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Versatile Mains inks with Wittenberg

Drew Mains never changes his stripes, whether it's his team's nickname or his style of play.

The former Ironton Fighting Tigers standout football player has signed to play for another group of Tigers at Wittenberg University.

Mains played quarterback and safety for Ironton with great hustle and intensity. Ironton coach Bob Lutz said Mains will take the same kind of character to Wittenberg.

"He's a take-charge guy," Lutz said. "He was the leader of our club on offense, and he'll come up and tag you on defense. He'll do the same thing for Wittenberg. He's a gamer."

Although Wittenberg put together a hard recruiting push to get Mains, he was uncertain as to what position he will play.

"They're not sure where I'll play. It could be quarterback or defensive back. But it doesn't matter

to me. It's a good program and I just want to get some playing time,"said Mains.

Plagued by a turf toe injury that forced him out of a couple of games last season, Mains is just beginning to regain his old form. The 5-foot-10 quarterback has bulked up to 188 pounds.

"I'm getting back to where I was before the surgery," said Mains. "My upper body is okay, but my lower body is just catching up."

Wittenberg is getting quite a catch according to head coach Joe Fincham.

"We are extremely happy to welcome a student/athlete of Drew's caliber into our program," Fincham said. "He has the potential to make a great impact on our program during his career."

The Tigers boasts the NCAA Division III winningest football program. Wittenberg was 11-2 last season as won a fifth straight North Coast Athletic Conference title, qualifying for the team's fourth straight

Div. III playoffs .

Mains completed 35 of 60 pass for 616 yards and nine touchdowns while being intercepted just three times, one a desperation pass in the final playoff game.

As a runner, Mains carried 53 times for 271 yards -- a 5.1 average -- and scored six touchdowns.

Mains was a Division IV Southeast All-District selection and nominated to play in the North/South Classic.

He was a three-year letterman in football and baseball and a four-year letterman in basketball. He was named the recipient of the Robert E. Christian Award as the best senior athlete at Ironton High School, was the Tiger Clan recipient, and was a member of the National Honor Society.

Drew would have lettered in baseball his senior year, but the persistent turf toe injury finally required surgery and force him to miss the entire season.

"If I had known it was going to be that bad, I would have had the surgery in basketball season. It still bothers me a little. The doctor said it will be that way for about a year," Drew said. "They're talking about redshirting me, and that might be a good thing. It'll give me a year to get better."

Mains plays to major in business or education.

"It's a real nice place. It's impressive," said Mains. "They've got a great school. They have great academics."

Drew is the son of Stephen "Lou" and Jane Mains of Ironton. Lou Mains is an assistant coach for the Fighting Tigers while Jane is the volleyball coach at Fairland. Jim Walker/The Ironton Tribune