The Falcon   |   Volume 83, Issue 53

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Drake Edwards’ passion for snowboarding ‘was contagious’

By , News Editor

Published: January 9 2013

The wind flicked at Drake Edwards’ thick blond hair as he rode the chairlift up the south side of Mt. Hood in Oregon.

He was filming a “Day in the Life” video about himself, so he adjusted his oversized black and yellow sunglasses before speaking to the soon-to-be fall of 2011 freshman class.

“Hello, everyone, my name’s Drake,” he said.

“This is who I am,” he said. “I snowboard.”

When anyone talks about Drake, it’s not long before snowboarding comes up, along with his easygoing attitude and enthusiasm for life. Those are the memories friends and family hold to since he was killed on Dec. 23 in a head-on car crash on Oregon Route 35.

The driver, Dayne M. Scanlon, was on his way back from snowboarding with twins Drake and Warner Edwards. 20-year-old Drake was the only person injured in the crash.

“I had always grown up sharing life with him,” Warner said. “I’ve never been alone before.”

Warner said he and Drake grew up doing most everything together.

They both learned to snowboard at age 9, and Warner remembers when Drake became a Christian his freshman year of high school at a Young Life camp in Canada.

Warner talked Drake into attending SPU by mentioning that the campus is only 40 minutes away from The Summit at Snoqualmie.

“He didn’t even look at the campus,” Warner said. “When he heard that, he said, ‘I’m going.’”

The two ended up on 4th Hill their freshman year, but roomed separately so they would have each other’s roommates as friends if they didn’t meet anyone else, Warner said. But they never ended up needing to use their plan, he said.

“4th Hill people gravitated towards him,” Warner said.

Warner remembers staying up late in each other’s dorm rooms, playing video games and talking about their plans for the future.

When they turned 21, they planned to go to Ratskeller, a Mt. Hood bar where all the snowboarders went after riding the mountain all day.

When they turned 22, Warner was going to shave Drake’s head — he was known for his thick, curly blonde hair.

They were going to be each other’s best man in their weddings and talked about what it’d be like to be uncles for each other’s kids.

Drake planned to work in marketing at a snowboard company and dreamed of opening his own ski resort in Oregon.

He had already gotten started on that path by working as a counselor at the High Cascade summer camp and selling snowboards and apparel at evo, a local snowboard shop.

By Warner’s count, Drake went snowboarding 100 times last year, and he had gone 30 to 40 times himself.

“It was like the kid was born for it,” said Ben Prinster, who was Drake’s roommate, referring to his love for snowboarding. “He lived and breathed it.”

Prinster said Drake would watch the same snowboarding video multiple times, even while doing his homework.

He was also known for his incredible ability to take naps at any time. A half-hour before class, he would tell Prinster to wake him up in 15 minutes and then immediately nod off.

“When I moved in, he told me our motto was ‘vacay every day,’” Prinster said. “It was always a fun room to be in.”

Drake, Prinster and a third friend, Steven Reilly, called themselves the “towheaded trio” because they were all blonde.

The three of them were known for late-night Taco Bell runs, and when Prinster and Reilly returned to 4th Hill this quarter, their sister floor bought them 60 tacos in remembrance of Drake.

Reilly said Drake’s affinity for Taco Bell went so far that he named his KSPU radio show “Chalupa vs. Crunchwrap.”

“We used to sit in the Y [the middle of a three-hallway dorm floor] and eat Taco Bell,” Reilly said. “We would have deep talks and tell jokes.”

Reilly first met Drake at a preview event for freshmen, where Drake flirted with his girlfriend.

“He just told me that this year, too,” Reilly said with a laugh.

He said the two became close friends in a floor small group where they talked about the three Gs — girls, grades and God.

“We just learned more about each other,” Reilly said. “We grew as brothers.”

On Tuesday, Warner and his father, Jim Edwards, went snowboarding in Snoqualmie as a way to remember Drake. His mother, Julie Edwards, sat in the car and watched skiers and snowboarders run down the mountain.

“As a mother, it was maybe not my first choice [for Drake to snowboard],” Julie said. “But when someone loves something so much, it’s just contagious.”

Julie said Drake didn’t like snowboarding the first time he tried it, but quickly grew to love the sport. She tried to guilt him into staying home this past summer instead of working as a snowboard camp counselor but to no avail.

She also remembers that Drake would bring college friends home for Easter or on family camping trips, even though she worried it wasn’t cool for college kids to hang out with parents.

Julie attended the service for Drake and Richard Sohn last Friday. Her husband Jim and son Warner both spoke at the service, and Julie said she appreciated that it was a traditional and reverent service.

“Drake loved his time at SPU,” she said. “He loved every minute of his time there.”

At the end of Drake’s “Day in the Life” video, he jumps his snowboard onto a long flat rail. The video slows down to capture his dismount as he turns the board sideways in the air before straightening it out again.

He turns to talk to his audience one last time.

“Well that’s the day,” he said. “I’m going to go home and eat ice cream and candy.”

The scene cuts to a shot of him back on his snowboard. He waves to the camera, turns and rides back down the mountain.

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