KHQA STUDENT ATHLETE OF THE WEEK PRESENTED BY SUBWAY, PETERS HEATING AND AIR, AND CELL TECH
Dryden Craven, Griggsville-Perry Baseball and Basketball
Class Rank: 11th out of 30
College: Undecided (considering MacMurray)
Community Involvement: Team Impact, Red Cross, Perry United Methodist Church
Awards: All-Tournament Team at Carrollton and Winchester Invitational Tournaments, all-conference basketball, 1,000 career points
It doesn't always take pre-game speeches or being the loudest on the floor to be a good leader. In the case of Dryden Craven, setting a good example comes first.
"I hardly ever lead by talking to someone, I try to lead by example. I try to play and let that do the talking, and if I'm doing well, hopefully it picks my teammates up, but I know if I'm struggling they'll play well and that picks me up. I just try to be a leader and keep everybody calm,"
The two-sport Griggsville-Perry star has carved out a valuable role for himself as a Tornado, and that is to be a constant, unshakeable presence, whether on the mound or the hardwood. His demeanor speaks plenty, without him saying a word. It comes from Craven's habit of always trying to learn from the past.
"I think back to the struggling. Even though we struggled some years, we always come back and do better. We never give up because we know we can do well. I always think about the past, and try to do better than that and better than that the next time,"
That was no more evident than his senior basketball season. When the Tornadoes began the year at 1-8, Dryden and company finished with a 14-7 record the rest of the way. During that stretch, Dryden recorded his 1,000th career point. But he might have been one of the last people to see it coming.
"Well I really never thought about it until this year. I didn't even know how close I was until my coach texted me one day and said I was about 15 points away,"
That's because, with Craven, its never about the individual. He's helped make Griggsville-Perry a better program, and now he's embracing the opportunity to do the same at the college level.
"I know its going to be hard, I'll have to start all over from the bottom again. I know I'll have to work hard and I'm willing to do that and try to get better on the field and as a student. I'm nervous to be somewhere else but its also exciting because it's a new beginning,"
Dryden Craven has a quiet strength - you may not always hear it, but you can certainly see it.