Fairfax Football Player Drew Basalyga Gains National Attention

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On Oct. 29, ESPN uploaded a video of a spectacular catch made by senior wide receiver Drew Basalyga during the Fairfax homecoming football game against Marshall High School.

The video was under the headline “High School WR’s Soaring Grab.” It was posted to the ESPN website, and was also up for consideration to be played during the televised game between Florida State and Louisville on Oct. 30.

Fairfax head coach Kevin Simonds sent the clip to his friend, Phil Murphy, who works for ESPN. “I actually called him and said, ‘Hey, you’ve got to take a look at this catch,’ and it grew legs from there,” Simonds said.

Senior Drew Basalyga leads the Fairfax football team out onto the field against Woodson High School. (photo by Anushka Annonti)

Senior Drew Basalyga leads the Fairfax football team out onto the field against Woodson High School. (photo by Anushka Annonti)

Basalyga found out about the video after school that day. “I came out of my classroom at the end of the day and a bunch of my friends were showing it to me on the website on their phones,” said Basalyga. The first person to show Basalyga was AJ Valdes-Recio.

At the time of the play, Basalyga did not realize how good the catch was. “I was just happy we scored,” he said.

“I think it’s awesome! Who wouldn’t want to be on ESPN?” Simonds said, and then hummed the Sportscenter theme. “I mean, to hear that noise, you know exactly what it is. I think it was awesome. Good for him. You don’t make it onto ESPN without doing something miraculous and he made an unbelievable catch that most people would never even think of making.”

To Basalyga, having the video of his catch uploaded to ESPN was “crazy.”

“I knew it was a nice play, but I was just shocked that it got onto a national website like ESPN,” he said.


The video of the catch can also  be viewed here: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=11785086

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