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Countdown: Schafer Selects the Gamecocks

Andrew Schafer says it was his sister who inspired him to be a better tennis player. Katie Schafer won a high school singles state championship in Maryland several years ago. She went on to play tennis for several years at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia.

Blue Chip Andrew Schafer selects South Carolina
"When she won the Maryland state tournament, I got a little jealous," Andrew said. "I wanted to out-do her. So I started training harder. I thought it would be fun to chase my own dreams."

Schafer will follow Katie into college tennis next fall. He has committed to the University of South Carolina and will sign in November.

Schafer, who has trained the past three years at the Smith Stearns Tennis Academy in Hilton Head Island, S.C., is ranked as a blue-chip recruit by TennisRecruiting.net. He is the No. 17 prospect among senior boys nationally.

"I wanted to be close to home and family and wanted to support a South Carolina school," Schafer said. "South Carolina has some great coaches. It's a good academic school. All the athletic programs at South Carolina are on the rise."

Schafer will join a team that already has three players from South Carolina in Ben Barnette, Chip Cox and Kyle Koch.

Schafer grew up in Frederick, Md. His mother, Jane, introduced Andrew and Katie to the game. Andrew started playing at age 8. He entered tournaments at 10. By 14, he was nationally ranked and had outgrown his hometown tennis scene, which lacked tournament-level players. Schafer had been traveling more than an hour to train in Baltimore and northern Virginia when the routine became too hectic.

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Page updated on Wednesday, August 12, 2015
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