ILH gives up hope on basketball and wrestling

The Interscholastic League of Honolulu has sent out a letter announcing that basketball, bowling, paddling, soccer and wrestling have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The league’s letter, dated Dec. 28, 2020, also notes that air riflery, a modified version of competitive cheer (dance routines only), cross country, swimming and diving, and tennis will be played.

“Fall sports were moved to a later date with the hopes that progress in the fight against the pandemic would provide that opportunity. Sadly, as of now, it hasn’t, and officials within the Interscholastic League of Honolulu have continued to look and work for safe opportunities. … ILH athletic administrators have reviewed every sport that was to begin in January and made recommendations to how to best move forward in the new year.”

A lack of available facilities and/or permitting issues due to the pandemic are another reason why bowling and paddling were shut down.

Air riflery, cheer, cross country and swimming and diving are scheduled to begin on Jan. 4.

Damien Athletic Director Eddie Klaneski said the league tried its best to be patient, but the deadline for winter sports is upon it.

“We wouldn’t make it into Tier 4 by the time ‘Season 1’ would start or anytime during that season. The safety of our student-athletes, coaches and families were the main reason behind having to make this crucial and tough decision,” Klaneski said. “This was not something that was taken lightly or not well thought out, but at the end of the day, safety was the No. 1 concern. We are hopeful that we will be able to offer more sports for ‘Season 2’ if we can get the virus more under control.”

Not all coaches saw the letter immediately, but ‘Iolani girls basketball coach Dean Young did.

“We received the letter this afternoon. I’m not surprised, you know? Things haven’t gotten better. I figure if they were going to approve the season they would’ve done it a long time ago,” he said. “We had a meeting today after school. We had our skills practice scheduled anyway at 5 o’clock. We talked about it for half an hour. At that point, nobody wanted to talk about it, so they jumped in the pool.”

The tone was surreal for the Raiders, who have won two Division I state titles in a row. They returned nearly their entire roster this season.

“It was kind of, um, kind of shocked, a lot of disbelief. I think it’s going to take a little time for them to comprehend that it’s over. Some tears. Some tears were shed. It’s hard. This is a really special group, you know? They’ve really touched and inspired a lot of people with their play, their conduct on and off the court. A lot of people were looking forward to seeing them play. There’s going to be a lot of disappointed family, faculty that were really looking forward to watching them play,” Young said.

Many coaches around the state had been optimistic that the ILH would have a chance to play regular-season games because students are on campus and training in individual drills with protocols. Some coaches who hadn’t seen the letter were stunned, but not shocked. Like the ‘Iolani girls basketball team, Maryknoll’s boys had won the last two D-I basketball championships.

“I totally understand where the state is coming from, but it’s disappointing, especially for our seniors. I always tell our players you only get one opportunity and you don’t want to waste it and this has been taken away from them by COVID,” Maryknoll boys basketball coach Kelly Grant said. “I heard something about (the letter) after an ILH (administrators) last week. It was about not being able to meet Tier 4 standards. The ADs felt like it is unrealistic to meet Tier 4. It’s very disappointing. I understand because I live with my father-in-law. He has medical conditions and he’s up there in age, and he can’t get that COVID.”

Young is hoping there will be allowance for one, maybe two games in a protocol-based environment. The chances of a reversal by the ILH and state, he said, are an extreme long shot.

“I think no. Are we able to maybe get a couple of schools together and set up a single game or a home-and-home? I think that’s possible,” he said. “But as far as an ILH season and a championship, I think that’s about zero.”

Mid-Pacific boys basketball coach Robert Shklov wasn’t surprised by the decision, but the finality was painful.

“I’m so sad for the seniors. I’m just really bummed for them. But I will do everything I can to make whatever experience we can provide them a worthwhile one,” he said.

Coach Shklov plans on meeting with his seniors and their families.

“I need the night to digest this decision even though I felt that for awhile that it was the most likely outcome. I’ve been in contact with the entire program since the end of last season. We’ve gone over a lot of different scenarios, workouts to do, life lessons and even gotten program-wide participation in community service initiatives,” he said. “My gut feeling is that health and safety is the No. 1 concern here. Many professionals and administrators from the member schools and league put in a lot of work to arrive at this outcome. I trust that they have the student-athletes’ best interest at heart.”

The ILH letter was signed by board chair Tate Brown, executive director Blane Gaison and ADC president Jeff Meister.

There is no mention of a fall sport that was postponed to spring: football.


  1. Not Woke December 28, 2020 9:20 pm

    Wake up snowflakes. Covid is a Hoax. Notice there is no flu. Hospitals are empty. You are losing your freedoms!

  2. Opinion December 28, 2020 10:00 pm

    Not Woke: Hospitals in LA are so overwhelmed, they are treating patients in the chapel and gift shop. You prefer we wait till our state experiences the same before doing something preventive?

  3. Hypocrisy December 28, 2020 10:30 pm

    It’s sad for the seniors, but the real question they’ll never answer is why cancel winter sports, but not make a decision on football. Just a matter of time before the OIA makes an announcement now. The covidiots and trumptards who still believe COVID is a hoax are clearly neanderthals.

