April 25, 2013

Murray County grad, former tennis player will finish at Dalton State

Submitted by Dalton State College
sports@daltoncitizen.com

— The Dalton State College men’s tennis team has added senior leadership to the school’s brand new program.

Garrick Sanford, who recently completed his junior season at Reinhardt University, said having an opportunity to work with coaches Michel Bates and Zach Rogers is just too good to pass up.

Dalton State’s relaunched athletics program will begin competition next school year. On Tuesday, it was announced that the school had been accepted as a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), and this summer the school will seek a conference home.

“I am excited for college athletics to take off in the Dalton area and for the high-caliber coaches I will be playing for,” said Sanford, a 2009 graduate of Murray County High School who also played basketball for the Indians. “I have known Michel for a long time. She will make me a better tennis player. With his tennis background, Zach will also help me be more successful on and off of the court.”

During his senior season of high school, Sanford was selected to The Daily Citizen’s All-Area Spring Team after going 9-1 at No. 1 singles and helping the Indians finish second in their region and advance to the second round of state.

This year’s honors have not yet been announced for Reinhardt, but Sanford racked up his share of awards during his first two seasons at Reinhardt.

During his freshman year, he earned honorable mention for the All-Appalachian Athletic Conference team and was on the all-conference sportsmanship team. As a sophomore, he earned all-conference honors as well as all-academic honors from the conference.

Bates has been coaching Sanford for several years through her work with the Dalton Parks and Recreation Department. She said Sanford is a gifted athlete, an excellent student and should be a strong leader.

Rogers agreed.

“I think the biggest thing Garrick is going to bring to the program is leadership right off the bat,” he said. “Anytime you have a new program, one of the big things you need is leadership. Having somebody come in with three years of experience is going to be really valuable.”

Sanford is the son of Leigh and Michael Sanford. He has a sister, Lindsey Bryan, 24, and a brother, Jace Sanford, 7. He will finish his business degree at Dalton State.