Falcon Hones Her Strength For Soccer

Kalani’s Jana Kakugawa will have experienced both ends of the athletic spectrum by the time she closes out her career as a Falcon soccer player.

As a freshman, she was on one of the most memorable teams that made OIA runner-up. Last year, they went 3-6-1 in a season defined by one-goal losses.

Kakugawa hopes she’s saved her biggest efforts for her last season. On the eve of that, however, she took time off from the practice field to visit with MidWeek‘s East Oahu Islander.

What is your earliest sports-related memory? Playing AYSO when I was 4. I also was taking dance lessons back then. Eventually it conflicted with soccer, and I chose soccer. I played volleyball, basketball and softball, but in high school I’ve only played soccer. It’s always been my prime sport.

What’s the best part of playing for Kalani? My freshman year. We had a lot of experience back then, and we went far. It was fun meeting new people and playing every day.

What areas of your game did you focus on in the off-season? I’m only 4-11, so I work a lot on getting stronger. I went to see coach Steve Lee (Peak Performance), and he worked with me on the weights and stuff.

Who’s made the biggest impact on your life? My mom (Robin). She always has on a happy face.

What Internet site do you frequent the most? Instagram.

What is your least favorite household chore? Doing the dishes. Sometimes they aren’t even my dishes – they’re my brother’s!

What movie could you watch over and over? I just saw Pitch Perfect for the third time. I really like Skylar Astin.

Who is your most competitive teammate at practice? Right now, I think it’s Sara Neumeier, my co-captain and our goalkeeper. She really likes to win, and she’s always pushing everyone to be as competitive as she is.

What’s in your iPod? I have a lot of music – over 1,600 songs. Rap, Broadway, pop … I like all kinds of music.

How do you like to spend your free time? I go hiking a lot, although I haven’t been able to lately. Koko Head, Diamond Head, Maunawili … someday I hope they open the Kaneohe Stairway to Heaven Trail again.

How many text messages do you send/receive a day? Uh-oh. A thousand – I can send over 500 a day, but don’t tell my mom.

If you had your pick what celebrity would you choose as your prom date? (Actor/singer) Skylar Astin. I have a big obsession with him. He can dance, too. He’d be great for a prom date.

You’re stuck on Kahoolawe and can have an endless supply of just one food. What would it be? Prime rib. I have to have my meat.