Monday, February 25, 2013

The Coach is Back Where He Belongs


Vol State baseball coach Michael Crossland is back on the playing field. While it’s always a joy for him, this season the return to the diamond is taking on new significance. Crossland is battling cancer. That’s taken him away from baseball and forced him to take on a new challenge. He says the surgery and treatments have gone well.

“There’s not a lot of effects from the treatments, just some general back stiffness from the surgery and fatigue from the chemo treatments,” coach Crossland said. “Everything looks great. I just finished cycle two of my chemo treatments. There will be four cycles.”

Even better, the Coach says doctors have determined he won’t need radiation, which means he’ll be able to use his own stem cells when he has a bone marrow transplant at the end of May.

“Everything is ahead of schedule,” he said. “Everything is looking good.”

The season is already underway and the team is 3 and 3 so far. Assistant coach Cody Gaskill kept things going with help from athletic director Bobby Hudson. Crossland says he’s grateful for the support.

Being back on the field is a big boost for Crossland in many ways.

“That was the best medicine, to be able to get back and see my guys. That was my major concern. I have 35 kids who play baseball for my program; for me not to be there for them hurt.”

As hard as it has been, Crossland says there has been one big benefit to illness.

“It has put a new perspective on everything for me. We all take life for granted. It shows you what’s important.”

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