HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - With around a hundred people anxiously awaiting their return to Hawaii, the PONY Bronco Division World Series champs from Ewa Beach felt as if they were rock stars, at least for a day and boy did they deserve it.
The team returned home Saturday morning after winning the title on Thursday night. They beat Miami, Florida 6-3. It was a busy baggage claim area at the Hawaiian Airlines terminal.
Parents, fans, friends, you name it, were there to congratulate the boys.
Despite this huge win, the coaches say the team remained grounded.
"Our boys, they're so humble that they won, they just jumped around and just ready to go back to the hotel and swim, all they wanted to do was swim, we didn't let them swim for like 18 days," Head coach Randy Wago said.
Ewa Beach isn't the first Hawaii team to win the Bronco World Series title, Maui won it back in 2001.
"When we won, everyone hopped around, but the feeling didn't sink in until later on," Ewa player Garrison Gamil said.
Other players said it was a tough tournament, but they were able to play as a team even in the toughest of times.
"It felt good because I did something well for the parents and my teammates," Player Dorrien Hermosura said.
They spent 18 days away from home and most parents were able to make it to the games. Some had to make tremendous sacrifices to do so.
But no one would doubt that Francine Gamil probably made the ultimate sacrifice.
The Ewa Beach parent works at a local bank and after giving her five days off without pay, they gave her the option of either coming home or quitting, as her son's team continued to advance towards the World Series. Gamil says she had to stay with her son and his team.
"Once in a lifetime our boys did this, never going to get it back again and it's well worth it, but I still need a job, but I'm glad I made that decision, I do not regret it," she said.
The Ewa Beach boys will rest just a bit, before heading back onto the field for conditioning in two weeks.
Meanwhile, the Waipio Little Leaguers are in the hunt for a title as well. They're now in the West Region final against Southern California on Sunday.
It starts at 2 p.m. and will be shown on ESPN2. The winner advances to the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.
Hawaii News Now
420 Waiakamilo Road, Suite 205
Honolulu, HI 96817
Main (808) 847-3246
News (808) 847-1112