MICRO MEMORIES: FAMILY AFFAIR

MICRO MEMORIES: FAMILY AFFAIR

📅06 August 2014
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By Robert Balajadia

The 2014 Micro Games was very much a family affair for Team Guam.

Guam walked away from the 2014 Micro Games with a 81 pieces of medal hardware including medals in six different team sports.

It was a special feat for Team Guam no doubt though some members of the team were able to share big wins not only with their respective teams but with players they’ve been teammates with since birth.

Some family members were able to witness their offspring shine bright amidst the rainy weather for a family outing that none of them will soon forget.

The Hattig Brothers

The men’s softball team were fully loaded with some of the best softball players ever in Micro Games history. The best players on the team were all brothers, and another one of them was the head coach of the women’s national volleyball team.

John Sr., Walter, Herbert, Dan, and Keith Hattig were all celebrating a giant milestone as the group came together for possibly their last Micro Games run. Their 2014 campaign for gold was unsuccessful though, aside from Dan who won gold with the women’s volleyball team. The women knew what Dan expected of them and their end result winning gold in Pohnpei could not have made coach Dan any happier.

The Hattig brothers Keith, Herbert, Dan, Walter, and John Sr. get a group shot in the opening ceremony of the 2014 Micro Games. (photo by Joey Blas)

The Hattig brothers Keith, Herbert, Dan, Walter, and John Sr. get a group shot in the opening ceremony of the 2014 Micro Games. (photo by Joey Blas)

Each of the four softball Hattig’s knew what they had to offer the team with Walt being the head coach. John Sr. and Herb were the team’s only pitchers with Keith being the best offensive threat of the bunch.

The brothers have been playing the sport for a long time and watching each of them communicate on the field, in the pre game speeches, and even in their down time only make you appreciate the special part of softball history that each of them hold. The team functions like clock work with the Hattig’s at the helm though Pohnpei might be their last ride as the not-so senior citizens may leave it up to the younger generation to carry on Guam’s softball legacy. But Yap 2018 is still a possibility.

Sisters Emma Gillan-Gatewood & Mary Gillan

One of the most heart warming moments of the entire Games was the emotional team huddle of Emma, Mary and their mother Terri after the women’s volleyball team defeated Yap in dominant fashion for the gold medal.

The sisters were both starters and vital pieces to everything the women’s team were able to do both on offense and defense. Emma’s leadership as the team captain and Mary’s ability to put kills away had the entire island of Pohnpei buzzing over who these Gillan girls were.

Emma Gillan Gatewood, mother Terri Gillan, and Mary Gillan take time for a family photo opt. (photo by Joey Blas)

Emma Gillan Gatewood, mother Terri Gillan, and Mary Gillan take time for a family photo opt. (photo by Joey Blas)

Their mother Terri was there to witness one of the girls biggest accomplishments in their sporting lives and neither of the three held back any emotion after gold was all but placed around Emma and Mary’s neck.

Mary was often on the receiving end of a set from her older sister Emma during the games and when the two came together to make a play it just seemed as if they’ve been doing it for a really long time, which they have of course.

Father Rico & Daughter Leah Castro

Big-time slugger Rico Castro was preparing for possibly his last Micro Games as part of the baseball team as the veteran was looking to end the 12-year drought of Micro Games gold while his daughter Leah was preparing for her first games appearance as part of the women’s volleyball team.

Rico made it a point to be there for each of his daughters games, as long as he wasn’t playing himself, jumping around in celebration after every time Leah made a nice set or made a great defensive play.

Rico Castro (baseball) and Leach Castro (volleyball) show off their gold medals.

Rico Castro (baseball) and Leach Castro (volleyball) show off their gold medals. (courtesy photo)

Leah was leading the cheers when Rico was playing getting her team to sing the sluggers entrance song “Here Comes the Boom,” every time at bat.

The two were playing in two completely different sports but at the end of the games both were able to hold high their gold medals proving that the Castro family is gold-blooded in any sport they play.

Brothers Roke & Randy Alcantara

The Alcantara family are easily associated with baseball on Guam and the two youngest of the seven brothers in Roke and Randy brought the noise for Guam’s baseball team never letting the group ever lose focus in nail bitters and adding fuel to the celebratory fire after every big play.

Roke and Randy held up a ‘two’ and ‘seven’ when they got their gold medals giving tribute to their older brother Steven “Stevo” Alcantara who passed away in 2011.

Randy Alcantara holds up a "two" while older brother Roke Alcantara holds up a "seven" in honor of their older brother Steven Alcantara. (photo by Joey Blas)

Randy Alcantara holds up a “two” while older brother Roke Alcantara holds up a “seven” in honor of their older brother Steven Alcantara. (photo by Joey Blas)

The two are always playing with heavy hearts sending off in-game tributes to Stevo and the romping of Guam’s biggest rivals in CNMI in the gold medal game was a great moment for both brothers to share.

