While the year 2020 was a nightmare for some, it more of a dream come true for Hawthorne senior Dre Lawrence.
He got a chance to play in two state championship games in two different sports.
Just prior to COVID-19, in early March 2020, Lawrence and the Hornets’ basketball team won the Class 1A state title.
Hawthorne defeated Hilliard, 42-38, to win its second state title in program history—and the first since 1987.
Lawrence finished his junior year averaging 7.9 points per game for the 25-3 Hornets. He finished second on the team with 222 points, including a team-leading 32 3-pointers.
Later that year, as a senior, Lawrence and the Hornets got an opportunity to play in their first-ever football state championship game.
Hawthorne lost to undefeated Baker, 27-14, in the Class 1A state championship game at Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee on Dec. 17. The Hornets (10-3) finished as state runners-up for the first time in program history.
The senior running back finished the 2020 season with 944 yards rushing on 196 carries (4.8 yards per carry) and a total of 14 touchdowns.
“The game plan every Friday night was to get Dre 15-20 carries,” said offensive coordinator Greg Bowie, who also served as Lawrence’s varsity basketball coach. “He was a load and was guaranteed four or five tough yards per carry.”
As a junior, Lawrence had 38 tackles on defense and a team-leading five interceptions as the Hornets went 8-4 and lost to Pahokee in the FHSAA Class 1A Regional Semifinals.
While the Hornets were not able to defend their 2020 state basketball title, Lawrence did save one of his best games for last.
Add buzzer-beater to his list of accomplishments.
The senior guard hit a jumper with 1.3 seconds to play to give No. 2 seed Hawthorne a 56-54 win at top seed Williston in the Class 1A-District 7 championship game on February 12. Lawrence finished with 27 points for the district champions.
“Very unselfish basketball player and he always delivered in big games,” Bowie said.
Lawrence scored 13 points in his final game in a Hawthorne uniform, a 72-58 loss at Wildwood in the regional final, denying the Hornets a return trip to the final four.
This is the latest in our summer “Senior Spotlight” series recognizing some of the top area student athletes from the Class of 2021.