Venice Quarterback Honored by the NFL

Raul Magallanes, Editor in Chief

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On March 19, Venice senior Alexander De La Cruz was honored by the National Football Foundation because of his athletic performance and academic consistency, in Culver City at the Double Tree hotel. De La Cruz was awarded a scholarship of about $3000 dollars that he can use for the school of his choice.

De La Cruz was first notified about the opportunity by head coach Angelo Gasca about a month ago. Coach Gasca sent an email to the NFL containing De La Cruz’s transcripts and statistics from the senior’s past football season.
With a grade point average of 4.5 and with 25 touchdowns in passing and one in rushing as well as having 1,879 and 383 yards in passing and rushing respectively, the former quarterback was humble and grateful when Coach Gasca notified him that he had been accepted for the award.

“It’s been a constant grind and tough road balancing athletics while maintaining my academics, but it’s all been worth it and I’m seeing results now,” said De La Cruz in a text. “I have to thank my family for being my structure, my coaches and teachers for providing me knowledge and my girlfriend who has supported me through the ups and downs of this tedious process.”

De La Cruz has been playing contact football for seven years, three years in the Matt Lienart league and two years on junior varsity and his last two on varsity.

De La Cruz said his goal as a youth was to play on the Watson Field under the Friday night lights in front of his community. He said his strongest quality is that he’s a natural-born leader.

“Persistence and tenacity will eventually lead to you to accomplishing your goal,” said De La Cruz, encouraging student athletes to not give up.

Earlier in the year De La Cruz was awarded the Jacket of Excellence, which also honored his academic achievements.

De La Cruz was accepted by Harvard, UC San Diego, Cal State Long Beach and five others. He will be attending Stanford in the fall, yet he stated if Yale accepts him, he would go there instead.

De La Cruz’s parents are extremely proud and grateful that their son has been keeping up with his schoolwork and going beyond much more. He said his inspiration has and still is, his parents who have worked hard to provide for him, his older and younger sisters.

“I feel sensational for Alex and I’m proud that he’s my quarterback and that he got this prestigious honor,” said varsity player Oscar Lopez.

Football head coach Gasca, Venice principal Oryla Wiedoeft, his younger sister Samantha De La Cruz and his girlfriend Angela Ayala accompanied De La Cruz to the banquet. De La Cruz was interviewed by the LA Times about his award.