Woods ready for challenge at Mountain House High
by Bob Brownne
Jan 23, 2014 | 3084 views | 0 0 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mountain House High athletics take shape
Athletic Director LeVinia Woods (left) and Principal Ben Fobert look over the site for the Mountain House High School football stadium next to the school’s gymnasium Tuesday, Jan. 21.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press
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Before Lammersville School District had broken ground for Mountain House High School 18 months ago, LeVinia Woods saw the proposed campus as her potential new home.

“Since I heard the rumor that Mountain House High was going to open, this is something I’ve wanted to go for,” Woods said.

On Tuesday, Jan. 21, she set foot in the high school’s new gymnasium as the scope of her new job as the Mountain House Mustangs’ first athletic director started to sink in.

“It’s amazing. To have new facilities — I can’t wait to get in there and get things going,” Woods said. “I’m in awe, actually.”

Lammersville School District announced Jan. 15 that Woods had been selected from 28 applicants to lead the school’s athletic programs. Mountain House High Principal Ben Fobert said she was one of 10 finalists, all of whom would have been good choices.

He said Woods, who has experience as a teacher, coach and athletic director at Millennium High, looked like the best person to represent one of the school’s highest-profile departments. She stood out, he added, as someone who listened to and cared about the people she served and followed up effectively on their concerns.

Woods got involved at Millennium High seven years ago as coach for the Falcon girls basketball team. That experience was enough to motivate Woods to go back to California State University, Stanislaus, where she previously earned a degree in criminal justice, to get her teaching credential. She also earned a master’s degree in coaching and athletic administration through Irvine-based Concordia University’s online program.

Her experience includes three years as Millennium High’s athletic director from 2009 to 2012, a role she has traded with Jayson Dias, Millennium’s original athletic director. Dias moved back into the job in the 2012-13 school year after Woods took on additional teaching duties.

Millennium High showed her how important sports could be to campus culture. Her daughter Jaelyn, Millennium Class of 2010, and son Jamani, Millennium Class of 2012, were both active in Falcon athletics.

“I think it’s actually helped us retain students there,” Woods said. “The more sports we offered, the less likely that students would leave.”

As many as 500 students, all freshmen and sophomores, will attend Mountain House High when it opens in August, and the Mustangs could potentially have teams in all of the fall sports: cross-country, football, girls golf, boys soccer, girls tennis, volleyball and water polo. The school will add junior and senior classes and varsity teams for the 2015-16 school year.

Woods said her first task in her new job would be to hire coaches for the fall 2014 season. They will help order equipment and uniforms and finish filling out the fall schedules.

Mountain House High will be in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Trans Valley League with Escalon, Hilmar, Hughson, Modesto Christian, Orestimba, Ripon and Riverbank high schools.

Woods said she was accustomed to planning for a lot of road games with coaches at Millennium, whose Central California Athletic Alliance opponents range from Merced at the south to San Andreas at the north.

In addition to the gymnasium, Mountain House High will have a 2,500-seat stadium, tennis courts and baseball, softball and soccer fields. The only athletic venue not yet under construction is a pool, though the school could still form water polo and swim teams and use pools at other schools for practices and games.

“As long as we have the students willing to participate, we’ll field a team,” Wood said.

Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or brownne@tracypress.com.

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