World title winning Waipio families gather

Kanoe Winchester
Kanoe Winchester
Pikai Winchester
Pikai Winchester
Billy Duhay
Billy Duhay

By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

AIEA (HawaiiNewsNow) - They planned this gathering months ago, not knowing who would be in the championship game.

But some of the families who were apart of the 2008 Waipio Little League World Series title run were pleasantly surprised to see another Waipio team going for the all the marbles as well.

The rings, the photos and the memories.

It's just some of the things left from the 2008 Waipio World Series title winning team's journey.

As they watched another squad in their shoes this year, it brought back lots of memories.

"Deja Vu all over again, we know what their parents are going through and we know how much time and money they spent, so we can understand truly what they're going through," Father of '08 team player, Kanoe Winchester said.

But this year's team was one step short of what the '08 team accomplished. Pikai Winchester has some good advice for them.

"They shouldn't hang their heads because, they're the champions for the U.S. and second in the world, so they should always keep their heads up," he said.

Once cheering in Williamsport and now cheering at home.

Either way, the group of around 25 were just glad to be together once again, rooting for the same team.

"It's kind of fun because you just see all these guys that played with me on the World Series team and just watch the other Waipio teams play," Winchester said.

The '08 parents couldn't help but tear up when they watched the team's highlight DVD.

"It brings back the feelings, the emotions, the memories of experiencing the World Series atmosphere, you kind of feel that adrenaline rush again and just the excitement of the Waipio team back," Father of '08 team player, Billy Duhay said.

And when Japan took the title, the smiles didn't go away. Instead, the families used it as just another learning experience.

"Hawaii can make it to that World Series championship game, I think the talent we have in Hawaii, if we go up to the Mainland and we play, we'll do good," Pikai said.

That improbable '08 run, now just memories, engrained in their minds for years to come.

"These kids at this age, they don't really understand the magnitude of what they're playing for and as parents we sometimes get caught up in everything else in the world, but just to see them experience this, it's something they'll never forget," Kanoe said.

Last year, some of the families went to Williamsport to watch the Little League World Series.

They may not go again, but that's why they're hoping to make today's gathering a yearly occasion.

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