• 88°

Crenshaw signs to Huntingdon

Another Eagle took flight to a new nest Monday morning at Fort Dale Academy as senior William Crenshaw signed a scholarship to play baseball for the Huntingdon Hawks.

Though athletics were a draw for Crenshaw, he said that it was academics that spurred his interest in Huntingdon—particularly the school’s physical therapy program.

“Huntingdon came to Fort Dale for a college day, and they just convinced me on going up there and studying physical therapy,” Crenshaw said. “I heard that they’re the best in Alabama in getting people into med school.”

Fort Dale Academy baseball coach Marshall Watts added that Crenshaw’s cleats would be particularly difficult to fill.

“I don’t know that we can fill them,” Watts said. “Just from the aspect of the mental game, he was on top of it so much. Whether he was struggling hitting or whatever, he knew how to help the team in some form or fashion.  I don’t know that we can fill his role.  It might take two or three kids to do that.

“William was first-class, all the way.  He played the game the right way. He was a great example to young kids, with the junior high being out there with us every day. He was everything you’d want in a kid who has been in your program for six years.”

Though, by Crenshaw’s own admission, it was his experiences at Fort Dale that taught him how to play the game the right way.

“[Playing at Fort Dale] kind of humbled me a bit,” he said. “Because when I played city league, I was always one of the better kids.  But I got out here and tried to do my own thing, and they just showed me a better way to play the game.”

In the six years that followed, however, Watts said that Crenshaw’s experience transformed into a toolset that would contribute to the Eagles’ victory in a variety of ways.

“He’s been through the highs and the lows of the program,” Watts said. “He’s seen everything, and region games didn’t bother him.  He’s the kind of guy I would say ‘hey, guys, let’s watch William and see how he plays.’

“It didn’t matter if it was a small 1A school or the best 3A team—he played the game the exact same way day-in and day-out.  He was consistent every day, and you knew what you were getting.”

Crenshaw, who has been a student at Fort Dale since his K-4 days, said that life would change dramatically in the fall. But it’s a change–and a challenge–that he welcomes with open arms.

“I’ve been thinking about it for the past four years, to be honest,” Crenshaw said. “It’s going to be different, for sure, but I think I’ll get used to it.  I’ll come back every now and then to watch a football game and see all of the people around here.  But other than that, I think I’m ready to move on in my life.”

Watts agreed that Crenshaw would not only survive, but thrive at the collegiate level.

“His work ethic instilled from his parents when he was young will definitely show up,” Watts said.

“College coaches are looking for somebody they can count on, will show up on time and will do their schoolwork. He might not be able to play right off, but he’ll work his way in there.”