Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Hirota Watari and Satoshi Aiza: the unlikeliest of offensive linemen

 Ryouta Watari, Kaori Miyazono, Kousei Arima and Tsubaki Sawabe. Ryouta and Tsubaki are the parents of Hirota Watari.

Hirota Watari and Satoshi Aiza: the unlikeliest of offensive linemen

By Carol Craftman
The Spirit News
September 10, 2076

Marshall Hirota Watari, a centre for Dan Harding's Leafa College Spirit Gridiron team, comes from an athletic family. His father, Ryouta, was a soccer great in his day; while his mother Tsubaki Sawabe was a softball star for the national team. Sports plays a major part in Hirota's life, and he decided to play gridiron for one reason, and one reason only.

 Tsubaki Sawabe, the mother of Hirota Watari.

"I had gotten too big and to slow to play league," said Hirota from his dorm room on campus. "My good friend Hosei [Arima] suggested that we try out for the gridiron team at Leafa College because they need blockers for the skill players on the list. I applied some of the elements of league to my position, got the stance right, got the blocking right, and then I am told at a meeting with Coach [Harding] that I made the squad.

"That was, without a doubt, the best feeling ever. Now I get to manage in sport medicine, perhaps pursue a career in sports science, and help improve the performance of soccer and softball players, as well as gridiron players. I just hope I don't get called out for doping."

 Takeshi Aiza and Emi Igawa, the parents of Satoshi Aiza.

The son of Takeshi Aiza and Emi Igawa, right guard Satoshi Aiza is another Sydney rugby league reject that has a knack for playing piano tunes. Known to Hosei and Hirota simply as Toshi, he adds massive depth to the Leafa College offensive line and will get ample playing time as the season progresses.

"I don't think anyone expected me to come up this strong," said Toshi. "My dad was a fierce competitor in his day, and my mum also was a stickler for execution. Both of my parents were pianists so they were surprised that I decided to head to Canberra to play sports. I told them, 'I'll still study the fine arts; I haven't lost my knack for playing pianos or keyboards.' This year and onward, I'm gonna make mum and dad proud of this Leafa Boy."