Grayson County’s Sawyer Drake signs to play football at Kentucky Wesleyan


Grayson County High School’s Sawyer Drake has signed to play college football at Kentucky Wesleyan.

Drake was a four-year starter on both the Cougar offensive and defensive lines. In his career, the team rushed for 6,657 yards and 101 touchdowns when he was on the field.

Grayson County head coach Bryan Jones has not known an offensive line as the head coach of the program without Drake as a mainstay. With that, it is hard for him to not think of consistency when he hears the name “Sawyer Drake.”

“I think of consistency,” Jones said. “I think he was a four-year starter on the offensive line. He got the extra year with the COVID year, but I don’t know that I’ve ever really coached a guy that’s probably seen so many starts on the line as he has.”

With that much experience, knowledge is inevitable but learning how to use it correctly is something that can separate a good player from a great player.

“I think knowledge,” Jones added. “This past year we were able to move a lot of guys around up front depending on the play which helped us to be unpredictable. A lot of times you flip-flop your line from right to left, we moved so much and it wasn’t always playside-backside because they had a great understanding of what we were trying to do.”

Multiple of his coaches attended the high school ceremony on Friday, including Shane Decker, who served as one of his position coaches. Like a true coach, he is trying to think of the future but knows that players like Drake don’t grow on trees.

Drake officially signs his papers as his parents look on.

“When you think about Sawyer, he’s just one of those people that is nearly impossible to replace,” Decker said. “I know Coach Jones already mentioned how many games he has started but we have been very fortunate over the last few years to have him and know that we can have him consistently. It’s going to be a completely retooling process and that’s going to be very hard without him anchoring the offensive line.”

Drake admits that he wasn’t always the easiest player to coach, but credits Jones and his parents with helping him grow into an athlete on the field and a man off the field.

“I have never had a bond with a coach like I do with Coach Jones,” Drake told K105. “The first couple of years, we butted heads quite a bit. I know it was me. I grew up this offseason. In the last year, year and a half, we’ve had a bond that I have never had as a coach. I appreciate that he believed in me four years ago and kept believing in me until I finally grew up.”

Another one of his coaches on the offensive line was his dad, Chris, who he can credit for pushing him to be the best from a young age.

“Without Mom (Sharon) and Dad, I wouldn’t be here,” he said. “Without Dad pushing me from the time I could walk to be an athlete. Then Mom’s always supporting me in everything I’ve done and I couldn’t appreciate her more.”

Along with the coaches, he was also joined at the ceremony by other members of his support system, including principal Lacy Cox, girlfriend Kinna Raymer, former teammates Westyn Green and Kole Snyder, along with Kole’s mom Amy.

“I’m extremely proud,” his dad, Chris, said. “He’s worked extremely hard to get to where he’s at. A lot of people don’t see what he does outside of what we just do in the football locker room. Especially going into his freshman to sophomore year with COVID and everything. He really did a lot of stuff on his own to get himself ready to play that sophomore year.”

When you think of offensive linemen, athletic is not always a word that comes to mind, but Drake showed off he was more than that. For one, he was a two-way starter on both offense and defense, rarely taking snaps off. He also spent multiple years as a member of the Grayson County baseball team. It was a moment there that Shane Decker wanted to make sure was remembered.

“He’s an athlete,” Decker added. “He made Sportscenter’s Top 10 in baseball for an athletic play. You don’t necessarily always put athletic with offensive lineman but he is by far a great athlete on top of just being a big, strong kid.”

Fit is everything for anyone in life. Whether it’s finding the right job, or city to live in, if you aren’t comfortable, success is hard to come by. Drake originally committed to Kentucky Christian in Carter County but walked back from that. Once the opportunity came to play at Kentucky Wesleyan, he knew it was the right fit.

“I really love everything about it,” he said. “I love the campus. As soon as I met Coach (Tyrone) Young and the rest of the coaches, we clicked immediately. I got a buddy going there already that is committed to the football team so I just felt like it was the right place for me.”

His parents echoed the sentiment but specifically mentioned the word family when it comes to Kentucky Wesleyan.

“It’s close to home,” Chris said. “It’s a division two team. It gives him the opportunity if he goes and excels there to maybe go on to a D1 school if he wants. The coaches are really family-oriented. They made us feel like this was the place he needed to be. It was the right choice for him.”

Drake becomes the seventh player under Jones at GCHS to move on and play the sport at the next level and while this past season was historic for the Cougars on the field, it is that fact that Jones knows is the most important long-term.

“Here in the last couple of years the number of guys that have gotten the opportunity whether that’s short-lived or whether they’re still playing,” Jones said. “they’ve gotten the opportunity to play at the next level, to me, is probably, besides just being good guys and future great fathers, this would probably be number two for me, wins would probably come behind that. This furthers their education which further sets them up to be successful in their adult lives is of the utmost importance.”

Drake was a multiple-year leader of the Cougars and knows he can still do that by guiding some of the younger players on the team, so they too can play the game at the next level.

When asked about what advice he would have for those younger players, he went back to the similar qualities that his coaches said about him.

“Take whatever opportunity you can,” Drake said. “It all happens right now in the offseason working out in the weight room, on the track, just keep working and listening to Coach Jones and Coach Decker and all of the coaches. They know a lot more than you think they do right now but you will realize that eventually.”

Kentucky Wesleyan is a Division II school located in Owensboro and is coached by Tyrone Young.

Last season, the Panthers finished 4-7. They will open the 2024 season on September 5 against Northern Michigan.

By: Sam Gormley, Play-By-Play Announcer/Local Sports
Reach Sam at

L:R – Sharon, Sawyer and Chris Drake
Bottom Row – Kinna Raymer, Sharon Drake, Sawyer Drake, Westyn Green
Top Row – Lacy Cox, Chris Drake, Bryan Jones, Shane Decker
L:R – Bryan Jones, Sawyer Drake, Chris Drake
Drake pictured with his girlfriend Kinna Raymer
Kole Snyder and Sawyer Drake