AKRON — He spent the fall tearing up opposing defenses on the gridiron, kept things warm in the winter by scorching the twine in gyms across the Three Rivers Conference and now Tippecanoe Valley’s Alec Craig gets to play his sport.
Football and basketball were just the exciting previews to the feature presentation, America’s pastime is Craig’s pastime. The senior infielder has been waiting all year just to get back on the diamond for his final season with the Vikings.
“This season is huge,” Craig stated. “I’m putting a lot of pressure on myself right now, but I did that going into last year and I started out 3-27, or something like that. Once I relaxed, it all came together for me. I’m going to try to relax and hope it comes together a little earlier this season.”
Things started coming together for Craig and the Vikings last season near the midway point, that helped lift Valley to a share of the TRC title with a 7-2 mark. The Vikings split the crown with Peru, Southwood and Whitko.
The Vikings graduated a good senior class but still return a talented group. Though there will be a youthful feel to Valley’s team this year, that does not change the expectations in Akron.
“We’re going to be young, we have a lot of freshman,” began Craig. “But I hope people know that our seniors are going to step up and we’ll be ready. Our pitching is going to be dominated by our senior class and I think that will be big for us.”
Craig has held the role as a senior leader for the football and basketball teams already this season, so when it comes to the sport he is most passionate about, he’s embraced the role once again.
“The underclassmen have been great about following us this year,” Craig explained. “They were great with following us in football and basketball and this baseball season they’ve been doing everything that the seniors have done. We feel really good heading into this season.”
Craig led the TRC with in hits (21), runs scored (18) and batting average (.618) during his junior campaign. The senior was named All-TRC in both 2015 and 2016. Those accolades and impressive stats helped get him a ticket to play college baseball. On Monday afternoon Craig signed her letter of intent to continue his career at Danville Area Community College.
Craig did not hesitate when asked about his decision to go to DACC, “Full ride, their stadium is unbelievable, the coach there is awesome and I think they create the best opportunity for me to get to the next level after two years.”
Craig was relieved to get his signing out of the way before the season as he and the Vikings have plenty of goals to get to work on.
“We want another winning season, for starters,” Craig stated. “We want to, of course, win conference again and we want a sectional championship. Whatever happens after that, happens.”
Craig and the Vikings start their season Thursday night at Fairfield with first pitch slated for 5 p.m.