Randy and Roke came up with a chant from the dugout that you just had to be there to hear against CNMI and the whole team joined in all-game long in Guam’s big win.

Sisters Jocelyn & Crystal Pardilla

The Pardilla family features a full line of female basketball players who have each had their share of playing on Guam’s national team.

Jocelyn is the starting point guard for the team and assumes the role as the squad’s mental and vocal leader. Crystal’s approach to the game is much more quiet, literally. The soft spoken younger sister doesn’t often make loud plays nor does she make big mistakes.

Not even after jumping high for a big block on a fast break against Pohnpei does Crystal celebrate or show emotion for. Jocelyn was on court to witness her younger sibling’s great defensive play giving her a big hive five while saying a few words in high spirits of the play with a small celebratory chest bump to follow.

Crystal and older sister Jocelyn Pardilla are all gold after beating RMI in the title game. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Crystal and older sister Jocelyn Pardilla are all gold after beating RMI in the title game. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

Crystal also grabbed a big block coming from behind on the fast break in the gold medal game against RMI that got her sister off the bench applauding.

Now the two don’t need to speak with gold around their necks with the medals saying everything you need to know about their ability to play basketball.

Shon Muna Sr. & Son Muna Jr.

National team head coach Shon Muna Sr. wanted to right the ship for Guam’s baseball team bringing in Micro Games gold after a long drought and he got a big helping from his son Shon Muna Jr.

Muna Jr. smacked a home run against CNMI in the preliminary rounds which gave Guam one of the few runs scored beating their biggest baseball rivals by just one run. As Shon Jr. made his trip around the bags, waiting for him near 3rd base was Shon Sr. in the coaching corner as the two gave a subtle but memorable high-five.

Shon Muna Jr. and his dad Shon Muna Sr. take a quick photo before leaving back home. (photo by Joey Blas)

Shon Muna Jr. and his dad Shon Muna Sr. take a quick photo before leaving back home. (photo by Joey Blas)

Shon Jr. had even played well in the gold medal game with the two coming together for a medal celebration that not many people in the games could.

Brothers Kenneth & James  Borja

Guam’s underwater fishing sportsmen brought home gold in the team event and the teammate duo of James, the competitor, and Ken, the manager, could both soak in all the sun after tipping the scale way over all the other competitors.

Both brothers have shared a long on-deck relationship and the gold medal only redefines their ability to communicate with the added bonus of sharing in feast after they always get to keep their catch.

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Siblings Derrick & Maria Wahl

It’s no coincidence that the siblings of Derrick and Maria are starting middle blockers for the men and women’s team with a last name that all but exemplifies their role on the team.

As difficult as both players were to get past in the frontline, their heavy hand kills from the middle after a nice set were momentum changing and often run starting.

Their father Roger Wahl, the chef de mission for Team Guam, was able to wrap his arms around two well-deserved gold medalist at the end of the Games.

Maria, Roger, and Derrick Wahl come together for a photo after the men's gold medal game. (photo by Joey Blas)

Maria, Roger, and Derrick Wahl come together for a photo after the men’s gold medal game. (photo by Joey Blas)

Home Town Kid Pollycard Luther

It was a home coming for one of the younger players on the Guam Baseball team in shortstop Pollycard Luther.

Luther had a big showing of family members after every game and the good sized crowd made sure to celebrate every time Luther made a play.

The family treated the entire baseball team to a large dinner after their gold medal game as the team indulged in Pohnpei’s finest seafood and island eats.

Hometown kid Pollycard Luther had fans in the stands every game. (photo by Joey Blas)

Hometown kid Pollycard Luther had fans in the stands every game. (photo by Joey Blas)

Other Notable Family Members Appearances

Guerrero Brothers – Pete & Peterson Guerrero (softball)

William Stinnett & Parents (basketball)

Men’s Basketball head coach EJ Calvo & Son Tomas (equipment manager)

The Muna Family (baseball/softball)

Cousins BJ Balajadia (baseball) & TJ Balajadia (volleyball) (nephew is author of article Robert Balajadia)

Author’s Note – It’s not every day you get to witness your family members bring home gold medals and though it was my job to be there I could not hold back in celebrating each of their big wins. It was big for them, but even bigger for Team Guam. Let’s cross our fingers that Guam puts in a bid for the 2022 Micro Games so that everyone else can witness their family win gold as well!

PHOTO GALLERY:

William Stinnett poses with mom and dad after getting his gold medal. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

William Stinnett poses with mom and dad after getting his gold medal. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

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Men’s basketball head coach EJ Calvo grabs hold of his son Tomas Calvo after the gold medal game. (photo by Robert Balajadia)

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