had personal fouls for being overaggressive.”

A couple of personal fouls were “in a family way.” When Miguel Terrell returned an interception for a touchdown, Skanes told his players “to get you some.” Woods said the penalty had a purpose.

“That was the jumpstart to the defense,” he said. “Those were momentum celebrations; they weren’t personal.”

On offense, Skanes said he has a lot of faith in Woods.

“He’s a winner,” he said. “The knowledge he has at quarterback is phenomenal. He knows how to read the defense. He takes what the defense gives him. He’s the type of quarterback who’s poised in the pocket. He will make things happen that will put you in the right situation.”

Woods is so poised in backfield sometimes, he sits flat-footed all the time. There’s no jumping around.

“I’m actually a calm person,” he said. “I’ll be sleeping an hour before the game. They got mad at me Saturday and Coach Skanes had to get on a couple of guys on the team because I’m so laid back.

“I won’t be one jumping around and hollering. I’ll be trying to get a massage, lay down, get some sleep. That’s the thing that they don’t realize. I play the game internally before the game gets physical. I have to be calm under pressure at all times.”

Skanes also respects Woods’ work ethic, especially away from the practice field.

“He’s a gym rat,” he said. “After he gets out of class, he’s in the office watching film. He’s watching film, watching film, watching film. He tries to make sure everything is ready.

“He asks a lot of questions,” Skanes said. “He absorbs it. He said he had played with a lot of coaches, but he had never played with a coach like me. He studies the game just as hard as I do.”

Although Skanes and Woods will be watching out for the celebration penalties, Woods said he may take an early infraction.

“I can’t wait until we get points on the board first down there,” Woods said. “We might just take the personal foul; we might just take the air out of that place.”

Woods, however, plans to have something to say after the game.

“We’re going to celebrate later when we win,” he said. “My thing is to just have fun.”