I first met Drew Hurst last fall, and I must say that I will never forget him. Then a sixth grader with a sparkle in his eyes and a keen sense of humor, Drew stole the show from the moment he started talking to me. Today, Drew, a rising seventh grader from Chelsea, saw his dream come true.
Drew has always been an Auburn fan, and Cam Newton? Whoa! Drew has dreamed of meeting the former Tiger for years but always believed that it was just that…dream. But then came Thursday night, when Drew heard that come Friday, the former NFL MVP was holding his 7-on-7 camp right down the road from where he lived. Thursday night, Drew went to sleep and dreamed a big dream. When he woke up on Friday, he decided to write Cam Newton a letter. Drew’s dream? To catch a pass from Cam.
Why did Drew steal the show from the moment I met him in the fall of 2017? His laugh was infectious, his personality magnetic and his answers to my questions hilarious.
“Why do you like to play defensive line?” I asked him.
His answer: “Because when I see someone with the ball, I’m trying to kill him. Not literally, of course, but you know…” (a hearty laugh followed).
And when I saw Drew go after it on the football field? I was impressed, not so much with his athleticism, but with his spirit.
Cam Newton walked past Drew Hurst on Friday morning and the young football player gasped. Drew was also uninhibited enough to hand Cam his letter and ask that he read it. Cam obliged, and was suddenly taken to Drew when the little guy asked if he could throw him a pass.
Cam Newton hugged Drew, asked for a football and threw Drew a pass. Mission accomplished, dream realized.
Oh, and there’s one more thing about Drew I need to tell you: Drew Hurst is autistic. Does it limit him? At times. Does it slow him down? Never.
I’m not sure what life has in store for Drew Hurst, but the young man who will play for the Chelsea seventh-grade football team this fall can for the rest of his life say that he caught a pass from Cam Newton. For Drew (and the rest of us), it doesn’t get any better than that.
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