Molokai Little League team to compete in state tournament
By Melissa Kelsey
Front Row (L-R): Keldin Calairo-Nakagawa, Kaleonahe Sibayan, Noah Caparida, Ka'io Kalawe, Ehukai Rawlins.
Back Row (L-R): Likeke Schonely, David Rapanot, Bradley Nishihira-Aki, Namakana
Pa-Kala, Kiloaulani Ka'awa-Gonzales, C. Namakaeha Kamelamela.
Coaches, also back row (L-R): Scottie Rapanot Sr., Dwayne Kala, Manager Walter Rawlins Jr.
The Molokai Little League Junior Division baseball team stands undefeated. The team will travel to Oahu July 24-28 to play in the Hawaii State 2009 Junior Division Tournament.
“We played against some tough teams,” said Coach Walter Rawlins Jr., describing challenges the team faced throughout the season. “They did not give up.”
The 13 and 14 year old team earned the District III Champion title at the July 4 game when they defeated Maui Central 8-7. Rawlins said it was the first time a Molokai Little League team had earned the title in the three years he has been coaching.
“All of the kids, they found their heart and stayed together,” said Coach Scottie Rapanot Sr., explaining the team’s success. “That is something you cannot teach. They have to find it within their own.”
The team is raising funds to help cover the cost of airfare and other travel expenses they will accumulate on their Oahu journey. At Hotel Molokai last Friday, they gave homemade gifts to community members who made financial donations.