Thomas-Crawford, a senior, was nominated by Poly wrestling coach Wavie Gibson, who praised him for "[taking] the time to up lift his fellow teammates who are not meeting with success academically or athletically."
A three-sport athlete at Poly, Thomas-Crawford has been a team captain on the football and wrestling teams and also plays baseball.
"Mervyn has been the kind of wrestler that has persevered since ninth grade," Gibson said during the award presentation. "... He came in with some raw talent and just grew and grew and grew."
At the Keaser Classic in December, Thomas-Crawford won the 100th match of his career, a mark reached by just a few wrestlers in Baltimore City Public Schools.
"Each year he strived to get better," Gibson said. "He started watching videos, he did summer camps and all of that kind of stuff and he really worked hard like an individual should who wants to get better."
For Thomas-Crawford, his coach's impact went beyond the mat as well.
"When I came here as a freshman, I had the mindset of thinking I was better than everyone else, and he definitely humbled me," Thomas-Crawford said. "And I needed to be humbled because this is definitely a sport about mentality, and you need the mentality to win and to be open to new things and to learn."
As for what's next, Thomas-Crawford has yet to decide where he'll attend school next year, or what sport he'll play.
"I have a few colleges that want me for football, and the colleges for wrestling are going to start kicking in around Regionals this year, and I haven't heard anything about baseball yet," Thomas-Crawford said.
In the classroom, Thomas-Crawford is currently in Poly's Project Lead the Way and engineering tract with a cumulative GPA of 3.5. He is also learning to fly a plane through opportunities with the Civil Air Patrol and the Youth In Aviation Red-Tailed Hawks summer program.
Thomas-Crawford is also active in the community. As part of the Poly SHOP (Students Helping Other People) Club, he helps to feed the homeless and provide other services for those less fortunate. And through his church youth choir group, he provides mentorship to younger parishioners.
It was his actions as a role model that prompted Gibson to nominate Thomas-Crawford for the Unsung Hero Award.
"When he practices or wrestles in a match, you can see the new wrestlers watching with amazement," Gibson wrote in his nomination. "They want to be like Mervyn."