Though Devynn Jackson is a veteran tennis player with 11 years of experience, the Harrison standout was unable to compete for much of the last two spring seasons.
In 2019, Georgia High School Association transfer regulations caused her to miss her junior season when she transferred from Kennesaw Mountain to Harrison.
Then, the coronavirus pandemic cut her final season short this spring.
Jackson, who played as Harrison’s No. 1 singles player this year, missed being on a team during her junior year.
“It was tough, but I felt like I was able to focus more on tournaments, because a lot of coaches had contacted me based off my tournament record more than my high school record, because they know that the competition isn’t consistent between schools,” Jackson said. “It wasn’t terribly devastating to me playing in college, but it definitely was kind of hard just not being able to be on a team and transferring to a new school.”
Jackson said she figured her time at Harrison would be cut short when Gov. Brian Kemp announced schools would be closed for an initial two-week period due to the pandemic.
“It obviously didn’t feel good, but, at the same time, I knew I was looking forward to playing in college, so it wasn’t like I was absolutely devastated, because I knew it wasn’t the end of my career,” Jackson said.
Jackson was unable to practice with her team or play competitively during the pandemic, but she had to find a way to stay ready for competition at the next level. She found a solution close to home.
“I was hitting with my sister in our neighborhood sometimes,” Jackson said. “High school sports took up a lot of my time, but it wasn’t a drastic difference because I was still able to hit.”
Now, Jackson will be joining another new team when she begins competing at Clark Atlanta University.
“I chose Clark Atlanta because I really liked the team when I did team bonding with them at their homecoming. Also, the coach was really cool and easy to talk to,” Jackson said.
Jackson said she will study biology with a concentration in kinesiology, with hopes of working in orthopaedics someday. She said she would like to work for OrthoAtlanta or as a team doctor.