Williamsport special to Guam coach for more than
by Nick Williams
Being back at
the Little League Baseball World Series after a
one year layoff is special enough, but Guam
manager Shon Muna’s return to Williamsport is
special for another reason too—his anniversary.
Saturday marked the two-year anniversary of the
day Muna married his wife on the field in Lamade
Stadium on August 20th, 2003, the year Muna led
his first team to the Little League World
Muna says it was his “dream” to lead a team all
the way to the Little League World Series. When
his dream came true and Guam won their regional
championship game, clinching a spot as the
Pacific representative in the LLWS, Muna, amidst
the celebration on the field, asked his wife to
marry him on the field in Williamsport.
“Right after the game I called my wife onto the
field and asked her while the kids were running
their victory lap,” Muna says. “And she said if
the little league would allow us to do it would
be a great honor.”
Well, apparently they did allow them to do it.
And they did it on the 20th, which coincidently
fell on Guam’s only off day in qualifying play.
However, Muna and his wife didn’t do any
celebrating—at least in person anyway. Clarice
isn’t here. She’s back at home in Guam.
In fact, while this interview was being held on
Friday, Muna got a surprise phone call about
The caller? His wife. The message? Happy
“Hello,” Muna says after answering his cell
phone. “Oh, yes, it’s tomorrow for you. Happy
anniversary. No I never forgot, the 20th. Ok,
Happy anniversary too. I love you, bye.”
Muna hangs up the phone.
“Guam’s a day ahead,” he explains, “so it’s our
anniversary back home.”
Back home, Muna says, is when he’ll do the
celebrating. He says he’s going to party with
everyone including his team and his two sons,
Shon Jr., 13, who was a member of Guam’s 2003
LLWS team and Shane, 10.
“I’m going to basically celebrate with the team,
my wife, my kids, and all the supporters,” Muna
says. “Throw a party and congratulate everybody
on the goal that we’ve achieved.”
It’s hard to tell if the goal Muna’s talking
about is his anniversary or his team’s return to
Williamsport. The way he talks about both, it’s
easy to see he cares as deeply about one as the
When asked what the bigger thrill was: getting
married on the field in Lamade or bringing Guam
back to the Little League World Series, Muna
“Honestly,” he pauses again, inching a little
bit closer before speaking again, this time in a
quieter tone, “to bring this set of kids back
here. To prove to our island and everyone else
around the world that there’s a place out there
where these kids come from and we work hard—just
as hard as anyone else.”
That place is Mangilao-Barrigada, Guam, and it
seems his kids’ hard work has paid off. They
went 7-0 in regional qualifying, outscoring
their opponents by an aggregate score of 58-18,
including a 21-run victory over New Zealand.
They beat last year’s Pacific representative,
CNMI, 5-1. And after their 6-2 win against
Russia on Friday, they became the first Pacific
team to win a game in the LLWS since the 2002
Guam team went 2-1 and advanced the semifinals
three years ago.
CNMI went 0-3 last year and Muna’s 2003 Guam
team also failed to win a game. That team only
scored three runs total in the three games they
played, with all three runs coming in their last
game. They suffered defeats of 9-0, 2-0, and
11-3, being outscored by a combined tally of
It’s no surprise, then, that Muna feels like his
team can provide a better showing this year than
in 2003. The secret, he says, is focus.
“We’ve got a better focus on kids listening to
their coaching staff, to I myself, and their
supporting parents,” he says.
With two kids, a victory in the opening round,
and a marriage he describes as “great,” it seems
that Shon Muna has been focusing himself.