McNutt signs with Wallace State
Charles Prince, Hartselle Enquirer
Hartselle senior Sarah McNutt has decided to stay close to her Morgan County home during her first two years of college. McNutt signed a scholarship to play volleyball for the next two seasons at Wallace State College in Hanceville.
"It's close to home," McNutt said. "I just felt comfortable there. It's a smaller school and it's a good place for me to start college."
McNutt, who is undecided about the course of study she wants to pursue, intends to continue her education after finishing the Cullman County based community college.
"I want to go onto a four-year school after Wallace," McNutt said. "But, I'm not sure where I'll want to go until I've decided on my major."
Wallace State coach Lisa May said she followed McNutt's career for many years prior to offering her an athletic scholarship.
"I've known Sarah for a long time," May said. "I met her at volleyball camp while she was still in junior high. When I saw how talented she was at that age, I was anxious to see how good a player she might develop into by the time she finished high school."
McNutt developed into quite a high school player earning All-State honors as a junior and leading the Lady Tigers to a No. 2 state ranking as a senior.
She averaged 11 kills and five blocks per match as a senior while being named a unanimous first-team All-Area selection.
This year McNutt's play helped the Lady Tigers attain a No. 2 ranking in the state polls, in addition to capturing an area championship.
McNutt's play in her final pair of seasons for Hartselle, along with a recommendation from Freddie Kirby of Southeastern Athletics, helped make up May's mind about her ability to play on after high school.
"The past two years, you could see how her game had developed," May said.
"She's just the type of player we were looking to sign. We feel she can help take our program to the next level.
"We like her presence on the court and the way she plays with confidence."
Also factoring into May's decision to recruit McNutt was what Hartselle head coach Tanya Lybarger told her about McNutt's attitude and work ethic during practice.
"If she comes in and works as hard in practice as I've been told she works, she can start as a freshman for us," May said.
"She'll have as good a chance as anyone else on our team to earn court time, all she has to do is earn it in practice."
McNutt said she'll miss her Hartselle High teammates.
"It will be hard to not have them on the court with me next year," McNutt said.
"We had such a close team this year. It was a great experience I will miss everyone of them."
However, she's ready to test her skills and she how well she can compete at the college level.
"It makes me a little nervous thinking about playing in college," McNutt said.
"I know the game will be different from high school.
"I look forward to the challenge and I'm going there to give it my best."