H.D. Woodson's football coach, Bob Headen, is partial to big people. The more he has, the happier he is.
"Football's a big man's game, I truly believe that. And you win when you're able to overpower and intimidate people," said Headen, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound former tailback at Cardozo, St. Augustine's College and the Virginia Sailors. "I don't have to recruit anybody. I was born in this city. I went to school with many of my players' mothers, fathers and uncles and they send them to me.
"All of these guys didn't come here big. We lift weights all year and everyone on the team is required to lift," Headen said. "We even have contests, just like in the Olympics. All of the guys pick up between 15 and 20 pounds, a few have picked up as much as 40 pounds."
Headen and his staff should market their weight-lifting plan. The defending league champion Warriors (9-1) have the best offensive and defensive team in the area. They also are trying to become the first Interhigh League team to end the season ranked as the No. 1 team in the area in nearly 20 years..
Woodson's overwhelming size -- there are 14 players 200 pounds or more--is a major reason the Warriors are expected to beat Coolidge in the league championship game today at RFK Stadium at 11 a.m. They have already defeated the Colts once this season, by a 40-3 margin.
"It'll be a different story this time," promised Coolidge tailback Ronald Miles, who along with his offensive mates were limited to minus-11 yards total offense in their earlier meeting. "We've improved a lot since that first game."
So has Woodson. After losing their opener at highly regarded Highland Springs in Richmond, 8-7, the Warriors subdued everyone in their path en route to a second consecutive East Division title. Headen's biggest job the past two weeks has been trying to make his players forget that one-sided nonleague victory over Coolidge nine weeks ago.
"We're going out like we've never seen them before," said Headen, whose team defeated Theodore Roosevelt, 7-6, for the title last year. "No one knows the last time an Interhigh team finished first in the area and that's enough motivation for us. And we would like to win a second straight championship."
Seniors John Burns, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound guard, and tackles Anthony Lyde, 6-6, 275 pounds, and Lamont McCreary, 5-10, 270 pounds, have provided the holes for quick tailback Nathaniel Cary, who rushed for more than 1,400 yards and scored an area-high 26 touchdowns. Seven of his runs were 70 yards or more.
"Nathaniel's father brought him to me in the 10th grade and said, 'Here, he's all yours,' " Headen said. "I looked down at him and said, 'What am I going to do with this little guy?' But I've always had big linemen and a little guy running the ball. Nathaniel can run it."
Coolidge won its first two games of the season in overtime before being beaten by Woodson and Metro Conference champion, De Matha, 49-6. Miles, a quick, elusive back, scored 16 of his 17 touchdowns in the next six games to give the Colts their second division title in three years. Miles scored twice in a 14-8 victory over defending division champion Theodore Roosevelt to clinch the title.