MOULTRIE — A University of Georgia Merit Scholar ranking 21st in her graduating class of 410 and carrying an average of 96 in her high school courses, Anne Yearta could be looking forward to attending one of several four-year schools next year to continue her education.

But she wanted to continue to play tennis and has accepted an athletic and academic scholarship to play at two-year Young Harris College next season.

Yearta will begin her fourth season on the Colquitt County girls tennis team when the Lady Packers open their 2006 season on Friday against Houston County at the Jim Buck Goff Recreation Complex.

She also played played three seasons on the middle school teams and has been a cheerleader for four years on both the football and competition teams, of which she was the captain.

She also been in the choir for three years in middle school and four years at the high school.

Yearta has been accepted at Kennesaw State and was offered an academic scholarship at Mercer.

But she has been an outstanding and key member of the tennis team the last two seasons and wants to continued to compete.

She will be among four freshmen who will join coach Kimberly MacNeill’s team at Young Harris, a private two-year college that plays in the Georgia Junior College Athletic Association’s Region 17.

Also joining the Lady Mountain Lions will be Sarah Beth Britt, Stephanie Trail and Sally Woodhead.

“This will be a great opportunity for her,” said Colquitt County girls tennis coach Linda Berl.

Berl is also her “Pressure Proof Pack” mentor.

Longtime Colquitt County tennis coach Mike Jenkins has been her personal tennis coach and mentor.

The Lady Packers head into the 2006 after reaching the state’s Final Four last year.

Yearta was one of the reasons the Lady Packers posted an 18-5-1 mark in 2005, won the Region 1-AAAAA championship and advanced to meet Walton in the Final Four.

Playing primarily doubles, she teamed with Landi Clark to produce a 9-2 record and she and Elizabeth Singley went 5-3.

And when called on to fill in as a singles player, she won all three of her matches, including key victories at No. 3 against Region 1-AAAAA opponents Houston County and Tift County.

In 2004, when the Lady Packers went 18-2, won the region championship and advanced to the third round of the state tournament, Yearta played doubles with Anna Jordan and two compiled a 10-1 record.

This year, she will play No. 1 doubles with Gracie Qurnell, but Berl said she would not hesitate to move to singles if the need arises.

“She could easily play singles for us,” Berl said. “She’s become the complete player this year, and a lot of the credit goes to Mike. “She has improved so much. She is playing with a lot of confidence.”

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