Hinton – Summers County’s Andre Merriam-Harshaw comes from a family of accomplished athletes.
His sisters Ashley, Sierra, Candace and Jolysa were the cornerstones of a Summers County girls basketball program that won five consecutive Class AA championships from 2007-11. His brother Isaiah was an all-state selection in football as a utility player.
Merriam-Harshaw has made a name for himself though.
Coming into his junior year he committed to the weight room and came into summer camp in shape. His efforts have paid off just one week in as he rushed for 199 yards and two touchdowns, picking up two sacks on defense as the Bobcats dismantled PikeView 36-7.
For his efforts, Merriam-Harshaw has been named the inaugural Lootpress Player of the Week. The award, which is sponsored by Bodyworks and the Law Offices of Brandon Steele, is voted on by the Lootpress sports staff. Merriam-Harshaw was also the winner of the fan vote, collecting 11,101 total votes, 50 percent of all votes cast.
“It was really just the line,” Merriam-Harshaw said. “That’s really I’ve got to say. To me, I think I’m just an average player but the line makes me look really good. That’s what I think it is. I can’t do anything without the linemen and if I didn’t have the linemen I wouldn’t be able to do what I did.”
Merriam-Harshaw has flashed talent since his freshman year, serving as the team’s primary running back when he’s been healthy. He excelled in former Summers County head coach Chris Vicars’ spread system but when Josh Evans took the job this past spring, he knew he had the personnel in place to pound the rock.
Much of that optimism stemmed from Merriam-Harshaw, who was the perfect player for Evans’ two-back power system. He proved his coach right with his Week 1 performance against PikeView when he moved the ball at will.
“Just how hard he ran the ball,” Evans said when asked what stood out after watching the film. “He had some monstrous holes to run through, but when he didn’t he made some things happen as well. He just runs very hard and that’s all you can ask for out of your running backs.”
Merriam-Harshaw’s impact wasn’t just limited to the offensive side of the ball. He sacked PikeView quarter back Peyton Greer, a converted wide receiver, twice and made an additional tackle for a loss.
“He gets after the ball,” Evans said. “On defense he’s always around it and on offense he’s – you see what he does on offense. It’s his year. He’s a junior so we expect him to do things like this.”
Contact Tyler Jackson at email@example.com, call him at 304-731-5542 and follow on Twitter @tjack94