Virgin Islands native Megan Hodge, the daughter of St. Johnian Carmen Samuel and St. Thomian Mike Hodge, was named the 2005-06 Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year earlier this month.
Hodge, a 6-foot-3-inch senior at Riverside High School in Durham, N.C., topped more than 385,000 female volleyball players across the country. She was also a four-time Pac 6 All-Conference pick, a two-time conference player of the year and the Gatorade North Carolina player of the year following both her junior and senior seasons.p> Hodge, whose father has been her assistant coach for the past two-and-a-half-years, said she decided to play volleyball out of the blue.p> Started Playing Randomly
I started playing randomly in the seventh grade, she said. I didnt really have an inspiration for playing. I just decided to tryout one day.p> Its a good thing that she did tryout, both for her North Carolina high school and for the sport of volleyball.p> Hodge is now in the running for the distinguished Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year, which will be announced this summer.p> I was very surprised to get the Gatorade national player of the year award, she said. Its a great honor, and Im so glad to be put in a category with todays best athletes.p> The impressive athlete, and future Olympian-hopeful, has accepted a scholarship to Penn State, which she will attend in the fall.p> Heading to Penn State
I decided to go to Penn State because I felt the most comfortable there, said Hodge. I had a lot of fun on my visit and the girls there were great. I compared all of my other visits to Penn State.p> The campus, coaches and gym were also some helpful deciding factors, she continued. p> Hodge hopes to win a NCAA title during her college years.p> I want to win a title at Penn State, she said. After college, I would like to play professionally overseas. Eventually, Id like to compete in the Olympicsthat is definitely my ultimate goal.p> Parental Support
In addition to her innate ability, Hodge said that her parents have been a factor in her athletic success.p> Support from my parents has helped me through a lot, she said. I got my work ethic, values and general respect for people from my parents. They raised me right and have always told me to do the right thing.p> They helped me realize how hard it is to be good, and how much harder it is to be great, Hodge continued. They always believed in me in anything I did and continue to do so.p> Look out for more great accomplishments in the future from this native Virgin Islander.