Peach Fuzz softball tourney renamed to honor Deke DeCrow

His former players are scheduled to release balloons tonight, and that will be only the beginning of the remembrance of Deke DeCrow.

This weekend’s Peach Fuzz softball tournament has been renamed the Deke DeCrow Memorial Tournament.

DeCrow was a Palisade High School assistant softball coach who died at age 31 in a November car accident.

In addition to honoring DeCrow by renaming the tournament — Palisade Athletic Director Mike Krueger said he and Bulldogs head softball coach Nicole Zuniga came up with the idea — former players will release balloons before Fruita’s game against Heritage at 7 p.m. today at Bergman Field.

Fuita Monument coach Jack Thomas said DeCrow’s niece, Kenzie DeCrow, a junior, plays for Fruita.

“I imagine it will be difficult for a lot of young ladies who played softball for him in the summertime,” Thomas said. “These kids are tough kids, though. It’s just a difficult situation.”

But now, the tournament is tied to DeCrow, who was an assistant coach for two seasons under Zuniga at Palisade. DeCrow also was a graduate of Grand Junction High School and Mesa State College, Krueger said.

DeCrow also coached The Chaos, a youth competitive softball team, Thomas said.

“I think (the renaming) is great,” Zuniga said. “He was a great guy, a great coach, a great dad and great husband and a great brother and son.

“So, it’s hard to describe him. ... he was just a big name in the softball community and helped tons of girls throughout the valley.”

Krueger, in a November Daily Sentinel article, said DeCrow also had begun a new business, Simply Recruited, that was designed to help high school students find the right college and get scholarships needed to pay for it.

“He had a unique passion (for softball),” Krueger said.

Added Central High School coach Scott Else: “I think this is cool because he played at Mesa State and was just a big part of the softball community.”


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