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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Vista Murrieta’s Cravens is state’s top player

Vista Murrieta senior Su’a Cravens was recognized as the California Football Player of the Year by Gatorade in collaboration with USA Today High School Sports, it was announced Thursday in a release.
This also makes Cravens a finalist for the Gatorade National Player of the Year, which will be announced in December.
It’s a reminder, Vista Murrieta coach Coley Candaele said, of just how special Cravens is.
“People around here don’t understand what they have and don’t appreciate how good Su’a is,” Candaele said. “But I see that Gatorade has recognized Su’a for all his great accomplishments.
“It’s just a proud moment for our program that he gets the recognition he deserves.”
Cravens will lead the Broncos (13-0 and ranked nationally in the top 10) into the CIF-Southern Section Inland Division title game at 7 p.m. Friday, when they’ll host Corona Centennial and go after their second consecutive title.
The Gatorade award is meant to “recognize not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field.”
Cravens is the 13{+t}{+h}{+ }Inland-area athlete to earn a Gatorade state player of the year honor and the second football player. Norco running Toby Gerhart got the award in 2005.
Cravens is a multi-purpose player who excels on defense at safety and linebacker, on offense as a receiver and running back, and in all phases of special teams. Last Friday, he blocked two punts in a 34-0 Inland Division semifinal victory over Rancho Cucamonga.
Among his many other statistics, Cravens has 20 receptions for 384 yards and eight touchdowns, 15 carries for 168 yards and five touchdowns; he also has 84 tackles, 4.0 sacks and three interceptions.
A verbal commit to attend USC, Cravens also been selected to participate in the U.S. Army All-American Game in January.
According to the release, Cravens maintains a 3.40 grade point average and has volunteered on behalf of the Special Olympics and as a youth football coach.
“You always look at the state Gatorade Player of the Year, and, as a coach, you always you wish you had that guy on your football team: ‘Man, I would love to coach a kid like that.’ “ Candaele said. “And when you have a kid like that, you are spoiled… because you take it for granted sometimes.
“The people around here at the school and in our valley you don’t quite understand what you have and so this is a good way of realizing how good a football player he is.
“What a great accomplishment for Su’a, and well deserved.”


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