Post-Gazette Athletes of the Week: Mike Crawford and Megan McCrady
April 21, 2017 12:00 AM
Fox Chapel's Megan McCrady has been leading the way for the Foxes and is this week's Post-Gazette Athlete of the Week.
Mike Crawford, West Allegheny
The past week: Crawford worked 6⅓ innings, gave up only two hits and struck out eight in a big 2-0 victory against Montour.
Check this out: Crawford, a 6-foot-1, 165-pound senior left-hander, has turned into one of the WPIAL’s top pitchers. He entered this week with a 4-0 record and a 1.08 ERA. He had allowed only 11 hits in 19⅓ innings, struck out 20 and helped turn the Indians into one of the WPIAL’s top Class 5A teams. Crawford has been on West Allegheny’s varsity since his freshman year and he has a 12-0 career record.
College talk: Crawford will play next season at Coastal Carolina, the defending NCAA Division I champion. He will go to Coastal Carolina as a preferred walk-on.
Are you more of a strikeout pitcher this year? Actually, not as much as last year.
Why not? That’s a good question. I think last year at this time, I had pitched more innings. This year, that might have to do some with the new pitch-count rules. I can’t really explain, but I also have confidence in my defense around me.
Do you guys know yet how good this team is? Honestly, I don’t think so. We’ve shown we can hit the ball at times, played good defense at times and the pitching has stepped up. But I think there is still a little more in the tank for us.
Your coach [Bryan Cornell] is West Allegheny’s defensive coordinator in football. Does he ever bring a football mentality to baseball? I have’t been around the football setting enough to know, but he does bring some of that fire and energy, especially to big games.
You’re walking on at Coastal Carolina, but turned down some scholarship money at other places? Coastal is a school I’ve wanted to go to for years. My summer team actually played down there after my sophomore year. We took a drive through campus. I was with my mom and told her ‘This is where I want to go to school.’
Stephen Colbert or Jimmy Fallon? Fallon all the way. We actually have a senior guys pageant type of thing at school where the winner is called Mr. West Allegheny. I got suckered into doing it. My talent was comedy, an impression of Jimmy Fallon and the Tonight Show.
So, did you win? No [laugh]. The teachers were judges and I didn’t get enough points.
— By Mike White
Megan McCrady, Fox Chapel
The past week: McCrady scored nine goals in Fox Chapel’s win against rival Shady Side Academy, moving the Foxes to 9-0. She has scored 39 goals so far this season.
Check this out: The Fox Chapel senior committed to Georgetown in the fall of her sophomore year.
What’s allowed you guys to have consistent success this season? I think it’s different this year because we have talent all across the field. We’re a pretty young team which is awesome for the future of this program, and I think that one of the differences this year as compared to our play in previous years is that we play a full 50 minutes. We get a lead and we stay on it, we don’t let teams back in, so I think that’s been a major component of our success this year.
If it’s a young team, do you step up as a leader? What potential do you see in the younger girls around you? It’s awesome to sort of take that leadership position and work with the younger girls, knowing we’ve got some really great freshmen. That being said, we do have a lot of really great older talent as well. Our senior class is pretty strong talent-wise, and we’ve got some really great junior players as well. It’s kind of all across the board.
What’s something people would be surprised to know about you? Probably the fact that I’m a huge reader. Whenever I tell people about that they’re like “Seriously? You have time to do that?” And I’m like, after lacrosse at night, all I do is read. So that’s probably the thing that might be shocking to people, I’m kind of a book nerd.
What is your favorite book? I have this interest in the 18th and 19th century. People are like, what the heck? But I absolutely love Gone With the Wind. It’s such a geeky thing, but it’s my all-time favorite book and movie.
When did you start playing lacrosse, and what made you stick with it? I probably started back in third grade, and actually my dad played lacrosse at Michigan State, and my mom played field hockey there. So we’ve always sort of grown up in this very competitive athletic environment, which was awesome for us growing up. So it was sort of a given for us to play sports because our parents were so athletic as well.
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