Foreign exchange student “living a dream” at Parkview Christian

Lucas Katayama is a foreign exchange student who's helped Parkview Christian reach the NSAA...
Lucas Katayama is a foreign exchange student who's helped Parkview Christian reach the NSAA State Finals.(KOLN-TV)
Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 11:15 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 18, 2022 at 4:05 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Lucas Katayama remembers seeing his dad wear an Emmitt Smith jersey when he was 8 years old. He was hooked on American football ever since.

“I always thought, ‘I love this jersey. Its so beautiful,’” Katayama said. Then the curious youngster watched his first NFL game beside his father in their home country of Brazil.

“Since that I’ve always been watching football with my dad,” Katayama said. “That’s why I feel in love with the game.”

Four years after being introduced to the sport, Katayama attended his first football game. He traveled to New York to watch the Giants.

As a teenager, Katayama remained crazy about football. He wanted to play it competitively, which brought him to the United States in 2021. Katayama enrolled at Parkview Christian, where he joined the football team. Though the Patriots play 6-man football, he quickly adjusted to the modified rules. Katayama built strong bonds with his teammates and fell further in love with American football.

This season, Katayama has made 45 PATs, while also playing quarterback and linebacker. The 18-year-old foreign exchange student has helped the Patriots to a 10-1 record and berth in the Class D6 championship.

“Coming here and being able to participate on a special team like this, it means very much to me,” Katayama said.

Parkview Christian plays Pawnee City in the Class D6 championship on Friday. The game is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. at Cope Stadium on the campus of Nebraska-Kearney.

Lucas Katayama came to the US to play American football as a foreign exchange student. He found a home at Parkview Christian.