Scecina Senior Aims High, Will Attend U.S. Air Force Academy

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By Beth Murphy, Director of Marketing Communications

Scecina senior Andrew Smith has made up his mind: He’s accepted his appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Drew, as he goes by, was nominated to the academy by U.S. Rep. Andre Carson of Indiana this winter and received his appointment in March. He waited until he visited the academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., in late April before making a final decision.

It’s quite an achievement. The academy is a challenging environment for young men and women, and competition for an appointment is fierce. Of 12,000 applicants, the academy accepts just over 1,000 as cadets.

“I chose to go to the academy because of the amazing opportunities that it offers not only during my time there but also my life after college,” he said. “The atmosphere and experience that I had when I visited was so much better than I would have ever thought, and I knew that it was the right fit for me. I have been wanting to go to the academy since I was in eighth grade, so having the chance to go to the academy is a dream come true.”

At the academy, Drew will major in mechanical engineering and plans to become a pilot. When he graduates the academy, he’ll join the Air Force as a second lieutenant.

“Drew Smith is an outstanding young man who has represented Scecina in a powerful way,” said Ott Hurrle, Scecina teacher and head football coach who has had Drew both as a player and a student in class. “He will be a very positive representative of our United States Air Force as well as our country.”

Drew, who attended Holy Spirit Catholic School and is a Holy Spirit parishioner, took advantage of everything he could at Scecina, especially sports, to achieve his goals and dreams.

He’s excelled in the classroom and is the salutatorian for the Class of 2019. He’s a member of National Honor Society and the Bowling Club. At his parish, he’s been an altar server and volunteers at various CYO sports.

“The classes at Scecina helped prepare me to do well on the SAT and ACT, which was a big factor for admission to the academy,” he said. “The teachers and staff at Scecina always want the students to succeed and that motivation and extra help is one of the reasons why I was motivated to do well in my classes.” Sports and clubs at Scecina also prepared him for his next challenge, he said.

“Being able to participate in sports allowed me to challenge myself to become better and to help prepare me for the physical aspect that the academy requires,” he said.

Drew wrestled all four years and this year made it all the way to the Semi-State round of the IHSAA State Tournament. He played three years of Crusaders football as a kicker and also played Scecina soccer. His high school sports experience required him to be responsible for actions, to be accountable and to have integrity, he said.

“The time commitment and dedication you had to have for the sport helped me learn how to manage my time better and allowed me to develop that teamwork mentality,” he said. “Wrestling helped me gain some grit in my life because of all the hard practices and the challenges with cutting weight. The practices and matches taught me to never give up, and it will carry over into my time at the academy.”

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