BELOIT, Ohio (WKBN) – “Total shock, total shock,” said West Branch head coach Jennifer “Sis” Woods. “It was great to have my family here. My brother flew in from Florida, who I didn’t even know he was home.”
It is tough to pull a fast one on someone who has been coaching for over four decades but Woods had just that happen to her on Thursday. An ultimate sign of respect given to one of the best in the state at her alma mater, having the field named after her.
“Thirty-seven years, that tells you right there how important she is to the program,” said athletic director Mike Helm. “The number of kids she has touched and are playing college ball or that are coaching now.”
Woods didn’t just graduate from West Branch, but in 1987, she started the softball program. Now, she is part of the 500 win club in the state of Ohio, with a state runner-up finish in 2018.
“This is just a tribute to the 200 plus girls that have played in the program,” Woods said. “These are their wins, not mine.”
“There are kids of kids that she has on the team,” Helm said. “So it is always going to be known who Sis Woods is, always. That is West Branch.”
Even if you aren’t a West Branch softball supporter, you still might know Sis. She takes tickets at football games, substitute teaches when the district is in need and never misses Thursday bingo that supports the boosters. And now, for years to come, Sis Woods will have her name up at her alma mater.
“Basically speechless,” Woods said. “Never expected it. I am still doing what I love, it is my passion. Like I said, I never expected any of this. West Branch is home to me, it always will be.”