EDITOR’S NOTE: To help celebrate Waxahachie ISD athletes who are following the R.E.A.L. Leader philosophy brought in by Indians head football coach Jon Kitna and adopted by athletic director Greg Reed, Waxahachie athletic coaches have picked top athletes who exhibit the ability to Reject passivity, Empathize with others, Accept responsibility and Lead courageously.

A R.E.A.L. Leader Q&A will appear in the Daily Light sports section each week’s Sunday Sports Extra, allowing coaches from all sports to share and brag about their stand-up players. This week, Tamara Pruitt, Waxahachie High School head swim coach, recognizes senior Drew Calvert. Calvert has lived in Waxahachie for 17 years and considers his grandfather as a role model because he always strives for greatness while at the same time caring for all those who depend on him.


Coach Pruitt, you recognized Calvert was a R.E.A.L. Leader for the week. What did this leader do that stood out to you and what made you choose him as a real leader?


Pruitt: Drew embodies all of the qualities of a REAL leader. He has an impeccable work ethic in everything that he does. He is ranked #11 in his class, is a leader on the swim team, a standout in the FFA, a devoted member of his church youth group, and is a member of Interact, Student Council, the Debate Team, the National Honor Society, the Flag Team, Alpha Theta (math team), Delta Phi Beta (science team), School Newspaper, and does community service.


How does this player live the four pillars of being a R.E.AL. Leader?


Pruitt: Drew exemplifies the four pillars of manhood each day in all he does. He is always willing to step up and help out when things need done. He cares about his teammates and offers to tutor them if they are struggling with a class. Even though he may struggle with set or stroke in the pool, he never quits and is always willing to try. He is a selfless leader who puts others before himself.


The R.E.A.L. Leaders philosophy is based on the idea it takes a village to change a culture. How does Calvert promote a positive culture inside the locker room and in the community, and encourage his peers to do the same?


Pruitt: Drew leads by example and is always encouraging his teammates to do the same. He helps to set up and take down the pool whenever someone is out or late. He always offers to carry the equipment, team bag, and encourages those around him to help out and follow his lead. He sets the tone of kindness to the bus drivers, workers at our swim meets, and to those working at the restaurants where we stop to eat.


In adulthood, accountability is a key component. How does Calvert best personify that value to promote success in the classroom, in sporting events and in life?


Pruitt: Drew shows that you can be involved in many activities and still be successful. He manages his time wisely which allows him to succeed in everything he does.


What is one characteristic that Calvert believes every leader should possess?


Pruitt: Drew believes that humility is an important characteristic that all leaders should possess.


What has been the impact of Calvert’s attitude on the team’s success?


Pruitt: Drew’s attitude and actions have helped our team be successful in and out of the pool. His selfless leadership helps our team work together in a family type atmosphere. Because of the example he sets, my other swimmers have a great role model to look up to.