News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Sports

June 13, 2013

South grad named ASA executive director

Craig Cress to make switch Nov. 15

TERRE HAUTE — When the College World Series for softball took place in Oklahoma City and tornadoes ravaged the state of Oklahoma in the last few weeks, Terre Haute native Craig Cress found himself in the middle of it all.

Having moved to Edmond, Okla., in 2002 to become director of membership services for the national Amateur Softball Association headquarters, Cress and the ASA assisted the NCAA with the College World Series, which conducted its games on the main field at the four-diamond ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.

“Our employees basically run the facility while that’s going on,” Cress told the Tribune-Star over the weekend.

Cress attended every day of the tournament, which concluded June 4 with Oklahoma’s 4-0 victory over Tennessee in Game 2 of the CWS championship series.

“It’s very high-quality softball,” Cress emphasized. “When you’re there in person, you get to see a lot of the behind-the-scenes things, such as the movement of the players before every pitch. … The atmosphere, especially when Oklahoma played, was very electric.”

Cress said about 68,000 spectators attended over six days of the tournament, with roughly 8,600 there on the final day.

As for the tornadoes that hit the Oklahoma City area two weekends ago, Cress admitted that the experience was terrifying and challenging.

On the Friday afternoon of May 31, the NCAA and ASA jointly decided not to let anyone into the stadium because of the ominous weather forecast. But some workers, including members of the ESPN television crew and ASA staff members, already entered earlier in the day. So they were forced to stay in basement areas of the facility until the all-clear signal came later.

Cress, who also remained in the stadium most of that day, said the nearest tornado struck about 4 miles from them. But he made efficient use of text-messaging to help keep everyone safe.

“There were some very strong winds,” he recalled. “With several tents set up outside the stadium, you could see them blowing and flapping around. You were wondering if they were going to come loose and start flying around the sky. Fortunately, they remained secure in the ground.”

Cress mentioned that 6.3 inches of rain fell in Oklahoma City on the Friday night, but the field crew worked hard to make sure games went on as scheduled the next day. All the infields had been covered with tarp, so the effect of excess water was minimal.

“It was a great relief to be able to play softball again,” he noted. “Some of those kids from around the country had never seen a tornado before. There had been some very worried people around the city.”

Cress, 52, certainly is not afraid of making tough decisions. That’s one reason he is being promoted to ASA executive director, effective Nov. 15. That announcement came in April. He’ll be replacing the retiring Ron Radigonda.

“I’m extremely honored to have the opportunity to lead this organization that will have its 80th anniversary in softball this year,” Cress said. “Having come through Terre Haute and had the opportunity to see softball at many levels as a player, as an umpire, as an administrator … it has been very rewarding to follow that complete path and reach the level of the executive director’s position.”

In a statement on the ASA’s website, Radigonda expressed approval of the hiring of Cress as his successor.

“Craig will bring a wealth of knowledge and softball expertise to his new role in ASA,” the outgoing executive director said. “He has progressed through various levels and roles within our association and has excelled in all of his endeavors. He has gained valuable experience in his most recent role as our director of membership services and has had direct contact with our 76 local associations for the past decade. He is well versed in all aspects of softball and our association and will provide outstanding leadership to ASA for many years to come.”

Cress graduated in 1979 from Terre Haute South High School, where he served as a student-manager for the late coach Bob Clements and the Braves’ football team.

Cress didn’t play any high school sports, but he did join the Coca-Cola fastpitch softball team — coached by brothers Duke and Joey Bennett — when he was a sophomore. They played their games at the old Terre Haute Softball Stadium at First and Farrington streets.

“I liked the pace of the game,” Cress explained. “We played seven-inning games. They were a lot shorter [a little more than an hour] compared to baseball games.”

By his senior year at South, Cress had been hired by the late Wayne Myers to umpire games at the same stadium.

As an adult, Cress played fastpitch and slowpitch softball in Terre Haute and served as executive director of the Wabash Valley Family Sports Center from July 1999 to May 2002. He umpired games at the old Glenn Civic Center as well.

“As I continued in my umpiring and advanced in the slowpitch world, I was grateful for [longtime Terre Haute softball administrator/coach/player] John Benton giving me the opportunity to work games at Glenn Civic Center,” reflected Cress, who eventually was inducted into the National Softball Hall of Fame in the umpire category.

On the education front, Cress earned an associate’s degree in electronic technology from Ivy Tech in 1981 and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Indiana Wesleyan in 2007.

Back in the 1980s, he married the former Karrie Kehrt and they have two sons — Rich and R.J. Craig Cress said his parents and Karrie’s parents still live in Terre Haute.

Looking toward the future of the ASA, Cress said he’ll continue to work with all of its associations, including the one in Indiana, to help their softball programs grow.

There also is a big-picture goal for Cress, even before he assumes his new position in the ASA.

“We’re trying to get the sport back in the [Summer] Olympic Games,” he pointed out. “We have made the short list with two other sports [squash and wrestling] that will be allowed back in [in 2020]. We will work with other softball organizations around the world to convince the IOC [International Olympic Committee] that softball should be in the Olympics.”

