Sunday, August 30, 2015

Val Kiryuu-Cranell: The Valkyrie Of Record

Mizuki Sera, the grandmother of Val Kiryuu-Cranell (on his mother's side).

Val Kiryuu-Cranell: The Valkyrie Of Record

By Carol Craftman
The Spirit News
October 27, 2076

Valerian Kiryuu-Cranell was named after St. Valerian, a husband of St. Cecilia, the patroness of musicians. An engineering major, Kiryuu-Cranell has a penchant for playing jazz tunes with his alto saxophones, often recording session numbers with a number of his mates on the Leafa Spirit Gridiron team. On the pitch, he is known as the Valkyrie, the roaming defensive end of note. Like the Norse mythological goddess that picks who gets to go to Valhalla and who doesn't, Val Kiryuu-Cranell determines if he should stop the run or go for the pass rush by taking what the offense gives him.

"I pick my poison, of course," said Kiryuu-Cranell after playing a few tunes on his sax after practice. "The great thing about being a defensive end is that I can use my speed and frame to make the quarterback honest. If he hands it off, I pursue the tailback for a loss. If he chooses to pass, he has only three or four seconds to make up his mind because I am getting to him almost instantly.

 Mizuki Sera with Iris Shirasaki, the grandaunt of Val Kiryuu-Cranell (on his mother's side).

"Me and Big Ben [Ayugase] are the right ends on the team after Tove [Lo] moved over to the offensive line. However, Tove has been teaching me the fundamentals of a good pass rush because he's had years of experience playing at the position. He teaches me proper technique, the right stand, and the best way to go after the quarterback with stunts and twists. Coach Gil [Tavares]'s strategies have also been very useful. I think Coach Gil is the best defensive line coach in the country and he's going to be sorely missed if he ends up going elsewhere.

"On campus I am an engineering major and I want to help develop new machinery for big aerospace companies around the world. The engineering courses at Leafa are really intense and focus on the individual rather than the team. The skills of the students are put to the test through the exams and the lectures from the professors out here. You can't half-arse the units that I am taking here. Doing the work and applying what you know ASAP are the rule here at Leafa."

Leafa College return to action next weekend against the Colorado State Rams next week at Subaru Pleiades Stadium in Canberra, ACT. The match will be broadcast by 5AO and the 5AO Sports Radio Network on the radio, One nationally and globally on One World Sports.