Fitzgerald senior tailback making the most of his chance

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Warren Weekly | Published September 16, 2019

 Warren Fitzgerald senior running back Jalen Crawford stiff-arms a defender during a Sept. 6 win over Clinton Township Clintondale. Crawford is the lead back for the Spartans.

Warren Fitzgerald senior running back Jalen Crawford stiff-arms a defender during a Sept. 6 win over Clinton Township Clintondale. Crawford is the lead back for the Spartans.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

Advertisement

EDITOR'S NOTE: Fitzgerald fell to Lake Shore 16-12 to go to 2-1 overall on the season. 

WARREN — Warren Fitzgerald football coach Gary Skop is in his sixth year leading the program and has always had a great player in the backfield.

Najon Moore, a 2017 graduate, ended his prep career with more than 3,000 yards and 40 touchdowns. Martez Nelson, who graduated in 2018, put up strong numbers as a senior.

Senior back Jalen Crawford looks to be the next workhorse for the Spartans.

Crawford played some last season, as Fitzgerald went 3-6 and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2013. This time around, the senior looks poised for a big year, exhibited by his 33 carries, 184 yards and three touchdowns in a Sept. 6 win over Clinton Township Clintondale.

“The numbers are nice, but I just try to do what I can to help the team win,” Crawford said Sept. 6. “The coaches and my teammates do a good job of putting me in a position to succeed, so I just try to do what I can to help everybody on the team have success.”

At press time, Fitzgerald was 2-0 overall. It’s the fifth time the program has started with two straight wins since 2002. Each time, Fitzgerald went on to make the playoffs. The Spartans were scheduled to play St. Clair Shores Lake Shore Sept. 13, after press time.

Skop said he’s pleased with how the team has started, but he recognizes that it’s a long season.

“Obviously the best scenario early on is a 2-0 start, so we’re happy with that,” Skop said. “But we’ve got to keep working. We can’t think we’re going to have it easy every week. We’ve got to work hard.”

Crawford respects his coach’s approach.

“It feels good to have the coaches push us. It means they believe in us,” Crawford said. “Hopefully we can keep winning.”

Fitzgerald’s next game is against Sterling Heights High at 7 p.m. Sept. 20 at home.

Advertisement