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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Drew Webb - In The Game Magazine

Rising Star April 2012

Rising Star - In The Game High School Sports MagazineDrew Webb

The Brookstone School
Columbus, Georgia
by Beth Welch
photography by Jim Dillard

Shortstop becoming known for speed and talent
Rising Star - In The Game High School Sports Magazine
Rising Star - In The Game High School Sports Magazine
Today, Drew Webb stands 5’8” and weighs 145 pounds. Back when he was just a little tyke, he was too small to wield a normal sized bat. An uncle recognized Webb’s desire to play baseball so he made some modifications to accommodate the youngster.
“He took this bat and whittled it down so that Drew could fit his little hands around the bat to hold it better,” says Webb’s mom, Misty. “His uncle passed away, but I kept the bat as a reminder for Drew.”
From the humble start of a toddler carrying around a personalized bat to a middle school athlete at Brookstone School, Drew Webb has always had a passion for baseball. Even when he was too young to play coach-pitch baseball, Webb was part of a team.
“He got started when he was four years old as the bat boy because he wasn’t old enough to be on a team. Then when he turned five he got to play,” recalls his mother.
Webb is now shortstop and occasional pitcher for Brookstone’s middle school team. A new student at Brookstone last year, he arrived just in time to be a part of the program’s inaugural season. According to head baseball coach Vince Massey, the team finished third in their league, posting a 10-5 record. Massey is looking not only for a better team this year but also more from the returning shortstop.
“Drew hit .585 with 17 RBIs. He played a solid shortstop all year long and made a quick adjustment to the bigger field. I expect even bigger things this season because of his physical development,” says Massey. “Drew is becoming a committed worker in improving his strength, which is vital in all sports. Not only has he gotten stronger, he has also grown taller.”
Ever since Webb began playing baseball he has been a utility player and even spent time in the outfield as a centerfielder. Though content to play anywhere as long as he gets to play, Webb does have a favorite position.
“Shortstop,” he says. “You get to cover a wider range, and more balls are hit to you. You have to stay in the game.”
Perhaps one of the reasons Webb prefers the shortstop position is because he is quick on his feet. When playing Chain Baseball last year with the local travel team, Webb batted as a lead-off hitter, indicating he’s got some wheels. But Webb’s abilities aren’t just wishful thinking. His last showcase outing had him putting up a time of just over seven seconds in the 60-yard dash, and he wasn’t afraid to act on his Chain Baseball coach’s steal sign.
“Last year I think I had, like, thirty-something steals, and the next guy behind me had 12,” he says.
Further evidence of Webb’s talent and strengths came when he was a seventh-grader, when he hit a ball for Brookstone to left field soaring almost 350 feet for a very memorable home run.
“It was great,” he says. “I got an inside the park home run. An inside the park grand slam.”
While Webb is not considered a power hitter, he has a quick bat and good arm strength. At this stage of the game, Webb is smart enough to know he has weaknesses and coachable enough to listen to constructive criticism.
“I want to work on getting faster. I also need to work on showing no emotion on the field,” says Webb, who understands he needs to reign in his competitive spirit a bit at times.
Webb has a new coach for this season. Matt Lage is serving as head coach for the middle school team assisted by Brookstone’s Jeff Jones. It is Massey who has had the most experience watching Webb and sees something different about the 14-year-old baseball player.
“His greatest strength is that he is a student of the game. There are a lot of players out there with extraordinary ability, but some separate themselves by truly understanding the game. Drew is one of those players,” says Massey.
Webb will soon leave middle school play behind and is already looking ahead to high school. He says he has made the decision to stay at Brookstone because he values the education he is receiving and is benefiting from the school’s sports programs. Massey feels Webb is on the right track to having a bright future in baseball.
“If Drew progresses as much every year as he has this one, he has a chance to be a very good player before he graduates from Brookstone. I definitely think he is the type of individual that will put forth the effort,” says Massey.

Getting to know Drew
Family: parents, Misty and Stuart Webb; sister, Morgan
Favorite food: Cheeseburgers
Favorite TV show: MLB Network
Favorite athlete to watch: Josh Hamilton
Favorite team: Miami Marlins
Church you attend: North Highland Assembly of God
What is the most number of texts you’ve had in a month: A lot!
Who is the one person you would most like to meet: Josh Hamilton
Words to live by: Matthew 19:26
Best thing about Brookstone School: People who go here.