Waipi'o championship returns to Hawaii

Timo Donahue
Timo Donahue
Kanoe Winchester
Kanoe Winchester

By Zahid Arab - bio | email

HONOLULU-- (KHNL) It's a heroes welcome for the Waipi'o little leaguers as they return home to Hawaii after capturing their world title.

The Waipi'o Majors just captured the Little League World Series title in Williamsport, Pennsylvania Sunday. They not only represented Hawaii, but also, the country as they took on the team from Mexico.

It was like a big pep rally as hundreds welcomed home their championship team.

Family and friends brought signs and were out in full support chanting way to go Waipi'o.

Family and friends of third baseman Pikai Winchester can barely contain their excitement.

Hundreds are on hand chanting, cheering for their world champs. Finally the Waipi'o team's plane lands and it's time to meet their fans.

Making his way through the crowd, Pikai Winchester meets his family.

Waipi'o's world series victory is about more than a win, he says it's a message about Hawaii's athletes.

"It mean a lot to me because the whole world knows Hawaii won it again," said Third Baseman Pikai Winchester.

The second team to do it since 2005, the Waipi'o team says after its come from behind win in the US-championship, and dominating Mexico in the finals, this year's title is tough to beat.

"It's a once in a lifetime chance. These kids will never be 12 or 13 again and never have this opportunity of this magnitude again," said Team Manager Timo Donahue.

For the Winchester family, Pikai's win means something more. His brother was diagnosed with lymphoma in February.

"It's been a rough year for us but having Pikai go through this little league experience has brightened the mood for our family," said Kanoe Winchester.

Posing for pictures, it's an ending that many couldn't have predicted at the start of the season. But now, there's one thing for sure. Waipi'o is on top of the world.

After spending time with family, team members have things like school assemblies, parades and many other public appearances to look forward to.