Wood signs volleyball scholarship with Coastal Alabama CC

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Straughn High School senior Ella Grace Wood fell in love with volleyball so much it has led her to a scholarship with Coastal Alabama Community College in Brewton.

She signed her National Letter of Intent to continue her volleyball career into college at Coastal Alabama on Friday, Feb. 25.

Ella Grace Wood, center, signs her NLI to play volleyball at Coastal Alabama Community College. She is pictured with her parents and two sisters.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to continue my volleyball career at CACC. I have been working for the chance since I was in the seventh grade. Volleyball has brought me great happiness, and I am overjoyed to see what the next chapter in my life will bring,” Wood said.

She is excited about playing the sport she loves at the next level. “I am looking forward to making new friends the most. I am going to miss my friends from Straughn and their ongoing support, but I am certain that I will receive that support from my new teammates as well.”

Wood added that she chose Coastal Alabama because she felt wanted and valued by the program’s head coach.

Wood and her family are looking forward to the next chapter of her volleyball career with the CACC Warhawks.

“He welcomed me with open arms. Also, Coach Dickey told me that his wife makes breakfast for the team every other weekend, and that gave me a feeling of family. Since I am going to be away from my family, I wanted somewhere that was family-oriented.”

Although she is excited to become a Warhawk, Wood will miss being a Straughn Tiger.

“It means the world to me knowing I get to play two more years of the sport that has been the center of my life for the longest time. I will miss the family atmosphere from the school along with the never-ending spirit. I will always know I can come back to my forever home. My coaches taught me how to love the game, how to care about my teammates, and how to become a better leader. I also was taught how to learn from others and learn from my mistakes,” she said.

Wood, who started playing volleyball when she was in the seventh grade, said there were several highlights throughout her high school career. “I wanted to be different from my sisters and cousins. While growing up doing dance and All-Stars cheer, I got bored and wanted to try something different. Some of my favorites were winning area for two consecutive years, being named Team Captain by my teammates, and my coaches choosing me as Best All-Around Player.”

The support of her family and friends means everything to her. “I would not have made it to where I am today without their love and support. My family, especially with all the traveling we have done throughout the years, has been my biggest source of support. My biggest influence is my parents. They have supported me no matter my decisions from dancing and cheer to basketball and finally volleyball. They pushed me when I could not push myself any longer. They have been with me through my highs and my lows.”

Wood was appreciative of her two high school coaches Deidra Burleson, second from left, and Daniel Rodgers, right. She looks forward to playing with CACC Head Coach Steven Dickey, left.

Wood paid tribute to her volleyball coaches throughout her journey.

“To my very first coach, Coach (Daniel) Rodgers, my club coaches, and to my last coach, Mrs. B, thank you all. Coach Rodgers made me fall in love with the game. My club coaches helped me learn the game while making me better. Mrs. B kept me loving the game and wanted Straughn volleyball when no one else did. I will always be thankful for that. I would also like to thank Krystal Johnson for keeping me healthy throughout my senior year. She also pushed my teammates and me in the weight room to be better athletes.”

Wood celebrated her signing day with SHS Coach Deidra Burleson and members of the 2021 Straughn varsity volleyball team.

She is the daughter of Lance and Angie Wood with two sisters: Caroline and Abbie. She will graduate from Straughn High School on Friday, May 27, 2022.

“Ella Grace has always had a passion for the game of volleyball. On the court, she gives 110 percent and always works to better herself and her teammates. Going into her senior season, we had a great need for leadership, and throughout the season, she stepped up her game and became the leader the team needed. EG became our go-to player, and I knew she would always play for the love of the game and her team. She will be a great loss on and off the court for Straughn. As only a second-year coach, I leaned on EG, and she was an invaluable asset for me as well. The fact that she accepted me and grew under my leadership shows her character in respecting authority and knowing the value of learning from others no matter their resume. I’m so very excited that we will get to watch EG continue to grow as a volleyball player, and I have no doubt that success will follow her as she continues to work hard,” SHS Head Coach Deidra Burleson said.

Ella Grace Wood celebrated her signing day with her friends at Straughn High School.

“I’m very excited to have Ella Grace join our program. Her athletic ability and volleyball knowledge are top tier, and I feel she can contribute greatly to our program. In addition, from everyone I have spoken with about her, she is a fine young lady who will put the team above herself. She will be willing to do her part to help us reach our goals,” said Coastal Alabama Head Coach Steven Dickey.