The Decaturian

Crews Crushing the Competition

Trevor Hooth, Sports Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






It is easy to root for the underdog.

As is the case with so many who are often counted out, things can quickly become exciting.  Right on cue, the extraordinary memories begin to form out of ordinary moments.

Senior outfielder at Millikin University, Devin Crews, comes from humble beginnings. A standout talent from the small town of Fairbury, Illinois, there is only one school that sought him out to play at the next level. His lightly populated high school translated to a certain comfortability at a little known Division III college in Decatur.

Once upon a time NCAA interest was not so scarce for Crews. In his early years at Prairie Central High School, there were Division I opportunities for the game of football. As a speedy wide receiver, opposing teams struggled to slow him down.

The only thing that shaded the bright future on the turf was a pair of torn ACLs. After that, only one coach took the chance on Crews.

It is easy to root for the underdog.

A football player at heart turned his sights to another love, baseball. Unfortunately for Crews, the outfield proved a difficult nut to crack in his early years. After a couple years of sporadic chances to roam the grass at Sunnyside Park, a starting spot went up for grabs.

At this point, Crews proved a heavy favorite to knab the role. He did not allow this chance to slip through the cracks. All of a sudden, the Big Blue found their new leadoff hitter. Once he reached this level of consistency, the record books were his next spot to crack. In his first year as a starter, he tied the all-time school record for hits.

As a senior, it is his team now. With a quiet demeanor, leading is something that might prove difficult. Following an example without direction is like navigating a cross-country road trip without a map. Doable, but difficult.

“He’s the type of teammate who makes everyone around him better,” senior teammate, Jake Drada said. “The work ethic he displays motivates me to be the best I can be.”

In the fall of his Swan Song to baseball at this level, he led the Big Blue onto the field against Goliath. Sure, maybe just a scrimmage in the eyes of the favored University of Illinois Fighting Illini. But for Millikin, this was a chance to prove themselves on a gigantic stage.

As soon as the game was announced, campus grew abuzz with predictions and jokes. None of them favoring David. It was shaping out to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. But that, as they say, is why you play the game.

The Illini are the apple of Central Illinois’ eye. Things do not get more central than Fairbury, making this matchup of theatrical proportions. The story began to write itself, all that it needed was Devin Crews written in cursive at the bottom.

Crews did sign off on this story. In fact, his signature is comparable to John Hancock’s. Not only did he lead his Division III team over the Division I opponent, he excelled. This game reiterated what he has known for years: don’t count Crews out.

It is easy to root for the underdog.

Without dreams, life would be boring. Every little kid with aspirations to spend their life on a baseball diamond will eventually have to call it quits. At small schools, this moment becomes a perpetual certainty after four short years in the sun.

A few players might find their way to the late rounds of the MLB Draft. However, that is a rarity. It is not a luxury that players filling out a Division III lineup can count on.

“Coming to Millikin to play baseball has been one of the best decisions I have ever made,” Crews said. “I get to play the game I love at a high level in the CCIW, but through training and practicing it has also taught me a lot of life lessons I will use well past when I am done playing baseball.”

But as the story so often goes for the small town product, expectations are optional. There are multiple teams in the Frontier League, an independent semi-pro league, keeping a watchful eye on how Crews closes out his college career.

It might not be a flashy way to move a baseball career forward, but it is a dream continued. It is not rare for professional organizations to take note of top players in any level. Besides, limitations mean nothing to Crews. They are merely his next goal.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




*

Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Showcase

    Big Blue Barely Escapes Death Against Elmhurst

  • Crews Crushing the Competition

    Showcase

    Today Was The Day

  • Crews Crushing the Competition

    Showcase

    Homecoming Victory for Big Blue

  • Crews Crushing the Competition

    Showcase

    Life in the Water

  • Crews Crushing the Competition

    Showcase

    Keajion Jennings

  • Crews Crushing the Competition

    Showcase

    Addison Russell

  • Crews Crushing the Competition

    Showcase

    The Surprising A’s

  • Crews Crushing the Competition

    Showcase

    Tips on How to Relax in College

  • Crews Crushing the Competition

    Arts

    Caleb’s Weekly Playlist

  • Crews Crushing the Competition

    News

    Millikin Decatur Symphony Orchestra Captivates

The student news site of Millikin University
Crews Crushing the Competition