OREGON, Mo. — Few family names carry the weight that the Quinlins do in northwest Missouri area. This week, one of its most popular members committed to Northwestern College.
Drew Quinlin will continue his athletic career as a two-sport athlete in the small town of Orange City, Iowa, beginning this fall.
Despite South Holt not having a high school baseball program, it was baseball that Quinlin planned on pursuing at after high school. Quinlin’s love for baseball was undoubtably tested at times due to the lengths of which he had to go to play the sport.
“I had to play baseball in Kansas City during the spring and summer, and I’ve been doing that since the sixth grade,” Quinlin said. “We’d have two practices a week and that’s an hour and a half drive there and back. We’d have tournaments Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so that was like six trips in a week. I did that for five or six years straight.”
Quinlin was of the mindset that baseball would be what took him to the next level. But that process came with its own set of complications that go back to Quinlin’s school being without a baseball program.
“It was way harder to get recruited because coaches can come to high school games when they’re not in season, but during the summer it’s a lot harder,” Quinlin said. “It made it almost impossible and so I was sending emails out to coaches constantly.”
It was just before Christmas that Quinlin decided that his appetite for football hadn’t been filled. Quinlin said that the team’s final loss also helped fuel him to keep playing.
“Honestly, that loss to North Andrew never really sat right with me,” Quinlin said. “I couldn’t let it go and I wasn’t ready for football to be over with. I felt like I had more to give, and so I talked with my parents and the coaches there and they all agreed. I decided I was just going to go for it because I’m not ready for football to be over with.”
Northwestern has both a past and present of two-sport athletes.
“We wanted to let him know that it was a possibility,” Northwestern football coach Matt McCarty said. “I think at Northwestern we’ve done a really good job over the years allowing kids to play multiple sports and be successful in multiple sports.”
The Red Raiders will be getting one of the most prolific offensive players that the 8-man football level has to offer. During his time as a Spartan, Quinlin passed for 5,300 yards and 86 touchdowns. Quinlin also rushed for 2.200 yards and 57 touchdowns. The senior will take that offensive talent to a place that Hall of Fame coach Mel Tjeerdsma called home as an offensive coordinator for eight years.
“What jumps out most about Drew is his overall athleticism and his competitiveness,” McCarty said. “Those are the big things that we look for in our recruits. When he gets to campus, we’ll do our best to get him in the right spot. We think that he can thrive in multiple positions and it’ll be fun to get him in the right spot because he is so talented.”
Academically, Quinlin will follow in the footsteps of his uncle, Joe Quinlin. Joe Quinlin is the head strength and conditioning coach at Northwest Missouri State.
“I want to go into exercise science and be a strength and conditioning coach,” Quinlin said. “I went and job shadowed Joe up at the college and loved the energy and the atmosphere. Being around those athletes, I just loved it.”
Quinlin will get his opportunity at high school baseball this spring with South Holt adding a baseball program. And though his post high school future has been set into motion, Quinlin is plenty motivated for baseball in the spring.
“I want to be the first all-state baseball player from South Holt,” Quinlin said.
Though Quinlin says that his favorite sport is whichever one is in season, if he were to be awarded all-state in baseball, that his baseball picture would be the one put on the wall and not football.
The future Red Raider said he will spend the summer helping South Holt football coach Josh Petersen and the football team. Quinlin said that coaching in the future isn’t out of the question and his former coach said he has all the qualities to be successful at whatever he does.
“Drew is one of the most talented athletes I’ve ever coached and there are few that worked harder,” Petersen said. “He is such a great leader and possesses all the qualities that will make him successful at whatever he decides to do. I’m excited to see what he can do at the college level in both sports.”