Samantha Kennett became the first Jackson County volleyball player to sign a college scholarship in over a decade, inking with Reinhardt College Thursday.
Kennett said the size and the set-up of the campus factored largely in her decision.
“I really like the campus, and the atmosphere over there is really great,” Kennett said. “And it’s a smaller school. It’s just a little bigger than this one (Jackson County), so it wouldn’t be too much of a change.”
She also mentioned the chemistry she felt upon visiting Reinhardt – an NAIA school less than two hours away in Waleska – and meeting with her future teammates.
“I like the people there a lot,” Kennett said. “The current team members were all really nice and really friendly and welcoming, so I really like that about it.”
Kennett began playing volleyball in eighth grade and had designs on earning a college scholarship even back then. In addition to playing for Jackson County, she also played for a travel ball team, the Georgia Juniors, to hone her game.
“Ever since then, I’ve always wanted to keep playing and go to the next level,” Kennett said.
Reinhardt coach Jenny Hayes pointed to Kennett’s qualities both on and off the volleyball court during her recruitment.
“Just watching Samantha play, how much heart and passion she has for the game of volleyball, it’s really fun,” Hayes told those gathered at a signing ceremony for Kennett. “And her work ethic, it’s really going to take her to the next level. She’s a great student-athlete and that’s what we definitely look for at Reinhardt.”
Jackson County coach Crystal Colley said the Panthers will miss Kennett’s leadership.
“Her leadership and the court and just with the girls … If you read her card, everybody just looks up to her on the court, so we’re going to miss that,” she said.