HAHIRA–Stephen Drew, a former LHS baseball player who went on to become a World Series champion is bringing his expertise back to South Georgia.
After 12 years of playing with the Arizona Diamondbacks, Oakland A’s, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, and the Washington Nationals, Drew has relocated to his hometown of Hahira after suffering an ankle injury in April 2018.
But Drew didn’t let that stop him from creating and maintaining and his own baseball field, Drew Field, building it to fit Major League Baseball regulations. After playing around with the idea of creating a summer baseball camp, he decided to do just that, as a way to give back to the community.
The South Georgia Gnats Baseball Academy will begin on August 2, at Drew Field in Hahira. The Academy will run August 2,3 and 10 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. They will also be holding tryouts for its 9U, 10U, and 11U Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 seasons.
Drew is hoping that this academy will allow him to create his own travel ball team. Being the father of two sons- Hank,9, and Nolan, 7, he wants to offer a healthy environment for kids to not only learn how to play baseball, but a place where his players can learn about life in general.
The former baseball star credits his former coach, Joe Mederos, for helping him come up with the idea for the South Georgia Gnats Baseball Academy.
“How it came about was, me and my wife had a dream of doing something like this years ago when I had the field built. Joe Mederos came as a coach to me out of high school my senior year and we got along very well,” said Drew. “We always kept up with each other and after three years at Florida State, he was still with me. And when I made it to minor leagues and the big leagues, he was still out here non-stop throwing. I can’t thank him enough for what he’s done.”
Though he is well aware of the inevitable challenges that will come his way, he is more than ready to face them.
“It takes little steps –– there’s going to be times when it’s frustrating, I’m not gonna lie. There’s going to be times when it’s great. I’ll look back and it’s amazing. I’m just hoping that I can be a positive influence in this town. I have the facility to do what I can do now and I want to give back,” said Drew. “Whether my team’s are the greatest or not, what I want to build is good team chemistry that players that have the desire like I did to get there. That’s what I want.”
Tryouts for the South Georgia Gnat Baseball Academy are $25. For more information, contact Stephen Drew at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit gnatsbaseball.com.