Junior Drew Dean is in his third year as a varsity starter for the McGregor Mercuries’ football team. Dean is lightning quick which makes it difficult for defenders to bring him down. The speedster has rushed for 1,068 yards after seven games, leading the Mercs to a 4-3 record. As a freshman, Drew rushed for 513 yards, and last year he picked up 734 yards on the ground.
The 5’9” 160-pound running back and linebacker credits getting into the weight room for a lot of his success. He averages double digits in tackles.
Drew also runs track and plays basketball. “I like participating in all of my sports,” said the junior. What I like most about football is when I break open for a long run. I dream about that!” Two of the long runs (60 and 82 yards) came late in the game against Hill City/Northland when the Mercs came from behind for a 44-40 win.
“That game sticks in my mind as one of my favorites,” added Dean who finished the game with a career high 284 yards rushing.
Drew likes track because it’s easy to gauge progress in times and distances. He runs the 200 meter, 400 meter, the 4x200 relay and does the long jump. His favorite race is the 400m with his best times about 55 seconds.
“I am really competitive,” continued Drew. “I came about that naturally; my dad played linebacker in football and always jokes with me about lighting somebody up on defense. As a little kid, I loved to play defense, but now my favorite part of the game is carrying the football.”
Former Mercs who helped Drew along the way were Jacob Jonas and Joey Glunz “Jacob always encouraged me and stuck up for me in the hallways. Joey really pushed me to get better.”
When asked if there were any older players who he emulated and wanted to be like, Drew smiled, “Not really; I went to the games to play football on the sidelines with my friends. I really never watched much of the games.”
A highlight that Drew remembered from his freshman season was “when Joe Heagle and Sheldon Jonas laid great blocks that sprung me for one my first long runs.” He also recalled getting laid out in the end zone after scoring a touchdown. “Dusty DeMenge picked me up and congratulated me; I was pretty woozy.”
Beyond the regular sports scene, Drew likes hunting, fishing and snowmobiling. “I always get teased about being a lake rat in the summer. I spend a lot of time fishing walleye. Something that most people don’t know about me is I’m a big fan of Riverdale and Stranger Things on Netflix.”
Bob Staska, head football coach:
“Drew may not be the biggest football player, but he loves football and puts the time in the weight room to make himself a better athlete. His strength has improved over the last couple of years to the point where he can run past you or through you if he needs to. He is always working hard and trying to get better during practice. His hard work and natural talent makes him an excellent player. Right now, he is our primary ball carrier on offense. He is either getting the ball or we want the other team thinking that he is getting the ball. He has the potential to score from any place on the field.”