Waimea Thanksgiving tournament kicks off 20th year on Thursday

It all started with head coach Albert Soto 20 years ago and the Waimea coaches and volunteers have kept one of the most prominent preseason high school softball tournaments in the state going and this year marks the 20th time of the event.

“This year we’re going to be having program booklets, consisting of all the sponsors and participating teams’ photo and roster,” Waimea team spokesperson, Tammy Perreira said.

This year the field is made up of teams from Kaimuki, Millilani (last year’s division I state champions), Campbell, Hilo, Punahou, Sacred Hearts, King Kekaulike, Moanalua, Iolani, Maryknoll, as well as all three Kaua’i schools.

The tournament is considered by many across the state as a preview for the state softball championships.

But will they miss out on some turkey? Not at all.

“We serve the teams a Thanksgiving dinner. We just ask for a $75 donation from each team. We have the families participate as well,” Perreira said.

The teams are staying at westside neighborhood centers and Waimea Canyon School.

“We are going to have coach Soto there, the founder of the tournament and we asked him to prepare a speech at the fellowship banquet on Saturday,” Perreira said.

The competition begins on Thursday at 9 a.m. and ends on Saturday with the championship game at Waimea Canyon Park.

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