Bradwell Institute girls’ soccer player Cat Wood on Friday officially penned her name to play soccer and study animal science at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College.
The signing took place in front of her family, friends and soccer coaches in the Bradwell media center.
Wood said she made several visits to ABAC and felt it is the perfect fit, considering it has her major of choice and the soccer team was welcoming.
“The campus is really beautiful and the coach loves … Soccer at ABAC starts in the fall … so I would move in a week or two earlier and start conditioning with the team,” she said, adding that the coach expects her to be a defensive starter. “And I will keep my soccer number that I’ve had since fifth grade (25).”
BI Athletic Director Ken Griffin congratulated Wood and thanked her for been a Tiger for the past four years.
“Thank you for representing us … this is your first step in getting to our Cat Walk,” he said, referencing the wall of photos of former Bradwell athletes playing at the collegiate level and earning their respective degrees.
BI girls’ coach Scott Akin said he felt privileged in be able to coach Wood these past two seasons. He said her former high school and club coaches laid the foundation that led to her work ethics and talent.
“This is not just a product of her talent — it’s a product of her hard work,” he said. “And not just the last two years, but ever since she’s been playing soccer. It’s not only a credit to her own efforts but to every coach that’s worked with her from the ground up, and I had the privilege of catching the end leg of that.”
Her club coach, Karen Higgason, said Wood was a leader when she played for the Jaguars and knows Wood will do great in college.
“The whole team would be scared and easily intimidated and she was the back bone of the team,” Higgason said. “She was always ready to go, aggressive and any time someone messed with her teammate she had their back. She has an incredible throw in and is very impressive in the back end. She also wasn’t scared to get yellow carded and knock people around in order to win the game.”
Mom Rose Wood said the signing was the product of many years playing her favorite sport.
“Ever since she was in elementary school … she loves playing soccer,” Rose Wood said. “She is now able to take it to the next level and be a collegiate player and follow her dreams to one day be a veterinarian.”
Mom said her daughter was the last one leaving the nest and offered sage advice.
“Be yourself, be independent, strong and assertive and always remember your goals and follow them,” she said.