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Harrison High School senior Craig Crosby lifts spirits on and off football field

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Posted at 6:33 PM, Oct 26, 2021

HARRISON, Ohio — Harrison High School senior Craig Crosby was still smiling Tuesday morning just four days after his first career reception.

The host Wildcats trailed Edgewood late in the fourth quarter Oct. 22 during their final regular season game the Cougars eventually won 48-13.

Instead of dwelling on the score, the Harrison coaching staff and players saw an opportunity to create the memory of a lifetime for Crosby at Wildcat Stadium.

Crosby, a student-athlete who also participates in several other sports through Special Olympics and Unified Sports, caught a 5-yard pass from senior quarterback Mason Young to officially enter the Harrison football statistics.

"When I caught the pass I just ran with the ball," Crosby said Tuesday morning. "I just ran for it and tried to make a touchdown. I have no touchdowns this year but I tried my best. I just wanted to help my team out."

Harrison senior Craig Crosby's memorable reception

The Harrison coaches and players celebrated on the sideline, arms raised in triumph. Fans started to chant Crosby's name, and electricity was in the air — an exclamation point during the game.

"Really, really cool," Harrison athletic director Mark Meibers said. "A really, really special moment that I know I will keep with me forever."

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Harrison senior Craig Crosby reflected on his first career reception Tuesday morning. Crosby said he wanted to do anything he could to help the team.

Harrison football coach Derek Rehage still had goosebumps Tuesday thinking Crosby's reception.

"He was very much deserving to play Friday night and to get in," Rehage said. "He wants to be in, he wants to be there. He always says, 'Let's go get them Coach Rehage.' It's one of his keen sayings that he says all the time to us. He's that guy who brings energy every day to practice, does a great job. The kids love him."

Crosby has been a part of the Harrison football program since 2019, enthusiastically attending daily practice, weightlifting and film sessions. His smile lifts spirits inside school and on the football field.

"Football is my life," Crosby said. "When I catch a ball I just run. I just run to the end zone."

Rehage said Crosby earned the opportunity to play about 10 varsity snaps Oct. 22 because of his tireless effort and dedication to the program.

"Three years — every day, every practice," Rehage said. "It's not like he's at practice for 15 minutes. He comes to practice for two-and-a-half hours every day. He comes to lifting. He's played in JV games before. He's done his part and he deserved it."

Crosby is grateful for the opportunity to participate in football. Win or lose, it's about giving your best in every sport, he said.

"I want to say thank you to Coach Rehage for helping me out, helping me out playing sports," Crosby said. "Whenever I need help he'll help me out."

Crosby's energy and positive outlook has inspired everyone on the team. Crosby will often give a teammate a pat on the back or a supportive slap on the helmet. Rehage gave Crosby a fist bump Tuesday, mentioning the smiles Crosby brings to practice.

"Everything that Craig has meant to me — we've got a special relationship," Rehage said. "He's just a great kid. I don't know what else to say. I love him to death and he will always have a spot in my heart. I'll never forget Craig Crosby."