SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – The Honolulu Little League team took a much needed break from the baseball field Thursday after whooping the Staten Island, New York team 10-0 Wednesday night. A sweet victory, but tough to enjoy – a hurricane is approaching their home.
“For me it’s hard, only my parents are with me. I know I have a lot of family at home that, in this tragic weather, could be injured,” said Aukai Kea.
With a heavy heart and and an injured leg, Kea, the team’s pitcher helped his team land a guaranteed spot in the U.S. championship. He says this competition is more than just winning for the folks back home.
“Giving them hope that there is still aloha,” said Kea.
“The kids are living their dream while everyone in Hawaii is facing a nightmare,” said Head Coach Gerald Oda.
Experts say its the first category four in more than 20 years and it could have devastating impacts. Home seems much farther now.
“It’s difficult being 4000 miles away. Not knowing enough information about what exactly is going on with the hurricane,” said Oda.
“Playing as hard as we can on the field makes them feel we have their back over here,” said Sean Yamaguchi.
Having family members on the road with them has helped ease the sting of uncertainty. While parents try to keep their children focused on the game, they’re preparing for the worst.
“I may not have a home when I go back. Everyone was at my house last night putting out sandbags, cleaning up. Just getting ready,” said Kai Laukong, a parent to one of the players.
Still the folks back home are watching.
“We’ve been getting a lot of love so far,” said Kea.
And the team has no plans to disappoint.
“Our hearts and prayers are with them and we are going to do our best to represent the 808,” said Oda.
The boys have one more day of rest before they return to the field this Saturday.