Triton catcher Payden Crews was featured at a signing ceremony at Triton on Thursday. The Hawks catcher will become part of the baseball program at Brevard College and will be joined by his older brother, Parker, who will be transferring from Fayetteville Tech.
The younger Crews was proactive in the recruiting process and Brevard assistant coach Steve Hucke followed up on a video sent by Crews.
“He called me one day,” Crews said. “I think like in January. It was pre-COVID. He said, ‘We like you.’ … I got in contact with the head coach (Mike Victory) and did a personal tour on campus. I really liked the way the school looked.”
The Crews brothers visited Brevard on July 11.
“We liked their approach to learning,” Payden Crews said. “We liked the coach’s approach to coaching the team and his philosophy about the team. We decided that would be the best place for us to go.”
Parker Crews signed with Mid-Atlantic Christian in Elizabeth City out of Triton as a utility player in January of 2019 but subsequently transferred. The day after he got his first at-bat at Fayetteville Tech, the season was canceled due to coronavirus.
Payden Crews started catching when he was 11.
“I realized nobody liked to do it, so I started doing it,” he said. “You kind of control the field. … You have more of a direct effect on the game.”
Payden Crews wants to study business management or economics with an eye on having his own business.
If hard work has anything to do with it, Triton baseball coach Jake Willis sees success in store for his senior catcher.
“I’m happy to see him do so well,” Willis said. “The kid has worked extremely hard since he got to Triton High School. There isn’t a day at practice where he’s not asking me questions, trying to stay after. Whether it’s in school or out of school, he’s always trying to get work in.
“He’s worked incredibly hard for this moment and I’m sure proud of him.”
Willis said Crews is a line-drive hitter.
“He’s got very good hands at the plate,” said the Hawks coach. “I definitely think that the best is yet to come with him. He’s going to be a guy who blooms at the next level as he continues to work.”
Crews hit .273 in just four games for the Hawks as a junior. Then the season was shut down.
Crews hopes Triton can have a full season in 2021.
“I don’t care how we do it, spectators or no spectators,” he said. “We need to have a season. They cut us short last year.