Cracraft signs on with Mesa University

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Cracraft signs on with Mesa UniversityPictured: Chase Cracraft (center) signs a letter of intent with Colorado Mesa University. He is flanked by his parents, Lori and Richard, as well as (from left) Coaches Mike Lara, John Bradley and Kevin Martin. -- Photo by Rebecca Neipp

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Scores of teachers, friends, coaches and other fans of Burroughs High School Senior Chase Cracraft attended a media event Monday afternoon to witness the scholastically and athletically high-achieving baseball player sign a letter of intent to continue his education and play ball at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction.

“Right out the gate, you are in the top 2 percent of baseball players in this country,” said Mike Lara of Arroyo Grande, who coached Chase on his travel ball team. “That’s the level of players who earn baseball scholarships.”

Local coaches John Bradley and Kevin Martin (another BHS alumni who made it big in baseball) heaped praise on Chase for his dedication not only to the sport, but also to committing himself to academic achievement.

“All of our athletes at Burroughs are good students,” said Principal Bryan Auld. “But Chase is an exceptional student.”

Auld estimated that a small handful of BHS student athletes are awarded scholarship each year.

“I think what really sets Chase apart is the fact that he has also managed to excel in the highest-level classes — and appears to meet the rigorous demands on his time with ease,” he said.

“Of course, I know he’s also given up a lot of opportunities to hang out with friends, go to dances and other fun things to accomplish so much.”

Chase himself thanked his coaches and teachers for their support and singled out the critical role his family played in his success. He acknowledged his older brother Chad (who joined via video chat) and parents Lori and Richard.

His days typically begin with his dad joining him at the gym at 4 a.m. Following a hearty breakfast, he heads to class at 6:30 a.m. to edit the school newspaper. After a full day of school he typically has practice, along with daily schoolwork and weekly travel with his competitive team.

“I remember when I met Chase as a freshman, and I was struck then by his ambitious goals. Seeing him put in the work required to accomplish them has been inspiring,” said Auld.

“Without hesitation, I can easily say that Chase is one of the most responsible, ethical and promising student athletes I have ever had the pleasure of teaching,” wrote Ñewspaper Advisor Susan Burgess.

“Chase’s athletic accomplishments make it easy to overlook his performance in the classroom, but his strengths as a student are just as noteworthy.”

She further praised his dedication to adhering to the stringent demands that come with the life of a student journalist, as well as his capable leadership in encouraging and supporting his contributing peers.

“As if he didn’t have enough on his plate, Chase has been writing stories on deadline for the News Review, allowing the entire community to share in the passion for our local teams and his fellow athletes.”

We are thrilled to see the obvious hard work and dedication pay off for Chase and wish him the best of luck in whatever career he chooses for himself. It has been our privilege to have so talented a student correspondent contributing to our weekly newspaper. — Ed.

Story First Published: 2017-11-17