Spires named finalist for SC HOF Bridge Builder Award

Richard Winn student-athlete and Citadel-commit Drew Spires has been recognized by the SC Hall of Fame as a Bridge Builder.

WINNSBORO – Drew Spires has been on the receiving end of a lot of blessings. Among these blessings are being on the precipice of graduating from Richard Winn Academy with a 4.00 grade-point average and continuing his football career in the fall with The Citadel.

Knowing this, the 6-2, 180-pound wide receiver and free safety enjoys giving back with his work in Operation Christmas Child, creating and delivering gift boxes to the elderly, and bringing mental health awareness to the forefront with his work with the Hilinski’s Hope Campaign, just two of the community outreach programs he’s involved in.

Spires, pictured right with Mark Hilinski, spearheaded the team’s partnership with Hilinski’s Hope.

“I’m thankful to be in the position to give back as much as I can,” he said Monday.

The South Carolina Football Hall of Fame has taken notice, selecting him as a top-10 finalist for the Hall of Fame’s Bridge Builder Award for 2024. Spires was among about 60 nominees. He found out two weeks ago that he made the list of 10 finalists for the award, and interviewed to be among the top three finalists, which will be announced this week.

“It means a lot to me to be in a position like this, to where I can give back to the community,” Spires said, “and to be recognized by the Hall of Fame to know that I made a positive impact in the community.”

Regardless of outcome, making the list of top-10 finalists for the Bridge Builder Award is a big deal. Spires’ efforts give him a good shot of making the cut.

For one thing, Spires is a multi-sport athlete and team captain who lettered for four years in football with the Eagles. Over his career he made 188 catches for 3,345 yards and 57 touchdowns, in addition to rushing for 1,013 yards and 14 TDs. In his senior season alone, he had 2,613 all-purpose yards (rushing, receiving, and kickoff/punt returns) with 41 touchdowns. As a defensive back, Spires had 137 career tackles, 11 interceptions and three TDs.

Besides football, Spires was also a team captain on the basketball team where he was a 2-time All-Region selection and a 2-time All-Star selection, in addition to being an All-State Tournament selection.

He was named the 2023 SCISA Region I Player of the Year and was selected to play in the SCISA North-South All-Star Game. He also was named to play in the All-American Bowl played in Gatlinburg, Tenn. and was a nominee for the SCSB-Live Best Returning Wide Receiver in South Carolina award. Over his career, he won 11 region player-of-the-week awards.

Spires (2)

Academically, Spires is the senior class president, the highest ranking boy in his class, was selected a Junior Marshal, is in the Senior Beta Club, and is a 2-time Headmaster’s Award recipient.

Spires work at school, whether academically or athletically, feeds on his desire for community outreach.

Hilinski’s Hope, a foundation that former South Carolina quarterback Ryan Hilinski and his family founded after Ryan’s brother Tyler Hilinski died by suicide, The foundation provides mental health awareness to student athletes, in an effort to destigmatize mental illness issues and provide resources to student athletes across the nation. Spires spearheaded the Richard Winn football team’s partnership with Hilinski’s Hope.

“It’s okay to talk about mental health,” Spires told The Voice earlier this year. “If you are struggling with mental health issues, know that it is okay to reach out and ask for help. If you know someone who is struggling, please help them get the help that is needed.”

With his college career drawing near, Spires said he does not want his commitment to community outreach come to an end.

“That’s something I’ve been thinking about doing, and weighing the challenges of having to balance being a student athlete with finding the time to give back,” he said. “I’d certainly like that. I’d like to continue my work with Operation Christmas Child and the Hilinski Foundation. Now I just have to find the time to do it all at the college level.”

Eagle cheerleaders wearing Hilinski’s Hope cheer bows during the night spearheaded by Spires.

Contact us: (803) 767-5711 | P.O. Box 675, Blythewood, SC 29016 | [email protected]