Prep swimming: Salisbury's Drye signs

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 24, 2011

By Jordan Honeycutt
SALISBURY — Salisbury High School swimmer Carley Drye is signed, sealed and delivered to be a Flame at Liberty University.
Drye chose Liberty over Furman and the College of Charleston mainly due to the environment and success of Liberty’s swim team.
Drye helped lead the Hornets to a second place finish in the CCC and was champion of the 100m freestyle.
“Before this year, I never thought that I could have gone to school for swimming, just academics, but my hard work and help from my club team coach, Ben Humphrey, really got me where I am,” Drye said.
Drye definitely will challenge herself as a college freshman, not only in the pool, but Carley is also majoring in pre-med.
Drye’s father, John, played football at Furman and Carley indicated that she favored Furman until it dropped its swim team.
“Really, it came down to when my parents and I visited the campus at Liberty and talked to the coach. That’s when I knew where I wanted to go for sure,” Drye said.
“I’m not too big of a partier and Liberty’s atmosphere caters to that and I love the moral standards that students are held to there.”
If practice makes perfect, then Drye is an absolute testament of it, as she has been swimming since age 3 with her grandfather and her father at the South Rowan YMCA and has competed in club swimming since age 6.
Carley also comes from a history of athletes, as her grandfather, the late Carl Drye was a Rowan County star on the gridiron and went on to play football at Duke in addition to the success of her father at Furman.
Her parents John and Lesleigh Drye were by her side in addition to her teammates and friends last Thursday at Salisbury High for her official signing.
“We looked at a few places and to Carley, as well as us as parents, Liberty was the best match of a school that could balance the swimming and academics and we are very proud of what she has achieved,” Lesleigh Drye said.
Also there for her moment was her grandmother, Naomi Drye.
“I couldn’t be more proud of Carley, but she has always made me proud no matter what she does and I am excited for her to have this great opportunity,” Naomi Drye said.
Carley also makes the comparison of her soon to be new home of Lynchburg, Va. to her native Salisbury.
“Lynchburg absolutely felt like home to me. Everyone was nice and you know there isn’t a whole lot there, but it’s not super strict like everybody thinks and the morals are what made it feel like home to me the most,” Drye said.
Liberty has a top 25 caliber ladies swim team and Carley know the challenges that will be put in front of her as a freshman, but is embracing them with a conquering attitude.
“I know they are very good, but I talked to and met all of the girls and coaches and they couldn’t be nicer or more supportive,” Drye said.
“I decided that I wanted to be a small fish in a big pond rather than being a big fish in a small pond and I think that by doing that, it will make me a whole lot better by being around swimmers that are better than me.”