FEATURED ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Drew Bratcher, South Putnam
Drew Bratcher is a senior at South Putnam and participates in softball.
Banner Graphic: How important are sports to you, and what have you learned from them?
Drew Bratcher: “Sports are the most important thing in my life, besides school. I grew up doing all different kinds of sports, from soccer to gymnastics and later on doing volleyball and basketball. But softball has been my favorite and I have stuck with it. They have all taught me about how to deal with people, and how you have to keep your cool. You have to have good leadership, and be able to lead people without being too bossy or authoritative. I have learned how to present myself also and to want to keep learning, and how to be a better person on and off the field.”
BG: Last year in softball, your team didn’t have any seniors so you had to be one of the leaders. Did you like that job?
DB: “I came in at South Putnam and I bonded with the top two seniors [Katie Hewitt and Makenzi Carrington] as their shadow, and when they left it was easy for to fill that role. It was pretty simple, it was going with the flow and it was easy to take that leadership position. It’s easier for a catcher to do that since you can see the whole field.”
BG: Last year you were the sectional runnerup. How is this year looking?
DB: “We have everybody back from last year, and we have known that last year and this year would be our best two teams with the people we would have. Last year, it wasn’t where we wanted to be but it was a really big thing for us. This is the year for us, and we have to put everything on the field that we have. We are also gaining new people, and this will be our best possible year.”
BG: How long did you play the other sports you played?
DB: “I started playing basketball at the Boys and Girls Club in Terre Haute, and I played in middle school. Basketball was not my sport, but the coaches knew me being the leader and the loudest person on the court they knew I needed to be on the court a lot. I never played volleyball until junior high, and it was really rough for me. I played JV and I was not very good. I started coaching some softball teams and I didn’t have time to play volleyball any more. They were both fun to me, but I didn’t take them as seriously as I do softball. I got to play with a lot of girls I didn’t get to play with in softball.”
BG: What other school things do you do?
DB: “I am in Spanish Club and Mr. [Brandon] Kinnaird makes it really fun. Mexican food is my favorite, and we have some good Mexican dinners. We have the International Festival every year, and I get to see a lot of different people. I love learning about Spanish culture. I am also in National Honor Society, and I love doing community service with that. I am helping at the animal shelter right now, and I’m going to work at a senior center. It forces you do things outside your comfort zone. I love having other things besides sport on your plate.”
BG: Last year you got people to give donations for every home run you hit. How did that program go?
DB: “I used to take lessons at the Hitting Zone in Terre Haute, and Steve Auten said he would donate $20 to the charity of my choice for every home run I hit. I chose the Terre Haute Humane Society. Mike Johnson from Greencastle Towing saw it, and he said he wanted to do the same thing. My dad is a pipefitter, and a guy named Jeff Anderson he used to work with said he’d donate $20. I ended up hitting nine home runs and got $560. I’m hoping this year we can do it again, and we can get more people involved. It was really fun, and a lot of people talked to me about it.”
BG: You must love animals a lot, based upon your charity choice.
DB: “Right now at my house I have a donkey, a goat, a pig, three cats, a dog, a rabbit and a snake. My house is a petting zoo. If someone has an animal that is injured and people can’t take care of it any more, it finds its way to my house. Once I had a turkey that got hit by a car that I raised. She was amazing. I grew up wanting to be a veterinarian, but I don’t have self-control for people who don’t take care of their animals. I couldn’t put an animal down, either.”
BG: Do you take care of all of them and feed them?
DB: “My little sister [Alex] helps out, but if something needs done I’m doing it. We are now moving my pig from a cage into the barn. We built onto the pasture for my donkey. I love taking on new animals. It’s pretty expensive. I’m starting to work at Tractor Supply Company to pay for it.”
BG: What do you like to do away from school and sports?
DB: “Movies and music are my two big things. If someone says a line from a movie, I can tell them what movie it is from and who said it. I like psychological thrillers. I like to be guessing until the end. There is a movie called ‘Usual Suspects’ that I love. My dad likes westerns, and I have always liked those. I really like ‘Secretariat’ and any movies where people to believe in you. Scary horror movies are also good. I listen to a lot of music. I like a lot of older music like Tom Petty and Burton Cummings and the Guess Who. When I watch TV, I watch the ID channel with shows about crimes. My mom wants me to be in the CSI investigation field. We have a four-wheeler and we have had fun with that. We have a pond in front of our house and we like to swim in it.”
BG: What is something you have never done before that you would like to do someday?
DB: “Parachuting. I want the thrill of jumping off of something, and knowing there is the danger of possibly dying. I would also like to climb a mountain, and also swim with sharks.
BG: In a cage?
DB: “No. I want to go free dive. My mom will never let me, though. Sharks are just so cool. Shark Week is my favorite.”
BG: What is your greatest fear?
DB: “I’m not that scared of much. Fear, animals or bugs don’t bother me. My biggest one would have to be getting caught in the undertow in the ocean. That would be horrible.”
BG: What are your favorite and least favorite foods?
DB: “Mexican and Chinese are definitely my two favorites. I like fruit, too. I could eat fruit every day. My least favorite is kind of weird, but I have to be in the mood to eat pizza or macaroni and cheese. If I’m not in the mood, and I’ll be sick for a week. I just feel gross whenever I eat pizza.”
BG: If you were to describe your personality in one word, what would that word be?
DB: “I guess sarcastic. I try to be the bubbly person, but I think I come off as being very sarcastic. I have an older sister and a younger sister, and I have had to [verbally] defend myself a lot. I have tried to be the more positive person I should be, and it’s hard.”
BG: What are your plans for after high school?
DB: “I’m going to DePauw to major in psychology, and maybe kiniesology, and to play softball. Sports psychology is kind of new, but it sounds interesting.”
BG: Describe your South Putnam experience.
DB: “We have an amazing group of teachers here, and they are very personable. Mr. Kinnaird, Mr. [Greg] Dean and Mr. [Aaron] Book are the ‘welcome committee’ in the morning and they like to give us a hard time. They make your morning better every day. Our guidance counselor [Brian Gardner] is great, and if there is ever anything bothering us we can go to him to talk about it. My experience here has been that my teachers all know a different side of me. I have really learned a lot. The teachers make it fun, and the coaches do too. One time in basketball we were having a bad day, and nobody was feeling it, and we stopped and coach Gardner had us to play a mime game. We then had a scrimmage, and we all played much better.”
BG: Do you have plans to live around here after college, or live somewhere specifically?
DB: “I would like to live somewhere a little bit warmer, like Alabama or Louisiana, or maybe somewhere totally off the grid. But I imagine I’ll wind up living around here and taking care of my parents when they’re old.”