West Maui Little League Baseball teams practicing to “play ball!” | News, Sports, Jobs


The WMLLB 50/70 Intermediate Hackers include (L to R): Back Row – Coach Pono Kuluhiwa-Kim, Wes Griffin, Chace Imamoto, Kaimana Ancheta, Joseph Lakovich, Keale Kuluhiwa-Kim, Tyson Keanini and Coach Desmon Haia- shim; front row – Asher Halik, Wyatt Sharp, Kyren Malacas-Bagoyo, KolaiahVilla, Ty Branco-Gomes and Jacob Haia-Shim. Not pictured are coaches John Kim, Charles Ancheta and Troy Branco-Liu, and team moms Elsa Kim and Melissa Ancheta.

LAHAINA — The legacy of Little League Baseball here on the West Side began approximately 50 years ago and has continued through the efforts of community luminaries such as Bob Kawaguchi, Don Rosenthal, Brian Arakawa and many more.

Today, that great tradition of youth sports continues as Amy Sharp leads West Maui Little League Baseball through the COVID-19 chaos of 2021. Despite the obstacles presented by the sweltering pandemic, Commissioner Sharp leads a dedicated sailing board in the effort to get kids into the field “Play ball!”

The 2021 WMLLB Board of Directors includes President Amy Sharp, Vice President Marc Fair, Secretary Lori Roberts, Treasurer Cheryl Sinogo, Players’ Agent Mike Iwankiw, Referee-in-Charge Jason Gilbert, Coordinator coaches John Sharp, safety officer Dylan Stelly, league communications officer Meredith Medeiros and members-at-large Ali Bodick, Emmet Markulis and Karyn Murphy.

Commissioner Sharp reports that the WMLLB has some 160 registered children between the ages of 4 and 13 who will make up the organization’s 13 teams. The Tee Ball division for four to five year olds has a record six teams of ten players each, the Coach Pitch or Rookie category has two teams consisting of six to seven year olds, the Minors level for eight to ten year olds has two teams , the Majors (11-12) have two teams and there is a 50/70 middle team (the throwing rubber is 50 feet from home plate and the bases are 70 feet apart) for the 12 and 13 years old.

West Maui Little League Baseball was to develop a “Return to Play Plan” to be submitted to Maui County for park permits. This was a very comprehensive plan that followed CDC, WHO, and all other federal, state, and county guidelines.

Sharp expressed the league’s gratitude to the District III Little League Manager for providing endless support and guidance to the WMLLB.

WMLLB teams are currently training in preparation for games that begin this week. Most games will be played on Tuesday and Friday afternoons at the Lahaina Recreation Center Ballpark and Napili Park. Minor, Major, and Intermediate teams will have the opportunity to play interleague games with the Central East Maui Little League (a national powerhouse that annually sends teams to mainland post-season tournaments), Upcountry Little League, and Kihei Little League. These games will be played at various locations around the island.

The WMLLB Board of Directors has made the decision not to actively seek sponsorships this year due to the difficulties many businesses have faced due to the pandemic. The league decided to postpone sponsors for the 2020 season after the league halted play halfway through the schedule.

These sponsorships came from The Grand Wailea, Maui Resort Rentals, Kings Screenprinting, 5A Rent A Space, Makena Golf & Beach Resort, Duke’s Beach House Maui, UFO Parasail, Hula Grill, Westin Nanea, Round Table Pizza, Leilani’s on the Beach, Kane’s Legacy Tree Services, Merriman’s, Down The Hatch and Teppanyaki To Go.

“We would like to take this moment to send a BIG MAHALO to our sponsors who have supported us throughout the 2020 and 2021 seasons! For anyone who has questions or would like to contribute to WMLLB, please contact us at [email protected] Thank you,” Commissioner Sharp concluded.


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