Wood makes it official by signing with App State
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
Although the recruiting process was a little more involved when it came to recruiting Watauga's Savanna Wood, head Appalachian State golf coach Heather Brown was able to get the talented Watauga golfer to sign a letter-of-intent to attend App State on Wednesday.
Wood felt that she had everything she wanted in Boone, instead of somewhere off the mountain. She a fan of the App State football team, and likes the small town that Boone is
"I love Boone," she said. "I've lived here all my life, but I love football and I just love the small community, and all my family is here. I'm not in a hurry to leave them."
Wood also said she's looking forward to the Mountaineers moving to the Sun Belt Conference in 2014. She'll get a taste of the bigger conference this fall.
"Hopefully, there's going to be harder competition and all that will do is make us better," Wood said.
Wood, who also plays basketball at Watauga, finished sixth overall at the state 4-A girls' golf championships in Pinehurst this fall. She overcame a first-round 80 by shooting a 73 in her second round.
She said that she knew Brown when they would occasionally see each other at Boone Golf Club, but when the two began to talk, Wood decided to stay in town to play college golf instead of going elsewhere.
"Appalachian is in Boone and I've played golf at Boone Golf Course since I can remember," Wood said. "We'd kind of casually say 'hey' once in a while, but nothing more. I never thought I'd go to App since she thought I would want to go off the mountain somewhere. Really, I started to talk to her more and I realized it's where I wanted to go. It's been a process, I guess."
Wood knows several players who are on the App State roster. The Watauga standout has played with two of the Mountaineers in tournaments before.
"I'm really like coach Brown and I'm familiar with the players," Wood said. "I played with Emily Stinson and Hannah Craver last year at regionals and little did we know we would all end up at App."
Wood finished in the Top 2 of every Northwestern Conference tournament this season. She is the Northwestern Conference Player of the Year and four-time state tournament qualifier.
Her coach, Jamie Wilson said that Wood is a well-rounded golfer who has worked on her distance driving.
"She's changed a lot since here freshman year," Wilson, who has coached girls' golf at Watauga for five years, said. "She didn't have a ton of distance then and when we got to the state tournament, that was obvious. The regular season, we play from a lot closer, so that wasn't a problem. Last year, she changed some things with her swing and got a lot more distance and was able to put herself in a position to have a choice to make about her shots."
Wood's basketball coach, Klay Anderson, wondered if Wood was going to attend a smaller school and play golf and basketball. Wood said Emory & Henry talked to her about playing basketball, but Wood settled on playing golf in college instead.
"I had always wanted to play basketball in college," Wood said. "I kind of realized that I couldn't go to as big of a school that I wanted to. Emory & Henry talked to me a little bit over basketball. I don't think basketball is where my heart is right now."
Wood played on the varsity basketball team as a freshman. Anderson feels that playing varsity golf helped Wood's development on the basketball court.
"Anytime you compete at a high level at any athletic competition at any sport, it helps you mature and grow," Anderson said. "I think it gave her more confidence just in herself as a person, so when she was asked to move up, she was really prepared and ready to go."