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Faith Christian players Crosby, Edwards sign college commitments

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Faith Christian School's Alex Crosby trots around the bases after hitting a solo home run during a game in May.

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BY SAMUEL EVERS
Sports Writer

Friday, February 22, 2019

During a visit to Catawba Valley Community College earlier this year, Paul Rozzelle, the head baseball coach, shook Alex Crosby’s hand and delivered a message.

“The first thing he said, was, ‘If you don’t want to play Division I baseball, this isn’t the school for you,’” Crosby said.

That left an impression on the Faith Christian senior, who signed his letter of intent Friday morning in the school’s gym to play for CVCC next season. He did so alongside fellow senior Trysten Edwards, who joined a growing list of local players committed to play for former coach Greg Clifton at N.C. Wesleyan.

Crosby, a pitcher and outfielder who has played a central role in the Patriots’ back-to-back state titles, had several offers from four year schools, including two from NCAA Division II institutions Coker (S.C.) and South Wesleyan (S.C.).

But, with the commitment to CVCC, Crosby chose to set his sights higher, instead opting to buy time and vie for a Division I scholarship offer over the next two seasons. CVCC has six players signed to in-state Division I schools entering this season, including one player who was drafted in the 40th round of the 2018 MLB draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks but opted instead to sign with UNC Charlotte.

“It’s not that they don’t settle for Division II,” Crosby said, “but that’s just the mindset, that you’re going to work to get a Division I scholarship.”

With Crosby’s senior season scheduled to start next Friday, on March 1 against Riverside, his decision, which was made about two weeks ago, and subsequent signing on Friday gives him a chance to play the next few months with some peace of mind.

“Since (deciding) I’ve had no worries whatsoever,” Crosby said. “I can just play now and not worry about scouts being there at my games.”

Edwards, a catcher for the Patriots who said he expects to play the same role for the Bishops over the next four years, joins former Patriot Sam Mills and three from Nash Central as local players who will be freshmen next season for N.C. Wesleyan and Clifton.

Clifton, who coached Faith Christian to its back-to-back state titles before taking the job with Wesleyan, played a large part in the decision process for Edwards.

“With Coach Clifton and the atmosphere out there — I really liked it,” Edwards said. “Having him as a coach really helped. The school is sort of close to home, so I just decided to stay here.”

When Clifton announced his departure to the team, it initially was a tough blow, Edwards said. But a parting message from the coach helped plant a seed in the back of Edwards’ mind.

“He mentioned it would be dumb for him not to try and recruit any of us,” Edwards said. “That was sort of when I thought, maybe I could have a chance to play for him again.”

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