By Eugenio Torrens
Jess Johnson knows exactly what she wants for graduation.
Winter clothes. A lot of winter clothes.
Johnson signed her letter of intent on Nov. 9 to play volleyball for Norfolk State University, a Division I school in Virginia. Bishop McLaughlin’s outside hitter had other colleges in mind, but her official visit in September sealed the deal.
“I just fell in love with the school completely, so I knew that that’s where I wanted to go,” said Johnson, who plans to study chemistry.
Johnson said she is excited and ready for the next chapter of her life, both on and off the court.
“I think I could really help them, and their coach seems to think that I could help them, so I’m really excited to go,” Johnson said.
Johnson was an integral part of the Hurricanes’ record-setting season, piling up 403 kills this season — an average of 5.1 per game — and putting her at more than 1,000 kills for her high school career. Bishop McLaughlin set program record 16 wins this year, capped off with the first playoff appearance.
Hurricanes coach Doug Chinchar has known Johnson since she was 9 years old, and coached her for two years at Bishop McLaughlin. He said the match between Johnson and the Spartans made sense.
“I think she’s going to be a perfect fit just because of the way their school runs,” Chinchar said. “It’s not the Ohio State where you’re going 100 billion miles an hour and they hold that scholarship over your head and say ‘Hey if you don’t do this, you’re done.’”
He added the signing makes Johnson the first girl to sign a Division I scholarship in Hurricanes history.
“I hope that people in the Land O’ Lakes area notice this,” Chinchar said. “They have a young lady going to college for free to play volleyball. Beautiful.”
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