November 20, 2014

Medina
Cloudy
24°F

Bees’ Crawley gunning for All-Ohio honor

Every time Ian Crawley wants to take a break, he’s got a bug in his ear telling him to keep going.
That bug goes by the name of Chris Arthur, who happens to be one of the assistant coaches for the Medina football team.
An accomplished football player during his days with the Bees, Arthur was a second-team All-Northeast Inland Division I selection as a senior and was a big part of Medina’s first playoff appearance in 2006.
Arthur is there reminding Crawley of the big-name backs that have recently run through the halls — and behind the offensive lines — at Medina. Names like Jason Suggs, Reggie Hough and Ben Stoper are there to drive Crawley, who hopes to be the next in line.
“It drives me,” Crawley said. “Coach Arthur always tells me about his stats. It makes me want to go for it. The goal has always been to get on the wall, which is honorable mention all-state. I want to get my plaque on the wall with my picture and everything.
“It’s feasible, pretty much 90 percent of our skill positions are back. I have a year’s worth of experience of doing the same thing over and over. I have a lot more confidence. There’s nothing we don’t know. Everything is slowing down on the field because we’ve ran the same things.”
What isn’t slowing down is Crawley, and the 6-foot, 176-pound senior has coaches Dan Sutherland and Bob Jenkins to thank for that.
Sutherland, as he does with all his football players, urged his budding back to go out for the boys track team. Jenkins took over after that.
As fate would have it, Crawley joined former teammate Jerry Klue on the team. Success followed and now he’s hooked. It started at a junior varsity track event where Crawley won the long jump in his first meet.
“I didn’t want to do it,” Crawley said. “Jerry was doing it, so I figured I could do it. For long jump, it was something I went into with an open mind.
“My first year I entered it for fun and I won it. Ever since then, I’ve loved doing it. It was cool to do it. Having success translated the mindset into going out and being better than someone else.”
Being better has become as easy as running relays, and the 100- and 200-meter dashes have translated to the gridiron.
The logic behind it is simple. Because he needs an explosive first step out of the gate in the sprints and because he needs to be just as springy in his last step of the long jump, it has helped him at running back.
“When you make your first cut, it changes things into track speed,” Crawley said. “That’s how you beat everybody to the edge, so that helps a lot.
“I was really slow before I did track. It’s helped me tremendously. After you make that cut and see the end zone, it’s pretty much running the 100-meter dash.”
Sutherland noticed it right away.
He certainly saw it last season when Crawley took a handoff and went 98 yards for a score in Week 9 against Mayfield.
“Coach Jenkins does a great job of making a difference with their speed,” Sutherland said. “We noticed a difference in Ian from his sophomore to his junior year. He was able to pull away from people. We think it’s a help. We love what it’s doing for him.”
What Crawley also has working for him is a stable of running backs, as Kyle Scherer (458 yards, 2 touchdowns) and Jimmy Daw (116, 2) are back as well.
Sutherland fully expects Crawley’s 569 yards rushing and seven touchdowns to double this season as a result.
“He’s pretty solid.” Sutherland said. “He has the chance to play at the next level. He’s probably our best overall athlete.
“But the great thing about this team is we have three backs that push him. It’s unbelievable. All three of our running backs ran track this year and they were the three fastest kids. All three ran a 4.5 (40-yard dash) or lower. We think it’ll take them from being starters to all-conference players. Right now, it’s a daily competition. It’s not so much how many carries you get as it is what you do when you have the ball.”
What Crawley can do with it this season remains to be seen, but Sutherland fully expects that success to continue for many seasons.
“The sky is the limit,” Sutherland said. “Ian will stop Ian. When he’s focused and ready to go, he’s as good as anyone.”
Contact Brad Bournival
at sports@medina-gazette.com.