Tate Harvey is all business.
When the sophomore steps into the batter’s box, he is completely focused.
With the game tied 1-1 in the seventh inning on the road in Taylor, head coach Kreece Cooper decided to go to his bench with runners on first and second with one out for Harvey.
Deliver he did.
Harvey smashed a double to right field to bring home Garrett Knight for the decisive run in a crucial District 19-4A game against the Ducks.
With his performance, Harvey was voted the Freddy’s-KDHpressbox.com Player of the Week.
“It’s a huge deal to be the player of the week, and it really means a lot to me,” Harvey said of the honor. “Taylor is always a tough test for us and to be able to go on the road and beat them was really a big deal for us.”
As the Eagles prepare to face Caldwell in the bi-district round of the playoffs later this week, Cooper agreed that having a player like Harvey on the team is a luxury, because whenever his number is called, the first-year head coach knows that he will come through and give it his all.
“Tate is the definition of a gamer,” Cooper said. “What makes him special is that not only is he a great athlete, but he’s a great all-around person. He has been a huge part of our success this season.”
Harvey admits the Eagles lost plenty of talent from last year’s 4A state tournament squad, but having Cooper as the head coach has brought out the best in him.
“Coach Cooper is a really great coach who really knows the game of baseball,” Harvey said.
“I really admire just the way that he runs practice and is such a role model for me and someone who I really look up to.”
Others nominated were Harker Heights senior Daniel Cole, Belton senior Brooke Gilmore and Killeen senior Bobby Smith.
Cole tossed a complete-game, one-hit shutout in a 2-0 win over District 8-6A champion San Angelo Central, and at the time moved Heights within a game of first place.
Gilmore swept the long-distance races at the District 7/8-6A area track meet. The three-time district 3,200-meter champ won the area contest by nearly 28 seconds.
Smith broke his own school record in the discus and wasn’t seriously challenged on the way to sweeping the throwing events at the District 7/8-6A area track meet. His record discus throw went 196 feet, 6 inches.