Drew Stewart likes using the word “winner.” There might not be a better description for a three-sport athlete who has played in seven consecutive state tournaments dating back to his freshman baseball season.
Stewart quarterbacked Lakeville North to back-to-back state appearances in the last two falls. He was the point guard — and hit the title-clinching shot — when the basketball team won the 2014 Class 5A championship his sophomore year. The Panthers repeated as section champs last season. And then there’s a three-peat of section titles in baseball.
Seven straight — a record for an individual athlete at Lakeville North.
“We’re like a family here, and we’re always focused on winning at everything we do,” Stewart said. “That’s what we want to be — winners. And I like to think that all of [the teams’ success] makes me a winner, and makes all of us winners.”
Stewart, a rising senior, said the dedication required for continued success in all three sports is immense, but it doesn’t take away from more important aspects of high school sports.
“We just really love playing together, being together,” he said. “I mean, we’re a family, and that’s what it’s really about. You can do all of this, but you can’t have any regrets about it. We’re putting in so much work, but how can you regret getting out there and doing something you love?”
If you’re looking for Stewart this summer, try the gym at Lakeville North High School. He’s in there almost every morning, putting up shots a little after 6 a.m.
Too early? Try the weight room after that, or the football field a little later in the morning. Then, there’s also the baseball diamond where his Lakeville American Legion team will practice or play a game, depending on the day.
Stewart is a little tough to track down, but he insisted that his summer is far less busy this year. After all, he did take a break from playing on his regular AAU basketball team.
“It’s been pretty crazy since my freshman year,” he said. “It’s been great. I love it, but I thought I needed to focus my attention a little better and kind of go with the football-baseball thing this summer.”
That’s where Stewart hopes his athletic future is beyond high school. He has attended a number of baseball and football recruiting camps this summer, including a recent one at Illinois State University. It’s all aimed at increasing his chances of playing sports in college.
“We’ll just have to see how it goes,” he said in a telephone interview from the camp at Illinois State. “I know that would be very tough to do at a Division I level. I’m just going to keep working at it and see where I end up.”
Stewart said it will feel odd when he eventually cuts down on the sports he plays, whether that means focusing on just one, or two, at the collegiate level.
Right now, though, he said he’s more focused on the upcoming school year. He will serve as a captain in both football and basketball; the baseball team does not select official captains. All three teams will once again be favorites to make it to their respective state tournaments.
Stewart is not only focused on extending his record to 10 consecutive tournaments, but also finishing them off with titles. He wants to end his high school career as a winner.
“That’s the only goal, really, just make it back to state and win some championships for our school,” he said. “We’re on a really great run. … People might go through the motions of something like that, but we really try to enjoy every moment of it. That’s what I’ll miss the most — just going through all of that with my teammates.”