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Baseball fever soars as Okinawa team wins

Date Posted: 2005-04-01

Okinawa scored a big high school baseball victory this week against a team that wasn’t supposed to lose.

Okinawa Shougaku High School whipped Aomori Prefecture’s Yamada High School 16-3 Monday at the 77th High School Tournament being played in mainland Japan. The baseball tempo was more than elevated as thousands of Okinawans watched the game, including hundreds on a big screen television in the Shougaku High School.

The last time Shougaku High School won the tournament was in 1999, when it took top honors nationwide in a tournament round robin that took teams from 4,500 to only them as Grand Champion.

Aomori High School was one of the top favorites in the tournament at Koushien Stadium.

Okinawa is a staunch baseball island, with teenagers experiencing the game first from the time as young children. By the time they’re in high school, it becomes a fanatical devotion to the school team. As the season progresses to the national tournament, baseball frenzy is across the island. Schools stop teaching, businesses stop, citizens on the streets turn to televisions and radios to keep track of everything.

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