Two-sport prep star Faith Woodard, the Tampa Tribune's Female Athlete of the Year the past two years, has transferred to Freedom High from Riverview, her father, Sterlin Woodard, told the newspaper Monday night.
Sterlin Woodard also confirmed that Monet Williams, the starting point guard on last season's Riverview girls basketball team and a close friend of his daughter, has also made the switch to Freedom.
Woodard said his daughter and Williams were both accepted at Freedom through the school district's Choice Options program. Both student-athletes have been at Riverview since their freshman year. Sterlin said their family's main reason for the change of schools was the curriculum Freedom offered in business and health, two areas of studies Faith has expressed a strong interest because of several relatives who are physicians or attorneys.
"The No. 1 thing we need to focus on Faith's senior year is preparing her for college academically," Sterlin Woodard said. "She's already a good athlete and a good student. But if she plans to go into fields like health, business or law, she needs to become an even better student and be exposed to the type of course work she will see in those subjects."
Sterlin Woodard also said both he and his wife, Lora Chennault Woodard, work near Freedom High in northeast Tampa, which will make transporting their daughter to and from school easier.
The 6-foot-2 Woodard, who was the Sharks' leading scorer and rebounder last season with 21 and 11 rebounds per game, has received several scholarship offers from Division I basketball programs. She recently narrowed her list of top candidates to the University of South Florida, Georgetown, the University of Southern California and Central Florida.
After earning first team all-county honors in basketball, Woodard went straight to the track for Riverview. There, she qualified for the Class 4A state finals in four events and went on to win the high jump at 5-8 and place sixth in 400-meter finals in 56.74 seconds.
Although apprehensive about making a switch to a new school her senior year, Faith said she understands her need to focus on specific areas of academics
"I have no worries about what I will do my senior year athletically and I will probably sign (a basketball scholarship) in November," Faith Woodard said. "I have a 3.8 GPA but I really, really want to graduate above 4.0 and I feel like Freedom is definitely the school where I can do that and prepare for college."