Special Friends
by Brian Meador

If you've ever had the good fortune of meeting Drew Steele then you no doubt had an encounter you'll not soon forget. The first annual Drew Steele/Skip Holtz Celebrity Golf Invitational tees off on Monday June 5th at both the Irownwood and Greenville Country Clubs in what promises to be the most star studded golf tournament since Michael Jordan's Ronald McDonald Tournament ended a few years ago.

The tournament and dinner/auction Sunday will raise funds for the Drew Steele Greater Greenville Foundation and continue to support The Special Populations of Pitt County. Coach Holtz and Drew's father Mike came up with the idea a few months back and it's been gaining steam ever since.

I won't go into Drew's background here, it would take me days to properly explain what Drew has meant to East Carolina and the community, but I will tell you Drew has become an icon in this area over the years. You can't help but smile when Drew calls out your name, runs over and gives you a big hug, then just as abruptly takes off to find somebody else to grab. While I'm proud to call Drew a friend, the relationship he and Coach Holtz has is truly special.

Drew travels with the team as a manager during the football season. I can't count how many times I've heard Mike hustle through the lobby of the team hotel the night before a game shouting "Anybody seen Drew?... I can't find that boy anywhere." More often than not Drew turns up in Coach Holtz's room. Apparantly the two like to polish off late night cheeseburgers together before going to bed.

The night before the Memphis game last year, Mike, Billy Weaver, Jeff Charles, Drew, and myself dined out on some Memphis ribs. We were all stuffed by the time we got back to the hotel. We had been watching the ESPN Friday night college football game in the hotel bar when Mike noticed Drew was gone again. He called up to Skip's room and sure enough, the two were chowing down on a couple of cheeseburgers. It's a good thing Drew is always on the go because he'd be the size of the Goodyear Blimp.

Drew is one of the first to hug Coach Holtz after a game and he can sometimes be seen dousing him with a cup of gatorade after a big win.

Mike should be praised for the way he has raised Drew, Coach Holtz should be praised for the special friendship he has cultivated with Drew.

Visit for more information about Drew and the Drew Steele/Skip Holtz Golf Classic.

Brian Meador
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