Lloyd Edwards didn’t believe the words that came out of his father’s mouth, putting him in a state of confusion.
“The first thing that came to my head was, ‘Wait. What?,’’’ the recent Honokaa graduate said.
So Terry Edwards repeated everything he had just told his son.
Luna Community College baseball coach Antonio Siqueiros contacted youth baseball coach Kaha Wong and asked if he knew of a quality catcher worthy of playing for the junior college in Las Vegas, N.M. Wong recommended Lloyd Edwards, then called Terry Edwards to tell him LCC was prepared to offer Lloyd Edwards a full-ride scholarship.
“It was almost unbelievable,’’ Lloyd Edwards said.
The younger Edwards had always dreamed of playing baseball at the next level, but he was far from making that dream a reality prior to that conversation with his father.
Significant financial aid was a necessity, and Lloyd Edwards didn’t have that until LCC came along.
Edwards was planning on attending a showcase for graduating high school seniors at Louisburg College, a junior college in North Carolina, on July 7. He quickly ditched those plans after LCC made its scholarship offer, signing his National Letter of Intent two weeks ago.
“It’s really indescribable,’’ he said of the full-ride scholarship. “I’m happy I can experience getting off the island and playing for a school.”
Wong, who coached a Big Island Senior League Baseball all-star team to a national championship last summer, made it all possible.
Three other Big Island baseball players — 2011 graduates Ridge Hoopii-Haslam (Hilo), a two-time Big Island Interscholastic Federation Player of the Year, Eddie Pacris (Waiakea) and 2010 alum Bryson Aoki (Waiakea) — landed at LCC because Wong recommended them to Siqueiros, and they didn’t disappoint.
So the Roughriders coach went back to Wong, asking for more Big Island talent.
Since last July, Lloyd Edwards had played in showcase tournaments for three of Wong’s travel teams.
“I would not have been able to do this without the great work of Coach Kaha,’’ said Edwards, who plans on majoring in either sports management or kinesiology.
Edwards hit .327 for the Dragons last season, playing at third base because injuries forced Honokaa coach Matt Charbonneau to make defensive changes.
Edwards, who can hit for power, prefers playing catcher — something he has done since he was 9 years old.
“I think catcher is the most important spot on the field,’’ he said. “You learn both the mental and the strategic part of the game.”
Edwards plans on being at LCC in early August, and seeing familiar faces in Hoopii-Haslam, Pacris and Aoki will help him adjust to his new surroundings more quickly.
“It’ll be really good for me,’’ Edwards said. “With other people there from Hawaii, they can help me adapt and let me know what’s in store for me.”
The Big Islanders got to LCC thanks to Wong, who initially had difficulty reaching Terry Edwards to inform him of the Roughriders’ interest in Lloyd Edwards.
Lloyd Edwards had issues with his cellphone, so he borrowed his father’s and inserted his sim card in it, leaving Terry Edwards without a cellphone. As a result, Wong couldn’t reach Terry Edwards, so he phoned Charbonneau, who marched to the Edwards residence and banged loudly on the door.
Charbonneau is a construction company owner, and Terry Edwards is a construction worker, so the elder Edwards thought Charbonneau might need his services.
Terry Edwards was wrong but happy.
“My dreams fell down, and Lloyd’s picked up,’’ Terry Edwards said.