• 41°

Prep Tennis: Carson’s Wood signs with Catawba

CHINA GROVE — Multiple spinal stress fractures sidelined Carson senior Marshall Wood 18 months, but he returned to tennis courts last spring with a purpose.

“I’ve got a lot of therapists to thank and I’ve got my parents (Skip and Jane) to thank for supporting me and driving me to therapy and to tournaments,” Wood said.  “I missed my whole sophomore season, so it’s a great feeling to have an opportunity to sign with a college program.”

Surrounded by coach Josh Trexler and dozens of friends, teammates and family, Wood signed a National Letter of Intent with Catawba on Wednesday in the office of Carson AD Mark Woody.

“When he was hurt, he had thought about not continuing to play, but he not only was very successful last year he had a lot of fun playing,” Trexler said. “He was a big help to me and to all his teammates. He was huge in us finishing third in the South Piedmont Conference and qualifying for the dual-team playoffs.”

Trexler said Wood’s greatest attribute as a player is competitiveness. He was 7-1 in conference matches in 2014, with the loss coming to Northwest Cabarrus standout Kyle Kennedy, a three-time conference player of the year, on a day Wood was battling heat sickness.

“I’ll never forget making it back from the back injury and representing Carson for the first time,” Wood said. “That day will always mean a lot to me.”

In the 2014 postseason, Wood competed in doubles in the Midwest Regional, along with partner Casey Lucas. Wood may have had a chance for a longer run  in singles, but he has no second thoughts.

“I felt like I could compete with some of the guys who made it to states in singles, but Casey was a senior, he was a great friend and I really wanted to play doubles with him,” Wood said. “We won a match in the regional.  I’ve got no regrets at all.”

When it’s time for regionals this season, Wood will likely compete in singles. It will be interesting to see how far he can go.

Wood’s strong junior season included All-SPC and All-Rowan County accolades and caught the eye of Catawba coach Jeff Childress, among others.

“Marshall has really developed as a player,” Childress said. “He’s become quicker and stronger, and that will help him at Catawba. We’re very happy to have him, as he had more than a few schools recruiting him. He’ll fit in well with our players on the court and he’ll do very well as a student.”

Wood is 6-foot-3 and sturdily built and looks like a quarterback. Besides Catawba, he took a recruiting visit to West Chester, a Division II school in Pennsylvania. He also considered Belmont Abbey.

“I chose Catawba because I wanted to stay local,” Wood said. “It’s important to me to stay part of this community.”

Wood is an excellent student and plans to major in psychology.

Five of the Indians’ top six current players are from overseas — including two from England, two from New Zealand and one from Spain. The lone American in the top six is a senior, and Catawba’s only tennis signee this year other than Wood hails from Zimbabwe.

“Catawba tennis is international,” Wood said. “It’s a very cool culture, and I’m looking forward to building a great program.”

Comments

News

Facing personnel deficiencies, local fire departments request tax rate increases

Local

‘Panic buying’ creates gas supply shortages locally, statewide after pipeline cyberattack

Local

Spencer board gets update on South Iredell rat problem

Business

Twice as nice: Planet Smoothie opens alongside Cold Stone Creamery in co-branded store

Education

West Rowan teacher awarded $15,000 outdoor learning grant

Cleveland

Town of Cleveland plans celebration May 22

High School

High school girls tennis: Busy Hornets win again easily

High School

High school softball: Nixon, Walton top all-county team

Education

All Hood Alumni and Friends Symposium scheduled June 18

Education

Shoutouts: Southern City Church awards educational gifts

Local

City to pave streets surrounding Bell Tower Green after park is constructed

Nation/World

Colonial Pipeline restarts operations days after major hack

Nation/World

Ohio’s million-dollar idea: Lottery prizes for vaccinations

Nation/World

GOP dumps defiant Trump critic Cheney from top House post

Nation/World

Israel steps up Gaza offensive, kills senior Hamas figures

Coronavirus

Fluctuating COVID-19 death number back to 302 in Rowan County

Crime

Habitual felon sentenced to at least 8 years in prison

Kannapolis

City of Kannapolis to have bike rodeo Saturday

Crime

Two more charged for operating illegal gambling businesses

Education

A.L. Brown celebrates seniors with signing day

Business

Rebounding, but not recovered: Rowan County tourism begins challenging path toward normalcy

High School

High school baseball: Padgett leads Mustangs; 100th win for West coach Graham

Coronavirus

RSS superintendent, Board of Health discuss strategies for increasing student vaccination rates

Education

East Spencer charter school files petition to contest charter revocation