Valley High School graduate Drew Wade will continue his academic and athletic interests at West Virginia Wesleyan as a baseball scholar as he pursues a degree in Athletic Training.
During his Lumberjack career, Wade has lettered in football, basketball, and baseball all four years, including being the captain of all three teams during his senior season.
With a 3.3 GPA, Wade also excels in academics. He has been a member of the Student Council, Jazz and Steel Band, VHS Marching Band, Choir, FFA, and has attended West Virginia Boys' State.
Pictured above is former Valley High School graduate Drew Wade, seated at middle, signing a letter of intent to further his academic and athletic careers at West Virginia Wesleyan, playing baseball, while pursuing a degree in athletic training. Also seated are his parents, Cindy and Rick Wade of Reader. (Photo by Bruce Crawford)
He has umpired little league games and refereed PTA youth basketball games.
He is the son of Rick and Cindy Wade of Reader. He is the grandson of Patty and Larry Starkey of Folsom and of the late Edwin and Phyllis Wade of New Martinsville. He will be leaving behind his baby sister Kiersten to keep the family united.
At the age of five, Drew began learning the game of baseball from his father and would practice every chance he could to get better. He had played in youth games for Short Line teams, Mannington Little League, Marion County Fringe League, and in the advanced Junior Little League State Tournament.
He progressed to the Martins Ferry Beast of the East Team and continued on to the Mingo Bay Baseball Classic in Myrtle Beach and had the privilege to participate in the Cal Ripken Jr. baseball camp and WVU baseball camps, as well as the WVU strength and conditioning camp.
Now that he is the age where younger athletes are looking up to him to learn how to get better and what to do to succeed, he wants to get it right the first time and pledges to give back to youth.
He also believes that signing at Wesleyan will enlarge the base of those who look at him as a role model, especially since he also has been asked to be a Wesleyn Student Ambassador and will participate in the school's percussion ensemble.
Drew says he will most likely be a catcher/utility player when he reports to the WVIAC, Division II, school and Wesleyan will quickly learn that he has a strong work ethic and the willingness to learn and win, on and off the diamond.
Wade's style of baseball may be a perfect fit for Wesleyan. The school is nestled in the foot hills of the Allegheny Mountains, in the small town of Buckhannon. It's neither to small or too big.
There were other schools that tried to entice him to go their way, but Wesleyan gave him the best opportunity with what he wanted to do in baseball and his major.
The Lumberjacks have been moving in the right direction the past several years and will be missing a great team player, who gave nothing less than 100 percent as well as a being a great field general and motivator during his time at Valley.
His assistant coach at Valley, Steve Ingold, knows what Wesleyan is getting and is very happy for Drew and the next chapter in his life. "Drew helped start a great tradition at VHS." said Ingold. "He knew what it took to make the team better and did what it took to win. Wesleyan is getting a great baseball player and an overall great person."
In addition, Head Baseball Coach Jim West said, "Wesleyan is getting a fine young man who can play any position on the field. He was the best lead-off batter I have ever coached."
Wade added, "I want to show everyone that you can come from a small Class-A school and still go to college to play ball. Anyone can go anywhere he or she wants to and succeed.
"I am going to continue to push myself not only for baseball, but for my degree. This is a new experience for me and I have a new set of goals to be reached."
Wade will have a friend when he arrives at Wesleyan: Magnolia High School graduate Brett Ripley is Wesleyan's assistant baseball coach.