“I am not a statistic.”
Five little words with such incredible impact to his message. Trey Creamer, to most, is a tremendous defensive back for the Charlotte 49er football team. Those people would be correct. However, what many don’t see from Trey is his genuine personality and story of perseverance to get to where he is today.
Trey grew up in Rome, Georgia. “In Floyd Medical Center,” as he recalled laughing. He was one of five kids growing up in a single-parent home. He was one of two boys in the house and the second oldest behind his older brother. Trey admires his mother for being the glue that held their family together. “I’ve always been a Momma’s boy,” Creamer said. “I told her growing up that she would never have to pay for me to go to college because I would do everything in my power to just ease the burden on her.”
As Trey spoke, you could feel a sense of joy in his voice as he talked about his mother. It takes a special person to be able to raise six children, all while trying to provide for each of them financially. In part, this might be where Trey gets his drive from. “Growing up, life wasn’t easy,” Creamer said. “There would be days where lights would be turned off. There were days I would allow my sisters to eat and I wouldn’t, but my mom did everything she could. Without her, I wouldn’t be the man I am today.”
As mentioned, Trey is the second oldest of his siblings only having one older brother and four younger siblings. He has a very tight-knit family to this day. “I’m the big brother that my sisters always come to when they have boyfriend issues,” Creamer said jokingly. “I love my sisters to death and there is nothing that I wouldn’t do for them.”
Trey was always a hard worker and did not want anything given to him. “I got my first job when I was 16-years-old. I worked at Mcdonald’s. It was something small because we all have to start somewhere. I paid for everything that I wanted, and I was never a person that was given much,” Creamer recalled.
Photo creditTrey Creamer's Instagram
Trey accredits a lot of his current success to his faith. He feels that life seemed a little easier at times because of it. “For me, it was all about never giving up and trusting in God,” Creamer said. “My favorite bible verse is Jeremiah 29:11, and it says, ‘For I know the plans for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and give you a better future.’” This verse gave Trey hope when the cards were down at times growing up. “God is never going to leave you and I believe this to this day,” Creamer mentioned.
Many probably don’t know, but there were times when Trey lived in his car playing Junior College football. “In the process of going to junior college, I had transferred from the University of Iowa and I was going to Fort Scott community college, Creamer said. “It was hard because I went from a situation where all my financial stuff was taken care of to a place where the meals were not that good and you really just had to persevere basically.”
Trey even recalled times where he would have to sleep outside of a hotel just so he could have some light. “My mom would call to check on me every few hours during the night just to make sure I was good.”
One of Trey’s biggest life motto’s is, “Always betting on me.” He knew that he would make it through the struggle and he wouldn’t fold. “All my life I have been doubted and people would tell me that I am not good enough. This is the main reason that I left Iowa is because people would tell me that I am not good enough, and if I stayed there I would remain a scout player.”
He knew this was not how his story would be written. “All it took was for someone to believe in me. Going through JUCO ball I got offers to other places, but once I came to Charlotte it just felt like I was at home,” Creamer said.
His football journey with the 49ers did not get off to the best start with Covid-19 impacting the season. “The first year with Covid was a little bit of a letdown because you had all this stuff going on from cases before fall camp, to injuries and the games getting canceled I was supposed to start in.” Trey said that guys would tell him just to be patient because his time was coming. Trey’s motivation comes from deep within and it drives him to keep pushing each day. “If you aren’t intrinsically motivated and waiting on outside factors to motivate you then you will only get as far as the people around you,” Creamer said.
“I could have just stayed at Iowa and believed what they told me, but I took a leap of faith and talked to God about it and my family and they felt it was best for me to leave,” Creamer mentioned. “I am in a whole lot better situation because of it.”
There are lessons from Trey’s past that he carries with him today on the football field as well that guide him even now. “Always be confident! Always be you and never allow someone or a circumstance to change who you are,” Creamer said. Now to provide context to the opening quote from Trey. He has had to teach himself a lot of things growing up in a single-parent home, he learned basically everything he did because of his own self-teaching.
“I am grateful because these things are going to make me a better man and a better father down the road,” Creamer said.
Trey was determined not to be like the masses and make excuses for his circumstances. He knew that through his hard work that he could make it out of his situation and do great things. He is now one of the starting defensive backs for Charlotte and is having a great 2021 season so far.
He has eight total tackles and one forced fumble in the first four games for the 49ers and continues to be in the starting rotation every week. He is in his senior year but he has plans to use his extra year of eligibility granted to student-athletes due to Covid-19.
“I want to soak up all the education that I can,” Creamer said. “I don’t just want to be a statistic. I am not a statistic. There has been a lot of people that have been in my situation that have folded and given up on their dreams and aspirations. So, my goal after this year is to graduate and use my extra year of eligibility to clean up and make more plays for my defense.”
At the end of my time with Trey, I asked him to tell me who Trey Creamer was in one sentence, and his response was powerful.
“I would say Trey Creamer is someone who, despite adversity, never gave up on himself and always stayed true to who he was.”
Life was not always easy for Trey and that is apparent. However, his drive and determination to keep moving forward, and his faith in God have put him in the position that he is in today. It is not about what circumstance you are in, but rather, what you make of your circumstance. This is how Trey Creamer is the definition of Resilience.