Honolulu Minor League aims for Hawaii’s fourth consecutive appearance at LLWS

On Saturday, Honolulu Little League kicks off its quest for a second consecutive Little League World Series appearance by kicking off Western Regional play against Glendora Little League in Southern California at 4:30 p.m. HST on ESPN+.

The Honolulu Little League, which finished third overall in the Little League World Series last year, aims to become the fourth consecutive team from Hawaii to win the Western Regional title on its way to the LLWS in Williamsport, Pa.

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In 2018, the Honolulu Minor League team won the World Minor League Championship, while the Central East Maui Minor League went in 2019 and finished fourth in the overall standings. The LLWS was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gerald Oda, who steered Honolulu to a world title in 2018, returned to the helm in 2022. In 2021, Brandon “Budd” watched her sardines with a gusto that nearly drove Da Boise to the championship game.

“It’s great. Last year it was definitely more relaxing watching someone else coach the team. I apply to the coaches last year, they did a great job with the team and reached the semi-finals at Williamsport,” said Oda. “This year, I feel lucky.” Very much because I once again had the opportunity to train 14 kids. We’re not there yet, but at least we have the chance to move on and hopefully qualify for the Junior World Championships. Once again, I feel so fortunate and totally blessed.”

HLL changes the All-Star Team’s head coaches each year on a rotation basis, and 2022 is Oda’s year to lead the team. More than half a dozen members of the 2018 team have already thrived on the legitimate college and professional baseball prospects, such as Aukai Kea, Jace Souza, Sean Yamaguchi, Where is Lao Kong?Chandler Murray, Caulow Holt, and others. Oda says that while the 2022 squad may be more relaxed than the 2018 edition, he is looking forward to seeing what this year’s crop can show on the field.

“This year’s group, I should say a little less on the outside. However, we can definitely expect these kids to represent Hawaii well. One of the similarities is that they’ll be Aloha ambassadors, we’ve told them that’s our mission: to play great baseball, but in At the same time, be really good ambassadors for Aloha and really spread that Aloha to the rest of the world as the 2018 team did,” says Oda. “I think they’ve done a great job of showing the world that this is how the people of Hawaii are; how we perform and how we play, how we basically respect everyone. We have some characters and we’re waiting to see how they turn out on the field. Definitely a close group like 2018, a very tight-knit group. They They support each other, love each other and are definitely looking forward to taking on this challenge and the responsibility of representing 808.”

The West Territory runs August 6-12, while the 2022 LLWS runs August 17-28. While last year’s Little League World Series featured only teams from the United States due to the COVID-19 pandemic, LLWS 2022 features a full roster of American and international Little League teams for the first time since 2019. Its stadium size has also expanded to 20 teams , where the United States produces 10 regional teams. In the case of Honolulu, the western region now contains only Arizona, Hawaii, and northern and southern California.

“It’s definitely way more competitive,” says Oda of the new regional format. “Now, you only have four teams; Arizona, Northern California, Southern California and Hawaii. Traditionally, these are the top four teams in the Western District. The Western District is traditionally one of the best in the country. Every game has to be close, and every game can go A game either way. In terms of our approach, it’s the same: play hard from the first pitch to the last pitch, and if we’re lucky to run more than the other team, that’s great. If not, we can always try again and always tell our kids. That they only focus on the effort. Results will happen based on our efforts and as long as we work hard and do our best to represent 808 and make us proud, of course whatever happens, it’s going to be a great day.”