Griffin named WDN Tennis Player of Year
By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
His season started out with a March Madness-like tournament, and it ended the same way; in both cases Archie Griffin was satisfied with the results.
With first-year Pam Pack tennis coach taking over the program at Washington, all seeds were up for grabs at the start of the season.
Griffin rose to the top and never stop climbing.
Last year, Griffin was the Pam Pack’s sixth seed, but vaulted to No. 1 after winning the preseason battle. The Washington netter proved his early season success was no fluke as he made it all the way to the second round of another sink-or-swim tournament, the NCHSAA 3-A regionals.
The Washington senior also placed second in the Coastal Conference tournament, while being named all-conference.
Griffin’s abrupt rise to the top ranks, combined with his leadership skills also earned him another honor: the Washington Daily News Tennis Player of the Year.
At the start of the season Elks gave her players a clean slate, and a fair chance to stake their claim as the team’s top netter.
Elks said the challenge produced the right winner.
Griffin said the adjustment from being the six seed, to the top seed was a big one.
Griffin, who has spent four years on the varsity team, played his freshman and sophomore seasons as an unseeded player, before rising to the sixth seed as a junior.
In 2008, Griffin, who admittedly had limited varsity experience, was called upon to be a leader.
Elks said Griffin handled his new role well.
Griffin, may not be as polished as some of the other top players in the Coastal Conference, but his resourcefulness allowed him to succeed.
Also a Pam Pack soccer player, Griffin possesses supreme endurance, which allowed him to run his opponents into the ground.
Playing to his strengths, the senior used a defensive strategy and good shot placement to make his adversary tire quicker. Once that happen, it was advantage Griffin.
While on the court he likes working the corners, but off the court Griffin prefers the open space.
The son of Steve and Pam Griffin, Archie grew up working on the family farm, and when he heads to N.C. State next fall he will be majoring in agriculture.
Like in tennis, Griffin is a hard worker in the classroom and has earned three scholarships. Aiding his tuition costs are the Ruritan and the Farm Bureau scholarships, as well as the Patrick Brian Olson Scholarship.
Of the three, Griffin said the Patrick Brian Olson Scholarship holds a special place in his heart. The late Olson was a Washington resident who died serving his country in the Gulf War. Since his death, the Olson family has annually given out a scholarship in his name.