Thursday, December 8, 2016

Young Leafa Recruit Ken Sazanami Aims To Be The Man Of The Town

Kano Sazanami and Koyuki Himekawa, the designated father and biological mother of Ken Sazanami.

Young Leafa Recruit Ken Sazanami Aims To Be The Man Of The Town

By Reiko Bell
The Spirit News
December 23, 2077

A transfer student from Hoppers Crossing, Victoria, Kenneth Ken Sazanami is the son of two women who were once magical girls in their youth before leaving N-City in Japan to live in Australia, Koyuki Himekawa and Kano Sazanami, the designated father. Standing at a stout 1.9 metres and 100 kg, Sazanami plays quarterback and will be placed in the varsity gridiron list allocated to Year 10, Year 11 and Year 12-age students at the new Southern Cross Academy located next door from Leafa College. He will also be a Year 12 student, meaning that he will finish his high school diploma by the end of 2077.

The Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9 students who wish to participate in gridiron are eligible for the junior varsity list. Leafa SCA is the only ACT institution to not follow the secondary college track used in the ACT and Tasmania, opting to go with a structure popular in New South Wales and Victoria.

A multitalented prospect, Sazanami is reported to be "a gun with a gun of an arm typical of a son of a gun." He is talented at playing the piano and electric bass, does a lot of running, surfs, writes poetry and composes music. His nickname is "The Wave Rider," after his father's nickname of Ripple to go with his love for surfing and surf music. Some people also call him "Kenno," a typical Australia sports abbreviation and a possible pun on his designated father's name. So why did he and his parents choose to move to the capital?

"Hoppers Crossing is too boring," said Sazanami, throwing a few footballs through holes in a blow-up designed to evaluate accuracy at his back yard. "There is certainly nothing to do in a place like that, even though I understand its a commuter place to the CBD in Melbourne. I wanted to show what I can do in a town known for academics and faith because I put my faith in God and my parents who raise me above all else.

"I was born 17 years ago in Melbourne and was engaged with AFL and NRL but when I turned three, Mama Kano and Mama Koyu decided to send me to Hawaii to watch a gridiron game involving the Rainbow Warriors when they were an FBS team. I was a lad back then, and watching the marching band, the tackling, the strategy, the camaraderie, I felt that I could do something in this sport.

"When I turned seven, I started playing two-hand touch. That's when I chose to try out being a quarterback. I was blessed with the discipline and maturity of Mama Kano and the humility and assertive of my Mama Koyu, who's a massive voice of reason in my decision making. They remain a guidance force in how I can better myself as an athlete and a man.

"As the story goes, I turned out to be very good as a passer but with the fact I could run, I could do more and that's when I developed into being a scrambler. That has been my style of playing the position since: a scrambling quarterback that can throw deep or keep for a long gain while possessing good field vision and a knowledge of whether to pitch, keep or throw. I have my own saying regarding my skill set, 'You throw for show, but you run for dough. The more you know, so let's go, go, go!'

Souta Kishibe, Ken Sazanami's biological father, with Koyuki Himekawa.

"That isn't all I can do. The next of kin of my Mama Koyu's deceased best friend and consequently my spiritual uncle, Souta Kishibe, donated a piano and an electric bass with amplifier as a way of thanking Mama Koyu for being a selfless contributor to the community she left with Mama Kano before departing for Japan. I have been playing both instruments since and gotten really good at it, even helping do session work for indie recordings and functions in Hoppers Crossing.

"I even named the bass after the handle of my spiritual uncle, La Pucelle. His soul is alive in the bass when I play it: deep, rich, resonating. A few years ago, Mama Koyu told me that while she was playing that game of life or death years ago, she had gotten pregnant, and as it turned out, my spiritual uncle was my biological father and Mama Kano chose to fill in. And that explains why I always want to protect the good name of my parents and make them proud for everything I do. It also explains why I want to choose wisely when finding a partner of my own.

Ayana Sakanagi, godmother of Ken Sazanami

"Ayana Sakanagi, who moved from Japan and lived in Thomastown before moving as well, is my godmother. She is a  marathon and distance swimmer, is very religious and taught me how to swim, which allowed me to learn how to surf. On occasional day trips, Mama Aya and I would pass by Geelong and Lara to check out the waves and see how high the tides would be. I like surfing because you get to talk to the ocean regarding the issues of the real world by traversing the coastline under our Southern Skies and shredding waves. The power of feeling the motion of the ocean, according to Mama Aya, emancipates the soul, exercises the mind and helps the individual appreciate the frailty of life. Because I'm settling inland, though, I would have to drive to the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney or the Cronulla in the Shire to get my surfing fix.

"I don't want to focus solely on matriculating to Leafa and using SCA as a preparatory stepping stone. I've been getting offers from other places in the States, and I have to see what the incentives are for being there. However, I understand that the quarterbacks playing for the Spirit and third-year students and I would love to be one of the next men up. To be the man at Leafa Town would be a great feeling, but a role that requires responsibility, accountability and humility.

"And I don't want to let my mom and my dad down by not realizing my full potential. I have a plan: I want to be a film score composer or an author of novels after I complete my education and my gridiron career. I have a long road ahead of me but I'll be ready. Sometimes, being an adult is tough but once you get used to it, it's straightforward. I do this not only for my parents but for all those peers that my parents worked with in their younger days. Their collective spirits are in me and I'm gonna make them proud by being successful in gridiron and in life. I can't wait to ride this wave as far as it'll go. Fair dinkum mate, I'll be the man, cause I am the man with the plan to spread Leafa Love across the land!"

Leafa are scheduled to face the Georgia Bulldogs on Jan. 10, 2078 in the Rose Bowl for the BCS National Championship Game.