Waipio's secret to baseball success is simple - hard work

Stephen Masuhara
Stephen Masuhara

By Brooks Baehr - bio | email

WAIPIO (HawaiiNewsNow) – As the team from Waipio continues its winning ways at the Little League World Series people are beginning to ask why kids from that part of Oahu are so good so often. It is the third time in eight years Waipio has beaten out hundreds of other teams for the privilege to play in Williamsport, Pa.

"I think as we've had more success some of the kids realize the goal is obtainable. It's no longer something that we used to watch on TV and wish we were there. We've done it. Like you said, three times already, so these kids are now believing that anything is possible," Waipio Little League president Stephen Masuhara told Hawaii News Now.

Waipio made its first trip to Williamsport in 2002 and won the title in 2008.

Masuhara credits the hard work and determination of the players and coaches. It also helps that Hawaii's climate is conducive to baseball year-round. Kids in many parts of the mainland do not practice baseball during the winter.

The kids eligible for the Waipio team come from Mililani, Waikele, and Waipio.

They are split into five teams during the regular season which runs March through June. Then, in June, the best players from those five teams are picked for an all-star team. That all-star squad is the team playing in Williamsport.

"Little league is real strict on out boundaries. And we have to sing up kids who only live within our boundaries. We had enough kids to make five teams. These were 10, 11, and 12 year old players. At the end of the season the 11 and 12 year old players are considered for this majors division All-Star team," Masuhara said.

During games announcers refer to the Hawaii team as being from Waipahu while people in the islands call it the Waipio team.

Masuhara says little league headquarters and mainland broadcasters call it the Waipahu team because Waipahu has a post office and Waipio does not. The Waipio Little League mailing address is "Waipahu" and the little league headquarters names teams by mailing address.

Waipahu has its own little league organization and kids from Waipahu are not eligible to play on the Waipio team.

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