Saturday, January 4, 2014

"I have been given a new moniker": Cojuangco

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"He will be known as Rico Football, and he will be a star." -Dr. Madoka Kaname on Ricky Cojuangco's progression

"I have been given a new moniker": Cojuangco

By Natsumi Koshigaya
The Daily Magi
November 2, 2060


Mitakihara Magi quarterback Ricky Cojuangco isn't the type of player that thinks too much about nicknames. He earned the nickname "The Boy from Batangas" as a young street urchin in grade school for his carefree energy and spirit before moving to Canada to start a new life. But now as a football player, his life took a complete turn for the better. Now he is known...by a different name.

"I have been given a new moniker by Dr. Madoka Kaname: Rico Football," said Cojuangco at practice at Hakurei Centre, the football team's administrative facility for more than four decades. "It's a combination of my name and my sport. Ricky + Cojuango + Football = Rico Football. It's reminiscent of the late quarterback Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, also known as Johnny Football.

"Dr. Kaname told me during an informal face-to-face lunch today that I had all the makings of a legend, one of many great heroes that will come from this football program. She told me that her son used to be a quarterback here and now he's the head coach at Texas. Then I'm like, what? How? Is football really in the blood of this family? Then she tells me about how she created this university from her own words. It's a great story, and it pulls your strings.

"As it turns out, this place has a footballing tradition as rich as any university in America that plays the game. Every university has its legends and heroes and myths and tall tales. Dr. Kaname told me that the Legend of Rico Football began when I started playing the game at Mitakihara Secondary, and then I worked toward earning a scholarship. And then the legend really took flight when I started to lead the team to a solid season, which is par for the course.

"There are times when I doubt whether or not I am really the real deal, as people tell me. It happens to me at class, it happens to me at practice, it happens to me when I sleep. But I have heard of stories of colorful personalities, the heartaches, the triumphs, the many different players with strange names and abilities, the women that make this place special and I say to myself, if they tell me I'm the real deal, I have to show my gratitude by acting the part.

"Obviously, there's a lot I need to learn as a quarterback for my guys, and I'll take my lumps. But I will do my best to make sure that I leave a legacy of my own. At this university, you can make it, and I wanna make. I'm Ricky Cojuangco. I'm Rico Football. And I'm not going to try to be anyone I'm not. I wanna be me, and I'm gonna be me."

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