CANTON Drew Shreve wrapped up his college football career last fall, but the soon-to-be Malone University graduate received a nice addition to his athletic and academic careers before exiting campus.
Shrove, a former Lake High School standout who spent this past semester student teaching at Jackson Memorial Middle School, was named to the National Football Foundation (NFF) Hampshire Honor Society last month. The organization recognizes college football players who excelled academically and honored 1,251 players among all four levels of NCAA competition as well as the NAIA.
The NFF recognized four Malone team captains and Shreve found out about the honor in an unusual way.
"I didn’t know about it until I went onto Malone’s website … no one let me know, so I was just scrolling through and saw it, which was pretty cool," Shreve said. "It’s testament to my hard work, putting academics before sports because even though sports were important to me, academics are why I was there to begin with."
As a middle childhood eduction major, Shreve already has a job in place, as he will teach at Oakwood Middle School in the Plain Local district and will also be part of the football coaching staff as a defensive line coach.
In being recognized for his academic efforts, Shreve knows he has something positive to carry into the classroom as he tries to get his future students to buy into the learning process. He posted a 3.79 GPA at Malone, well above the 3.2 GPA standard for the NFF Hampshire Honor Society.
To be eligible for the award, student-athletes must meet not only the grade point average requirement, bur have completed their final year of eligibility and met all NCAA-mandated progress towards degree completion.
Given the position he played on the field - defensive tackle - Shreve acknowledged that getting a lot of individual recognition simply wasn’t in the cards, so the NFF award is a nice way to bookend his career.
"Definitely playing defensive tackle, I never got much recognition for anything I did and my job was holding my block and gap and if I did that well, then usually our linebackers got the tackle, but it’s nice to have your hard work recognized," Shreve said.
Shrove finished with compiled 106 total tackles, including 11 tackles for loss and three sacks, in 29 career games. He received the John Thomas Unsung Hero Award from the coaching staff last fall.
Going into coaching is a logical next step for Shreve in addition to teaching. His father is a longtime coach and coaching will give Shreve a way to remain connected to the sport he loves. Of course, coaching in the Plain Local district will also mean coaching against his old high school, Lake, as well as the district in which he was a student teacher, Jackson, but he’s excited for the chance nonetheless.
He also has a direct tie to the Malone program in the form of his high school teammate and friend Matt Blasiole, who is preparing for his final season with the Pioneers after missing a year due to a major knee injury and is less than 1,000 yards away from the all-time Malone career rushing record currently held by, coincidentally, he and Shreve’s former high school coach, Dan DeGeorge.
"I love Matt …I grew up with him and I remember playing youth football with him and we were captains together our senior year at Lake," Shreve said. "I know he’s frustrated at what did happen and he wanted to finish out with his career strong. He has a full head of steam going into this season and I’m definitely going to be following him and try to get out to a couple of games."
With his diploma in hand and his first job after college lined up, Shreve exits the Malone campus happy to have wrapped up what he views as a successful time in college and excited to see what’s in store for him next.
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