Flower Mound Coram Deo Academy has posted a 3-2 record so far this season with a 60% winning percentage. The Lions opened the season with a big, 64-0 shut-out win over Dallas HSAA Blue. Despite two back-to-back losses in weeks two and three (Grace Prep, 42-9; Bishop Dunne, 39-32), the Lions have posted strong games against McKinney Christian and Greenhill winning 49-47 and 36-27 respectively. One of the key defensive influences for Coram Deo has been junior defensive back Hadley Crafton. Just a few weeks ago, Crafton won the VYPE DFW Private School Defensive Back of the Year Fan Poll presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors. VYPE DFW caught up with Crafton in regards to his success with Coram Deo Academy in an exclusive interview:
Staying Focused on Success and Goals
Coming back from a torn ACL, Crafton has had to put in the work in order to stay focused and ready for the season ahead. “My desire to play again kept me focused,” said Crafton. “I lost my sophomore year so that really kept me focused and kept me working hard.” With an injury-interrupted sophomore season, Crafton credits the setback and self-confidence for his focus this season. “The secret to my success this season is mainly my confidence in myself and focusing on doing my job. When me and my teammates do our jobs everything falls into place.”
Crafton credits the team’s success to a solid coaching staff as well as discipline. “Last season the team was in a rebuilding phase with our new coaching staff led by Coach Sean Riley. This season, with many of the same coaches, we’ve found success through strong team bonding, discipline, and a strong culture.” With a strong team behind him, Crafton has looked forward to getting back on the field this season. “Going into this year, I’ve been thinking about the best ways to make a great student-athlete out of myself especially with time management. It’s hard to balance school and football as both can be time-consuming, but with some help from teachers and coaches, I believe I can do great in both areas this year.”
This season, Crafton’s goals include regaining a starter spot on the team. “I would like to start or retain my starting spot in football as well as play well in other sports while keeping my grades up,” Crafton told VYPE. “The team is still a program that is being built and we hope to compete in district and show everyone that they shouldn’t take us for granted.”
What Lies Ahead?
Crafton is currently not committed to a college program. “As of right now, I am looking for a program that can fit my academic needs and a coaching staff that will better me as a person as well as an athlete,” Crafton said. Although Crafton has not decided on what he wants to study in college, he has expressed an interest in business.
Coach Riley had great things to say about the junior athlete. “Hadley is an amazing talent and has overcome serious adversity,” Riley told VYPE DFW. “He is now one of the best players on our team. He has truly embraced the #BUILTDIFFERENT culture we are building here at Coram Deo. He is coming off of an ACL surgery that sidelined him last season and has proven that beating the odds is normal for him.”
Aside from his athleticism and contribution physically to the team, Crafton is known for being a strong leader as well. “His leadership and character make him a coach’s dream,” Riley finished.
Who is your favorite professional sports team?
“My favorite pro sports team, hands down, is the Cowboys. I have been a fan forever.”
Who do you look up to as an athlete?
“Defensively, as an athlete, I would say I look up to Jalen Ramsey. I love his aggressive and physical play style and I always try to have the same aggression on the field.”
If you could go to dinner with one person (dead or alive) who would it be? What would you hope to talk about?
“This is a tough one, but I might say Dwayne Johnson. It would be crazy to hear about what his day looks like and the work he puts in.”