Varsity soccer is a major commitment of a player’s time and energy, and so is varsity basketball.
So, Brandon Yasue is a pretty committed individual. The Kaiser senior athlete is a goalkeeper in soccer and a forward in basketball this winter, and time management is one of his priorities.
“It gets stressful at times,” Yasue said on Saturday before a soccer match at home against Roosevelt. “I’m not going to lie, but if you have so much passion for both sports, anything can be possible. There is some conflict, but me and my coaches work it out. There is a primary and a secondary. If there is a conflict, I go to soccer. I have to say that soccer is my favorite sport and it has always been like that. When I get on the soccer field, I just love it.”
There will be more athletic commitments for Yasue in the spring. He hopes to return to the volleyball team as an opposite and to the track and field team as a shot putter and discus thrower.
In basketball for coach Branden Kawazoe, Yasue is a power forward.
“Sometimes I play center,” he said. “I come off the bench and sometimes I start. I am a role player. I’m definitely not the best player on the team, but once I get on the court, I try to make an impact in the game.”
In soccer under coach Layne Abalos, Yasue helped lead the Cougars to a second-place finish in the state tournament last season. Only a 2-1 loss to Punahou in the final stood between Kaiser and a state title.
Abalos and center midfielder Motoki Sato, who is featured in a Tuesday article in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, both said they think Yasue is among the best around at his position.
“I don’t even think Brandon knows how good of a ‘keeper he is,” Sato said. “I think he is one of best in the state. He’s humble, but he needs to be more confident, I think he should be way more confident because he definitely has the skill to play at the next level”
Said Abalos: “Our players, our goal scorers don’t like playing against him in practice or doing PKs against him or playing against him in club soccer.
“Aginst Kailua last year, they had a PK and I’m thinking they’re going to tie it. The players all said, ‘Don’t worry Coach Layne,’ Brrandon’s got it. Sure enough, he blocked it. Same thing in the states against ‘Iolani. They had a chance to tie on a PK, but the players believed in him so much and he blocked it. It was almost like we expected it.”
According to Abalos, the Cougars get sick of Yasue blocking their shots in practice.
“But when they do score on him, they rag him,” the coach said. “He doesn’t get the notoriety, but he deserves it.”
Yasue believes Kaiser has the potential to go far again and he has his head in the right place.
“One of my goals is to not get scored on (he hasn’t allowed any goals in during the Cougars’ 8-0 start),” he said. “If I don’t get scored on, we can’t lose so that’s a big goal for me.”
Kaiser meets rival Kalani (also 8-0) on Wednesday in a key OIA East match.