  4. SadFAN December 28, 2020 10:51 pm

    Wrestling gone, sad for the kids but safety first.
    Too bad for those seniors who did not get a chance to win a state title.
    In Hawaii a state title means so much more than “national “ titles!

  5. Not woke December 28, 2020 10:58 pm

    Hey snowflake opinion, do your homework. LA is not overwhelmed, the mainstream media is lying to you. Hospitals are doing more Tik Tok videos than ever. This scamdemic has almost a 100% survival rate. For this you close schools and lockdown. SHEEP!

  6. Disappointed December 28, 2020 11:28 pm

    Caldwell’s tier system was so poorly conceived with no basis in science or best practices from a medical/epidemiological perspective. To have this poor construct actually dictate policy has been a travesty, not just for youth sports but for our entire economy. Good for Sage Tolentino and the rest of our young athletes who were able to leave Hawaii and its Chicken Little policies.

  7. Oldmans December 28, 2020 11:57 pm

    This is a joke! Cowards! Let um’ play. Hawaii is NUMBER 50 in deaths. Meaning the lowest amount of DEATHS of all US STATES per million. This is embarrassing. Wait until they cancel football next. Then people will wake up. Basically ILH had no plan in place and easiest way out is to run and hide.

  8. Rebel December 29, 2020 12:26 am

    I miss high school sports but, living teenagers and coaches are more important. The athletes will be okay but may pass COVID to the coaches..That is the problem I believe

  9. Disappointed December 29, 2020 12:54 am

    Athletes wear a mask. Coaches wear a mask. Coaches can also wear a face shield so they don’t accidentally touch their eyes. Athletes can stay 6 feet (or more) away from coaches. Wash hands. Don’t touch your face. Transmission is preventable! If coach is high risk or afraid, then don’t coach this season. Don’t punish all the kids!

    Everyone is so afraid a kid might die of COVID. We’ve already had kids (and adults) die of suicide because of the social isolation, lack of healthy outlets and hopelessness these young people feel. And it’s not just suicide: increases in drug and alcohol use + domestic violence are very serious dangers too! It’s disingenuous to claim “Safety First.”

  10. Oyakata December 29, 2020 1:41 am

    Watched every Wrestling State tourney since early 90’s was looking forward to this year.
    Some of the great performers in wrestling through the years in no particular order.
    Travis Lee -Cassidy Oshiro-Gerald Welch-Spencer Sequin-Josh Terao-Simeon Vierra-Logan Garcia-
    Kevin Corbett-Josh Crimmins-Ray Cooper
    MATAAFA-Tayshya Alo-Tani Ader-Mia Phantadara
    Hoku Nohara-Nanea Estrella-Diamond Freatis

  11. 🤔 December 29, 2020 6:23 am

    UH is playing basketball and football with safety measures in place and so are many other states and countries. There are so many examples that the ILH could use to at least give the kids a short or delayed season, but they took the easy way out. Our youth are paying the price for a lack of ingenuity and courage by our leaders. Now that the vaccine is out, delay the seasons until March and share the fields and courts efficiently. Lack of facilities is an unacceptable answer.

  12. Jane December 29, 2020 7:56 am

    Safety of the kids and coaches always first. No matter what some say or believe, this Virus is real and it’s devastating the nation. GOOD CALL

  13. IloveHawaii December 29, 2020 8:42 am

    So torn.

    I feel for all our student athletes especially the seniors.

    And I feel for those who have lost a loved one.
    Im sure its not a hoax for them.

    Im certain that no Hawaii school wants to be the first to lose a child who caught COVID while participating in a sport.

    May as well take advantage of the time and go hiking, surfing, diving, fishing and get connected back to the Aina.

  14. Kainoa December 29, 2020 9:32 am

    Why is the ILH making decisions based on the tiered system set up by the Mayor when the tiered system says that educational institutions are exempted?

    The tiered system applies to sports in the community which are a less controlled environment than school campuses.

  15. opinion December 29, 2020 2:47 pm

    Not Woke: did some homework, so the saint louis football coach really isnt in ICU fighting for his life right now?

  16. opinion December 29, 2020 2:50 pm

    Not Woke: i would seriously recommend u get drug tested. Whatever you’re on is obviously blurring reality for you. SHEEP!

  17. Not Woke December 29, 2020 5:30 pm

    Hey Opinion, if you had half a brain you would realize what’s happening. Obviously you drank the kool aid so you’re dumber than a brick. Go ahead, keep wearing your mask, you probably wear it in the shower. Of course, that’s if you take a bath. BAAAAAAAAAA

  18. opinion December 29, 2020 6:31 pm

    Not Woke: you’re an absolute idiot! i feel so sorry for donkeys like you honestly. i have a good friend, former all state and BYU All American in ICU on a ventilator for over a week. Would be nice if he was healthy and u was the one in ICU. That would be awesome

  19. Not Woke December 29, 2020 7:23 pm

    Opinion- If I’m a complete idiot then guess what, I’m still smarter than you. Don’t feel sorry for me please I’m still employed unlike like so many businesses that are forced to close down for the flu. Keep wearing your mask and stay indoors for years cause guess what? The flu does not go away. So please put on your mask and hide. While you do it, wear a tutu.

