Drewette is POY

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 8, 2006

CREEKSVILLE – Sometimes big things come in small packages.

If you walked by Northampton County High School – East rising senior Mindy Drewette, she might look like any average student at the school.

At 5’4&uot; and a petite 120, Drewette may not turn heads of the softball coaches of the local college and universities when she walks by. When she makes her way to the pitcher’s mound, however, she’ll get the attention of everyone in the park.

Drewette held the interest of one group all season in 2006. That group was the head coaches of the Tar-Roanoke 1-A Conference.

Those coaches voted Drewette the T-RC Player of the Year after she posted a 6-2 record on the mound and added one save on the hill.

Drewette, coming off a career-year as a sophomore, also hit .310 at the plate where she had three homeruns and 12 RBIs. She added 10 stolen bases to her stat line.

While she knew her season was solid, Drewette said being named Player of the Year surprised her.

&uot;I’m used to other people getting awards like that,&uot; she said.

Drewette felt the season was a good one for the Lady Rams, despite some bumps in the road.

&uot;We had a rough start to the season, but it got better as the year went on,&uot; she said. &uot;We need some stability in coaching.&uot;

The stability Drewette referred to was a change at the top spot midway thorough the season. She and her Lady Ram teammates finished the season under their third head coach in three seasons.

The change of leadership certainly wasn’t the only obstacle Drewette overcame during her junior season.

As a three-sport athlete, Drewette plays volleyball, basketball and softball for the Lady Rams. During the second game of this year’s round-ball season, Drewette was seeing the most playing time of her career when heartbreak struck.

&uot;I was running in one direction and turned to go back the other,&uot; she said. &uot;My top half turned, but the bottom didn’t. I heard a pop, but I didn’t know what had happened.&uot;

What had happened was she tore an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). She missed the rest of the basketball season and admittedly took the field this spring with reservations.

&uot;I have to wear a brace every time I run, play or do anything that involves running,&uot; she said. &uot;It bothers me sometime.

&uot;When I first started trying to play softball, I think it was in my head, but it kept getting better,&uot; she added.

Despite being saddled with the injury, Drewette was dominant for the Lady Rams, leading her team to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state playoffs and earning Most Valuable Player honors for her team. She was chosen All-Tar-Roanoke Conference in addition to being named Player of the Year.

Drewette’s success as a junior was likely after the quality year she turned in as a sophomore. In addition to being named All-Tar-Roanoke Conference, she was named the Best Offensive Player in the Roanoke-Chowan area and was given the Coach’s Award in softball.

In addition, Drewette was Most Improved in volleyball.

Her success can actually be traced all the way back to Conway Middle School, where she began her career as a three-sport athlete. She also started pitching when she was a member of the Blue Devil softball squad.

&uot;Ever since I was little, my dad worked with me, especially on hitting,&uot; Drewette said. &uot;Since I’ve been pitching, he’s worked with me and motivates me to do better.&uot;

As she moves rapidly toward her senior season, Drewette said she was hoping to have the best season of her prep career.

&uot;I hope next year we don’t have the same problems as this year,&uot; she said. &uot;It will be my last year, so I hope it’s good.

&uot;I hope we have a year with everyone on the same page and we do better than we have in previous years,&uot; she closed.

The rising senior has been active in the Beta Club and the Future Farmer’s of America as well as being a three-sport athlete.

Mindy is the daughter of Bobby and Norma Jo Drewette.