Northside volleyball player Nevaeh Edwards might only be a sophomore, but that didn’t stop her from establishing herself as the best player in the area this fall.
Edwards set a high standard for volleyball in the area, recording 338 kills, 57 aces, 40 blocks and 237 digs in her second season as a Lady Patriot. Edwards’ efforts were pivotal in an unprecedented year for Northside, which beat Columbus for the first time in program history en route to its first area title.
As a result of her outstanding season, Edwards has been chosen as the 2017 All-Bi-City Volleyball Player of the Year.
“The season was great,” Edwards said. “It was exactly how I wanted it to be. We accomplished what we knew we could, and we made it as far as we knew we could.”
Edwards said a big part of her play as well as the team’s performance stemmed from the offseason work. She said Northside does things a lot of other schools don’t do, such as coming in at 5:30 in the morning to practice.
The long summer nights and early fall starts coupled with Edwards’ dedication outside team activities may take up a lot of time, but it led to several unforgettable triumphs.
No achievement meant more to Edwards and her teammates than when Northside defeated Columbus 19-25, 26-24, 25-23, 19-25, 15-10 to win the Area 1-4A tournament. When Columbus’ final return fell harmlessly out of bounds, Edwards went into what can only be described as celebratory disbelief.
“Honestly, I didn’t think it was real,” Edwards said. “I straight up broke into tears. I was so happy I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t breathe, I was crying so hard. I was just so happy because we work so hard. We work non-stop in the morning, after school and any other time we can.”
The Lady Patriots were eventually knocked out in the Class 4A quarterfinals, but that loss wasn’t the start of a break for Edwards. She spends her school offseason playing for A5, a premier junior club volleyball organization based in Atlanta.
While she continues to improve her play, Edwards said her goal is to become a better leader for Northside. The task of speaking up with players older than her isn’t the easiest, but luckily for Edwards, her play speaks for itself.
Edwards was an important part in Northside’s reaching new heights in 2017, and if she has her way, the Lady Patriots will take an even bigger step forward come 2018.
“I want to try to make it past the Elite Eight,” Edwards said. “We’ve always made it to the Elite Eight and have never went past it. I want to make it to the Final Four, and I want to make history again.”
Jordan D. Hill: 770-894-9818, @lesports