Photo: Westbrook Christian senior John Harvey signed a football scholarship with Birmingham Southern College on Feb. 6. Pictured, from left: dad Jeff, girlfriend Katelyn, John, sister Emily, mom Leslie. (Chris McCarthy/Messenger)
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
John Harvey will be playing college football just a few exits down I-59 South.
The Westbrook Christian senior signed a scholarship with Birmingham Southern College on Feb. 6 in Rainbow City.
“I just want to thank my family, friends, teammates, coaches and teachers who helped me to get the opportunity to play at the next level,” he said. “It’s a great feeling to have all these people love and support me.”
With Harvey in the starting lineup since his freshman year of 2016, the Warriors have gone 26-21 with three state playoff appearances. This past season, Harvey helped Westbrook go 8-4 and win its first postseason game since 2010, a 25-22 road victory over No. 1 seed Aliceville.
Following the season, Harvey was named to the All-Messenger football team.
Harvey pointed to current Westbrook head football coach Drew Noles and former head coach Brian Mintz as important influences.
“Coach Noles is big on character and how you handle yourself on and off the field. Coach Mintz really helped change the culture and helped you become a better man. It really felt like were took the next step last season, and I’m excited to see where the program goes the next few years.”
Harvey said that Birmingham Southern’s home-away-from-home feel was an important factor in choosing the Panthers, who went 7-3 in 2019.
“The most impressive thing for me was the coaching staff. Plus, I’ve got two teammates (Court Coley and John Ross Morgan) already playing there, so I’ll know a few people right away.”
Although he coached Harvey for only one season, Noles admired Harvey’s strong character, high integrity and tireless work ethic.
“I was raised on putting the team first, so it’s great to recognize someone like John, who definitely is a team-first guy. He’s unbelievable in the weight room and was a very physical player on the field. He played great for us this year on both sides of the ball, especially late in the season. I’ve only known him for a short time, but John has been a great asset to our school and an anchor piece for our program. He’s getting the opportunity to represent our school, our team, our community and his family, and we’re super excited about what his future holds.”