Coach Layton’s Boys

Yu Shing Ting
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Friday - September 16, 2005
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The West Oahu All Stars return home as Little
League World Champs (front, from left) Sheyne
Baniaga, Harrison Kam, Zachary Ranit, Layson
“Kaeo” Aliviado (middle) Myron “Kini” Enos Jr.,
Ethan Javier, Quentin Guevara, Zachary Rosete,
and (back) team manager Layton Aliviado, Vonn
Feao, Michael Memea, dugout coach Tyron
Kitashima, Ty Tirpak, first base coach Clint
Tirpak and Alakai Aglipay

I’ve always believed that a team’s success is created by not only each player’s individual talents, but most importantly by how the team plays together on and off the field.

I’ll admit that I’m not a big baseball fan - I don’t even know what an RBI is - but there was something about the West Oahu Little League boys that had me watching.

Yes, there was Michael Memea’s game winning home run that sealed the deal. But it was truly a team effort from the very beginning.

Here, team manager/head coach Layton Aliviado shares his thoughts on his - and now our - West Oahu boys.

Alaka’i Aglipay, pitcher/third baseman, home school

“He’s just a humble and strong kid. He’s a good athlete. To me the highlight for him was when we played for the regional championships, he shut them down. He pitched an awesome game. We put him in and told him, ‘Alaka’i, you got the ball,’ and he took charge.”

Myron “Kini” Enos Jr., pitcher/shortstop, Our Lady of Good Counsel

“I call him smooth. He’s just a good batter, a good fielder and an awesome kid. The way he picks up, and the way he fields, he doesn’t struggle, he just goes and makes the play.”

Zachary Rosete, left fielder, Waipahu Intermediate

“Zachary is a good athlete. He’s a quiet kid, but he likes to talk on the phone. Girls call him up a lot. The highlight for him was probably getting the pair of hits (in the world championship game). The main one was when he hit the ball between third and short and he brought the fifth run in to make it 6-5.”

Michael Memea, catcher, Damien Memorial

“Michael is a big kid, and he asks a lot of questions. He’s always asking, ‘Coach, can we do this? Can we have this?’ and I’m like, yeah, Mike, go. He’s just a big kid and he’s got a lot of power. He didn’t hit too many home runs, but when he hits, he hits hard. The ball comes off the bat hard. The highlight for him was definitely the (game-winning) home run (in the world championship game).

Sheyne Baniaga, pitcher/second baseman, Highlands Intermediate

“To me, Sheyne is small and mighty. He’s short, but powerful. He’s got strong legs. His highlight is just hitting home runs. He hit like six in the regionals.”

Quentin Guevara, pitcher/right fielder, Waipahu Intermediate

“Quentin also talks on the phone a lot. As for baseball, he’s just an awesome pitcher. He’s a good lefty, and he has good fundamentals. He can hit too. He has a lot of power. He had so much highlights, but I think the main one was striking out that awesome kid, Kalen Pimentel, from SoCal.”

Vonn Fe’ao, third base-man/catcher, Ilima Intermediate

“We call him the lion because just his look, and when he’s on fire he just looks like a lion. Like the look he made at the last game. He was determined that no one would hit off of him after they hit the home run. I think the highlight for him was pitching in that seventh inning and shutting them down. They got one hit and he struck out the last two guys. I also call him Hollywood because every time either girls or guys and adults, here and on the Mainland, like his autograph. So I nicknamed him Hollywood.”

Ethan Javier, center fielder, Highlands Intermediate

“He’s a humble kid. He’s fast. He’s got a lot of speed. He never had too much highlights because he was hurt. He got hit in the hand. In the U.S. and the World Series, his hand was still sore, but the trainer said it’s all in his mind, we said his hand is bruised. But he still played even though he was hurt. To me he’s just an awesome kid. He does what he’s got to do. He’s dependable.”

Zachary Ranit, left fielder, Ilima Intermediate

“He’s our sub, but anytime when he comes up he can get a hit, a good base hit. He’s a good base runner. His highlights were in the beginning (of the trip), he would get hits in the gap.”

Ty Tirpak, right fielder, Hanalani School

“No matter if we’re down, Ty always says to everyone that we can do it, that we can win this game. He never gives up. His highlight, he got a good drag bunt to third base to score Vonn and he was safe (in the sixth inning of the world championship game).”

Harrison Kam, center fielder, Mid-Pacific Institute

“Harrison has good speed and good glove. His highlight was his diving catch in centerfield during one of the games. It made the ESPN highlights, I think it was the No. 3 highlight.”

Layson “Kaeo” Aliviado, first baseman/pitcher, Our Lady of Perpetual Help

“Layson is a small dynamite with good hands. He has an awesome glove. And people just love him. The cameras are always on him. His highlight I think is just doing the splits. When he catches the ball, he just splits to get that extra inch to field the ball. So, just doing the splits to get that out.”

Clint Tirpak, first base coach

There were a lot of stories written about the financial and emotional struggles of some families to make the trip from Hilo to Pennsylvania with the West Oahu Little League team. But the one story that hit coach Aliviado the most was the story involving Clint Tirpak. “It was really sad for me when I heard that Clint was going through chemo,” explains Aliviado. “He’s a good guy and a good coach. I was sad because cancer is a big thing. He was there for a while in the beginning of the season, and then he went through chemo and was too weak to come out. But as soon as chemo ended he got stronger and he came back to the team, and that was for states in Hilo.”

Tyron Kitashima, dug out coach

For Tyron Kitashima, the toughest part of the 26-day journey to South Williamsport was probably being away from his 2-month-old baby Joshua. I remember going up to him at the Honolulu Airport the day after the World Series and the first words out of his mouth were, “I just want to see my baby.” His wife, Cheryl, was able to join him for the last few days of the trip, catching the U.S. Championship and the World Series. “It was exciting,” she says. “I never actually went to a live game before,” she said. “When they were in San Bernardino, I heard he kept missing me and I missed him too, so my sisters watched our baby for us and I flew up to Pennsylvania.”

From thousands of miles away, the West Oahu Little League World Champs won the hearts of baseball fans and non-baseball fans alike back home. They brought together their community and state, and gave us something to be proud of. And for that we thank them!

“The touching moment of the trip for me was seeing the boys win the World Series,” says Aliviado. “All the hard work they did, it was just touching to see their faces when we won.”

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