HONOLULU (KHON2) — The year was 1988, and the stands at Howard J Lamade Stadium in Williamsport, Pennsylvania was packed to watch Hawaii win their first United States championship.

Then, Pearl City Little League featured Ken Noda. His son, Mikah, is on this year’s Honolulu world series team, which defeated Tennessee Wednesday 13-0 to advance to the United States championship game.

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“It’s totally different from what I remember,” Ken said. “The facilities have been upgraded a thousand times from when we were up here. It’s real, the world series for the kids and the kids are treated like celebrities.”

The kids are treated like Major Leaguers, even meeting a few actual big leaguers. Mikah met with Red Sox all-star Rafael Devers.

Even though they’re stars for a few weeks, these kids are still kids.

“I got some pictures and signatures from the Baltimore and Red Sox,” Mikah said. They love to fish or go the Hershey’s Chocolate World, and cruise with the boys.

“Ping pong, whiffle ball, and we just play in the room,” Mikah said.

They’re also still in school. Mikah had homework to do after the big game today.

“Some language arts, so much!” Mikah said. “Schoolwork always comes first, man!” his dad laughed.

Ken had more wisdom to offer the players.

“I tell Mikah don’t pay attention to the crowds for one, the crowd it’s ridiculous and there’s like 10,000 people watching your game. They’re cheering of course they’re all now cheering for the West,” Ken said.

Ken’s 1988 team lost in the world championship game. He’s now thinking revenge as his former foe is still alive on the world side of the bracket.

“We lost to Chinese-Taipei 10-0 in our championship game it would be such a sweet victory if the Hawaii boys could beat them,” Ken said.

But Mikah doesn’t care for vengeance. Kids are still kids.

“Yeah but they’re like really nice, we played whiffle ball with them,” Ken said.

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It’s back to hardball Saturday morning when Honolulu plays for the U.S. title at 9:30 HST.