Albany bound: Senior Kayla Johnson accepts volleyball scholarship


Courtesy of Sandro Santos and Kayla Johnson

Through her scholarship, Kayla Johnson received the opportunity to support her college education with the sport she loves. “I love the intensity especially when you hype up your teammates and get energy from the crowd. [My] plans for the future include going to college and majoring in business and hopefully starting my own,” Johnson said.

Jenny Loveland, News Editor

Through volleyball, senior Kayla Johnson found a passion that has endured for nearly half of her life. The sport also became the vehicle propelling the next stage of her life forward, as she accepted an offer to play volleyball for Albany State University.

In total, Johnson has played volleyball for approximately nine years. As she progressed to high school courts, Johnson’s experience and skills quickly became vital to NC’s team. NC volleyball coaches implemented her talents as she played for Varsity all four years of her high school experience. Kayla also participated in several Cobb Atlanta Volleyball’s club teams, winning the American Amatuer Union (AAU) Championship with her team for two consecutive years. Johnson also received the award of Most Valuable Player (MVP) on her club team.

“I’ve coached Kayla for all 4 years she’s been in high school, and I was in charge of the program when she played for our junior program in 8th grade. Kayla is a very good volleyball player, super smart, and versatile. She has been a starting setter for us over the years, as well as a starting Right Side hitter for most of those years. Kayla leads by example, and she has a quiet ferocity that those close to her recognize when it comes out,” NC volleyball head coach, Stephen Sansing said.

Despite complications and setbacks stemming from the current worldwide pandemic, Johnson continued the sport she loved and pressed on with college preparations, which ultimately paid off, culminating in her opportunity to play on Albany’s volleyball team.

“[Preparing] for the opportunity [to play for a college] takes patience because you never know when coaches will be interested in you, so it’s a waiting game…. [The process] changed for me, because I had plenty of college camps and visits to attend to during the summer but couldn’t. For many people, if they got an offer from a school that wasn’t division 1, there was less scholarship money given, so I have to apply for other scholarships that the school offers… I know that I couldn’t have done it without my parents because they put a lot of time, money, effort, and energy in the process as well,” Johnson said.

Although her time playing on NC’s volleyball courts reached an end, Johnson will leave behind a legacy that stands with those of NC’s top volleyball players, attesting to the time and effort she poured into the sport.

“Kayla has been a massive contributor to the team, compiling over 1200 assists, 600 kills, 600 digs, and 200 aces. Only 5 players in North Cobb history had recorded 1000 career assists before Kayla. She ended up [at] #3 [of] all time by the end of her senior year,” Sansing said.

Beyond the statistics that provide concrete evidence of her skills and talents, Johnson will leave behind memories, experiences, and friendships that grew through the sport she loves. Her impact on her teammates and friends will continue as the seniors go their separate ways during this new chapter of their lives.

“I’ve known Kayla since freshman year. I was on JV, she was a freshman on Varsity… Afterwards [for] club season we both made 16-1 at Cobb Atlanta… Kayla Johnson isn’t just a good player, she’s a good teammate. She takes care of her family, like her little sister. She’s just very reliable, very dependable, very mature,” senior Chris Pratcher said.