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  • Writer's pictureDan Russoman

Friends, family react to loss of Jason Crowder

Jason Crowder

HAMMONTON—The Hammonton sports community was saddened to learn last week of the death of Jason Crowder, 30, a former standout athlete at Hammonton High School and a Hammonton Hawks football coach.

Crowder, a Winslow Twp. resident, died in a motorcycle accident on July 8.

Reaction was immediate among those who knew Crowder. Many social media posts celebrated his life and expressed shock at his sudden passing.

“It is with a heavy heart that the Hawks organization inform you that coach Jason Crowder had passed away in a motorcycle accident on Friday, July 8, 2023,” the Hawks posted on Facebook.

Crowder began coaching with the Hawks in 2013, two years after graduating from Hammonton High School, where he excelled in football and basketball.

“Coach Crowder was a player favorite and always had an infectious smile. Please keep coach Crowder’s family in your prayers,” the Hawks post said.

Hammonton High School boys basketball coach Joe Martino coached Crowder during his Blue Devils career and reacted to the news.

“I was devastated to hear of his passing on [July 8]. His parents and his family have been through a lot. The Crowder family are beautiful people! Jason was a great person with a big heart. He started three years for us and was one of my toughest kids during my 22 years of coaching. [He] never complained and was fearless. We were rebuilding and we had some adversity, but I could always count on Jason to compete and take on the toughest assignments on defense. I was just fortunate to have him during those times. I loved Jason Crowder. He was everything a coach and a program could ask for, a leader and a true team player. I will miss him dearly,” Martino said.

St. Joseph Academy football coach Ron Dorsey is Crowder’s cousin, was a teammate on several rec teams and was also able to reflect on a life lost too soon.

“Jason was a young man with a big heart, smile and laugh that could light up a room. He was a natural athlete and loved giving back to his community by coaching the youth at the Hammonton Hawks organization. I will always cherish the times we played together and against each other in the Hammonton softball league and travel softball,” Dorsey said.

The Crowder family has been through tragedy before, as Jason’s older brother and cousin also died tragically.

“His older brother Darryl and cousin Marcus passed away two years ago and that hit this family really hard and we haven’t gotten over those deaths either. Our family has been through so much loss these past three years and we have received such an outpouring of compassion and love from our Hammonton friends and family as well as our friends and family from all over. We are a resilient family and depend upon our faith to get us through this difficult time. We are so thankful and blessed for the condolences that we are receiving. The town of Hammonton will have a special place in our hearts,” Dorsey said.

In addition to coaching with the Hawks, Crowder was a volunteer assistant with the Hamilton Knights organization. A project manager for Real Value Management Company he also played softball and loved motorcycles He was a member of the Wheels of Soul Nation and an avid Denver Broncos and New York Yankees fan.

Among the former teammates who offered thoughts on Crowder was Christian Mortellite, who played football and basketball with Crowder at Hammonton.

“Jason was a great teammate but an even better person. I remember walking in to HHS as a young kid and he was always there to help me out, go to McDonald’s before basketball games, help me through lifting. He was a true leader and great man. He always had the utmost class and respect for everyone. Jason will be missed by the Hammonton community that he’s been a great part of for the last 30 years,” Mortellite said.

Pete Berenato played and coached the Hawks with Crowder.

“I remember growing up my father coached him on the 12-year old all-stars and I would go to every practice and Jason was a role model for myself and someone that I wanted to be as an athlete. When I was 13, I had the pleasure of playing with Jason in the senior league and he became more than a role model, he became a teammate. He showed me how hard to play the game and to take nothing for granted. He was the same person with that big smile on his face and his big embraces from the first time I met him until the last time I saw him,” Berenato said.

Crowder is survived by his fiancée, Paige Cannon, his sons, Caleb and Jaelen Crowder, his parents, Darryl and Rose Crowder, his sisters, Vanessa Crowder (El), Nicole Quershi (Eli) and Cookie Crowder, his brothers, Edward and Nathan Crowder, his maternal grandmother, Nancy Vivirito and a host of aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.


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