Sunday, September 8, 2013

Meet Yoshino Kousaka, the next great kicker for Madoka

Meet Yoshino Kousaka, the next great kicker for Madoka

By Sakura Honda
The Daily Magi
October 3, 2052

Yoshino Kousaka is a 5'10", 185 lb kicker from Mitakihara Town and a senior on the Mitakihara High Angels varsity squad. Last season, Kousaka, the son of former Melbourne Storm hooker and Kazero Wingman band member Rinnosuke Kousaka, broke his father's career record of 60 consecutive field goals with 70 straight, a streak that is still ongoing.

Kousaka rejected offers from Penn State, Notre Dame, USC and Ohio State to play for the Magi and take over for Chris Lawson, who will be graduating this season. Ruri Gokou and Ayase Aragaki are Yoshino's grandmothers and they raised him to be a rather soft-spoken but focused athlete.

"Not only do I kick field goals, I also play rugby like my dad," Kousaka said in an interview at Mitakihara High. "I play hooker on my school's seconds team because gridiron is my first sport and rugby is second in terms of priority. I can kick field goals as far as 70 yards, which is my career best, but only if the wind is strong enough.

"Even after a game is over, I continue to practice my field goal kicking because I want to set a new career record for a field goal at the college level. It's going to take a strong leg, which I have, and a stronger wind, which may or may not happen. 

"I could have played soccer and became a goalkeeper, but when I turned 10, I realized that being a soccer player is not what my grandmothers wanted me to be. So when I turned 10, I decided to be a kicker on a football team. I joined the Angels football team, became their starting kicker in my freshman year, and I've been doing field goals ever since.

"Hopefully I will be able to make enough field goals to win four Groza Awards in a row. I know that there are number of kickers that have done this already, like Coach Southwick. Madoka is known for having clutch kickers come through the team, from Peter Means, to Dong Dong, to Darrell Fletcher, who is a sprint football assistant coach there...the list goes on and on.

"I know Coach Kaname very well because Dad introduced me to him and he told me about the plans he wants for me. He gave me a tour of the campus, and I fell in love with the place. I love this university so much, that when the tour finished, I told Coach Kaname, 'Coach, sign me up, I'm your kicker next year.' Then he was like, 'See, Yoshi, that wasn't so bad, now was it? You're going to be just like your Dad, maybe even better, so keep doing what you're doing and we'll see you at camp next year.'

"That was all I needed. So now I am extremely motivated to do my part and make the coaches at Mitakihara University proud. I can't wait to join the Magi because the next step forward is right in front of me. I know what I have to do. And I will do it."

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