HARRIS' HEROES

Woodridge Warriors Youth Organization helps kids

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Since 1963, Mason Clark has coached D.C. children in baseball, basketball and football.

But his most important goal has always been to improve the lives of his young players.

“To help a kid to become a better citizen, a better person,” Clark says.

Helping to found the Woodridge Warriors youth organization, Clark wanted to create an after school environment that would keep kids out of trouble and teach them how to excel on and off the field.

Rudolph Knott, 16, spent eight years playing for Clark.

“Integrity, one, this program has helped me to be honest and do things the right way and to better my life and others,” Knott says.

And parents love the positive, encouraging roles the coaches play in their kids' lives - so much so that three generations of families have come through this program.

“Every game you hear somebody mention that they played here when they were younger ,and how much of an impact it had on them, so I could just imagine the kids you see out here now, the impact this organization will have on them,” says parent Pandora Crumpton.

And as much as Clark has inspired these young people, he says they've done the same for him.

“The biggest thing is to hear one of the kids come back 15 to 20 years later and say, ‘you saved my life. Because of you I am a teacher, I am a doctor or something of that sort.'"

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