Pac-Five linebacker Brashton Satele posed with his dad Alvis, who played football at UH, and his mom Lee Ann, a former UH volleyball player.

All in the Family

Pac-Five junior linebacker
Brashton Satele is surrounded
by athletic excellence

On those nights when Brashton Satele sits in front of the television set analyzing game film, the image of No. 13 practically leaps off the screen.

Indeed, anyone who has watched Satele compete at his outside linebacker position for Pac-Five knows he's quite a sight on a football field when he gets his 6-foot-1, 242-pound frame in the path of a ball carrier. But the No. 13 that impresses him in those film sessions is not himself, although he, too, wears that numeral, but rather his father, Alvis Satele, who starred at the University of Hawaii from 1981-84.

"I wasn't born yet, but he's my favorite football player," Brashton said of his father, who was also a linebacker. "I always watch old UH games on tape. He was bad, a hard hitter. I hope I can be like him some day. I've learned about effort and hustle from him. He never quit on a play."

Examples of athletic excellence are all around Brashton, whose mother Lee Ann was a member of the UH volleyball teams that won national championship in 1982 and '83.

Three of his cousins -- Samson Satele, Hercules Satele and Mel Purcell III -- are members of the current UH football team.

"I want to play at UH. My cousins play over there, and I want to stay at home," he said, "but I don't put pressure on myself. I just try to be the best I can be."

Brashton, a junior, had a 3.0 grade-point average last year at Word of Life, where he attends classes during the day, so his academic performance doesn't figure to disrupt the pursuit of that dream. But then, that should hardly come as a surprise since both his parents have seen the benefits that being a student-athlete can bring.

"All our children know that it's academics first, but we believe in athletics and we know what it can do for a person," said Lee Ann.

Brashton's short-term goal is to become more of a student of the game, which often means reviewing more film. Alvis serves as a private tutor.

"I had to learn to stay low every play, and I'm working at my speed," says Brashton. "Just the other night, he taught me a stance. He talks to me a lot about running hard to the ball and how if you take a play off, you never know if that was the play where you might have made a big play."

Said Alvis: "To tell you the truth, I think he's ahead of the game with all the help he gets from his coaches. He's going to be a lot better."

Of course, some aspects of the game -- such as technique -- can be taught through repetition, but there's never been anything in the football manual on how to deal with adversity, especially injuries. Satele has had enough setbacks in the past 12 months that he's appealing now to a higher counsel.

"I've prayed that I won't get hurt, and my family's prayed that I won't get hurt after this," said Brashton, who was moved from the offensive line to linebacker before his sophomore year.

A year ago, a broken wrist forced him to miss two games before settling into the starting lineup; and just prior to the beginning of spring practice in May, he badly injured his ankle. He missed half of spring drills, and his weight jumped to 260.

"All I did was eat," he said. "When we went into our summer passing league, I was second string, but I was back in the lineup by the time we put the pads on. I was slow and heavy in the passing league. I almost had to return to playing on the line, but I lost some weight and the coaches let me stay at linebacker."

His ankle healed over the summer, but he re-injured the wrist he had broken last year when moving in to make a tackle in a controlled scrimmage against Kalani at the beginning of August.

He was cleared to play by his doctor as long as he agreed to wear a cast on the wrist.

"I just put a pad over it, and now I can play," he said.

"It's safer with the cast on, but harder to wrap (up) when I try and make a tackle."

Says Lee Ann: "We have to tell him the difference between an injury and pain. He won't stop. He'll keep on playing."

Understandably, his toughness has never been called into question, and he has perhaps a natural instinct for always being around the ball. That was true enough last Thursday night when he recovered a key fumble in the fourth quarter of Pac-Five's come-from-behind win over Schurr (Calif.) High School. The Wolfpack also beat Kaimuki 21-7 in the Father Bray Classic on Aug. 23, and they have a bye this weekend to aid in their preparation for the ILH opener against Damien on Sept. 13.

Pac-Five's fall camp was held partly on the North Shore at Camp Erdman, where distractions were kept to a minimum.

"The coaches would come and wake us up at 4:55 every morning, and we'd have a two-mile run beginning at 5," he said.

"Then we'd have meetings and practices. It was good for us. We bonded and became more of a team. We look forward to seeing each other every day in practice. We push each other, and we're looking forward to a good year."

And hopefully a healthy one for No. 13 as well.


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