Take a moment to close your eyes and think back to your favorite sports memory.
Perhaps it was seeing your alma mater dig down deep and make a memorable comeback to defeat a crosstown rival. For many in these parts, it might have been watching the Egg Bowl with the family after a Thanksgiving feast at grandma’s house. Or maybe it dates back even further, to a time you played catch with a loved one who is no longer with us.
Memories such as these are among the greatest that life can offer, and I’ve dedicated my career to preserving them and passing them down to future generations.
With that being said, I am thrilled to introduce myself as the new sports editor for the Laurel Leader-Call.
If the name “Crowe” sounds familiar, it’s likely for one of two reasons: either you’ve seen me working at local sports events or you’re in the large percentile of residents in the area who know my family. As the son of a preacher and a teacher, I’m almost certain that my tombstone will one day read, “Billy and Donna’s boy,” rather than my actual name. Only three young men in the entire world share that honor and I am awfully proud to be the middle one.
My older brother and I, less than two years apart in age, grew up competing in every way possible. If he was rooting for Favre, I was rooting for Elway. If he was rooting for Kobe, I was rooting for Iverson. If he wanted a ham sandwich, I was surely going to ask for turkey. Our sibling rivalry pushed us deeper and deeper into the world of sports until it ultimately became our greatest bond.
As if that wasn’t enough to fuel my interest, I also had the privilege of growing up during one of the most exciting eras of high school sports in the Pine Belt. I attended Wayne County High School during the peak years of the Wayne vs. West Jones football rivalry. I sat front and center when Akeem Davis led the Laurel Tornadoes to shock the defending champion War Eagles en route to claiming a state title of their own. I got to witness the fastest man I have ever seen, current Kansas City Royals outfielder Billy Hamilton, light up local high school ballparks as a Taylorsville Tartar, effortlessly rounding the bases with little threat of being caught or thrown out.
After graduating high school in 2012, I decided it was time to begin telling my own stories and sharing them with others. My next door neighbor, longtime local sports writer Dale McKee, gave me my very first opportunity to write by letting me cover a few local high school games. As a student at Jones College, I worked as a sports writer for the Radionian, where I earned my first Mississippi Press Association award for a story about the “Cat Fight” rivalry between Jones and Pearl River Community College.
After years of freelance writing for several local publications, I decided to pursue a full-time career in the field. I felt my generation was in need of its own Dale McKee, its own Rick Cleveland, to preserve the memories of the incredible things our local athletes continue to accomplish each and every year.
In 2017, I enrolled in the news editorial journalism program at the University of Southern Mississippi, where I followed Golden Eagles sports as an award-winning writer and photographer for the Student Printz. Two and a half years later, I was blessed with the opportunity to step into this role, covering sports in the very communities where my passion for doing so was born. Honestly, I’m not sure I could dream up a better way to officially begin my career.
The world of sports has given me more than I could have ever asked for as a fan. Because of that, I count it as a privilege to give back by shining a positive light on the incredible athletes in our local communities. I hope you all will enjoy the coverage to come as much as I will thoroughly enjoy bringing it to you.
Brad Crowe is sports editor of the Leader-Call. Email him at