Ranger senior atop record books at end of Day

Marlena Sloss/The Herald
Forest Park's Drew Day runs the ball while Jake Begle eyes South Spencer during the football game in Ferdinand on Oct. 4. Forest Park defeated South Spencer 14-7.


FERDINAND — Drew Day will be in Forest Park’s weight room at 3:05 p.m. today.

High school football ended for Day when the Rangers lost, 25-0, at North Knox in Friday’s Class 2A sectional semifinal, but the senior plans on texting his teammates who are coming back next season to get in the weight room and be the best that they can be.

“I want to keep the program going,” Day said. “I want to keep the wheels turning.”

He prides himself on leadership, and was one of 14 seniors the Rangers had in what was their second winning season in school history this year. Day saw those seniors as 14 extra coaches on the field. He said every senior this year all played last year, and did not want to repeat the team’s 1-9 performance from 2018. The team finished 6-5.

Day sees himself as someone who leads by example with a penchant for encouraging his teammates. He drew influence from former Rangers Klint Luebbehusen, who graduated in 2017, and Bo McCain and Andrew Schuler, who both graduated in 2018. Day said he looked up to Luebbehusen, who instilled hard work, and wanted to be just like him. He added McCain and Schuler pushed him to his limits.

“They beat me up sometimes, but at the end of the day, we were always good friends,” he said.

He’s been playing tackle football since fifth grade, and was on the Rangers’ scout team during his freshman year. Day came onto the scene during his sophomore year following an injury to Gavin Pierce, a 2019 Forest Park graduate. Day exited this year as Forest Park’s all-time leading rusher with 1,853 yards. Josh Franchville, a 2016 graduate, held the previous career mark of 1,529 yards.

“Personally, it makes all the hard work and struggle in the offseason worth it,” Day said.

Day also set some single-game records earlier this season when he carried the ball 34 times in a 30-20 win against Perry Central Aug. 30. He rewrote the record books some more when he rushed for 222 yards in a 14-7 victory Oct. 4 against South Spencer. Day also punted, and set a school record for the longest punt with a 62-yarder earlier this season.

He credited sophomore lineman Caleb Moya for helping him grow as a punter. Day said he competed with Moya on who could do the most in the weight room. He said the lineman got him more into squats, and the two tackled them together. Day learned to embrace squats because of his lifting partner. He added the two of them increased their strength together.

Day began lifting weights when he was in sixth grade. He said he always wanted to be the best, and saw the weight room as his entry level to that. Day said he put in work in the weight room around five days a week, averaging roughly five to six hours per week.

Forest Park coach Ross Fuhs praised Day for his drive and determination to get better every year. Fuhs added Day was a role model in the weight room to do extra, because he could. He appreciated Day always giving 100% in everything he did.

“You wish you could have 40 of them like that,” Fuhs said.

The Rangers switched this year from running an I Formation offense to the wing-T. Day said this adjustment didn’t take long for him to get used to because he knew the formation from playing under it in junior high. The Rangers also moved him from halfback to fullback in 2019. He thought they had more blockers with more chances to surprise their opponents and make big plays.

Day said one play that stood out to him this year came when he spun out of a tackle, and sophomore offensive lineman Clayton Brames grabbed him and pushed him into the end zone. He got a laugh out of it when he saw his touchdown on film the next day.

The Warriors held Day to 45 yards on 16 carries in the sectional semifinal. He thought North Knox had the strength advantage against Forest Park, and the Warriors’ defensive line shut the Rangers down. That, he said, goes back to him emphasizing the weight room.

He will remember the commitment and time he put into the game for the past four years. Day doesn’t play any sport besides football, calling it his “passion” with his love of the game’s teamwork aspect. He hopes to continue playing football at the collegiate level. Day hasn’t received any offers, but said he’s been talking to a few teams.

Day wants to major in criminal justice in college in hopes of becoming a sheriff or a detective.

“It’s really become an interest of mine because I like to help people, and I think that I would really thrive doing that,” he said.


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