Success is measured by how hard you work for it. Some of us hope to become great athletes, while others aspire to become renowned doctors. It might seem difficult for someone to be both, a sort of modern-day Renaissance man, but there is one local high school student who appears to be on that path.
Drew Lyons is a senior at St. Joseph’s Catholic school in Greenville. Last year, he was among the .136 percent of test takers nationwide to score a perfect 36 on the ACT. He also scored an outstanding 1570 on the SAT, with a perfect 800 on the math portion of the test.
Lyons is also a team captain with St. Joseph’s varsity football team, the Knights. He’s an avid fan of the Clemson Tigers and Carolina Panthers. Without a doubt, Lyons’ favorite sport is football.
Drew lives in Gaffney with his parents, three brothers, and two sisters. He stays busy juggling both a straight-A academic career and an active sports life. “At times it’s been hard to make sure that I get everything done,” Lyons says of balancing the two.
Regarding academics, Lyons is just as comfortable with history as he is with science. This versatility has helped him excel in his classes. “I honestly enjoy learning,” Lyons says. “I think that’s part of why I do well is because I’m genuinely interested in my classes and so that makes it a lot easier.”
Lyons’ favorite subject is theology, a subject he felt helped him personally grow in his own faith. “I’ve always been Catholic, and so, around freshman year, my faith started to become more important to me,” Lyons says. “So, I think the reason I’ve enjoyed the classes is because they are important to me.”
Karl Orbon, theology department chair at St. Joseph’s, taught Lyons in both church history and sacraments and morality during his sophomore and junior years. “Drew was an exceptional student,” Orbon says. “He finished the course with a 100 percent average and was exempt from the final exam, something very few students have done in my past 10 years of teaching at St. Joseph’s Catholic School.”
But Lyons does not take full credit for his academic success; he feels that much of it is owed to the skills of Orbon and other teachers at St. Joseph’s. “With all my teachers, I can tell that they look at each student with the intent of wanting to make sure that we succeed,” Lyons says.
After high school, Lyons plans to pursue pre-med. “I actually thought for a while about going into engineering, because I really enjoyed physics,” Lyons says, “but I felt that I would like to work with people more.”
Lyons ultimately hopes to work in oncology, either in radiation or surgical. “My grandmother survived uterine cancer, and several of my friends have dads who are oncologists, so the subject has always been interesting to me,” Lyons says. “I’d like to see myself making more of a difference on an individual person’s life more than just working on engineering.”
With the little free time that he does have, Lyons enjoys spending it with family. “My mom cooks dinner most nights, and so we’ll just sit around the table and just talk about stuff,” Lyons says. “I also like to read, and I normally don’t have enough time, but I like to go hiking on the weekends.”
St. Joseph’s head football coach, Brandon Bennett, says his players pick their team captains each season based on who they think is the best leader. Lyons, a middle linebacker, was named a captain last season. It wasn’t a difficult choice for his teammates, Bennett says. “It was very easy to see that the team picked right,” he says. “Drew was dedicated to the team in the classroom, in the weight room, and on the field and in his life.”
“I always see him giving his best on off the field,” Bennett adds. “He is a true student-athlete and a leader.”