A strong work ethic and a belief in Christ is taking Andrew Drake more than 600 miles east of Craig to play football at the collegiate level.
Drake, a Moffat County High, School multi-sport senior, signed a letter of intent March 22 to play at Sterling College in Sterling, Kan.
"It's a small Christian school and I'm a big believer of that," Drake said.
He said the enrollment is approximately 600 and compared the city of Sterling to that of nearby Meeker.
Sterling College is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
"I think it is fantastic news," said Kip Hafey, MCHS football coach.
"He had a good run here," Hafey said. "All four of his years here we were ranked in the top-10. I think anytime an athlete from MCHS continues both their career and education it reflects positively upon this area."
Neita Drake, Andrew's mother, joined her son with her brother, George Miller, and Andrew's friend Zach Haddan during MCHS spring break.
"I really liked it -- it is small, but really personable," Neita said.
The Sterling College football team welcomed Drake and his family during their visit, and had banners for both him and Haddan.
"They all made us feel welcome, and they weren't threatened at all by the possibility of me taking their spot on the roster," Drake said.
An avid fan of the sciences, Drake is hoping to major in biology and become a marine mammal specialist.
Drake was both a biology student and member of the high school football team under the guidance of Hafey.
"I don't know what it was, but science has always been one of my best subjects," Drake said.
"It was fascinating dissecting different animals, but snakes didn't really work out. I am still afraid of those."
Although unable to join Drake on the 10-hour drive to Sterling, Drake thanked his aunt, Melissa Drake, for being there through the years.
"She has been a good influence and has always been there for me," he said.
Coach Hafey said it's hard to let a student-athlete of Drake's caliber go but has confidence in him.
"He has a great work ethic and is a team player. Hopefully he has a great future ahead of him, and I'm sure he will because of his attributes."
Drew Turner can be reached at 824-7031, ext 211, or firstname.lastname@example.org