From a physical standpoint, Payton Bosque is not much different from her namesake, the late, great Chicago Bears running back, Walter Payton.
She is compact, fluid and a playmaker in the open field. Her field, though, happens to be the pool, where she is a fifth-team All-American in water polo. The University of Hawaii-bound standout was the subject of our prep feature in Tuesday’s print edition. She took time to do this Q&A with Hawaii Prep World before practice on Saturday morning.
Kamehameha water polo
Q&A • Favorites
Food (at home): chocolate banana pancakes.
>> My dad (Jeffrey) makes it. Maybe since five, six years ago. Whenever he makes it, it’s a nice, calm morning and and a start to a good day. That’s why it’s special, on the weekends.
>> No syrup, it doesn’t need it.
Food (eating out):
>> Honestly, anything that’s a dessert. I have a huge sweet tooth. Probably a brownie sundae, warm, with vanilla ice cream. With that, you can’t go wrong at restaurants. As long as there’s a brownie and ice cream.
Can you make brownies?
>> Occasionally. It comes out pretty OK. But the ones we make are the Kamehameha School brownies. The recipe is on the bag.
They don’t call them haole brownies anymore?
>> No. They had to change the name.
Hobby outside of sports:
>> I like hiking whenever we have time. I swim and and do water polo so I don’t have time. I like waterfall hikes.
What are your top 3 hikes?
>> 1. Maunawili. I really like it. Even though it’s long, the cold water makes up for it at the end. It takes three hours to get there and back counting the time we were there swimming and taking pictures with our friends. It’s hilly and muddy.
2. Lulumahu. Off the Pali. It’s a pretty short hike, but the falls are still nice. If you go at the right time, it’s not that crowded. In the morning, you’ll see tourists.
3. I don’t really have a third best, but I’ve been wanting to do Laie Falls. I’ve been looking it up. That one is so long, too, but from what I’ve seen it’s so beautiful out there.
Movie: Shawshank Redemption
>> I was in eighth grade when I saw it. It’s funny, my dad said you guys should really see it. I didn’t think I would like it, but I got hooked on it.
TV show: That Seventies Show.
>> I watch it on Netflix. If I have the time, I try to get two or three in. Especially with Netflix you can just go right through the cliffhangers.
Music artist: Miguel.
>> I’m not a huge fan of the music today. My favorite song by him is “Adore”. It’s more like R&B, relaxing music.
Teacher: Mr. Romero, Osan American Elementary School, South Korea.
>> I actually went to a lot of different schools. My favorite teacher was Mr. Romero at Osan American Elementary School. That year, we had moved to Korea. He taught all kinds of subjects, but he made it comfortable for me as a fifth grader. He was very bubbly as a person and he always had food. Both American and Korean, Pop Tarts and Nori, granola bars.
>> I wish I had cared about it more through high school, but I’m happy with it.
>> I took AP Physics last year and I’m in Hawaiian (language) IV. Not fluent. I can understand OK. I can put sentences together. Sometimes I have to look up a couple words but I can get a general idea.
Is this something to pursue at college?
>> We grew up kind of on the mainland, I felt like it would be a good way to get back with my Hawaiian identity. My older sister (Doran) is at UH and she’s minoring in Hawaiian language.
>> I want to become a physical therapist. I’ve been involved with sports all my life and I Know I won’t be doing it forever. PT is a way for me to be involved in general without having to play it. My dad actually hurt his shoulder recently playing basketball and they had to do surgery and actually tore his shoulder to get full range back. He would have us help do the stretches at home. It’s interesting how they isolate certain areas of the body. It’s interesting because you can tell he’s in pain, but after he says, “It’s more than I went yesterday” or it feels better kind of thing.
Place to relax
>> Family room. If it’s just me, that’s fine. Not that we talk a lot, just enjoy each other’s presence.
>> You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.
What your mom (Cheryl) says that you can’t forget?
>> She always signs things, cards and texts with “Love you most infinity x infinity”.
What your dad (Jeffrey) says that you can’t forget?
>> His is kind of weird. Whenever he’s at games and meets, to let us know he’s there, he yells “Kakaaa!” from the stands and all my friends know, “Oh, it’s your dad.” Right before the whistle, “Kakaa!”
He’s been deployed the past couple of years. He’s visiting. My sisters (Doran and Brooke) tried it. It’s not quite the same.
How does water polo affect your life year-round?
>> It gives me a basis. During the season I notice it keeps me physically, mentally and emotionally focused. I understand if I’m more focused on myself in those kinds of things, I perform better. I swim for water polo, but I swim year-round. I’m here all day. It’s pretty good.
