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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of May 15 - 21, 2002


Family ties on the court

Brother and sister Ryan and Lauren Drew serve up success story

Express Staff Writer

Even though they were born 17 months apart, siblings Ryan and Lauren Drew of Hailey seem a lot like twins.

They resemble each other, both with brown hair and open faces. They look at each other while thinking and finish each other’s sentences and thoughts.

Posing at the scene of so many of their successes, Ryan Drew and Lauren Drew support each other during last weekend’s district tennis tournament at Sun Valley Tennis Club. Express photo by David N. Seelig

The most marked characteristic The Community School seniors share is a killer instinct on the tennis court.

Lauren, 17, a three-time state champion and four-time district champion in girls’ singles, admits, "My goal used to be to make people cry.

"I know it’s a mean thing to say, but I would get so much joy out of it."

A steady hitter with the return qualities of an unstamped letter, Lauren has been the cause of many tears. She just wears down her opponents.

In four years of district tournament play she has dropped only 13 games and never lost a set. Lauren has won 11 consecutive matches at the state tournament level.

While a little more cool and collected on the court, 19-year-old Ryan is no less competitive.

He is the reigning A-2 state titlist and four-time district champion in boys’ singles. At the state tournament his only losses in 13 matches came to 1999 and 2000 state champ Andy Livingston of Bishop Kelly.

Like his sister, Ryan has the distinction of never playing a third set in a district tournament and losing only 18 games in four years of stellar play.

Hours of practice and commitment have defined them.

Lauren Drew drills a winner during her district girls’ singles title quest last weekend at Sun Valley. Express photo by David N. Seelig

"They were hard workers when they were younger," step-father and coach Mark Scribner said. "Ryan made the decision to play when he was 10 or 11 and Lauren about a year after that and then they dedicated themselves to it."

Their devotion meant waking up when it was still dark outside (and cold which Lauren hates) so they could practice before school.

It meant forgoing other sports. Ryan dropped hockey and baseball in favor of tennis. Lauren gave up softball and soccer to concentrate on tennis.

Not until their senior year, with their tennis dominance firmly established, did they branch out—Ryan stepping into a starting role on the Cutthroat boys’ basketball team and Lauren having a great time serving for The Community School volleyball team last fall.

They never felt deprived by their sacrifices for tennis.

"It wasn’t really a big deal," Lauren said.

"We always had an affinity for tennis," Ryan added.

They came by it honestly.

The Drews give their mother Kathy and father Carl credit for introducing them to the game. They also credit their step-father, longtime local tennis pro Mark Scribner, for helping them hone their skills.

"He has been very instrumental in our success. What Mark has taught us has brought us such a long way," Ryan remarked.

The family moved here in the 1980s. Lauren and Ryan started kindergarten at Hemingway Elementary School in Ketchum, moved on to Wood River Middle School and then to The Community School when they were freshmen.

Their attendance at the Sun Valley independent school has coincided with a remarkable run of success on the court.

Since 1998, the Cutthroats have won five consecutive Fourth District tennis championships and finished no worse than fourth in state Class B play. Last year, boosted by singles’ wins by Lauren and Ryan, the team captured its first-ever state tennis championship.

Ryan said, "I thought it was really neat to team see a tennis banner up in our gym, instead of seeing our individual names."

Despite being part of a team, which they thoroughly enjoy, the Drews lean heavily on one another for inspiration. Especially in the winter months when court time and playing partners are hard to come by.

"Ryan and I have to count on ourselves to motivate and go out and practice," Lauren said.

"She is more mentally tough on the court than I am. She helps me work harder," Ryan said.

Their mom, Kathy, said the kids have always been close.

"They have always been really good friends. Always gotten along. Ryan was accepting right from the start and being the older one, I think that set the tone. There was never any jealousy," Kathy said.

After graduation in June, the pair plans to enjoy the summer in Ketchum before heading off to college in the fall.

Ryan plans to attend Ohio-Wesleyan in Delaware, Ohio and Lauren will be a freshman at Scripps College in Claremont, California.

Both are looking forward to college and they plan to play tennis at their respective Division III schools.

"My goal has always been to play college tennis. I am just really happy to be able to go do that," Ryan said.

For Lauren the appeal is two-fold. Not only is she going to a top-notch tennis school, she is going to California—the land of sun, sand and surf.

"It (school) had to be some place warm. I don’t like winter," she said.

The cold, dark winter mornings and diligent work have brought the pair unprecedented success on the prep level. It has also given them a platform for the future.

And just as Lauren likes it, what lies ahead looks bright and sunny.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.