When the MHS Lady Panther volleyball team takes to the floor next season in The Arena, things will not be the same. No longer will No. 1 be worn by Katy Wilson because she will be playing in a much colder clime - Rochester, Mich. to be exact.

Wilson has signed to play for the Oakland University Lady Grizzlies, an NCAA Div. I program.

As a Lady Panther Wilson has earned three varsity letters. She was the 2006 team captain and Most Valuable Player as well as a first team All-District selection.

She was voted 2006-07 Senior Class Most Athletic.

In 2005 Wilson was named to the All-District second team and was the Offensive Player of the Year for the Panthers.

For the past five years Katy has played club ball for the Skyline Juniors. This year her team is ranked in the top 15 teams across the nation. Wilson has played 99 games to date and has recorded 334 assists and 57 digs. She is coached in club ball by Kirk and Chandra Perry.

The Lady Grizzlies will be under the direction of first year head coach Rob Beam, who had been the an assistant at Illinois State for the past two seasons and spent five years as an assistant at Wright State.

"We are fortunate to sign someone of Katy's athleticism and ability," Beam said. "We expect her to come right in and contribute on the floor. She has a lot of experience in the 6-2 where there are two setters on the court. She has run that offense with her club team for five years and gives us the ability to run that set as well. She will also be competing to be our setter in the 5-1. We are pleased to sign someone with her talent to play for the next four years. She will be a great asset in recruiting as well with her status on the junior olympic team."

Oakland participates in the Mid-Continent Conference along with Centenary College of Louisiana, Indiana University-Purdue Univesity Indianapolis, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Oral Robertts University, Southern Utah University, Valparaiso, Western Illinois and this year three new schools North Dakota State, South Dakota State and Indiana University-Purdue Univesity Fort Wayne.

Oakland University has an enrollment of over 17,000 students and offers 115 baccalaureate degree programs and more than 90 professional certificate and graduate degree programs.

Former OU students include Barry Sander, retired Detroit Lion football player and David Hasselhoff, actor.

Wilson is undecided at this point as to her major, but it looking forward to playing for Coach Beam and the Lady Grizzlies.

“I am very excited to be going that far off to play for a Division I school,” Wilson stated.

“All the girls on the team are cool and I really look forward to going up there to play.

“I don’t know what I will major in. I will take some time to decide. But, I am really impressed with the school and especially with Coach Beam.”

Wilson played all four years at MHS under the tutelage of head coach Rhonda Currey.

“I am proud of Katy’s accomplishments, Currey stated. “She has been a very important part of our volleyball program for four years. She will definitely be missed. Anytime you lose someone with her athleticism and work ethic - well, it is difficult to replace.

“ I understand that she will be expected to step right in this year and be a productive part of the Oakland offense in her freshman season. That is awesome for a Division I program.”