Meet Castro Masaniai
July 23, 2009
After redshirting his freshman year, Castro Masaniai is now fighting for his spot as a defensive lineman on the Oregon State football team, but this isn’t the first battle he has faced in his life. When Masaniai and his family first moved to the United States from Samoa, he nearly lost his life due to an illness, but he didn’t give up and he is here today to continue fighting for what is important to him.
Who are you in a nutshell?
My name is Castro Masaniai. I am from the Westside of Hawai’I ... Waipahu. I like to chill and hang out with my son who is growing up. Right now he is seven months, so I enjoy just watching him grow up. I am a family-orientated guy and I like to spend my time with them instead of going out. That’s pretty much what I like to do.
What do you enjoy outside of football?
Just hanging out with my son and try to stay active either by hitting up Dixon or just hanging out with friends. I like to eat too. I am kind of big.
What is your favorite thing to eat?
I haven’t been home for awhile, but I really miss Samoan food because I am Samoan. It’s hard to come across their food here because there aren’t many people that are Samoan. That is the thing I miss the most. It’s probably a good thing though because if I did have access to it right now, I would probably be bigger. I can’t wait to go home and to get some of that to eat.
If you weren’t playing football, what sport would you be playing?
It would probably be volleyball. Volleyball is probably my second sport. The majority of the guys over here like basketball better, but I suck at basketball; I am better at volleyball. I used to play volleyball back home because we would always play at church. Those are some of the best times of my life, whenever I am around church with all my friends over there.
Why Oregon State?
Just because of the coaches; they reminded me of my coaches back in high school, they are very family-orientated. I really like Coach Riley’s philosophy on football. There are a bunch of Hawaiian guys here too; there is a big Hawai’i community. That was another reason why I came here because it helps when I feel homesick.
Was there anything that surprised you about Oregon State?
It is really beautiful up here. I could see myself living here after graduation, especially Corvallis because it is a peaceful town.
What was it like playing against Hawai’i at home last year?
It was good. It was funny because all of my friends were calling me up and telling me that we better win. If we lost we wouldn’t be able to show our faces at home. It was a good thing we won because now we can rub it in their faces.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I am pretty open to everyone, but my mom and dad always tell me stories about how when I was younger we flew over to Hawai’i from Samoa and how I got really sick. They told me I was half-past dead and they were trying to revive me. I think I had pneumonia or something like that. They always tell me to remember those days and they always call me the ‘Miracle Child.’ I don’t like being called that because I don’t want that attention; you don’t have to treat me differently because of that. They tell me I am here for a reason and God has given me a second chance.
What was it like helping your high school win the league title for the first time in 35 years?
It was crazy. It was fun playing with all of those guys and we really deserved it because all season we worked out and everyone was working out together. The team bonding was really good too. I was super happy. I was crying at first and I was one of the last people to leave the locker room. I was sitting back and praying and thanking God for everything he had done for us.
What motivates you?
Just my son right now; I am playing for him. I am trying to do what is right and hopefully I can make a living afterwards.
If you weren’t a defensive lineman, what would you be?
I played O-Line in high school and it was really fun to play O-Line.
Just Cast because if I was to tell someone my name they wouldn’t get it, so I just tell them to remember Fidel Castro, or I tell them to just call me Cast.
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