College News

All-around player headed to CCCC

04.25.2016 • College & Community, College General, Sports

By Andrew Giermak, The Sanford Herald

SANFORD - Tara Way's been a talented, multi-sport athlete for a long time. She's had the goal of being a college athlete for a long time, too. She thought it would be playing softball, until recently.

On Thursday inside Southern Lee's media center, Way, a senior at Southern Lee, signed a volleyball letter of intent with Central Carolina Community College.

Lady Cougar head coach Bill Carter found out about Way through softball, then invited her to a volleyball workout at the college.

"We knew immediately Tara's someone we wanted on our team," said Carter.

The opportunity isn't exactly what was expected, but it's a great one nonetheless, said Way.

"The door opened and I'm excited to see how I can improve," Way said.

While playing softball, "since I was little," Way found volleyball in the seventh grade.

"I came to a tryout and just wanted to see if I'd like it," she said.

She liked the sport and has thrived, and she credits her coaches and teammates.

"Every year it's been about learning so many things and I've learned to love the game, but honestly, I wasn't thinking about playing in college," said Way.

"This is a great day for Tara and her family and we're really excited for her," said Southern Lee head coach Alyson Cochrane.

Way was an "all-around player" for the Lady Cavaliers, playing any position she was needed at said Cochrane. Carter said she could well have the libero, or defensive specialist, position for CCCC.

"We're going to miss her," said Cochrane. "She was the key to our team, of all the teams she was on, and no matter the injury, she'd play through it."

"Without the coaches, I wouldn't be where I am, without them pushing me," said Way.

"She's going to really strengthen our team," said Carter, "and we're very excited to have her join us."

Way is going to study sports medicine and seeks to get a Master's degree to be an athletic trainer. It turns out, along with Way's work to make it happen, volleyball's part of the larger plan.

"When (coach Carter) asked me, it made me realize I do have the talent and it can take me places," said Way.

"I'm excited to grow and be a leader," she said, "to grow as an athlete and as a person as well."

All-around player headed to CCCC

Andrew Giermak | The Sanford Herald Southern Lee senior Tara Way, seated center, signed a volleyball letter of intent with Central Carolina Community College Thursday during a ceremony at the school. With her is, seated, her parents Laurie and Chris, standing from left, Southern Lee athletic director Don Simon, Southern Lee volleyball head coach Alyson Cochrane, Tara's sister Kiley, and CCCC volleyball head coach Bill Carter.