Crawford’s No. 90 of circulation at Whittell |

Crawford’s No. 90 of circulation at Whittell

Michael Traum

On Friday, Crawford, 23, returned to his alma mater in a way many high schoolers can only dream of – a star. Having just completed his rookie season as a professional football player with the Miami Dolphins, the school honored Crawford by retiring his No. 90 high school football jersey in the school’s first-ever retirement ceremony.

In 1992, Mike Crawford graduated from Whittell High just like any other American teen-ager. He had years of prepatory schooling completed and a mind full of memories to take with him into life.

“We’ve all learned that kids from small schools can make it big,” said Richard Brandt, Crawford’s coach during high school and organizer of the ceremony. “We appreciate him very much.”

Crawford was welcomed by the near-capacity Whittell crowd during halftime of the boys basketball game vs. school rival Incline. Brandt presented a glass-frame box with Crawford’s Whittell jersey resting on top of his Miami No. 56, which will hang in the school’s foyer. The school also gave Crawford a lifetime pass to sporting events and a plaque comemerating the evening.

Crawford, flanked by a few of his high school football buddies and sporting his trademark blonde highlights, addressed the contingent with a slight crack in his voice.

“It seems like a long time since I’ve been here. A long time …” he said. “I want to thank everyone that’s helped me get to where I am: The coaches, the teachers, my friends, especially my friends.

“I just want you all to know, those of you from Incline as well as Whittell – don’t ever sell yourself short. I came from a small school, just like you guys. Pursue what you believe in. If I can clear the way for you, let me. Feed off what I’ve done,” he concluded.

The Warriors went on to win the contest, just their second league win of the season. Crawford will continue to relax at his home in South Lake Tahoe until the off-season ends.

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