The version of softball that Cress mentioned is women’s fastpitch, which last appeared in the Olympics in 2008. He said the IOC will make its decision about the 2020 Summer Olympics on Sept. 8.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
SPT 072314 PHEGLEY LINE.jpg

It was the Knights' day: Charlotte's Josh Phegley, center, high fives teammates and coaching staff after the Knights defeated the Indianapolis Indians 8-4 on Wednesday in Indianapolis.

  • Grinding away: Phegley, Ashley strive for shot in major leagues

    Being a catcher in professional baseball is taxing. Not only on the knees and hands — and various other parts of the human anatomy — but it’s a mental grind as well.

    July 23, 2014 5 Photos

  • APTOPIX Colts Report _Tayl.jpg Wayne gets special escort to Colts’ training camp

    Wide receiver Reggie Wayne has seemingly raised the bar the last several years when it comes to making flashy arrivals for Indianapolis Colts training camp. So when the unmistakable roar of an IndyCar engine was heard on the Anderson University campus Wednesday morning, nobody was surprised. Wayne, decked out in an official racing uniform and custom-made helmet, had reported for duty.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ISU basketball trio earn national academic honors

    A trio of Indiana State basketball student-athletes have been named to the 2013-14 National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court as announced by the national organization. Honored from Indiana State were Lucas Eitel, Justin Gant and Jake Kitchell.

    July 23, 2014

  • Metro roundup: Post 346 rallies past Rockville

    Wayne Newton Post 346 scored a run in the sixth and two in the seventh to get past Rockville 6-3 in an American Legion baseball regional at Terre Haute North on Wednesday.

    July 23, 2014

  • Prospect League: Rex crush Cavemen

    One day after an errror-filled 13-inning loss to Springfield at home, the Terre Haute Rex cleaned up their act on the road. There were no errors, and for the Hannibal Cavemen, no runs either. Terre Haute's six-run fourth inning broke the game open as the Rex won 10-0 late Tuesday.

    July 23, 2014

  • Tom Lindley column mug.jpg TOM LINDLEY: Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Even when Tiger Woods finished just a few strokes from last place at the British Open, he was one of the  featured topics in stories coming out of Royal Liverpool Golf Club.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sports — What’s going on

    July 23, 2014

  • Truebytower.jpg Memorable experience in Morocco for ISU soccer team could help team's growth

    Coming off the best season in its history, the Indiana State women’s soccer team figures to have the experience to do even better in the upcoming fall season.
    Or maybe that’s #TheExperience.

    July 23, 2014 11 Photos

  • SPT072114sprints crowd.jpg TRACKSIDE: Clauson's run to Indiana Sprint Week title witnessed by many Hoosiers

    The checkered flag has fallen on yet another highly successful Indiana SprintWeek series for the USAC sprint cars.
    Bryan Clauson emerged as the series champ edging out Robert Ballou for the coveted title, his second ISW crown in as many years.

    July 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • SPT 010414 LUCK LOOK.jpg Colts begin training camp with loftier goals in 2014

    With training camp starting today at Anderson University, third-year head coach Chuck Pagano and general manager Ryan Grigson both believe that the Indianapolis Colts are ready to take another big step in 2014.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

Local Interest
High School
College
  • ISU basketball trio earn national academic honors

    A trio of Indiana State basketball student-athletes have been named to the 2013-14 National Association of Basketball Coaches Honors Court as announced by the national organization. Honored from Indiana State were Lucas Eitel, Justin Gant and Jake Kitchell.

    July 23, 2014

  • Metro roundup: Post 346 rallies past Rockville

    Wayne Newton Post 346 scored a run in the sixth and two in the seventh to get past Rockville 6-3 in an American Legion baseball regional at Terre Haute North on Wednesday.

    July 23, 2014

  • Truebytower.jpg Memorable experience in Morocco for ISU soccer team could help team's growth

    Coming off the best season in its history, the Indiana State women’s soccer team figures to have the experience to do even better in the upcoming fall season.
    Or maybe that’s #TheExperience.

    July 23, 2014 11 Photos

  • Metro: Former Miss Softball joins Purdue staff

    Terre Haute North graduate Megan Ciolli Bartlett, the state’s 2001 Miss Softball and a two-time All-American at Notre Dame, is joining the Purdue coaching staff.

    July 21, 2014

  • Metro: ISU graduate Johnson sixth in shot at Monaco

    Indiana State graduate Felisha Johnson competed in her first International Association of Athletics Federations Diamond League track and field meeting Friday, placing sixth in a shot put competition that featured six of the top seven throwers in the world for 2014.

    July 18, 2014

Sports Columns
SPT072114sprints crowd.jpg

Tribune-Star/Jim Avelis Records: Near perfect weather contributed to record attendance at racetracks around the state, including the Action Track, seen here.

Pro Sports
SPT 072314 PHEGLEY LINE.jpg

It was the Knights' day: Charlotte's Josh Phegley, center, high fives teammates and coaching staff after the Knights defeated the Indianapolis Indians 8-4 on Wednesday in Indianapolis.

Terre Haute Rex
Colts
APTOPIX Colts Report _Tayl.jpg

Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne sits behind race driver Ed Carpenter as he arrived in a two-seat IndyCar as he and other players arrived for the NFL team's football training camp in Anderson, Ind., Wednesday, July 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Auto Racing
AP Auto Racing News
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet
NDN Video
LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB'
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity
Real Estate News