Croft, 18, said he began thinking about the military when he was in the ninth grade, and that goal has reached fruition with the appointment to the West Point Class of 2016 from U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann.
“It was a surreal moment,” the young student said of the call from the Tennessee congressman. “It was a telephone number I didn’t [recognize], so it was a real surprise.”
Croft added it was also a big moment for the congressman, since Fleischmann told Croft he was his first nomination to West Point.
The son of Prisavia and Jeff Croft, the 18-year-old said it was also a big moment for his parents. “They were very excited for me,” Croft said.
His father works as a coordinator for Whirlpool, while his mom is the vice principal at Blythe-Bower Elementary School.
Croft also has three siblings. Big brother Travis is 20 and planning to attend Lee University. He also has a brother and sister, Trevor and Tiffany, who are twins and fifth-graders at Stuart Elementary.
Croft has enjoyed active years in high school, running cross-country, wrestling and playing baseball.
He is still undecided about his studies at the academy, just happy and excited about being accepted.
He says his family has all been supportive of his quest to obtain a West Point appointment. He said that although he and his older brother argue a lot, “I could see that he was proud of me. I’ve always looked up to him.”
At Cleveland High School he is a member of the Interact Club, Model United Nations, Anchor Club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Out of school he is active in community service with Habitat for Humanity and other agencies.
His hobbies are playing the guitar, running and fishing and hunting. In high school he said his love is English and literature, and he credits teacher Athena Davis with helping him with the application process to West Point. “I just kept giving her more and more stuff,” he said of her assistance.
“The application process was not that tough (mentally), it was just time-consuming,” he said. “You have to stay with it.”
“My friends have been fairly supportive, although they’ll hate to see me go (away from home),” Croft added. “I know I’ll really miss them when I leave.”