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How Adjusting to Change for Chaminade’s Brandon Yasue Became Second Nature
BY PAUL BRECHT | HONOLULU
PUBLISHED AUG 4, 2023
HONOLULU — To anyone that knows his story, it should come as no surprise that Brandon Yasue has basically mastered the art of adapting on the fly.
He’s done it his entire life.
Chaminade men’s soccer has gone through a tumultuous time trying to keep the same coach during the Kaiser (‘18) graduate’s tenure on the squad. Yasue has played for three different head coaches during his five years in the program.
For some, that much change can de-rail the path an athlete was on. For Yasue, he only continues to climb the all-time record book ladder despite some absurd circumstances. He attributes some of that flexibility to his younger days of bouncing from sport-to-sport, six different sports over 17 seasons, that is.
The Swords men’s soccer team’s final wall of defense honed his craft by bouncing on the volleyball and basketball courts, frequenting the bowling alley, putting the “field” in track and field while also participating in both football and soccer.
He was a four-year starter for the Kaiser varsity boys’ soccer team, helping the Cougars to three separate HHSAA D1 title game appearances. He was recognized for his efforts as a multi-time All-OIA 1st-team selection.
As the years went on, it became more difficult for the avid sports lover to continue participating in all the activities he had come to love.
Trust, it was not for lack of effort.
“As the years went on, I just continued to play and they were like ‘Hey, do you want to choose a sport?’” he remembered his parents asking.
As any kid who loved playing sports would do, he made the reasonable choice for his parents with only one question attached:
“Yeah, I want to choose all of them. Can I choose all of them?”
While it was easier to play all the sports when he was younger, Yasue found that high school sports would bring some more administrative red tape than youth sports did. Despite his best efforts, he couldn’t play three sports in one season, leading to him cutting baseball off his activity list.
“You can’t be at three fields at the same time,” the sixth-year goalkeeper joked.
Yasue also talked about some of his favorite memories from growing up at an OIA school, sharing stories of potlucks from pre-COVID-19 times. The best part of it all, though, was how big high school sports in Hawai’i felt to him.
“High school [in Hawai’i] is just so much bigger than it is on the mainland,” said Yasue. “I feel like high school sports in general is just like college from the mainland. We take high school sports in general; we go big.”
He spoke glowingly of his experience at Kaiser, referencing the feeling that he always has support coming from coaches to teachers and staff alike. Despite graduating five years ago, he still sees familiar Kaiser faces in the stands of his games and reaching out to check on him.
“I’m still in contact with a lot of those coaches… they’re just so supportive,” Yasue shared. “I think the biggest thing that Kaiser has done for me is that support.”
That support has helped him through some rough college times. With constant turnover in the program, a global pandemic and the normal everyday stress that comes with college life, a little boost went a long way in propelling him towards success as well.
Despite it all, Yasue has kept chugging along and taking advantage of life as best he can. He will be using his fifth season of eligibility this year, a benefit to student-athletes who had COVID-19 impact a season of their college career, while also getting his master’s degree. He is a four-time Academic All-PacWest honoree.
On the pitch, the goalkeeper looks to improve his all-time Chaminade ranking. He sits in third in saves (143 career saves) and games played and started as a goalkeeper for the Swords (28 and 30, respectively).
The conversation goes over how Yasue ended up at Chaminade (despite two prior college commitments) for his first year of college, the meaning of having local support still, what he would like to do with his bachelor’s degree (and soon-to-be master’s degree) in the Criminal Justice field and much more.
Brandon Yasue may have given up baseball years ago, but he is always ready for whatever curveball life will throw at him next.
The proof is everywhere, he won’t buckle.
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