Saturday, May 31, 2014

"I'm ready to make my mother proud": Kodaka Onodera

Kosaki Onodera, the mother of future Mitakihara Magi halfback Kodaka Onodera.

"I'm ready to make my mother proud": Kodaka Onodera

By Uzuki Shimamura
The Daily Magi
November 24, 2070

A younger stepbrother of Mitakihara Magi free safety Haku Ichijou, Kodaka Onodera is a halfback with a purpose: to make his mother proud. This past season, Onodera ran for 2,456 yards and 34 touchdowns and is the Mitakihara Secondary Angels' leading rusher on the varsity team. A two-way player, Onodera also plays middle linebacker and has 45 tackles, including six sacks. Onodera was born Kodaka Ichijou but changed his last name at the age of six to pay tribute to his mother, Kosaki.

"I'm ready to make my mother proud at Mitakihara University," said Onodera via interview at Mitakihara Harbour, where a fleet of ferries passed by, blaring out techno music. "Many years ago, I decided to legally change my last name to my mother's maiden name to keep her family name alive. My dad had no problems with it because to him, I look just like my mom.

"Mom was initially against me playing football. She wanted me to be a doctor, a lawyer, a businessman, a politician...but I wanted to play sports and invest my time to helping improve the safety of playing gridiron football. Eventually, she allowed me to play for the Sports Club and the major junior football team, and I decided to play halfback.

"Johnny Landry is my coach at Mitakihara Secondary and he used to play on the sprint football team as a fullback. He's been the coach for 10 years and he told me that I would be able to sell myself more if I played two positions. I like hitting people if the situation arises, so I ended up playing both halfback and middle linebacker in my first year. I tend to do better when I'm a halfback, but when I play middle linebacker, I learn more about the positions on every team. Sometimes I return punts and kickoffs. One time I returned a kickoff about 90, maybe 94 yards untouched. I got really good speed and I never give up on a play until the referee blows the whistle.

"I heard about Mitakihara University from Haku. We watch the Magi home games and sometimes Haku and I would talk about the team and about the stuff of work you have to do as a member of the Best College Football Team In All Of College Football. He told me it's a lot of work. I  have to get up early, eat breakfast, do workouts if I am not having class, attend class, study, do practices, return to class, study some more, eat dinner, sleep, and repeat unless it's a game day, when I have to head to the team hotel with the others the night before, and then we head to the stadium to go through the whole game day stuff. And that's just for home games. Road games are even more of a challenge.

"But Mom always told me that these things are going to require you to grow up and act like an adult, be professional, answer the media with the right answers to all the questions they bring at you. Sometimes Mom wonder if I will be able to take all that. I tell her, don't worry about it, I'll be able to handle it. This is part of life, and the real world.

"I think when I head to Mitakihara University as a first-year student, I will keep in mind what Mom and Dad and my brother Haku tell me about life as a member of the Family. They are part of the Family too, as alumni. So I'm going to make them all proud and perform at a level that will allow me to succeed in the NFL. My dream is not just to be running a sports team, but to also win league championships as a player and as a part of the front office. But most importantly, I want my mom to be proud of me."

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