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home : local sports : local sports

8/31/2012 10:08:00 AM Email this articlePrint this article 
Woods put what he learned in Lawrenceville to use
LHS Sports Hall of Fame inductee
LAWRENCEVILLE - Bill Woods put what he learned playing sports in Lawrenceville to good use.

A 1953 Lawrenceville graduate, and a member of two Indians' teams that played in the one-class Illinois state finals, Woods later coached a high school team to a Florida state title.

Woods is one of four individuals who will be inducted into the Lawrenceville High School Sports Hall of Fame on Sept. 289. His health will not allow him to make the trip so his high school teammate, John Brooks, also a member of the Hall-of-Fame, will accept it for him.

Woods was a starter for Lawrenceville teams that finished 20-9 in 1952 and 22-7 the following season. Both of those teams, coached by Joe Fearheiley, reached the 16-team Illinois state finals, contested in Huff Gym on the University of Illinois campus.

"There was a big map, shaped like Illinois, that had lights on it for every team still playing," said Woods, now 77 and spending his time in Florida and North Carolina. "As those teams lost, their lights went out, until they were down to the final two. That memory would be hard to replace."

Woods earned eight letters at Lawrenceville, two in football and three each in basketball and track.

He was an All-North Egypt Conference choice in on both the gridiron and hardwood.

"I was all-conference my junior year (in football) when I scored six touchdowns," Woods joked. "I gained just as many yards the next year, but (Larry) Breyfogle couldn't find me in the end zone so I was only second-team."

Woods spent two years in the U.S. Army after high school, then earned two letters playing basketball at Southern Illinois University.

He began teaching in Florida, but it took about a decade to land job as a head basketball coach. Woods then spent 24 years on the sidelines. That included a stint at Hawthorne High School, near Gainesville, where Woods guided the Hornets to a second-place finish in 1986 and the Class 1A state championship the following season. The latter team averaged more than 100 points a game, and cracked the century mark 18 times during the season.

"I was lucky in one way," Woods said. "I was able to learn watching Joe (Fearheiley) coach. I wish he could have seen that state championship team play, because they were a lot like us."

Tickets for the hall-of-fame induction ceremony are on sale at the Kull Agency and the Daily Record.

To raise money for its annual scholarships, the hall-of-fame will hold a golf outing at Lawrence County Country Club the morning of the banquet



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