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Carmel quarterback surprises beloved custodian for Christmas

Carmel High School senior Zach Osborne surprised the man he calls "Mr. Will" to thank him for everything he does for the school and its students.

CARMEL, Ind. — As students start arriving for the day at Carmel High School, William Crowder has already been pacing the halls, hard at work before sunrise. Crowder, who has been at custodian at the school since 2009, is a familiar face in the freshman center. 

Over the years, Crowder has become part of the Greyhound family. 

"I love it here, I really do," he said. "I enjoy it."

Crowder is known for his smile and positivity, and it makes a lasting impression. Carmel quarterback Zach Osborne knows all about it. Osborne calls him "Mr. Will" and the pair share a special relationship.

"He'd come to every single Friday night game and then every single Monday morning would stop me in halls and say, 'What’s up Zach?' and stop to talk to me about the Friday night game," Osborne said. "Just to have that little moment just to talk and bond with him has created something I'll never forget." 

Along with sports, the two also share a love for shoes.

“He's into it like I am," Crowder said.

"One day he saw me wearing my Air Jordan 11s and he happened to mention he wore a size 12 or 12 1/2," Osborne laughed. "So, I was looking online to see what different shoes he may like, and I saw the Gatorade blues and I thought a little Carmel blue action may not be too bad for him."

So the same week Osborne signed his scholarship to play college ball at Colgate, he decided to give back to a guy that has watched his journey from the sideline. During the school day, he surprised Mr. Will with a new pair of Nikes for Christmas. The exchange was caught on video and shared all over social media. 

"I was so elated and ecstatic he took the time to think of me," said Crowder.

"To be able to make someone’s day every week, that’s what I strive to do. To be able to make Mr. Will's Christmas by giving him those shoes, ya know, it’s far beyond what people understand", Osborne said.

An athlete’s act of kindness for a staple in the Carmel community. A perfect present for a man who’s always on his feet. And if the halls of Carmel High School could talk, they’d tell you all about Mr. Will and the lives he’s touched.

“The positivity I give, it's coming back, so I really appreciate that," Crowder said.

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