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Central East Maui All-Stars ready for San Bernardino
July 29, 2013 - Robert Collias
The Central East Maui All-Stars are the Hawaii state champions for the Little League Majors (11-12) Division — they leave for San Bernardino, Calif., Tuesday (weather permitting, of course).
Maui fans haven't had the chance to see a whole lot of these kids in action because they won their Maui County title on Molokai and their state crown on Oahu, but this Valley Isle team beat Waipio — a league that appeared in world championship games in 2008 and 2010 — twice .
Here is my story on their preparations for the tournament from this morning's paper (the roster and Maui's regional schedule are included in the link below):
WAILUKU - As Kevin Constantino leaned against his pickup truck at Papohaku Park and pondered what will happen Friday night, all he could do was shake his head and smile.
Constantino, the head coach for the Central East Maui All-Stars, will guide his Majors (11-12) Division state champion against the Southern California champion in front of about 15,000 fans at Al Houghton Stadium in San Bernardino, Calif., in the West Regional opener for both.
This will not be like playing at Kaunakakai Field or Kilauea District Park, where the CEM squad won the Maui County and state titles, respectively.
Donahue is the Waipio head coach who played at Damien Memorial School, the University of Washington and in the Cleveland Indians farm system before guiding Waipio to the 2008 Little League World Series title.
Napa Kaupe and daughter Nawai Kaupe, a key member of that 2011 state championship team, visited the CEM practice on Friday to offer advice.
"Today we are practicing under the lights, we are just talking to them, we have got four days to prepare," Constantino said. "That Waipio team we beat was unreal, Timo Donahue has been there. We just told our kids, 'Just battle, leave it all on the field.' "
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