High School Football: Not Only a Love Of Mine,…

I continue with my back to school series of my #imjustdrew movement. Without question, I was influenced the most as a young, shy teen by playing and watching high school football. It shaped me into the person I am today and helped me in so many aspects of my life, especially socially. 

I love going to high school games more than just to watch the good athletes, student sections, smell the delicious concession stand food and of course that freshly cut grass. It is watching those young men participate in something bigger than themselves and also mold themselves into men. 

The entire sport has taken a blow due to less tackling in practice, increased natural exposure and of course long term CTE. However, coached and played properly, I don’t know of a better sport. It’s something special about this time of year. Teenagers become hometown and school heroes, underdogs gain confidence, and the spirit is sky high. 

High school football, and simply the entire sport, helped me to see teamwork in action, as well as unity, fairplay, determination and hard work. I was already competitive and the longer I played, the better I became. 

I’m just so glad Blacksburg High School and my coaches gave me the opportunity to play and grow. I still carry many lessons from those days into my daily adult life. 

So if you need an activity to involve your child into, don’t turn away football just yet. It could be more beneficial than you can imagine. 



A different type of shoutouts

I’m back after getting a vacation for the first time since last June. My body and mind are recharged, physically and mentally, and I’m ready for more blogs, vlogs and articles. 
First of all, I would like to shout out the good female friends in my life. These ladies  (and their mates) have really been there for me. From listening to my whining to helping me when it comes to other women, they have been there. Some of them are very honest with me also and I like that. 

Terence and Twila Mosley Hoskins: 

I have known both for about 17 years. They are a very fun loving, socialable couple. They are there for you whether throwing an awesome party and making sure you really enjoy yourself, or helping you out with career advice. Also, they have simply not forgotten what it means to be friends through marriage, children and other life changes. 

Brandy Byers: 

I probably talk to Brandy more than I do most females that didn’t give birth to me. B is always ready to lend a listening ear, and is one of the most honest people I know. She lets me know how she feels, and is always a comforting person to be around. Don’t worry Brandy, the grass is cut and there will be no mayo lol! 

Monica Prysock Miller: 

Monica is one of my oldest friends overall, 22 years strong. I don’t see her as much as I would like, but we have been working on that. She wants to make sure I stay a part of her life, and me the same. I couldn’t be happier that she has become more fit (one of my inspirations) , found her king and married him, and is having a baby soon. Monica is undoubtedly a special person. 

Rodney and Keia Davidson: 

Rodney and I worked together at RA for a few years. He and his wife Keia are cool, honest and caring. They expect those around them to be the same, no half stepping. Both believe in family and keeping in touch and appreciating folks while they are here. They have been written about before and probably will again. Shoot they may be the next couple I spotlight on FB. 

Teya Robinson:  

Teya has been an awesome person to talk to, and a great prayer partner and good for career advice. She is not ashamed to acknowledge someone in public and is simply a special, spiritual person. Teya is one of my go to sources I hit up during times of crisis and she comes through. 

Carolyn D. Benton: 

Carolyn is hands down one of the most intelligent, sweet and loyal friends I have. She is always down to talk, hang out or work out together (we will get that one in). She is very caring and family oriented also. She embodies much of my #imjustdrew movement as she takes friendships seriously, and is very passionate about her career and her beliefs. She has simply been a joy to be around and know. 

Bryna Sansing: 

Bryna, like her brother Thomas, has become like family to me over the years. She has made me feel very welcome in her family, and helps out her friends, family (parents, siblings and nieces/nephew) however she can. Bryna, know that you are liked and loved, and the trouble doesn’t last always! 

Precious Shumpert: 

Precious embodies her first name in every way one can, and has helped myself and my mother out so much. She has also become an awesome schoolteacher and now has found love. Yet she still remains loyal to the important people around her. She has a huge heart and is on full display quite regularly.

Georgia Smith: 

It’s funny the bonds you make at your job. Georgia is another RA friend of mine. We have had long deep conversations. We make time to touch base, even when we both are working odd days and hours. She is very happy most of the time, and just has such an infectious spirit about her. I’m very blessed she’s in my life. 

Sheena Bell: 

One of my old work buddies from RA also, Sheena may seem spoiled and outspoken. She is actually one of the most caring and giving people I know. Like myself, she has a quick mouth and a joking nature. But as a church bishop and minister of music, she simply wants to show her love towards the Lord and make others happy. She also lets you know when she isn’t happy! 

Now for some reason if you felt I omitted you, charge it to my head and not my heart ladies. I care for many people and I value loyalty. Perhaps I can include you in another edition. 

Making New Friends and Connections: Back To School Style

The #imjustdrew movement continues. This is a perfect time to talk about something many struggle with: making friends during a new school year (or even new school). It can be a scary and challenging experience. Being that I have been there and have had to start over, I can assist with some of you heading back to school.

1.Plan to get involved. 

This is the easiest way to talk to people, make connections and find common interests. Join some clubs, play a sport, or even participate in a community service project. 

2. Sit somewhere different in your school cafeteria. 

You can broaden your horizons and make yourself known. Don’t be afraid to genuinely chime in on a lunchtime conversation. 

3. Connect with classmates via social media

This can be good for study groups, comparing notes and just keeping in touch. You get more of an idea how they are outside of class. 

4. See what people are doing after class and on the weekend. 

If it’s your scene, be open to a social or simply hanging out. It could just be going to Waffle House after the football game. Show folks that you wanna be sociable, but don’t force yourself on anyone. 

5 . Be friendly and smile. 

It never hurts nor cost a thing to be nice. Simply be cool and genuine and I promise you will find your people, or at least that person. 

Any other suggestions on how you have made friends in the past? 

WU Senior Year Part 2

My time as a WU student was winding down. I spent yet another summer working on campus, was going to spend my final semester simply on classes and fun, no extracurriculars. 

The semester before, I met some of my friends for life that I still hang with occasionally. I finally had a group of friends that kept it real and embraced the fact that I do the same. They were the Royal Fam (later the Good Ole Boys). Formed by Mario Washington, I was introduced to them through Marcus and Mario knew me from being around campus. We had several guys in our circle that came and went. Some of the mainstays were Que Kittles, Troy, Horace, Jungle, Rashad (he became down the same reason I did: the crew respected his realness and own sense of style), Wafeeq, Simon, and Jesef. Mario would have younger folk come aboard later. However, these were the original ones, that helped formed and create “The Royal Palace” , a radio show which aired every Wednesday night at 9pm on the campus radio station. Many of us didn’t have a lot of money or even cars. We would go out occasionally to eat, movies, parties, or simply stay in and play cards and talk trash. It felt good to have friends I could depend upon and had my back. 

I have no real regrets about my WU years as a student: they were phenomenal. I became more of a man, made numerous connections and got to experience life. I have had some fun times since I finished 16 years ago. It’s hard to measure up to the WU days. I don’t remember every class I took, or every grade I received. I do remember all of the fun times I had in the Rock. Whenever I go back, it’s home to me..

My #imjustdrew journey continues and is ongoing. However, I wanted to highlight some of the key moments growing up that shaped me the most. Stay tuned for more stories about my social growth, and that of others as well. Also, tune into my Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/drewhouse74 for my vlogs. In have found another audience with those and am working my public speaking muscle again. Stay tuned as I have plenty left in my movement.