HAWAII KAI, Hawaii (KHON2) — Hawaii’s team of 12-year-olds will be taking home the Little League National Championship trophy soon, but they are already inspiring younger keiki on the islands.
KHON2 stopped by a watch party in Hawaii Kai with fellow coaches and friends to see the enthusiasm.
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The Butcher family followed the Little League World Series from the start. Frank Butcher Sr. and his son met head coach Gerald Oda over 10 years ago as fellow coaches at Saint Louis School.
“It’s so weird to see Gerald on TV now, because usually he sits right here,” Butcher Sr. said. “This is the garage right here, so as you can see with all the things in the back, we got a lot of sports going on, So, basically it’s a lot of fun to have the people around, stay home, safe fun at home.”
Butcher’s grandson Cade is just 10 years old, but he has practiced before with the now-national champions. Cade’s dad said seeing the boys in baby blue succeed on the big screen is leaving lasting impressions.
“So, it’s something for them to look forward to, these guys are definitely making the shoes huge for these guys,” Butcher Jr. said, “These kids coming up and there definitely is a total inspiration.”
Cade said practice with the Little Leaguers is no joke and the hard work has clearly paid off for Hawaii’s team.
“Six days a week,” Cade said, “they work hard every day, they run mile every day, they do all this stuff, ladders. It’s really good that I get to practice with the team that is playing.”
Cade added that bringing home the trophy will be a nice boost for the players.
“They’re going to be really big for their schools,” Cade said.
It is not just big for their schools, however, but all of Hawaii and every keiki who calls the Islands their home.
“They visualize an end game, you know, they’re going to see these kids succeed and do their thing, it’s only going to make these guys better,” Butcher Jr. said.
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“Good job everybody, you guys had a great tournament,” Cade said.