More members of Hawaii’s Little League World Series champions were honored upon their return to school Wednesday.
Sean Yamaguchi and Tanner Chun are seventh-graders at Saint Louis School.
They, along with three Little League coaches who are also on staff, were honored at a welcome back assembly.
“It feels good. It feels good to know that my school is backing me and Tanner up, so it feels awesome,” Yamaguchi said.
“It’s been pretty exciting and amazing just from the way we got out of the airplane and how we interacted with all the people,” Chun said.
During the assembly, they watched a clip from Saint Louis graduate and Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota.
Another notable alumnus, retired professional baseball player Benny Agbayani, addressed the champions in person.
“You put 808 on the map again. It’s always been there. It’s always been there for the 808. Just seeing you guys play on TV was so exciting, and I was very proud. I wanted to jump through that TV and give you guys a hug,” said retired professional baseball player and Saint Louis graduate Benny Agbayani, who played for the New York Mets and the Boston Red Sox.
“Seeing the coaches, how you guys handled you guys selves, I mean, it was awesome,” he continued. “These kids, without your guys guidance, I don’t think they would have persevered as much as they did. You guys keep them humble. As we say in Hawaii, stay humble and just play the game, and hopefully the outcome comes our way, and it did for Sean and Tanner.”
“We just want to first of all say thank you to each and every single one of you for really giving us the love and support. Even though we were 4,000 miles away for this tournament, we definitely could feel the love, so really, thank you,” said team manager and head coach Gerald Oda.
“You guys have this great opportunity, not necessarily to become great athletes, but to become great men,” he continued. “It’s the same thing with our kids on our baseball team. Yes, we would like to see, if we’re ever fortunate enough to see these kids, one or two make it to college, or one or two make it to the pros, that would be a great thing to see. But as coaches, what would make us even more proud, is that these guys become big league men, as husbands, as fathers, as men in the community that give back.”
When asked about their plans for the future, both Yamaguchi and Chun say they want to get good grades, get into a good college and, of course, continue playing baseball.