Waipio fans gear up for another Little League World Series Championship run

Naoko Yoshii
Naoko Yoshii
Trevor Fujisaka
Trevor Fujisaka
Pamela Agbanlog
Pamela Agbanlog

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

WAIPIO (HawaiiNewsNow) - Waipio advanced to the Little League World Series Sunday by defeating Ocean View of Huntington Beach for the West Regional title.

Fans in Hawaii gathered around TV sets to catch the boys in action. Several turned out at Big City Diner in Waipio to root for the team, the way they did during Waipio's championship run in 2008.

After fueling up with nachos and wings, Naoko Yoshii was ready to cheer on the Waipio Little League baseball team.

"For you, is it hard to watch?" this reporter asked.

"No, not really," she replied. "I enjoy."

Her husband is team manager Brian Yoshii and her son is outfielder Brysen Yoshii, 12. After returning from the mainland last week, she rooted for them from a seat at Big City Diner.

"I was so sad to leave after the three games," she said. "Yeah, but I want to go back."

Two years ago, Waipio -- led by coach Timo Donahue -- took us on an exhilarating ride. With the memory of that dream season still fresh, supporters of this year's squad fully believe that another Little League World Series championship is well within reach.

"Coach Timo from 2008 who won the World Series, he was helping us a lot," Naoko Yoshii said.

"You think they can take it all the way?" this reporter asked.

"Yeah, they can take it all the way," Trevor Fujisaka, former teammate, said.

Fujisaka was a teammate until he turned 13 and became too old.

"It feels good because I can see my friends being so happy," he said.

"Did you feel that this was a special team?" this reporter asked.

"Yeah, they had a lot of courage, spirit, and they always believed that they can win," Fujisaka said.

Pamela Agbanlog has no ties to this team. But being part of this community, she feels great pride.

"Just to see the Waipio boys do so good and just exciting for them to be on TV and to make it this far," she said.

The group erupted in cheers when the final out was recorded, giving Waipio the West Regional title and a spot in the World Series.

"I had confidence," Naoko Yoshii said. "Yeah, they're good players and good boys."

Yoshii says she won't watch the World Series on TV. Instead, she wants to join her husband, her son and the rest of the team in Williamsport.

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