Whittell’s Woods voted Sierra Nevada’s top athlete | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Whittell’s Woods voted Sierra Nevada’s top athlete

Paul Andrew

Dan Thrift / Tahoe Daily Tribune / George Whittell High School graduate Jessica Woods, center, accepts the Sierra Nevada Media Group's Female Athlete of the Year award and $500 from Tahoe Daily Tribune sports writer Paul Andrew, left, and Tribune Sports Editor Steve Yingling. She was a unanimous selection. Woods will attend Wright State on a volleyball scholorship in the fall.

Jessica Woods has been awarded the Sierra Nevada Media Group Female Athlete of the Year based on her exceptional athletic exploits at Whittell High School. The award, along with a check for $500, is presented annually to the top high school male and female athletes from the Lake Tahoe, Carson City, Carson Valley and Lyon County region.

She was a unanimous selection.

Woods, a phenomenal multi-sport athlete, won a combined 14 state championships during her career, including four straight 2A volleyball championships, three straight track and field crowns, plus seven individual state track titles. Along with teammate, and close friend, Kelly Karmann, Woods became the only athlete in South Lake Tahoe sports history to win four straight championships in any sport.

“I’m going to miss the Tahoe community, my friends at Whittell, and all the great coaches that I have had,” said Woods, who will be playing volleyball for Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. “It will be like culture shock to go to Ohio after living in Tahoe.”

Woods is excited, but nervous, about beginning her college experience. She will be driving back to Dayton, Ohio, with her father, Phil, in early August to start her career with the Raider volleyball team.

“I had never been to Ohio before, but really liked the campus, even though it was cold,” Woods said. “I’ve met a bunch of the players on the team, and they seem like a tight-knit group. Coach (Trina Smith) is really trying to build a winner.”

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Woods is slated to play outside hitter for the Raiders, the position at which she excelled for the Warriors. Though only 5-foot-8, Woods feels she has the leaping ability to compete at the college level.

“They are going to work on my vertical,” Woods said. “They expect me to impact the team right away. I hope to be in the running for a starting position.”

Although she’ll be far from home, Woods is excited about being closer to Karmann, who will be playing volleyball for Cornell in New York this fall.

“We’ve already looked at schedules to see when we can get together,” Woods said. “Hopefully, we’ll get to play against each other one of these years.”

As the second Whittell athlete to win this award, (Katrina Kacirek was last year’s recipient), Woods ends her incredible career leaving a legacy that will be remembered for many years.

Travis Wood of Dayton was chosen the SNMG’s Male Athlete of the Year.