Moultrie Observer

Local Sports

April 17, 2012

Harvin signs to play tennis at Valdosta State

MOULTRIE — Four years ago, Colquitt County tennis coach Grant Hammack eagerly anticipated Andrew Harvin reaching ninth grade and finally being able to compete for Packers.

Harvin immediately moved into the No. 1 singles slot and he has held it ever since.

Currently ranked No. 25 in Georgia, No. 118 in the Southeast and No. 445 in the National ranking for the Tennis Recruiting Network, Harvin has been a force not only for Colquitt County, but in the state and the Southeast as well.

And now, as his brilliant high school career nears an end, he will test his skills against some of the top national and international players when he begins his college career at Valdosta State University.

Harvin signed with the Blazers on Tuesday in a dual ceremony with fellow Packer Bo Blalock, who signed with Abraham Baldwin College.

Harvin said he was impressed with longtime Valdosta State coach John Hansen and was pleased with the reception he received from members of the current Blazers team.

Valdosta has one of the nation’s top Division II programs.

Hansen’s men’s teams have been in NCAA postseason play 19 times, winning the national championship in 2006 and 2011 and finishing as the national runner-up in 2004, 2007 and 2010.

Harvin has certainly earned the opportunity to play at VSU’s level.

While at Colquitt County, he has posted a 59-18 record at No. 1 singles and takes a 15-3 record into Thursday’s Region 1-AAAAA tournament.

He was named first-team All-Region 1-AAAAA in 2010 and 2011 and was the region’s Player of the Year last season.

In 2009, he and the Packers, including brother Christopher, reached the state’s Elite Eight. In 2010, Colquitt advanced to the Finals Four.

A fine student, Harvin was a Colquitt County scholar-athlete the last two years and is likely to be one again this year.

Harvin also has been a fine USTA player, posting a career record of 271-146.

He has been ranked as high as No. 12 in Georgia in boys singles and No. 7 in boys doubles.

He has played extensively in USTA tennis, competing in 28 tournament in 2011 alone.

His tournament travels have taken him to Florida, Alabama, Tennessee and South Carolina.

In 2006, he won the Sportsmanship Award at the Georgia-Florida Championship.

That same year, he was invited to and participated in the USTA Competition Trining Team of 10 boys and 10 girls that trained four weekends in November and December at the Windy Hill Athletic Club in Marietta.

Harvin began playing tennis while in the fifth grade and received local instruction from former Packers head coach Mike Jenkins. He has receiving additional coaching at Auburn, Ala., Bainbridge and Albany.

Harvin said he considered playing at Georgia Southwestern, Abraham Baldwin, Piedmont, Auburn, Georgai Southern, Young Harris, Berry and West Florida.

But, ultimately, he seized the opportunity to play close to home and for one of the nation’s top programs.

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