By Natalie Rich
The Lewis & Clark football team may have lost the homecoming game 34-22 against the University of Puget Sound, leaving them with a 2-2 record, but in the same game, a record was broken and a player given a coveted award. Heisman Hosoda ’20, a slot receiver for the LC Pioneers, was given the Northwest Conference Offensive Player of the Week award for his performance in the homecoming game.
“If I were to guess (why I got the award) I would say having pretty solid games, executing the game plan, being very fortunate to get the ball going my way,” Hosoda said. “I think that it’s just the offensive player who has the best statistics.”
Hosoda is a transfer student from University of Nevada, Las Vegas, but has been playing football for 15 years. Peter Lahti, ’19 is an outside linebacker for the football team and Hosoda’s roommate. He received a similar award during his junior season.
“He (Hosoda) never takes it easy, and I think that’s one of the things that makes him really special,” Lahti said. “He’s very fast, very quick, runs his routes very hard, catches everything. He’s a very talented player.”
Hosoda said that he often jokes about football being his destiny, since Heisman is also the name of a prestigious college football award.
“I always tell people I didn’t have much of a choice, but (football) is something I’ve always enjoyed, it’s a passion,” Hosoda said.
He prepared for the homecoming game as he does for all games: practice, watching film and listening to country music to soothe his nerves. His favorites include Kane Brown and Luke Combs.
The Northwest Conference Offensive Player of the Week is decided by athletes, coaches and other athletic department heads. LC Pioneers Assistant Wide Receiver Coach James Yen is one of Hosoda’s main coaches. He commented on what helped Hosoda get this award.
“Number one, he broke the school receptions record, which is an eye opener in itself,” Yen said. “He caught 17 passes. In a game a wide receiver catches an average of between five and eight balls, so he significantly doubled that, almost tripled it. He ran for a couple touchdowns, made a couple guys miss, he was very exciting to watch.”
The previous record for receptions at LC was 16, held by Andrew Frisina, who played from 2009-2011.
Hosoda finds inspiration to play football from both the brotherhood of his teammates and his family.
“My grandfather played at Rutgers, and my father played in high school and college, so carrying that tradition and carrying on the Hosoda last name is my inspiration,” Hosoda said. “It was homecoming, so my entire family came up from Hanoi, and the week before I’d had to go home for my grandfather’s celebration of life, so having all that lead up to the game was very emotional for me … having my family there was particularly good.”
Coach Yen believes that Hosoda could break his own record again this season.
“Every game, there’s an opportunity. Whenever that ball is kicked off on the first down, we have the opportunity to do something good,” Yen said.