Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Two Little Busters Descendants Commit To Leafa

Riki Naoe and Rin Natsume, the grandparents (along with Saya Tokido) of Rocky Naoe.

Two Little Busters Descendants Commit To Leafa

By Eruna Ichinomiya
Spirit News
October 9, 2074

Hiroaki "Rocky" Naoe, named after the legendary Benihana Group magnate of yesteryear, is the grandson of Riki Naoe Sr. and Rin Natsume on his father's side and Saya Tokido on his mother's side. Riki Sr., who passed away last August, was the first great head baseball coach in Mitakihara Magi history, while Natsume, who passed away last September, was the first great softball coach in Puella Magi history. Naoe, whose father Riki Jr. was an ace as a designated hitter before a long career playing in Australia and then being a pro scout, decided to eschew playing baseball for a living and instead focus on American football.

Riki Naoe, the first great Mitakihara Magi baseball coach.

Now in his final year at Melbourne Grammar School, Naoe plans to play two sports: gridiron and baseball. As a baseball player, Naoe has a fastball, changeup, breaking ball and slider among his choices and led Greater West Melbourne Little League to back-to-back Little League World Series titles, the first-ever in the history of Australian baseball, alongside Keisuke Natsume (the grandson of Kyousuke Natsume, Yuiko Kurugaya and Sasami Sasasegawa), Akihito "Brett" Inohara (the grandson of Masato Inohara, Noumi Kudryvaka and Komari Kamikita) and Shungo "Rhys" Miyazawa (the grandson of Kengo Miyazawa, Haruka Saigusa and Kanata Futaki).

Rin Natsume, the woman who built Mitakihara's Puella Magi softball program from the ground up.

Just this past weekend, Rocky and Kei committed to Leafa College, meaning that the need at quarterback is satisfied, as four quarterbacks have signed with the team. However, both cousins are hoping that the situation regarding Brett and Rhys is managed. Inohara would fill a spot left by outgoing senior halfback Ethan Wakamatsu, but unless an NFL-draft eligible junior leaves the team, there may not be any space for Miyazawa. For this, he is listed as an athlete.

"What I do know is that my grandparents, who are buried in Canada, are watching me in spirit and are happy with the decision I made," Naoe said. "My grandparents, along with Kei's and Brett's and Rhys's...they were the Little Busters, one of the finest baseball teams ever. Kei's grandfather was the leader of the club, but it was through my grandfather learning from Kei's that the Magi baseball team became very successful in developing leaders on and off the diamond.

"I plan to use baseball as a way to stay in shape, but it won't be where I will make a living. I like gridiron more, and I want to make Grandma Rin proud by being a successful gridiron player in Australia. Ever since all four of us moved to Melbourne, we've been close mates and we plan to be so."

Yuiko Kurugaya, the grandmother (on his father's side) of Keisuke Natsume.

Keisuke Natsume plays shortstop and has strong reflexes. Last season for Melbourne Grammar School, Kei hit .345 with 18 home runs and 45 RBI. But Kei is also a quarterback with a strong release and competent athleticism. He thinks that  the training he gets at Leafa will mold his form  twenty-fold at the minimum.

"I hear that at Leafa, the first-year players go through a rigorous training that allows their stats to rise higher than Mount Everest," said Natsume. "My grandmother Yuiko, who is now dead since she passed away in April, she told me that if I commit to Leafa, I will get a lot of playing time and even play on defense, even though I am a quarterback. I don't know if she is right, but I have to believe my grandparents. My father Takashi also told me that Leafa would be a good option for me because I don't have to stay on the other side of the Pacific all of the time.

"Well, I still have to do lots of traveling and jet lag is a factor, but as long as I am part of a winning team, the travel will make me look like I'm already on an NFL team. I hear that all the players at Leafa are NFL-caliber players, so I am nervous but excited to prove to the coaches that I belong in Canberra."