Team Leader: Chris Woods ’16

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FFootball defensive lineman Chris Woods ’16 enters his final season with the Wildcats after being named to the All-PFL Honorable Mention squad last season. Elected team captain for the 2015-16 season and recently named a nominee for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, Woods is a leader on and off the field. USA College Football also named the senior a 2015 Preseason Honorable Mention All-American.

Q: As a team captain, have you set individual or team goals for your final season at Davidson?
A: I am very proud to be named a captain for this upcoming season. The role is very important to me because I Chris-Woods-defensive-linemanwas chosen by teammates. This demonstrates the level of belief that they have in me as a leader. With that being said, one of my goals is to be a better vocal leader this season. The past three seasons I think that I have done a good job leading by example with my hard work ethic in workouts and my intensity on the field. However, this season I plan to be that constant voice of encouragement for my teammates. Whether it is praise or constructive criticism, I want to build a familial relationship with each one of my teammates where we are close enough to talk about anything, football related or not.

My on-the-field goals are extremely specific. Personally, my season goals are to attain 10 sacks, 18 tackles-for-loss and 50 tackles. To do this, my goal is to have five tackles, including one sack and one tackle-for-loss each game. Instead of taking on the long term goal as a lump sum, breaking my goals into each game allows me to know exactly what I need to do each Saturday that I step on the field.
My season goals for the team are specific as well. This season, I want the team to end the season will a conference record of 7-1. Our collective goal for Davidson does not change from year to year. We expect to be PFL Champions. However to do that, we need to be specific about how many games we need to win. Previous year’s PFL Champions inspired this goal. Six out of the last seven PFL Champions had a record of 7-1 at the end of the season. Thus, by going 7-1 this year we will put ourselves in a great position to achieve that PFL championship we desire.

Q: You recently received Preseason All-America honors. How has this award affected your career at Davidson?
A: Being honored as a Preseason All-American has made me hungrier. I am grateful to receive this recognition because it lets me know that the work that has been put in during the offseason and on the hot summer days is not in vain. Being named a Preseason All-American means that I am being recognized for my hard work ethic and potential. However, I am still hungry because now, more than ever, I want that potential to come to fruition. Last season my goal was to become an All-Conference performer. Now that I have been honored with that recognition, I am hungry for a performance worthy of national attention.

Q: You are heavily involved in the community off the field. How did you become a volunteer?
A: My passion to volunteer was first instilled in me by my mother and father, Davina Boldin-Woods and Christopher Woods Sr. My mother and father have always had a passion for enriching youth mentally, spiritually. They both have set a great example of what it means to dedicate one’s life to serving others, as my mother is a child care facilitator, and my father is a preacher. Thus, following their lead, I have always been involved with volunteer work.

Q: What is your favorite volunteer program?
A: I have two, and they focus on aiding students academically and socially in low income families—Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate (Gear Up) programs in Burlington, N.C, and the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School program in Charlotte, N.C.

Q: What does it mean to you to be considered for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team?
A: It means a lot to be considered for the Allstate Good Works Team, because it is a recognition of my volunteer work, as well as my academic and football workload. Volunteering and community service is something that I typically think of as selfless, behind the-scenes work. I get my satisfaction from the relationships that are being built through my service. And I find joy in knowing that I am using my platform as a student-athlete, which so many young students aspire to be, to be an accessible role model who is advocating the importance of education. But, to be considered for the Allstate Good Works Team for my work gives me an added sense of fulfillment.

Q: How do you achieve balance?
A: Balancing a rigorous academic schedule, being a student-athlete and doing community service requires a great deal of time-management. My preferred way of managing my time is to do all of my work in advance. The professors at Davidson all give a syllabus, which outlines all of the assignments due throughout the semester. Being a religious studies major, many of my assignments are papers. Since I already know when my papers are due, I typically work on them as far in advance as possible to free up more time on the back end.

Q: Do you have any role models—athletic or personal?
A: My role model, both personally and athletically, is my father. First and foremost, it is such a blessing to simply have him play the role he does in my life. He is the one who first introduced me to all the sports that I played throughout my athletic career. He was even able to play collegiate basketball at Greensboro College. However, outside of athletics, I strive to be the man and the father that he is. He is such a selfless man who consistently puts the needs of others before him. He has also demonstrated what it means to give his very best no matter what the task or what the circumstance. He has set a great example for me, and I go out every day with the intention to make him proud.

Q: What are your plans for after graduation?
A: After graduation I would like to continue to make a positive difference in the lives of others. I have a passion for working with young adults, specifically. Additionally, I have a special love for sports. Thus, ideally I would love to work for an organization that works to mentally and socially enrich youths through sports.

Q: If you could give advice to first-year students at Davidson, what would it be?
A: I would advise investing your time wisely, and finding a method of time management that works best for you. On an internal note, remember to be your number one fan, love yourself, respect your opinion and do the things that you enjoy.

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