By Mike DeFabo
Times West Virginian
Bumps, bruises and broken bones are nothing new for football players. Saturday afternoons plenty of college athletes fight through the pain to finish games and help their teams to victory.
Sitting in the top row of the bleachers at Duvall-Rosier Field, Rosemary Angelucci was far removed from such muscular, hard-hitting athletes. But as she watched each play carefully from underneath the shade of a rainbow umbrella, she showed just as much — if not more— toughness.
Angelucci is a lifelong Farmington native, football fan and — most notably— first-year coach Jason Woodman’s grandmother. Thursday afternoon she fell at her home and broke her left arm “clear in two.”
No one would have blamed the 79-year-old for staying home for a week to rest and recover. But when a family member made that suggestion, Angelucci would have none of it. She said she would crawl from her home to the field to see Fairmont State take on West Virginia State if no one would drive her.
"That's my grandson down there,” Angelucci said. “I can't sit it out when he's on the field."
Her desire to come to the game, even though she admitted the arm still hurts, impressed even the Falcons football team.
“That’s dedication,” said running back Dawrence Roberts, who rushed for 175 yards and two touchdowns in Fairmont State’s 56-3 victory over the Yellow Jackets. “That’s dedication and love. That’s all I can say right there.”
Woodman knows better than to be surprised.
"She's just a warrior,” he said. “She's been like that since I was a kid.
“She's the rock of our family. She and my grandfather, they mean the world to me. She and he and my mother are probably the reason I am what I am today. My work ethic all comes back to them.”
That work ethic started here, in Marion County, where Woodman was raised and learned the game. But after he decided to pursue coaching, Woodman made the difficult decision to leave the area for several years, spending time at Louisiana State University, Florida State, California University (Pa.), Concord and most recently Bowie State.
"I never thought, not one time, that he'd coach here,” Angelucci said. “I was hoping and praying it would happen."
Her prayers were answered in December when Woodman was named the Falcons’ head coach.
“My family and I have been gone for so long,” Woodman said. “It's good to finally get back.”
You don’t have to be around the program long to recognize that Woodman is dedicated to his young family the same way his grandmother is to him. His wife, Kari, is always nearby after practice and games with a stroller and the couple’s four kids (Taner, Knox, Brodi and Kinleigh).
“I always said if I was ever a head coach, I would have my kids there and they were going to be involved with me and my job,” Woodman said. “Those are the morals that I stand on as a man and a father and a husband. I finally have a chance to do what I said I was going to do. That's a big deal to me.”
As for “Gigi,” she has another appointment with the doctor later this week. She expects to be in a sling for about eight weeks.
But don’t be surprised if you see her back at Duvall-Rosier Field, under her rainbow umbrella, when the Falcons host West Liberty on Oct. 12. Heck, if needed, Angelucci wouldn’t hesitate to jump in as an emergency quarterback, wounded wing and all.
“She'd put a uniform on right now if I needed her,” Woodman said.
Email Mike DeFabo at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @MikeDeFaboTWV.