Oliver Craddock has made a name for himself on and off the field.
Craddock has been an anchor on the Lafayette High defense and has developed a reputation as one of the hardest hitting linebackers in the area. As a junior, Craddock racked up 86 tackles, 10 tackles for a loss and recorded four interceptions.
Craddock also displayed his offensive skills in the team’s opening-round playoff win over East Jefferson when he lined up at fullback and even scored a 44-yard touchdown.
Craddock though has also been an ace in the classroom. Craddock, who has a 4.0 GPA and scored a 35 on ACT, was named to the LHSAA All-Academic Football Team.
Craddock recently spoke about being part of turning around the Mighty Lions program, playing in college and much more.
Question: Senior season, what has it been like for you personally knowing not only that it is your last, but also probably one of the crazier seasons with everything going on in the world?
Answer: It’s been pretty crazy. Learning that we’d be playing a shortened schedule is when it became real that it would be a big factor. But I think we have maintained well throughout it. Wearing masks and making games count more. Having only a 6-game season instead of 10. It was originally supposed to be 8 but we lost two games.
Q: How has it been trying to remain healthy and safe during this crazy year?
A: It’s really come upon the seniors and leaders to emphasize that you need to limit interactions with people. Don’t hang with people you wouldn’t normally hang around. One case could end our whole season and I think a lot of the guys have done a good job. We had one case early but we could have ended up being much worse. I think that case was a wakeup call for us.
Q: How big is the rivalry with Acadiana High?
A: Yeah, it’s definitely our biggest rival. A lot of people see us as their little brother and we haven’t had a successful program for quite a while. This is a first-year coaching staff to start the season undefeated so I think the rivalry will wake back up.
Q: What does it mean to you to be part of this turnaround at Lafayette High?
A: It means a lot. I had only won seven games going into this season. We were 0-10 my freshman year, 3-7 and 4-6 my sophomore and junior seasons. It speaks to our class of 2021 especially, the fact that we stuck with it and worked as hard as we can. We want to put Lafayette High on a higher pedestal. This year is a big year for sure.
Q: You already hold scholarship offers from Wesleyan, Johns Hopkins and Case Western among others. So what are your plans to play at the next level?
A: Right now, I am exploring that. I plan on playing. I haven’t decided where yet.
Q: Have you at least thought about the logistics of having to make that decision? Such as factoring in possibly moving from family and whatnot.
A: I have thought about it. Most of my opportunities will put me very far away but we are comfortable with it both academically and if it allows me to play football.
Q&A written by Kenny Darr / 103.7 The Game Intern