Seniors’ ‘time to play’ celebrated at softball opening

LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i Senior Softball League added two new teams to its lineup Saturday, when it celebrated the opening of the 2013 season at the Isenberg Field in Lihu‘e.

“You folks are one of the things which are growing,” said Sen. Ron Kouchi, addressing the group during the opening ceremonies. “When other groups are reducing in size, you are growing to where you now have 10 teams in the league.”

The two new teams joining the Kaua‘i Senior Softball League include the Barteks with Coach Pat Baniaga, who also serves as the league’s manager, and the ‘Ohana Motors Rebels coached by Ron Viquelia.

Other teams in the league include the Lihu‘e A’s with coach Dwight Fujii, the defending 2012 Kaua‘i Senior Softball League champion, Kawaihau, the state’s G Division champions, the Rookies, the state’s C Division champions, East Kaua‘i with coach Sia Salausa, the Hanama‘ulu Hillsiders with coach Peter Rayno Jr., ‘Ohana with coach Guy Ruiz, West Kaua‘i with coach Maxie Moreno, and Kuku’s Aces with coach Francis DeCosta.

East Kaua‘i with coach Pake Domdoma earned the league’s second place in 2012 followed by the Rookies in third place.

Kouchi was joined by Rep. James Tokioka, Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. and Kaua‘i County Council member Ross Kagawa, a former baseball player who said he has eight more years before qualifying for the senior league. Tokioka expressed the regrets of Reps. Derek Kawakami and Dee Morikawa who were occupied with legislative duties on O‘ahu, which prevented them from attending the celebration.

The dignitaries praised the seniors for the role they play in the community, serving as mentors in the Adopt-a-Park program where various senior teams “adopt” their home fields, and in collaboration with the county, take big strides in improving the park’s facilities.

“This is your turn to play, now,” Carvalho told the group who also hosted the state senior softball championships during the summer of 2012, the week-long event contributing to the local economy in terms of room rentals, shopping and dining.

The senior softball league, headed by Fujii as president, plays five games on Saturdays at various county parks around the island.

Joining Fujii as the league’s leadership, Pancho DeCosta serves as the league’s vice president, Rayno is the secretary and Stephen Fujii is the league’s treasurer.


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