Looking Back: The high flying Jessica Wood


From a story written in 2000...

There are many words one might use to describe Racer volleyball  player Jessica Wood; "athletic," "kind," "competitive," these all fit. But, the word that comes to my mind is "fun." She's just a lot of fun to be around.

The Volleyball media guide gives you a sense of this side of her personality. They asked everyone what they ran their last mile in. The other players listed a time, 7 minutes 40 seconds, or some such. Wood's response? "Nikes."

The media guide also says that she wants to be a singer like her Dad. I

"That was a joke," Wood said, laughing the whole time. "My Dad can't sing. I like to sing actually, but that was like a whole joke. I'm really studying to be a middle school education teacher. I enjoy kids and we get along great. I wonder why."

Wood, a junior at MSU, came to Murray almost by accident.

"Dave (Schwepker) was recruiting Audrey Nelson and asked her if she knew anyone who would be a good outside hitter. She gave him my name and I came down to visit. I had committed to Northern Michigan in October. But, I found out on Christmas Eve that their coach was leaving. When I talked to the new coach in February he told me I wasn't the type of player he was looking for, so I started looking around again."

Murray's a long way from rural Colorado where Wood grew up. But, her childhood probably wasn't much different from that of a lot of kids in Western Kentucky. "I moved to Calhan after sixth grade and went to high school there." she said. "It's a very small town. We don't even have a stoplight. there wasn't much to do. We had to get creative. We'd go cow tipping. Cows sleep standing up. So, you'd go into a field at night and try to tip over a sleeping cow. You'd tend to make it a little angry and run. It's really funny. I'm sure a lot of people around here know what I'm talking about."

As athletic as Wood is you would expect her to have been interested in sports from an early age, but that's not the case.

"I didn't even like sports until seventh grade," she said. "I didn't want to do them. I liked to watch my sister play. She was one of those people who didn't have to try at anything and she was good at it. My best friend's Dad taught me how to play volleyball. So, I started to learn how to play in the seventh grade."