EUGENE AMANO EMERGES AS TEAM LEADER
Sept. 17, 2003
After graduation from Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego, California; Eugene Amano was recruited by several Division I schools, but no offers were made. He thought he was headed to junior college until he got a call late in the summer from Southeast Missouri State University.
He participated in many sports in high school including track and field and basketball, but his passion was football.
The adjustment to the Midwest and college football was not easy for Amano, but midway through his freshman season he was in the Indian starting lineup at offensive guard. As a sophomore, Amano had to grow quickly as a player and a leader due to the number of young offensive linemen.
"We had a pretty good season my sophomore year," said Amano, "but now we are the leaders and are preparing for a great season."
A starter since his freshman year, Amano has received many awards over the past few seasons. He earned second team all-OVC honors last season at center after earning second team all-OVC honors at guard in 2001.
Amano is very optimistic about the 2003 football season. Since many of the players are returning, he expects the team to step up and overcome many of the challenges they will face this year.
According to a poll of the league's head football coaches, Southeast Missouri State was picked to win the Ohio Valley Conference football title. Amano sees this as a big confidence booster for the team. After being at the bottom of the polls and making their way to the top, he feels the team has gained the respect of the conference and hopes to build a successful season on that.
Amano's brother, Frederick, has recently joined Southeast Missouri State as an incoming freshman. Amano and his brother have never been on the same football team until this year.
"It's awesome having my brother here because we get to go up against each other in practice. It's a lot of fun," Amano said.
Amano has played both guard and center over the past four years at Southeast. His freshman and sophomore year, he played left guard. This was a change for him because he played right tackle in high school. It wasn't until his junior year that he got moved to center.
"Being center has been a good fit for me because I know the offense really well," Amano said.
He hopes that playing this position will increase his chances to play in the National Football League.
If his dream of playing in the NFL does not work out, Amano plans complete his degree in Criminal Justice and move back to San Diego.