(WBRE/WYOU-TV) — This weekend the Little League team from Hawaii will compete for the National Championship in South Williamsport Pennsylvania. A victory over the team from Georgia will allow them to play for the Little League World Title. The added pressure of tournament success is compounded by the harsh reality of Hurricane Lane pounding the Hawaiian Islands back home.
Eyewitness News Reporter Joe Garrison has more on the team and the mutual support they share with their fans back home in Hawaii.
The Little League team from Hawaii spent their day off from the Tournament visiting nearby Penn State University.
Coaches and parents say this downtime from tournament pressure will help the team in the long run, as they prepare to play Georgia for the U.S. Championship.
“We’re in the, we have a guaranteed spot in the USA Championship. And I feel really comfortable about that game because we have all of our pitchers.” Said Taylin Oana, Shortstop
Even as tourists, their attention is split. Hurricane Lane is causing so much destruction back home.
Our thoughts and prayers are always at home, but they know why they are up here, not only baseball but make new friends. But in the back of our minds, in all of our minds, we are always worried about home.” said Michael Chun, Tanner Chun’s Father.
“Shout out to the state of Hawaii. Please stay safe and do whatever you can to get out of the storm”.
noted Ka’olu Holt, Pitcher and Third Baseman
The team says so many fans back home in Hawaii have wished them well, even as they ride out the storm. Their coach says that support in the face of danger has helped his team play well on the field.
“It’s a good opportunity for us to really pay back the support that we have been getting at home. So if for the two hours we play if we can make the people back home smile and cheer for something else other than worrying about a hurricane then we did our job” said Gerald Oda.