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2020 Senior Spotlight: Drake Varns

Andy Brown / Louisburg Sports Zone
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Louisburg Sports Zone will be running senior spotlights everyday (Monday-Friday) through April and May in an effort to honor seniors who had their spring seasons taken away due to the spread of COVID-19.

Since last June, Louisburg senior Drake Varns had been waiting for one more shot at playing with his team at the highest level.

Varns and the Wildcat golf team qualified for the Class 4A state tournament a year ago and were the first Louisburg squad since 1977 to go to state as a team. With a majority of the Wildcats back from last season, expectations were high all-around.

“There were no possibly about it, we were most definitely going back to state,” Varns said.

Varns ended the 2019 campaign on an exciting note as he took 10th at the regional tournament and earned a medal. He went on to finish 34th at the state tournament and it was a memorable time for him and the rest of his team.

It was a different state tournament than in year’s past as the team made the drive to compete at state in Winfield, but torrential rains forced it to be postponed for a week and it was eventually moved to Dodge City.

“Going to state was a great time,” Varns said. “The characters we had on the golf team, plus the coaches, really made the drives and stay a fun and exciting time.”

“Playing last year at state was definitely a blast, especially with the extension. It just allowed us more time together as a team. After state, we all knew we were gonna be back with everyone we had returning.”

Unfortunately, that would not be the case.

The spread of COVID-19 canceled, not only school, but the spring sports season as well and left seniors across the state in shock as their final seasons of competition was taken from them.

“I really do not care about the graduation, the prom or anything like that, but, when golf was canceled I was devastated,” Varns said. “I just wanted to play with the boys one last time.”

Expectations were high for the Wildcats this season as they returned five of the six members from last year’s state team and had eight seniors in all. To prepare for one last campaign, many of the seniors got together for practice rounds in the fall and spring.

It was not just about qualifying for state again, but they had high expectations for themselves. Varns, along with teammate Calvin Dillon, are both playing golf in college next season and the Wildcats wanted to make sure they were ready for one final run at it.

Senior Drake Varns earned a regional medal a year ago and helped the Wildcats to a state tournament appearance last season.

“When you have two college athletes on one team and one who has been playing since they were 5-years-old (Dillon), you know you’re going to be good,” Varns said. “But, the supporting roles were the true stars of the show always coming in when most needed. We have a bond that most teams do not have and teams like this don’t lose – that’s just a fact.”

Golf has been a big part of Varns’ high school career, but it hasn’t always been that way. In fact, it wasn’t until high school when he actually got into the spot.

“I started truly golfing my freshman year,” Varns said. “I got into it by getting cut from the baseball team. From then on, I just fell in love with golf.”

Other than golf, Louisburg Sports Zone also had a chance to catch up with Drake on how he has been coping with an early end to his senior year and some of his other interests. Here are his responses from the rest of our Q&A.

LSZ: What have you been missing the most during this time away from everyone?

DV: I’ve been missing, well, everyone. I’m a pretty big people person so this time away from my friends has really taken its toll.

LSZ: What is your most memorable moment as an athlete or in school and why?

DV: My most memorable moment has been either state golf, of course, or the feeling of making that 41 yard field goal during football. That was great. Really it was just the feeling of accomplishment of both.

LSZ: What is your favorite activity/hobby outside of sports and why?

DV: My favorite activity outside of golf is – golf. Just kidding, it would probably be fishing or hunting. I love the peacefulness, I guess.

LSZ: What accomplishments that don’t involve athletics are you most proud of and why?

DV: My most proud accomplishment is owning a 1981 El Camino.

LSZ: What are your plans for after graduation?

DV: I plan to attend St. Mary’s of the Woods (Indiana) to study Natural Sciences and play golf.

LSZ: What do you think would be something that a lot of people don’t know about you?

DV: A lot of people don’t know I’m a tank on the saxophone.

Drake’s Favorites

Pro athlete: Tiger Woods

Pro team: Kansas City Chiefs

College team: Mizzou

Movie: Happy Gilmore

TV Show: Criminal Minds

Song: Just the Two of Us – Grover Washington

Band/Musician: Billy Joel

Pregame meal/snack: Enchiladas

Class/subject: Science

Teacher and why: Big Bear (Barry O’Brien) – I’ve never had him as a teacher, but he’s my dawg

32 Comments

  1. Donna Limback

    April 8, 2020 at 1:23 pm

    So proud of you Drake and everything you have accomplished through your High School years,not just sports but academically as well. Your spirit and enthusiasm will take you far.

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