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Campaign wants stadium named for Donell Woods
aw stadium
The bleachers at Liberty County High School’s football stadium are still under construction. The stadium is projected to be complete by the home-opener in September. - photo by Photo by Andrea Washington
With construction on Liberty County High School’s new football stadium just a few months from completion, an effort is building to name it after local hero Donell Woods.
“Donnell was an outstanding person in the community...a past coach, educator and community activist,” Charles Frasier, Hinesville city councilman and de facto spokesperson for the naming movement, said. “He was just a super human being and there’s a strong outcry from the community for this to happen.”
A 1957 graduate of the original Liberty County High, Woods coached football at his alma mater from 1962 to 1972, when schools in the county were integrated. He then served as an assistant football coach and head basketball coach at Bradwell Institute from 1972 until his death from lung cancer in 1980.
Woods won the Hinesville Officials Association Official of the Year award and was twice named Coach of the Year by the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association.
The Donell Woods Memorial Basketball Tournament was created in 1992 by then BI basketball coach Willie Graham as a way to keep Woods’ legacy alive for future athletes.
Woods was not just about athletic accolades, however.
“I believe Donell is remembered not only because he was an excellent teacher and coach, but because he was a humanitarian,” his widow, Yvonne, said. “Many people could attest to his generosity.”
Recounting Woods’ work with countless young people in the community, Frasier agreed.
“He was always giving us support, helping us with transportation and often times loaning us clothes to wear,” he said. “And he was always encouraging us to be the best that we could be and do all that we could to be involved and to become educated so that we could make a contribution to our community.”
Although there appears to be substantial support behind the proposed “Donell Woods Stadium,” an official vote on the stadium’s name is months away.
“Typically, it’s after construction that you name a stadium,” Liberty County Board of Education Chairwoman Lily Baker said, noting the stadium’s early fall expected completion date. “It’ll probably be soon after the completion.”
The BoE chairwoman said so far no other names have been suggested for the stadium, but the door was still open for other submissions.
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