Roaring Fork’s Candela wins PI’s Male Athlete of the Month
An emotional and vocal leader of this season’s Roaring Fork Rams’ boys soccer team that made a deep run the Great Eight of the 3A Colorado High School Activities Association’s state playoffs, senior defender Edwin Cisneros Candela played a key role in propelling the Rams to greater heights this season.
Although the senior defender didn’t put up monster stats or flashy plays, he was as consistent as they come on the back end, fighting through an ankle injury on the field and personal heartbreak off the field to help keep the team pointed in the right direction this fall.
For his efforts on the field and in the classroom, Candela earned the selection of the Post Independent’s October Male Athlete of the Month award.
“I was kind of surprised that I won because I had thought that other players were more deserving,” Candela said. “But once I found out that I won I was really happy for myself because I did my absolute best.”
As the Rams embarked on their long run through the state playoffs, Candela was sidelined by an ankle injury that he had played through for most of the year, but as the temperatures dropped and the games turned more physical, Candela found himself banged up to the point that he couldn’t play. Fortunately for him, he was able to play through his younger brother and fellow defender, junior Max Candela, as the Rams made the run to the Great Eight.
One of the more memorable moments during this season was during Senior Night at Roaring Fork against the Moffat County Bulldogs. At halftime, Candela was honored as one of the seniors, and upon talking about his brother, Max, the senior defender lost his calm, cool, collected demeanor and broke down. But the senior defender wasn’t just emotional because it was the last time on his home field with his younger brother, it was the fact that his father couldn’t be there due to his deportation in August.
“I was very sad that day because my dad was always there for us no matter what,” Candela said. “It was emotional for me because he wasn’t there, but it being my last time at home as a Ram with my brother added to it. I learned a lot from Max playing soccer, and it was an honor to share the same field and the same uniform with him, because he showed me things I never knew as a player, and it was an experience that was great for me to go through.”
Just being part of the Rams’ soccer team the last few years under head coach Nick Forbes was something that will impact Candela forever, considering the memories he made and the experiences he went through as a player, highlighted by the Great Eight run this fall that ended with a defeat to No. 2 Kent Denver, 3-1.
But that experience of not only his senior season, but the deep playoff run is something that Candela said is one of his favorite memories of the years as a member of the Rams.
Off the field, Candela enjoys studying math at Roaring Fork High School, which seems to be an athlete-favorite subject here in the valley.
“I just love math,” Candela said. “I like to push and challenge myself, and math is one of the most challenging subjects, so I am drawn to that.”
With the interest in math, Candela hopes to attend Colorado Mesa University upon graduation, where he will attempt to pursue a degree in business, which he hopes to use down the line not only to open up his own business, but also to help get his mother’s business off the ground as a baker in Carbondale who specializes in cakes.
“I want to open my own business one day, I know that for sure,” Candela said. “I don’t know what type of business I want to open just yet, but I want to be able to help my mom with her business, because she has a little business out of our home, but I want to make it into a business that has her own store in town.”
Away from soccer and school, Candela is a typical teenage kid that likes to kick back and play video games, since he self-describes himself as a gamer. While most seem to turn to first-person shooters like Call of Duty or Battlefront, Candela focuses on the sports games like FIFA, Madden and NBA 2K for his enjoyment. When video games gets to be too much, Candela takes to running to keep himself engaged.
With soccer season now behind him, Candela now turns his attention to basketball in the winter and Track & Field in the spring as a member of the Rams.