May 28, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Santa Ana High’s Drew Ramirez excels as a four-sport athlete and a top scholar

Santa Ana’s Drew Ramirez gets ready for his plate appearance (Photos: Fernando M. Donado, For OC Sports Zone).

Having three-sport letter athletes is not something uncommon in this modern era, but having a four-sport athlete with a GPA well above 4.0 is not something seen every day.

For Santa Ana High School’s Andrew  Jarryd “Drew” Ramirez, nothing seems to be a limitation.

To see the slide show, please click on the first photo

While growing up in Anaheim, Ramirez was always surrounded by sports as he played football, basketball and baseball, but he also managed to stay busy with piano lessons.

The senior said this week he will be attending and playing football for the University of Utah as a preferred walk-on next fall.

Ramirez will be majoring in Kinesiology while he attempts to earn a spot on the Utes’ football team.

Since transferring from Orange Lutheran High School, Ramirez has about done it all since his arrival to Santa Ana.

Ramirez was known for his success with the football team where he was defensive player of the year, first team All-CIF and first team All-Orange Coast League.

He was also a key component to the basketball and baseball teams and when he is not in the diamond he is running hurdles for the track team.

“At Santa Ana, I was able to express myself during my senior year of high school in all three sports,” said Ramirez.

Santa Ana football head coach Charles TeGantvoort agreed.

“Drew truly has taken advantage of everything Santa Ana High School has to offer and has grown into an amazing overall athlete, student, and person,” he said. “Drew is as tough as nails on the field, being on of the hardest hitters that I have seen at the high school in a long time…but at the same time is one of the nicest, most caring people you will meet off of the field.  He spends much of his time with our students that have special needs to help them and to just let them know that he is truly their friend.”

In addition to being a standout defensive back for the Saints, Ramirez also racked up more than 2,000 all-purpose yards for Santa Ana, more than a thousand of those running the ball and picking up the offensive load with teammate Julian Gomez while running back and Patrick McMorris, who had transferred from Godinez, gained eligibility.

The Saints went on to reach the CIF Division 8 semifinals against Kaiser High School, but came up short 51-33 in their attempt to reach the title.

“Coach T has a great football program driven on hard work,” Ramirez said. “He pushed us every day and challenged us to be great in the classroom as well. He has a great supporting cast in Coach Meza, Coach Schoonmaker, Coach Uresti, and Coach Smith who all devoted their time and energy to the kids.

“This football season was fun. We had a great group of seniors who did whatever it took to win games. The most memorable game for me was the Temecula Valley game; because the energy was different in that stadium, they had a great crowd,” added Ramirez, who along with three Saints teammates received a scholar athlete award from the National Football Foundation OC Chapter.

Ramirez, who currently has a 4.1 GPA, and scored a 30 on his ACT, transitioned his football experience and success on to the basketball team. With him in the squad, the Saints were able to finish second in the Orange Coast League and were able to reach the second round of the CIF Division 5AA playoffs.

“Basketball was a roller coaster of a season,” the senior said. “We started out slow but once the chemistry clicked, it was all up from there. My favorite game of the season was the Estancia game where we came back in the fourth to beat them. The energy in the basketball gym was crazy. We ended making playoffs and had a tough loss in the second round by three points, but I was lucky enough to earn second team All-Orange Coast League.”

Saints basketball coach Fareed ElMasry gives credit to Ramirez for the improvement his team showed this past season.

“Drew fit in with our team immediately. We needed someone to be a lockdown defender and someone who was mentally though,” said ElMasry. “He fit both of those. Everyone knows he’s an outstanding athlete, which is why he’s excelling at three varsity sports. But what everyone doesn’t know is that he’s the ultimate ‘team guy.’ He stepped in and made sure his teammates weren’t pushed around. He had everyone’s back and his teammates knew it.”

When the hoops season was over, Drew had to make another difficult transition: from the court to the baseball diamond. It had been quite a while since he had played baseball in Little League, but in spite of that limitation he was up for the challenge.

Currently a center fielder, Ramirez is also the lead-off hitter and using his speed he has also been a factor in Santa Ana’s fight for contention for the Orange Coast League, (12-8, 7-4) and CIF playoffs.

“I happen to remember him from when he was a little kid. ‘(His team played) against him when he was like 11-years-old. When I found out he was enrolled in Santa Ana High School when I was invited to coach I looked him up and asked him if he would come and join us and it’s been quite a pleasure to have him, “ said baseball coach David Silva.

“I looked him up because of the type of individual he is. More than anything I am amazed that he is a terrific student-athlete. Baseball is hard and he had laid off it for a few years, and to do the job that he is doing on the field is remarkable.”

In addition to his duties in the baseball field and fulfilling his homework assignments, Ramiez still manages to have the time to run individual events for the track team when the Saints aren’t playing games. He has picked up medals running the 110 and 300-meter hurdles.

Ramirez attributes his discipline to yoga, a practice he picked up when he was in intermediate school.

“Ellex Bree introduced me to yoga and meditation in seventh Grade; she used to pick me up so I could attend her yoga classes on the weekends when I had no transportation. This has helped my performance in many ways and allows me focus on my myself and my breathing techniques. It taught me how to be comfortable being uncomfortable,” he said.

Inspired by his parents Jessie and Josie, and with their support Drew Ramirez admits to be ready for the next level.

-Fernando M. Donado, For OC Sports Zone