As a member of the 2022 Honolulu Little League team, Tau Purcell already entered the summer with an understanding of what it was like to have an entire state’s support.
The example he’d point to other than previous Hawaii teams at the Little League World Series? His father, Elliott, who was a member of the University of Hawaii football team during the program’s heyday.
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Elliott Purcell, a Saint Louis alumnus and Ewa Beach native, was a defensive lineman for Hawaii from 2006 to 2010, including its storied 2007 team that went 12-0 in regular season play. He certainly knows the feeling of playing, and winning, for the islands.
“Back when I was playing, Hawaii was so supportive, we were winning at the time, stadiums were packed,” he recalls. “The feeling that I had during that time is pretty much the same watching this guy play and it’s so exciting to see him go through that at a very young age, too.
“A lot of what we see now is a product of their hard work. These guys have been working hard since last year. … This is the product of hard work, dedication, their commitment, all of that. Everything that comes with it. Just to see them do what they’re doing and represent well, it’s awesome. It’s awesome.”
The admiration between father and son is definitely there. Tau credits his father as being one of his biggest inspirations.
“Whenever I’m struggling with something or whenever I need help, my Dad is always there and picking me up and telling me how to do things,” Tau says of Elliott. “He’s always been a good example and a leader.”
So far, Tau Purcell is batting 1.000 in the 2022 Little League World Series, going 1-for-1 with an RBI, just one part of a Honolulu machine that has mercy ruled both of its opponents thus far.
Next up for Honolulu is a winners bracket matchup against Texas’ Pearland Little League on Monday at 1 p.m. HST on ESPN.
“It’s been so fun with my teammates, from on the field to in the dorms just playing with them at night, staying up making jokes,” Tau says of the LLWS experience so far. “We’re representing everyone, not just playing baseball.”