LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES
EWA BEACH VS. CURACAO
TODAY AT 9:30 A.M. ON KITV
Ewa Beach's Vonn Feao, second from left, celebrated a fifth inning two-run home run against Rancho Buena Vista (Calif.), during the United States Championships at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa., yesterday.
Dedicated Ewa family
and friends cheer
their boys of summer
Lallie Aliviado has a one-word explanation for the success of her brother Layton, manager of the West Oahu team that clinched the U.S. Little League World Series yesterday: "obsessive."
That description drew a laugh from brother Herbert "Junior" Aliviado Jr. and their father, Herbert Aliviado Sr., as they watched the game together yesterday morning in Ewa.
Herbert Sr., who lives with Layton and his family, recited his son's standard schedule: midnight-9 a.m. work at the main Honolulu post office; 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. sleep; then baseball practice, six days a week.
"He takes care of all the equipment -- keeps it right here," Herbert Sr. said, gesturing to the middle of the garage where some of the family gathered on lawn chairs to watch the game.
Dangling from the ceiling was an Everlast punching bag that Junior used throughout the morning to emphasize his glee when the West Oahu team made a good play.
"That's my boy," Junior enthused, punching the bag as his nephew Layson "Kaeo" Aliviado (manager Layton's son) tagged a Rancho Buena Vista player out at first base in the first inning.
Never mind that the players were thousands of miles away and couldn't hear their aunts and uncles giving them encouragement. It was just like they were right there on the sidelines.
"I get chicken skin when I see them on TV," said Junior's wife, Terri Yingst.
"I'm going back to work with all my hair gray," she added.
Yesterday's game remained scoreless until West Oahu second-baseman Sheyne Baniaga drove in a single in the fourth inning. It was quickly followed by three more scores for Hawaii, two on walks and one on an error.
"Baniaga in the house! That's how, Sheyne! You're the one," Junior yelled, pounding the punching bag like a drum.
But even before Hawaii got on the scoreboard, there was plenty for the Aliviado clan to look at and comment about, in the crowd shots as well as the game. Every time TV cameras showed the Hawaii cheering section in the stands, the Aliviados knew the people shown.
"Lacie, you're on TV," the crew hollered, as Layton Aliviado's 20-year-old daughter, a flower behind her ear, was shown.
"Myron!" they exclaimed as Myron Enos Sr. told a TV reporter how thrilled he was to be there at son Myron "Kini" Enos Jr.'s game.
"Pokie!" they called out the nickname of Denise Quiday, Baniaga's mother.
If the team seems like extended family, some of that is pure aloha spirit. But some team members are actually related. For instance, Baniaga's grandmother, the late Baye Quiday, was the sister of Renalda Aliviado, mother of Layton.
Around Ewa and Ewa Beach yesterday, word spread fast of the West Oahu team's victory -- even among people who don't know them personally.
"I'm proud of the Hawaii team. It actually does build community togetherness," said Anessa Cadiz, a clerk at the Ewa Beach Radio Shack store. "The last customer who came in told me that they won. Every customer who comes in talks about it."
Ewa Beach resident George Narcisco isn't particularly a baseball fan, but "I'm very proud of them," he said yesterday while having a plate lunch.
Peggy and Carl Higa didn't watch the game yesterday, because they were at their 7-year-old grandson Cody Higa-Toma's baseball game. But this morning they plan to watch.
Cody, an aspiring catcher, predicted yesterday over a rainbow-colored shave ice that the Hawaii team will score seven runs and win the title.
"This is good for the those boys," Peggy Higa said.
"And good for Ewa Beach," Carl Higa said.
"I think it's cool they're doing really good," said 17-year-old Ewa Beach resident Malia Lee, who was hanging out with friends at the Ewa Starbucks. "Usually what you hear about Ewa Beach is negative, but this is a good thing. I'm going to watch tomorrow."
Family and friends agreed yesterday that it would be nice if the West Oahu team beats Curacao today for the Little League World Series title.
But no matter what, the Ewa Beach boys are still champions.
Said Yingst: "They're all winners already. They're all winners."