Editor’s Note: The Daily Times has released part five of an an eight-part series discussing the accomplishments and future plans of Southeast Ohio District Athletic Board and OHSAA scholarship winners Makayla Akers, Alek Blevins, Taylor Doerr, Cole Gilliland, T.J. Hoggard, Drew Lowe, Nathan Riehl, and Hagen Schaefer. Blevins, Gilliland, Hoggard, and Riehl have been featured and Lowe will be featured here in part five.
As a high school student-athlete, it’s always important to keep striving for success in anything that one does in life.
However, it’s also important to remember the very community that makes one a success while using what’s seen in that community to fuel the fire inside one’s very body.
Throughout his high school career, Drew Lowe has used that desire to be great en route to building one of the stronger student-athlete legacies not only at East, but across the Scioto County spectrum. That’s why Lowe was awarded a $500 scholarship from the Southeast Ohio District Athletic Board recently.
A three-sport athlete (baseball, basketball, football) with a perfect 4.0 GPA and most importantly, the character that draws high praises from the very coaches who have led Lowe into battle — Matt Miller, Adam Bailey, and James Gifford, respectively — it’s no wonder why the 6-4 standout has been accepted into a rigorous academic powerhouse such as Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky., which is the school that Lowe will be attending — and playing baseball for — over the next four years.
However, Lowe couldn’t accomplish the very things that he’s been able to accomplish in life without the support of a community whom, as Lowe says, takes care of all of its kids.
“I think that my overall experience was great,” Lowe said of his time at East. “The people that I was around, the people that I got to meet over the years, and the opportunities that they presented me with going to the Herff Jones Leadership Conference and the Buckeye Boys State were all excellent qualities that I got to experience at East. There was always somebody there that helped get me to the next level, and there was always somebody there who was able to help me out when I needed it. Academically, there’s always somebody there to help out. In my opinion, it’s an easier environment to learn in because of the small classroom sizes. I’m not the greatest learner, I’ll say that, but there’s just always somebody helping the person that is next to you. That always helps everybody out and makes you work a little bit harder.”
Over his four-year career at East, Lowe helped build up the football, basketball, and baseball programs at East by leading the 2016 Tartans to an SOC I Championship from his quarterback position behind a perfect 10-0 regular season and by leading the Tartans to an SOC I title in basketball and an appearance at the Convocation Center in Athens during his junior year.
Lowe then capped off his high school athletic career in a strong manner by helping Miller and the East baseball program take home its first playoff victory in over a decade with a 6-3 victory over Western before the Tartans fell in a 2-1 thriller over Clay — a game where the 6-4 standout threw six strong innings of four-hit baseball while striking out six. All of those multi-sport qualities allowed Lowe to make the All-Southeast District team three times — once in each sport — as a result of his work.
However, even in the heat of battle, each of his coaches have kept real life in perspective, according to Lowe.
“Most of my coaches at East are teachers, as well,” Lowe said. “Over the years, they’ve had to push me in the classroom, as well as on the field. You really develop a relationship with them on the field, and in the classroom, I believe that helps them know what to expect of you, so that helps them push you more.”
And while his accomplishments in sports have been significant across the Sciotoville community, his efforts in the classroom have surpassed what Lowe has done on the field of play.
In addition to attending the American Legion Buckeye Boys State Conference — an eight-day hands-on experience that focuses on the “democratic form of government at the city, county, and state level, the organization of political parties, and the relationship of one to the other in shaping Ohio governments,” according to the official website of the Buckeye Boys State Conference — and the Herff Jones Leadership Conference, Lowe was given the Sandy K. Pence Outstanding Senior Award for his citizenship, service, and his participation in school activities, and was a regular fixture on the Tartan Super Stars list, which requires a GPA in the top five of the student’s class, one absence or less, one tardy or less, and no grades of D’s, F’s or U’s.
Not surprisingly, Lowe’s accomplishments in all of these areas allowed the senior to obtain the school’s co-valedictorian honors for the Class of 2017, and as a result, obtain WSAZ Best of the Class accolades as well.
Excellence in academics, however, is an expectation from more than one source from the sharp, hardworking mind.
“The thing about playing athletics and keeping up with your academics at the same time and at a high level is the fact that you always have to keep your academics first and athletics second,” Lowe said. “My Mom (Lori) always says that you have to try your best in everything that you do in life, but that sports are always going to come second to academics. That’s how it always is at my house. My Mom’s an educator, so that’s what I live by. My teammates push me, as well, because they expect to look at me and know what to look for,” Lowe said. “If they need help on an assignment, a project, or a paper that’s due the next day, I usually have the resources or the answers as far as where they need to look is concerned.”
Over the summer, Lowe has increased his amount of responsibilities, as well. In addition to playing, and starting for, Miller’s Post 23 Senior League squad in American Legion baseball play throughout the months of June and July, Lowe has spent much of his time serving as the supervisor of the food service program for Community Action. There, Lowe delivers meals to families in need throughout the Scioto County area.
“You really see what things are like in Southern Ohio, Portsmouth, and Scioto County as far as the amount of people that are in need,” Lowe said. “You really understand what things are like, and you have a lot more respect for the little things in life like the food service business and different things. I have the utmost respect for Pat Oliver and this program. She’s the greatest lady that I have ever met in my life, and she does anything for anybody. There’s a lot to look forward to with this program. If any student isn’t involved in this program in this summer, please get involved. It’s a great program for anybody to get involved with.”
As the summer winds down, Lowe, who will major in business administration and marketing at Transylvania, is set for his next challenge. However, it’s one that he says he’s ready to fully embrace — considering how similar Transylvania and East are.
“The small community atmosphere is probably one of the biggest things because we have to rely on each other,” Lowe said. “That’s why I picked Transylvania because it has a small school atmosphere. That’s what I grew up around. The pride in a small community is kind of what everything’s based off of in Sciotoville. Not everybody has the resources they need in life, and you never know where your next meal is going to come from sometimes. However, we have always have had the help from different teachers, staff, and people from different areas in Sciotoville, and you always know that somebody will be there to pick you up on a bad day. Everyone has pride in and respect for each other, and that pride and respect sets us apart from most communities. There’s not a bullying atmosphere at East High School because everybody knows everybody, and everybody knows everybody’s situation, so everybody has respect for each other.”
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @ColleyKevin7