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Lancaster High School baseball standout Jonah Crenshaw is headed to a national championship program.
Crenshaw, who also played in the Lancaster American Legion Post 31 baseball program, has signed to play at Toccoa Falls College in Toccoa, Ga.
Toccoa Falls College has won back-to-back National Christian College Athletic Association Division II national crowns and three national titles in the last four seasons.
“This is a baseball program on the rise and it’s a Christian school, which is what attracted me,” said Crenshaw, who played three years at LHS and four with Lancaster Legion program. “It’s a small school, and I hope to go in there and give it my best shot.
“This is a new experience – a new place and new people,” he said. “It seems like what God has planned for me.”
Crenshaw, who batted .350 for the Bruins as the LHS center fielder last spring, was solid in both programs.
“Jonah is going to fit in perfect at Toccoa Falls,” LHS coach Brett Blackmon said. “Toccoa Falls is getting a high-quality student athlete.
“His speed and hitting will benefit their program,” Blackmon added. “He’s done a great job in making himself into a college baseball player. He’s worked his tail off. Looking back over our season, I think Jonah made one error last spring.”
Crenshaw ran on the LHS cross country team and also played Legion ball, including this season when he hit .350 and helped Lancaster Post 31 to a 23-10 mark and a third-place finish in the Legion baseball state tournament.
“Jonah is a great young man,” LHS cross country coach and assistant baseball coach Josh Pauling said. “He has strong character and is willing to do what it takes in order to contribute to the team.”
Lancaster Post 31 Legion coach Quinton Rodgers said he was elated Crenshaw has a chance to continue his baseball career and education.
“I’ve known Jonah and his family for a long time, going back to Dixie Youth Baseball,” Rodgers said. “This has been a goal of his and he’s put forth the effort to have a chance to play at the next level. I’m thrilled for him. Toccoa Falls is getting a fine person and outstanding player who will be a great asset to their baseball program and school.”
Crenshaw also graduated with honors last spring and plans to major in mass communication.
“Jonah has as good a character as I’ve seen in 30 years in education,” LHS principal Dr. Joe Keenan said. “In addition to his athletic ability, he’s a strong academic student with a wonderful supportive family.
“A lot of us could learn from what the Crenshaw family presents,” Keenan said.
Lancaster High athletic director Mark Strickland also noted Crenshaw’s work.
“I’ve seen him grow up in our program and he’s worked hard in order to reach his goal of playing at the next level,” Strickland said. “We wish him the best and appreciate the strong example he set here in being outstanding in class, on the field and as a person.”
Blackmon noted Crenshaw’s perseverance.
“Jonah has had injuries and he’s played hurt,” Blackmon said. “He’s a high-quality individual. Once he gets to Toccoa Falls College and he gets settled in, they’re going to be calling back and asking for more Jonahs.”
Contact sports editor Robert Howey at 283-1157