Lily Woods has little time to savor success.
The talented Bishop England High School student-athlete wrapped up another outstanding tennis season, winning the Class AAA state individual championship just days after leading the Bishops to the team championship.
But there was little time to celebrate two gold medals in less than a week as she stepped out on the basketball court to prepare for the 2020-21 season.
She’s focused on helping the Battling Bishops, a perennial force, gain a state title. Perhaps then she can slow down and reflect on her accomplishments as one of the Bishops’ top female athletes in the school’s long and distinguished history.
“I have some very long days,” Woods said. “I go from school to tennis to basketball. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love it. If I didn’t, I don’t think I would do as well.”
Woods’ latest title was dominant as she claimed the championship with a victory over Sarah Allen of Christ Church. Woods beat teammate Elle Breadman in the semifinal. Breadman defeated Gigi Hinson for third place.
MacKenzie Penton was BE’s third participant. Philip Simmons’ Izzie Johnson also competed in the season finale.
For the record, Woods now has nine gold medals that signifies nine state championships, including team tennis, individual tennis and basketball. A state title in March would give Woods a ring for every finger and thumb.
She’s an all-state candidate on the court and will be the Bishops’ biggest force. She led the Bishops to a state quarterfinal game against Marion last winter. Woods scored 17 points in a game that featured No. 1 vs. No 2 teams in the state. She hit 50 percent of her shots and tallied five steals, but it wasn’t enough as the Swamp Foxes posted a 59-47 victory.
She definitely wants another medal come March Madness times.
“I’ve never had the time to step back and think about what I have accomplished,” Woods said. “Now that I’m about to make the transition to a college student, I can think back and think about winning one team championship, and what an amazing feeling it was.
But to win nine, I’m competitive and once I won one, I wanted to win more.”
Her athletic accomplishments are ones that dreams are made of. But more importantly, her GPA is 4.4 on Bishop England’s scale.
Woods, this week, officially signed with Wofford College where she will continue to play tennis.
College recruiting and visits to colleges were a little different during Woods’ recruitment process. But the one thing that remained the same, and that’s her parent’s support.
They have been with her the entire journey while it is travel, practice or state championship matches. But it’s more than that. Her father, Rob Woods, has coached her for 15 years. Her mother, Laurie, is a physical therapist who helps keep Woods in top shape.
She knows arriving on campus will be a transition. Woods says Wofford coach Krissy Hall helps make the transition from high school to college go smoothly.
“I know it’s going to be a change, not living at home,” Woods said. “It’s going to be a change but it’s one I’m looking forward to. I am ready for the next challenge.”