It sounded strange and extreme enough.
Not only would Kamehameha-Hawaii forfeit to Hilo in the final regular-season game — a makeup date due to Hurricane Olivia — but would Division II league leader KS-Hawaii have to forfeit its playoff games due to a little-known by-law in the Big Island Interscholastic Federation handbook?
Fortunately, for all parties, there will be no further forfeitures. KS-Hawaii did, as first reported by Nick Abramo on Hawaii Prep World, forfeit Friday’s game with D-I Hilo (7-0). Is there a sizable monetary fine? The league hasn’t responded yet.
This is certain: KS-Hawaii (5-2) lost home-field advantage when Konawaena (5-2) beat Kealakehe in another makeup game on Saturday. KS-Hawaii beat Konawaena recently, and therefore had the head-to-head tiebreaker. That no longer exists as part of the consequence for forfeiting a game.
Hilo coach Kaeo Drummondo called it “a very confusing week.” He also noted that roster sizes are down around the island, or at least for Hilo and KS-Hawaii.
“We’re light in numbers and I know Kamehameha, for a game or two, was in the 20s. I don’t know if it has to do with Pop Warner having a division with no weight limit, eighth and ninth grade. We’re 20 or 30 kids less than we used to have,” said Drummondo, who guided the Vikings to the Division I HHSAA state title last year.
When word got around that KS-Hawaii was cutting its regular season short, it set off the week of confusion.
Drummondo: “I was told that there was a meeting on Monday. My perspective to our athletic director (Kurt Kawachi) is that we’re going to play on Friday. I was notified in the afternoon that KS-Hawaii had notified the league and our AD that they were forfeiting the game.
“I know the outcome of the game wouldn’t have any meaning, really, but I wasn’t anticipating a forfeit. I was kind of surprised when I found out Monday afternoon. I found out while I was working, early afternoon. I inquired because I wanted to know how we were going to set up our schedule for the rest of the week.
“So the story I got was in the bylaws, the issue is if you forfeit and you and another opponent end up with the same record and you hold the head to head win, you lose that. A win by Kona this weekend would put them at 5-2.”
Drummondo: “The weather was bad, we kept the kids in the gym, worked on bags, basically a walk-through and white board, focusing on fundamentals. Getting ready for Kealakehe (next week’s championship game).”
Drummondo: “About 4 o’clock, I get a call from my AD. He says that the league may be considering allowing KSH to renege on the forfeit. I was frustrated. From a coach’s perspective, our game planning is important. We have weekly game plan meetings with our players. You don’t want to go into a game without a game plan. We scratched Monday to allow the players to lift and rest, catch up on some homework. I didn’t watch a minute of film on KSH. For me, that was the most frustrating part. In that situation, what can we control? We just needed an answer from the league. We would have only a Thursday walk-through for a game that would’ve been on Friday.
“Had the league placed us in a situation where we were going to play tonight (Friday), we would’ve showed up to play. But getting a game plan prepared in a day-and-a-half is difficult. Putting the kids out there in a situation like that, if you don’t prepare properly. It’s a scary precedent. What if that’s their strategy? I’m glad it worked itself out. I don’t know anybody who would purposely do that. I know that wasn’t the intention of the KSH staff, but the situation is not ideal.
“Our plan was to be smart about it. We’re not the deepest team, so we don’t have a lot of bodies to rotate in. Some positions, we would’ve been smart about injuries. They get dinged up here and there, they’re coming up. Our goal is to be healthy and prepare for the championship game.”
Drummondo: “It’s hard, honestly, when I went to bed Wednesday night I was anticipating a game on Friday. It’s exciting, looking forward to competition. Then we found out on Thursday morning that the forfeiture is going to stay in place. That helped us to figure what we’re going to do Thursday (afternoon). So we gave the kids off today. I made a deal with them. If you have a productive practice on Thursday, you’ll have Friday off. They didn’t have classes. Saturday, we’ll get in the weight room and walk-through 8 to 11 (in the morning).
“It was confusing for much of the week.”
Hilo will play Kealakehe on Friday for the BIIF D-I title and a chance to defend its state crown. KS-Hawaii will play at Konawaena on Saturday for the BIIF D-II title. The Wildcats have won the last three and six of the last seven.