Newly-appointed Daemen College Head Men’s Soccer Coach Bobby McColl has announced the addition of a special member to the men’s soccer program as 16-year old Drew Boehnlein of East Amherst was formally introduced during a press conference April 13 in the Lumsden Gymnasium.
Drew comes to Daemen through a partnership with Team IMPACT, a non-profit organization that aims to improve the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses. Core to their model is harnessing the power of teamwork by matching these courageous kids with college athletic teams. Team IMPACT children are drafted on to local college athletic teams, and, to the greatest extent possible, become an official member of the team for the duration of their treatment and beyond.
“We are excited to welcome Drew and his family to our team,” said McColl, who was recently named men’s soccer coach. “Meeting Drew for the first time was a great experience for me and for our student-athletes. We are all looking forward to the opportunity to spend a lot of time with him, and we sincerely hope he enjoys his experience with us.”
Drew, a 10th grade student at Maryvale High School, was born with Down Syndrome and was admitted to the intensive care unit at birth due to a hole in his heart. He has had more than 15 surgeries and requires intravenous immunoglobulin infusion treatments every 28 days because of his autoimmune deficiency.
“I really feel like this relationship will be as beneficial for our student-athletes as it is for Drew,” McColl said. “Our team can learn a lot about toughness from this young man.”
Drew is joining the men’s soccer program as it winds down spring practices. According to McColl, there will be opportunities for Drew to remain in contact with team members throughout the summer months before everything ramps back up with the start of fall practice in mid-August.
Drew is now the third Team IMPACT child to be paired with a Daemen team. In November 2014, 12-year old Leontae Parker became a member of the Daemen men’s basketball team, and last December the women’s basketball team added 8-year old Sofia Reisman to their roster.
Learn more about Team IMPACT at goteamimpact.org.