GRAND LEDGE – Liz Wood wanted to have a season where she made the most of her opportunities, gave her all and had fun and success.
The Grand Ledge three-sport senior athlete believes she’s done each of those things this spring for the Comet water polo team.
There’s been validation of that for Wood, who has already surpassed her scoring total from a year ago and ranks as one of the top scorers in the state according to first-year Grand Ledge coach Mitch Fountain. Wood has a team-leading 88 goals and 35 assists for the Comets, who are 4-2 in district play.
“I have definitely topped what I thought I could do and I’m very happy with that,” said Wood, who was voted the LSJ prep athlete of the week.
Wood’s scoring totals were boosted after a dominant 10 game stretch last week where she had 29 goals, 17 assists, 27 steals, three blocks and 17 drawn ejections. And Fountain believes the offensive success Wood has experienced throughout the season is in part due to a fearless attitude.
“She doesn’t back down from anyone,” Fountain said. “The scouting report says that there’s going to be a really good defender, and the first thing she wants to do is go stick it to them. She wants to go prove them wrong and show that my moves are better than hers no matter what she’s got. She’s not afraid of any goalie either.
“She is absolutely the most aggressive player on our team too. She finds ways to score. She doesn’t necessarily need an opening and she can create her own shot from the outside. Penetrating and really finding any opportunity to get a shot is really her strong suit.”
Wood, who plans to play basketball at Calvin College, said her hoops background helps with water polo. She also was part of the Grand Ledge swimming team and views water polo as a perfect combination of those two sports. Wood credits her experiences in those other sports and being stronger for helping her put together a memorable senior season of water polo.
“I’ve gotten stronger as an athlete over the past few years and that’s helped me,” Wood said. “I can get a lot of separation and that’s helped me power through the water. With the more power that I have, I have more shot opportunities. I think that’s helped me a lot.
“Also, it’s just more experience. This is my fourth year playing water polo and over the years you learn things, you learn new techniques. Mitch has taught me a lot of different things this year that I’ve really been able to apply to my game.”
Contact Brian Calloway at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @brian_calloway.