Jefferson volleyball athlete earns All-State honor

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The Jefferson High School volleyball team went 28-16 and fell to Calhoun in the state playoffs. However, the team’s finish didn’t go unrecognized and one member in particular earned a unique award that set her apart from the best of the best.

Senior Sarah Wood got All-State honorable mention honored from the Georgia Volleyball Coaches Association for the 2012-13 season. The accolade is especially prestigious among private school volleyball teams as they usually garner more attention and recognition due to their superb volleyball programs. The award speaks volumes to level of talent among high school volleyball players.

“It’s usually given to [someone from a] private school because they tend to go farther in [state tournaments] and [state championships]. It’s a really big honor because I’m the only one from a public school to get the honor. I’m the first one from Jefferson to receive it,” stated Wood.

The announcement came as a shock to Wood, who was at a team event when Head Coach Mike Paul surprised her with the big news.

“I found out when we had the banquet. My coach announced it when he was giving awards,” said Wood.

Most athletes have a jaw-dropping play that signifies the best part of their season; however, Wood noted that someone, not something, served as her special highlight of the year.

“My coach [gave] me a [lot] of support and the opportunity to play,” said Wood. “I played in all of the games and he gave me an opportunity to play different position[s].”

Her playing days with Jefferson may be over with but Wood will take her skills on the court to college.

“I have already accepted [a scholarship] from Reinhardt University. Coach [Jenny] Hayes saw me play at one of my club volleyball games last year. She actually emailed and called my dad so I could come and talk to her,” said Wood.

Wood took a visit to RU nearly two months ago and sought advice from just about everyone she knew before making a final decision.

“I went a while back and [they] offered me a scholarship on the table and told me I had three weeks to take it or leave it. It was my first official offer so we were all really excited about it,” said Wood. “I actually looked at the school before I got the offer. It [took] about two weeks [to make a decision]. I asked different coaches, my friends and my teammates.”

Wood will be a 2013 graduate and, while she is not sure what career path, she will take in the future she plans to major in business at Reinhardt.