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Demand for baseball sees Little League continue beyond the summer

jeff@samoanews.com
Pictured are some of the teams that are participating in the American Samoa Little League Baseball program that had its opening ceremony last Saturday at the Tony Solaita Baseball Field, with close to 300 people in attendance. [courtesy photo]

“Because of the growth of Little League baseball over the last three years, there has been demand for baseball to continue outside of the summer period, so the American Samoa Baseball Association has partnered with the Department of Parks and Recreation to open the fall program for its Little League baseball competition,” said Victor Langkilde, president of the ASBA, during the Little League Opening Day last Saturday at the Tony Solaita Baseball Field.

 Langkilde went on to say that with close to 300 people in attendance for the start of the program, it was the first time for Little League to be playing outside of its regular summer program here in American Samoa.

The organization of this competition has been structured by ASBA with club teams. There are six clubs from around the island, coming from Fatu-O-Aiga, Mapusagafou, Tafuna, Tafuna Central, Leone A’s and East Side.

According to Langkilde, during this competition and fall program, parents and all interested people will be trained for umpiring and coaching certification. “ASBA has brought to the territory Oceania Baseball Development Officer Ray Brown who has been coming to American Samoa for the last 20 years with baseball development. Brown will assist with these areas of competition and training during this part of the year, and he will also help with the National Baseball Program during this visit,” he said.

DONATIONS FROM HAWAII

The American Samoa Baseball Association (ASBA) recently received a donation of baseball equipment from Honolulu, Hawaii, which included baseball bats, catcher’s gear, baseball equipment bags, baseball shirts, pants and gloves.

“With the help from Kahala Warriors Baseball Club and its President Stan Nuuhiwa and the Sluggers Baseball Club and its President Fili Falefa, American Samoa was recipient of a baseball equipment drive that these kind people spearheaded in Honolulu, Hawaii,” said President of the ASBA J. Victor Langkilde.

Nuuhiwa and Falefa met recently in Honolulu with Langkilde to secure this assistance and work on a partnership connecting Hawaii and American Samoa Baseball. Nuuhiwa and Falefa have been collecting baseball equipment in Honolulu from various leagues, clubs, individuals and high schools to help the American Samoa Baseball Program, according to Langkilde. The first shipment of donations arrived on the cargo flight last week with the help of Fax Cargo through Mr. Xavier Faletoi.

Langkilde stated that Nuuhiwa and Falefa are continuing their efforts in collecting equipment to assist American Samoa’s Baseball Program and that Nuuhiwa would like to mention a ‘Big Mahalo’ to Maryknoll High School, Dean Sato, Hawaii Winter League, St. Louis High School, Kahala Baseball, Sluggers Baseball and ESPN HD.

“Falefa also thanks the baseball community in Honolulu for their support as well in providing for the children in American Samoa,” said Langkilde.

“The American Samoa Baseball Association would like to thank Stan Nuuhiwa, Fili Falefa and Xavier Faletoi and all of the people in Honolulu who have provided the equipment for the big help in making this baseball equipment available for the children of American Samoa,” said Langkilde.

Langkilde would also like the public to know that the American Samoa Little League would like to thank everyone that helped make the opening day a successful one.

 “ASBA would like to thank all of the coaches, officials and everyone else who has worked diligently to prepare our kids for this competition, especially in volunteering their time and efforts” he said.

“The American Samoa Baseball Association would like to invite the public to come out and watch the action at the Tony Solaita Baseball Field with our children as they continue to develop their baseball skills,” he said.

This Fall competition will last for six weeks after which there will be a Christmas playoff and championship ending.

Here are the results for the games on opening day:

MINOR/MUSTANG LEAGUE DIVISION (7-9 YEAR OLDS)

East Side Braves 3-Tafuna Central Cubs 2

Tafuna Pirates 12-Fatu O Aiga Angels 0

MAJOR/BRONCO LEAGUE DIVISION (10-12 YEAR OLDS)

Mapusagafou Rockies 7-Tafuna Pirates 6

Fatu O Aiga Angels 5-Tafuna Central Cubs B 1

Tafuna Central Cubs A 8-East Side Braves



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