Hickory’s Drewno Signs with Lander University

Hickory’s Drewno Signs with Lander University
Posted on 02/17/2016

Twelve years of soccer has paid off for Marie Drewno, a senior at Hickory High School.  A defender for the HHS women’s soccer team, Drewno recently accepted an athletic scholarship to play for Lander University in South Carolina.


“Receiving this scholarship has validated my years of soccer,” said Drewno. “I’ve known I wanted to play college soccer since sophomore year, so it was really about finding a school I liked academically and where I liked the overall atmosphere. Lander is the perfect fit for me!”


Drewno, the daughter of Michael and Dawn Drewno, has played defense most of her years—playing club ball and varsity soccer at HHS for all four years. She actually started out playing soccer in Whitehall near Grand Rapids, Michigan, where her family resided until they relocated to Hickory when Drewno was in the fifth grade.


According to HHS Head Soccer Coach Brian Jillings, Drewno provided an immediate impact as a freshman. “Lander University is getting an excellent player in Marie Drewno. She has grown as a player tremendously each year, expanding her role on the team to the point that she is now our best defender,” said Jillings.


“Marie is an elite player both technically and tactically and plays the game with a passion. I’m confident, with her determination and her skill set, she has an opportunity to make the same kind of impact at Lander beginning her freshman year,” said Jillings.


As a senior defender, Drewno was selected as All-Conference and All-Region during her junior year and All-Conference during her sophomore year. In her career as a defender, she had three goals, five assists and she served as a defensive leader on a team that only conceded two goals last year.


“I started playing soccer at age six, mostly for fun. At age eleven, I started playing competitively. I play club soccer with the Lake Norman Soccer Club in Charlotte when not playing for Hickory High,” said Drewno. “I am thankful to my club coaches, Chad Lorentz and Jeremy Weeks, who both helped me to elevate my skills.”


With a recent anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery behind her, Drewno will use the next few months to condition and strengthen her left knee and leg. “This summer, I will most likely play a summer league with the soccer club in Lake Norman to prepare for the competitive level of college. And of course, running and fitness training will be a part of my routine,” she said.


A member of the HHS Beta Club, Juniorettes, and National Honors Society, Drewno has also volunteered at the soup kitchen in Hickory. She is a well-rounded student, but credits her soccer participation for making the biggest impact on her life. “Team sports helped me to get over my shyness in addition to helping me make new friends when my family moved to his area.  Playing soccer has helped me to gain confidence and learn how to be more proactive.”


Drewno admits leaving home will be bittersweet. “I will miss the Hickory soccer family a lot. All of my friends are on the soccer team. I will miss my comfy bed, the lake, my cat and my family. I am also thankful for great teaching at Hickory High, including some of my favorite classes with Mr. Lutterloh, Mr. Daniels and Mrs. Hamblin. I really enjoyed biology, physiology and anatomy, and IB psychology.


“And I will miss Coach Jillings who has taught me a lot of skills from both the technical and tactical sides of the games,” she said.


Drewno plans to major in biology with the intent to one day become a physician or veterinarian. In the meantime, playing soccer at Lander University will help to cover college expenses—and who knows, perhaps down the road, she will use her defensive skills playing for a medical soccer league!


Congratulations to Marie Drewno!

(More photos on the HPS Facebook page)
(Photo/article by Beverly Snowden, HPS director of communications)

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