Faulkner bound, Woods receives MCSHOF honor

2013 Signing Day-5717The month of February just keeps getting better for A.L. Johnson senior Mark Woods. Last week the ALJ safety seized to continue his football career when he decided to remain an Eagle and signed with Faulkner University.

Monday, he received another scholarship opportunity when the Marengo County Sports Hall of Fame presented him with additional academic funding as part of an initiative that annually recognizes a local athlete.

“(He) pushed his teammates to be better and strives to be an example on and off the field,” Dr. Tony Speegle, a board member for the Hall, said.

Woods, who was also A.L. Johnson’s starting quarterback for four years, recorded 113 total tackles and four interceptions in 2012.

Woods credited Faulkner defensive back coach Keith Houston as being key in his decision to sign with the school, noting that Houston’s visit to A.L. Johnson high in Thomaston meant a great deal to him.

“The opportunity came about when I first visited the campus and when Coach Houston came to visit (A.L. Johnson),” Woods, who is only the second signee from the school seven years, said. “It means a lot to have this opportunity coming from ALJ and being the first out of my family to have a chance at college ball.”

Woods was also impressed with his visit to the Faulkner campus, calling it just right for his tastes.

“I liked the atmosphere” Woods said. “It’s not too big and it’s not too small. The people seemed like cool people and had bright things to say about Faulkner and their Eagles.”

While Woods will need to adjust to the speed of the college game, he carries with him plenty of leadership experience from his days at ALJ as he was called upon to set the pace for his school’s program on and off the field for four years.

“I believe my experience in high school will help a lot,” Woods said. “I’ve learned over my years at ALJ that leadership is a big deal and wherever I fit in at Faulkner, I’ll play my role and try to help my team win.”