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Wood signs to continue tennis career at Holmes CC

February 14, 2013

Starkville High School tennis player Katie Wood, seated middle, signs with Holmes Community College Wednesday, while family and coaches show their support. (Photo by Robert Dandass, For Starkville Daily News)

Katie Wood of Starkville High School called her opportunity to sign a tennis scholarship with Holmes Community College "a big deal."

It was considered big for Wood personally, for the Yellowjacket program and for Holmes Community College.

The SHS athlete shared the signing experience on Wednesday with family and coaches Wednesday afternoon at the school.

Wood said it didn't take long after looking into what Holmes had to offer to realize that was the place for her.

"As soon as I met coach (Greg) Levert and visited campus, I looked at my parents and said 'let's sign,' and I was thrilled to be able to keep playing tennis," Wood said.

Levert believes he is getting a good player and a quality person in Wood. He said Wood has progressed with the Jackets and looks forward to using her skills at Holmes.

"I saw her in the 10th and 11th grade years," Levert said. "She was better the second year and I know she will be better this year. After playing a fall season and spring season, like we get to do, she should improve even more."

Goodman, the home of Holmes, is about an hour and a half from Starkville, so Wood likes the fact it won't be a great distance separating her from home.

SHS tennis coach Rob Fyke was excited to send one of his players to the next level. He said it's a source of pride for the program and the community.

Fyke values Wood's leadership on the team.

"Katie has provided a wonderful example on and off the court," Fyke said. "I can point younger girls, and boys alike, to her example and we appreciate her in the three years I've been here.

"We're going to need her along with 15 other players in order to compete with Oxford in the spring and other schools because our goal is to win the State championship. Hopefully, this is something that will take the stress level down a little bit for Katie so she will be solid with what she needs to do on the court."

The Jackets begin the season Feb. 28 at the Cowbell Match in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Wood looks forward to getting the season started and has enjoyed her time at SHS so far.

"It's definitely been an experience," Wood said. "I came in under coach (Martha Ruth) Parvin and coach Henderson, then coach Anna (Albritton) and coach (Rob) Fyke came over. The program has just grown."

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