Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Gordo's Drew Hakins Thankful to Be Back on the Field

Newspaper article The Tuscaloosa News

Gordo's Drew Hakins Thankful to Be Back on the Field

Article excerpt

Gordo High School senior Drew Hankins has plenty to be thankful for this Thanskgiving.

He is thankful for the Greenwave's 13-0, undefeated season.

He is thankful to be playing in a Class 3A, state semifinal game against Dale County on Friday.

He is thankful for his teammates, who are an extension of his family.

He is thankful to be part of a community that rallies around its football team.

And, most of all, he is thankful to be back on the field where he belongs.

Last year, Hankins missed part of his junior season after suffering a torn labrum. He was a pitcher for Gordo's baseball team and had to have surgery, which led to a long road to recovery.

Hankins was able to resume his kicking duties since there would be no direct contact to his shoulder. He was named Gordo's Special Teams MVP for his efforts, which included making a 39-yard field goal in the playoffs.

"It meant the world to me just to be back with my team," Hankins said. "It hurts a lot sitting out and just watching your brothers play."

Hankins is stronger this season, and in addition to kicking, he's returned to playing wide receiver and safety. Gordo's high-scoring offense, which averages 34 points per game, has kept him busy. Hankins has made 50 of 55 extra point attempts and one field goal this fall.

Greewave coach Ryan Lolley said he is a leader, a hard worker and a big part of Gordo's success.

"I knew he was one of those guys that if he wants to do something, he can do it," Lolley said. "He started working on kicks. He takes pride in whatever he does, and he got good at it. He'd make somebody a dang good kicker at the next level, and we are going to miss him."

During Gordo's 21-20 victory over Pike County in the second- round of the playoffs, Hankins' extra point was the difference maker.

"Especially in high school football, we are so fortunate to have a guy that we know does a great job and is consistent," Lolley said. "He's been good for us all year long, and when we won 21-20 a few weeks ago."

It's been a season to remember for Gordo, and Hankins has been lucky enough to share it with not only his brother, Will, a freshman, but his father, Eddie, the Greenwave's defensive coordinator. …

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