Corvallis, Ore. -- "When I walk through those cage doors, anything that went on at school or whatever's going on at home, it's all off my shoulders," says Crescent Valley senior Ethan Krupp. "And I can come out and have fun with my friends a couple hours a day."
Baseball has been something of an escape for Crescent Valley's Ethan Krupp. But in his sophomore season, he found that life was slowly creeping in.
"I never really had my parents around," Krupp explains. "My mom was in and out of jail growing up and during baseball season she had a problem with it again and got arrested. So I was dealing with it a lot but baseball has been my therapy."
With the help of head coach Ryan Starwalt, Krupp got past a tough season to become one of the Raiders top players.
"Life hasn't been easy for him and never has been and that's probably why he fights so hard out here on the baseball field," Starwalt mentions. "It's so important to him and baseball has always been a place he can go and take his mind off of what's been going on outside his life."
That understanding has led to a strong bond between player and coach.
"Starwalt has always been like an uncle or a father to me," says Krupp. "I honestly don't think I'd be going to college to be play baseball without him."
"He's a special kid," Starwalt says. "I'm really proud of him."
Through his struggles and four years at CV Krupp became a leader with the Raiders, learning skills that will serve him well at Western Oregon.
"He's focused on the team and helping a younger kid keep their head up through their struggles which is cool because you don't find a lot of high school kids that are that selfless," Starwalt concludes. "That's what he's turned into and that's been great."