What schools have you attended?
>> Mesquite Elementary School, Tucson, Ariz. (Pre-K)
Holly Hills Elementary, Westampton, N.J. (Grade 1-4)
Osan American, S. Korea (Grade 5)
Kapolei Middle School (Grade 6)
Kamehameha School (Grade 7-12)
>> I only played for our high school team. In the summer, I play for Honolulu Water Polo. We participate in the Hawaiian Invitational at Punahou every summer. There are teams from Australia, New Zealand, Japan. It’s the same coaches, so it’s nice to transition after season.
>> I’ve been to one place for water polo: California. I was in ODP my freshman through junior year. Part of the program is you go to California and do a tournament. They pick out individuals that try out for the national team. I want to go as far as I can but right now my eyes are set on college.
>> I committed to UH in November. I got to visit the campus and meet the coaches.
>> When my sisters were playing, Brooke was No. 17 and Doran was No. 18, so since I’m the youngest I’ll go one down. But halfway through Brooke’s water polo career, she switched to 4, I don’t know why. I decided, I’m just gonna stay with 16.
Your position is 2M. What does that mean?
>> 2-meter, so like the center. A lot of the opposition’s defense is based on our center.
Punahou the Goliath
>> Something good about them is they always change it up, and what they execute they do it very well. Just a solid team, plays together. They’ll double team every now and then. They don’t trap all the time. You can’t say that it doesn’t get us down, but we are looking forward.
Our coach always says concentrate on your 1 percent every day. As long as we’re progressing, that’s good. One of the girls from the 2006 (state championship) team is one of our coaches, helping with the intermediates.
What’s it like playing for Coach Randy Bart (second year) and former (retired) Coach Keala O’Sullivan?
>> I’ve been fortunate enough to have coaching from a lot of coaches. He’s not the traditional step-by-step thought process. I don’t know how to describe his approach. We’re his first girls team that he’s coached. I’m happy he took us on and stuck with us for a second year. The system is very different. He uses a different mindset. Coach Keala had a very ODP kind of thought process, very set fundamentals. We still run fundamentals with Coach Randy.
Something you do that would surprise people?
>> People have said I’m creative. When I was in fifth grade, I taught myself to play the piano at home, not the right way. I didn’t have a phone. I was always outside unless it was too cold. I remember that keyboard came with books. I know that song, Aloha ‘Oe, hey I know that, it’s Hawaiian. We ended up donating the keyboard.
>> Visit each continent at least once.
I went to Peru last spring break. They have an organized trip through our school. I ended up going with one of our coaches who’s a teacher. There’s about 20 of us, students an families, did community service there and learned about the culture. It was so cool.
Was it fun to eat cute little guinea pigs?
>> I’m not gonna lie, it was pretty cool. We visited one of the houses in the neighborhood area. They’re running around on the ground. It was actually not spiced. They just fried it. It was good. It sounds very cliche, but it tastes like chicken. We went to Machu Picchu and the Amazon. We stayed in bungalows. They teach people about the ecosystem.
Africa — one of the girls on my road trip, she’s interested in Tanzania. Australia — It would be cool to experience both the outback and the cities. The outback first. Then Europe, then Antartica.
Peru kind of opened my perspective to how different it can be. Even in Peru, some people didn’t know where Hawaii was.
What’s your name’s history and background?
>> I was named after my dad’s favorite football player, Walter Payton. When I was in third grade I ended up doing research on him. He died of cancer, so his family has done a lot of work for research.
How do you pronounce Bosque?
>> It’s boss-key. It’s spelled with an ‘O’. I’ve seen it with a U, with an A. My family is Filipino, too. I’ve been told in Spanish it means forest.
>> To my team and my family. Huge mahalo for all the support and the love all the years that got me here.
Travel after college?
>> If I’m in the right position financially or in my career, I would love to do that. But I can’t predict the future.
What kind of career can take you to all seven continents?
>> Flight attendant? In today’s world, there’s people who make money off traveling, sharing their experience. If you build a fanbase (on Youtube) you can make money, but I’ll just travel as a hobby.
Your dad and your family have been everywhere.
>> He was in Qatar. Right now he’s in North Dakota. He’s a personnel officer and manages facilities. He’s been in the Air Force for more than 25 years.
Where are your parents from?
>> My dad is from Kihei and my mom is from Makawao. They went to Baldwin High School.
The relocating stopped when your family came back to Hawaii.
>> They just wanted us to stay here. It was kind of upsetting to move, but personally, I like moving.