News: Samurai football returns for second year
IWAKUNI, Japan - The Matthew C. Perry High School football team, the Samurai, return for a second season after ending with a record of 5-2 last year.
Hopes are high for the Samurai, with the number of players more than doubling since last season.
“We are a real (Junior Varsity) team this year,” said Frank Macias, M. C. Perry High School football head coach. “Last year, for 21 kids, I think we had 12 seniors, so we were pretty heavy on older kids.”
Macias is more focused on growing the team with 22 of 45 players being freshman and relatively new to the sport.
“The positive side with the young kids is they improve steadily, so I believe we’re going to be a lot better by the end of the season than the way we ended last year,” said Macias.
Macias sees promise in the up and coming players and has a lot of faith in the new Samurai quarterback, Michael H. Carreiro.
“He’s the heart and soul of our team right now,” said Macias.
Carreiro is a returning sophomore who played backup fullback last year and believes in the abilities of this new team.
As long as the team keeps working hard and striving for the best, they can do really well, said Carreiro.
With three weeks of practice, the Samurai are gearing up to take on their first game of the season Aug. 31 against Sutoku, a Japanese high school from Hiroshima.
The team recently had a chance to practice with the Japanese players and experience first-hand what they would be up against.
“It’s pretty humbling to see a Japanese team play an American sport just as well, if not better, than we can play it ourselves,” said Carreiro.
The Samurai also play five Department of Defense Education Activity schools throughout Japan along with Sutoku High School.
The competition is expected to be a lot tougher for the Samurai this season, according to Macias.
“I think (the other teams) took us a little lightly,” said Macias. “They won’t this year, so I expect them to be better.”
Macias is ready to take on the new season but his priorities have shifted from numbers to knowledge.
“Wins and losses are not that important this year,” said Macias. “What’s important is that we learn football and get better.