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Glenn Crossley Award has Deeper Meaning for Family and Community in Montgomery

Glenn Crossley Award has Deeper Meaning for Family and Community in Montgomery

Before lines of teachers and presenters coming up to the stage to present awards for the future graduates of Montgomery, two men got ready to give away one that had a deeper meaning.

For Mark and Glenn Crossley, the Glenn Crossley Memorial Award symbolizes years of dedication to the youth of Montgomery. The elder Glenn Crossley dedicated his life to his family, his town, and his country.

The Glenn Crossley award is given out each year to the male and female athletes who have earned the most varsity letters over the course of their four-year stint with the Red Raiders. The award is about dedication to the sports the students participated in. It’s about not just being able to keep a commitment, but perform well and to the best of your abilities at all times and in all situations.

For Ethan Marino, Jensen Drick, Madeline Wenner, and Mackenzie Day it was a special moment. The group of four graduating seniors will pursue careers and higher education after they leave Montgomery, but the award and their names will forever be a part of this special tradition.

Crossley was a manager for area baseball teams. He helped rebuild a Little League field, he came up with the idea for Mr. Raider, ran fundraisers to support local youth, pushed athletes to participate in and excel in as many sports as possible, and put his life on the line for his country.

“My father believed that good athletes should play all sports and not be tied to one sport,” his youngest son Mark, who was a presenter at the awards ceremony, said. “The ‘Glenn Crossley Award’ is given to the outstanding male and female athletes that earned the most varsity letters through their career. My father encouraged me to play football, basketball, run track and field, and play summer baseball.”

Before being a standout on the athletic field and raising three outstanding sons, Glenn Crossley served his country in the most selfless way possible. He joined the Army right out of high school and found himself landing on Omaha Beach to fight for his country. At 19, a freshly graduated Crossley witnessed life being lost. He witnessed the tragedy of war firsthand, but it never shook his core values.

His sacrifices were countless and his dedication to the people he loved endless. After returning home from the war, Crossley immediately turned his attention to his family and community. His eldest son Glenn joined the army. His middle son Mike became a well-known hunter. His youngest son Mark excelled in sports throughout his high school career.

The whole time Crossley was raising his young family he got involved with the local sports scene and quickly changed the landscape.

Montgomery didn’t have a baseball team at the time Mark attended the high school. Despite not having a high school team, the city rallied around its summer programs, which became just as important as any Interscholastic sport.

Crossley’s dedication to the programs was on full display when the flood of 1972 washed out all the local fields. Players and coaches alike scrambled to find a way to get the field ready. Crossley rallied.

The baseball season was saved when Crossley and his players came together and started to rebuild the field. The field was eventually finished and the season was saved.

Later in life, Crossley was elected to become the Montgomery Athletic Booster Club President. He quickly put his stamp on the run as he once again rallied the community to increase town and school spirit. He started a campaign to sell red jackets and shirts but struggled to come up with an idea to help get the word out. Crossley, being the artist that he was, drew up a design that would become known as Mr. Raider. The idea worked as shirts and jackets helped build the programs up.

His life was one of sacrifice for the greater good and one any of us would be proud to have lived. Each year this award will be given out. Each year more students will be added to the legacy.

Yes, my last name also happens to be Crossley and this might appear to be a conflict of interest, but a good man needed his story told. I never met my grandfather, but my life has been impacted multiple times by his accomplishments. This award will be handed out by my father and uncles until they simply cannot anymore. When that day comes, I’ll be there to continue this tradition. His legacy is extremely important, but each an every person to walk away with this award will be part of something special for Montgomery and my family. Thank you all.

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