2015 Summer Recap – Hui o Hilo Hanakahi


            As the season came to a close, the excitement of All-Stars was in the air as all of our coaches prepared their post season teams for a run at States and hopefully a trip to the Mainland to compete for a World Series Title! What a summer it was!

Coach Chris and his staff compiled 13 kids on his Bronco All-Star team, 10 being from Hui ‘Aumākua! Coach Shon and his staff took a core of Hui ‘Aumākua kids that have had several years of post season travel to the mainland and combined them with role players from around the league on the Bronco 11’s! Our third Post Season team compiled 10 Hui ‘Aumākua Babies from our Pinto team along with 2 other kids from the league with expectations of a World Series Title! These Coaches and kids worked hard all year and preparation was key as they made a memorable run through the summer! States was held in Hilo for the Bronco Division which is always an advantage for the home team. Our Bronco 12’s were prepared and boy they came out firing as they went undefeated in our Hometown and closing out Windward in the championship game with a TKO! The goal was no secret as these kids wanted to win the Region and board a plane to Southern California! The goal was met, as lot of these kids had never played in the mainland and the excitement of playing in California awaited them! Our Bronco 11’s had a different perspective on Post Season! Although we had some experience, we had a lot of first time All-Stars which kept Coach Shon and his staff realistic about winning States! We honestly had no idea what was going to happen! We went in with the attitude of playing our game and letting the chips fall wherever that may be! Our 11’s caught lightning in a bottle as they fought back from a lost to Mililani in the undefeated game and double dipping them on championship day in walk-off fashion to win states! The following week, our Pinto’s boarded the plane for Maui in search of 2 state titles and a chance to represent Hawai’i in the Pinto World Series! Our Babies took the player pitch tournament by storm in winning the championship against Maui! One day later, they adjusted to the coach pitch state tournament and 5 days later, they came away with that state championship by walking off “pre-tournament favorite” Waianae, for the second time and going undefeated in Maui! Our Pintos came away with 2 championships in a span of 10 days which has never been done before! Great job to all our coaches, families and players! Four STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS in one summer! Just straight up Awesome Gang!!!

There was no time to rest as 3 days later, our first team to board the plane to California was our Pintos. San Jose was the destination for the Pinto World Series! This group had a big following as we landed in San Jose ready to battle! Our Pintos came out right where they left off going undefeated in their bracket (3-0) and earning a spot in the World Series Championship against Southern California! The final lived up to the hype as it became a pitcher’s duel! After 4 it was 2-0 in favor of Southern Cal! The last 2 innings didn’t go our way as Southern Cal walked away with the Title! Our kids battled their tails off all year and 2nd in the world ain’t nothing to be ashamed of! This group will definitely make a few more runs at the World Series! Great Job Pintos!

Our next team to fly to Cali was our 11’s! With no expectations for the summer, this group was just excited to be boarding a plane to Walnut, CA! A beautiful complex which half of our team has already played at when they were 9’s in representing Hawai’i! The tournament started off a bit rough as our 11’s came out with a loss to a much bigger San Francisco team which we played 2 years ago! Not to be outdone, we worked our way back in winning a couple tough games and got a rematch with San Fran 2 days later! Our kids were focused and their play showed as we won a thriller 4-2, and eliminated San Fran from the West Zone! We made it to the championship game of our bracket against Southern California! In the end, Southern Cal was just too tough as we gave them all we had in losing 12-5! This Southern Cal team eventually won the World Series Title a week later in Virginia! We were very, very proud of our 11’s as they overachieved and played as a “TEAM” and look where it got them! A lifetime of wonderful memories! Great Job 11’s!

After almost a month of practicing and scrimmages, it was time to board the plane to sunny California and get it on for our 12’s! Our Broncos showed up at York field in Whittier excited and ready to play! They opened up with a tough game against East Long Beach and prevailing in the end with an important win! Winning that first one is always key! Their next opponent was a tough Arizona team that gave Hawai’i everything they had, but our boys pulled it out with a win and were sitting pretty at 2-0! The next challenge was the other undefeated team in Northern California! NorCal looked good from the get go as our Broncos made it a game in the end, but fell 6-3! There was no time to ponder the lost as Coach Chris had to rally the boys and get ready for Southern Cal right after that! SoCal is always considered one of the favorites in any division of baseball, and they proved to be tough as they gave our boys everything they had! Our Hawai’i Boys fought till the end, but just ran into some good pitching and the run came to an end! SoCal won 6-3, and ended the summer for our Hilo All-Stars! Coach Chris and his team had an awesome run!! From winning our Makahiki Hou Classic, to dominating the regular season, to winning Memorial Day Tournament in Kona and finally this memorable summer run all the way to Southern California!

It was an experience of a lifetime for all of our kids and families! These memories are why we put so much into this great game of baseball! Cherish these moments as you never know if you’ll have an opportunity like this again! I would like to thank all of the Families, Coaches, team reps and especially our kids for providing us with the ride of a lifetime!!!! Great job Hui ‘Aumākua and hopefully we can do it again in the near future!! E Ola Nō! A Hui Hou!!!!