With their families and friends by their side at Hilton Head Island High School, five Seahawk student-athletes made their college plans official Wednesday night.
Volleyball phenom Ady O’Grady signed with USC Upstate, reigning All-Lowco girls lacrosse player of the year Anna Ferebee inked her spot at Erskine, and boys lacrosse standout Amare Ford penned with Hampton University while teammates Gavin Dellinger and Seth Woods both chose Guilford College.
One of the best volleyball talents to ever come through the area, O’Grady will head to Spartanburg to join the USC Upstate Spartans. She left a lasting legacy at two different Lowco schools, beginning her memorable career at Hilton Head Christian Academy before moving across the island to Hilton Head High for her junior year. O’Grady was a dominant force at middle hitter under head coach Garrett Talarczyk, leading the Seahawks to an SCHSL 4A state championship in 2020. Her unmatched athleticism and dynamic skill set was on display this past fall in her senior campaign, recording 304 kills in 36 matches alongside 206 digs, 42 blocks, and 51 service aces. The 2020 SCCAWS 4A Player of the Year and a member of the 2021 All-State team, O’Grady committed to USC Upstate in August and will join an up-and-coming Spartan program this fall to continue her volleyball career.
“I’m super excited and ready to get up there,” O’Grady said. “I will definitely remember my family-like team, they were my best friends. Going to and winning states was the best experience. My goal is to be ready when I get up there to see the court and keep working until I’m the best that I can be.”
A breakout star over her junior year as a Seahawk, Ferrebee signed to play lacrosse at Erskine, becoming the first girls lacrosse player to commit to the next level during head coach Kara Cooke’s tenure. A phenom on the offensive end for Hilton Head High, Ferrebee led the Lowco with an amazing 48 goals, including 11 straight games with three or more. Her blazing speed and stellar shooting at attacker led the Seahawks to a magical playoff run last spring, scoring six goals against Philip Simmons and A.C. Flora to send her team to the Class 4A semifinals. Our 2021 All-Lowco Girls Lacrosse Player of the Year, Ferebee will have one more season at The Nest to hone her game before joining the Flying Fleet this fall.
“This moment means so much to me,” Ferrebee said. “I’m just so glad that I get to experience college lacrosse and have a whole new experience with a whole new team and a whole new environment. During my junior year, I wanted to push hard and show everyone that even though you can have setbacks, you can do whatever you put your mind to.”
After a tremendous career on the lacrosse field at Hilton Head High, Woods and Dellinger will team up again at the next level at NCAA Division III Guilford. An anchor of the Seahawk offense, Woods impressed with his goal-scoring abilities while showcasing his energy and hustle by always being the first to grab ground balls. Dellinger shined between the pipes all season long, helping the Seahawks pick up a pair of wins against rival Bluffton by providing a strong and reliable presence in net.
“It feels great, it was a lot of hard work, and I finally get to reap the rewards of it,” Dellinger said. “I really like the campus, and Coach Frey really made it seem like he wanted us to be a part of the program, and I just really enjoy the school. I hope to start working with the team and eventually win a championship with them.”
His job was helped by the outstanding work of Ford, who used his big frame and athleticism to excel as the leader of a strong Hilton Head defense, racking up 63 ground balls in 2021 while forcing a Lowco-high 36 turnovers. A multi-sport standout who doubled as a football player on BJ Payne’s defensive line, Ford will continue his stellar lacrosse career at Division I Hampton University.
“It feels amazing to be at the Division I level and at an HBCU to play lacrosse,” Ford said. “When COVID hit, I started training by myself, and it showed me that I could become the best lacrosse player I can be. I want to make the all-conference team at the college level.”
By Wes Kerr
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