The tournament is held at Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya, Hyogo, near Kobe, home stadium of a professional baseball team Hanshin Tigers. The single-elimination tournament makes each game an emotional event for players, coaches, families and supporters. When you lose once, that's the end of your summer. One well-known ritual of the high school baseball tournament is collecting soil on the stadium ground and bring it home as memorabilia.
Shimabukuro was a grade 6 student, and as a student leader, he spoke at the Ginowan Residents Rally, as representative of all elementary school students. The Rally was held on September 12, 2004, a month after the August 13 accident, and attended by more than 30,000 residents, one third of Ginowan City's residents. (rally photos from Ginowan City's website) Shimabukuro then called for a safer living environment for the residents.
See this previous post for more information about the helicopter crash.
See the below related links for the Konan High's victory, Pitcher Shimabukuro, and Ginowan City.
Congratulations for Konan High's Victory!