  20. Uncle Nesian December 29, 2020 7:28 pm

    All the Bidophiles who believe in shutting down the world for a virus with a 99.94% survival rate where 80% of all covid positive tests are asymptomatic is unfortunate. A study just came out from a person at the Uni of Florida showing that asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic folks cant spread the virus. The flu in some groups of people kills more than covid and we have a vaccine for it. I feel for the high school seniors.

  21. Opinion December 29, 2020 7:53 pm

    Not Woke: no guessing here, you are a complete idiot. I do wear a mask, i follow the rules that are put in place. I couldn’t find a tutu though so if you could be so kind, can i borrow one of the many Tutu’s you own?

  22. Not Woke December 29, 2020 11:39 pm

    Opinion- Clearly, you enjoy losing your constitutional freedoms. It’s dummies/snowflakes like you that don’t even realize it. So if you are so scared then please, stay home and mask up. You would absolutely love Communist China.

  23. opinion December 30, 2020 5:41 am

    Not Woke: you obviously have not woken up yet. When you go to the store, mall, work, gas station, you’re wearing a mask. So stop hiding behind your keyboard and talking about constitutional freedoms because like everyone else, you wear a mask when you leave your room you live in at your parents house.

  24. ILoveHawaii December 30, 2020 10:40 am

    So wearing my mask means that Im an idiot?

    I was thinking that it was to Aloha everybody.

  25. opinion December 30, 2020 11:35 am

    ILoveHawaii: according to Not Woke, wearing a mask means you gave up your constitutional freedoms, are a snowflake and would love living in Communist China.

  26. really December 30, 2020 1:04 pm

    I wear a mask. 1 death is 1 too many, especially since that person who dies is someone’s loved one. And I hope it’s not any of my loved ones in the future. It’s disappointing that some think it’s a joke. I have no problem following rules, even if it “temporarily” strips me of my constitutional rights if it saves lives. All lives are important. Sometimes wearing a mask and staying at home can be a little challenging. But if it saves lives, I will continue to do it.

    @Opinion, I hope your friend recovers soon and can go home to his loved ones.

    Unfortunate for the kids, but safety is always #1. And if being healthy and active is the rationale for sports, might I suggest jogging, swimming, hiking, etc. Anyone can remain active and healthy without playing a HS Sport.

    You can social distance with your friends to get the social interaction and run 5-10 miles every other day or even daily is you choose.

    Losing the opportunity to compete and play in front of your family sucks. But people saying how kids need to be active is misguided. Yes they do need to be active, but there are many alternatives to remain active outside of a High School Sport.

  27. Eastsideparent December 30, 2020 2:35 pm

    Gives up hope for basketball but not for football. I wouldn’t call this fair. Having a senior son who was looking forward to playing for his 4th year this is just really sad.

  28. Not Woke December 31, 2020 12:13 am

    Opinion-Keep wearing a mask that actually does not stop Covid, and no, I don’t live with my parents. Once your $600 dollar stimulus check comes in you can buy more mask and maybe some chips so you can watch CNN all day while feeding your face around your mask.ALOHA

  29. opinion December 31, 2020 3:50 am

    Not Woke: living in the garage still counts as living with your parents. Do your chores properly and you too can buy chips with your allowance.

  30. Not Woke December 31, 2020 9:12 am

    Opinion- I see you’re up early. How many cars did you break into while people sleep. Just be sure to take the vaccine. For snowflakes like you, a double dose.

  31. opinion December 31, 2020 11:15 am

    Not Woke: mommy and daddy finally let you back on the wifi? maybe later u can go for some ice cream if u behave. Finish your chores early today so u can pop some fire works later, or at least hold a sparkler or 2. Might be a little scary for sheeps and cowards like u though.

  32. Not Woke December 31, 2020 12:58 pm

    Opinion- You wear a mask 24/7 and you are afraid of a virus that has a survival rate of almost 100%. SHEEP, COWARD and SNOWFLAKE- get used to it. Happy New Year! Don’t worry, I promise to to pop any fireworks, I might scare you out of your sheepskin.

  33. Opinion December 31, 2020 3:34 pm

    Not Woke: You promise to to pop any fireworks? wow, I get that you still live with mommy and daddy, but i didn’t realize you had the education of a first grader. Thats what happens when you play video games and watch too much cartoons. No wonder your parents restrict your wifi use. Boys and girls, stay in school so you don’t end up like Not Woke.

  34. Not Woke January 1, 2021 1:49 am

    opinion-Thought you might change however you are still a coward. Hiding behind your mask. I don’t blame you, you have underlying conditions-a cowardly girly man. Stay inside for 2021 because this virus will not go away until they say.

  35. opinion January 1, 2021 3:14 pm

    Not Woke: if anybody is hiding, it’s you. Small man syndrome is real, but you can get help. Until then, be a good little guy and help mommy and daddy so you can keep your bedroom.

  36. Not Woke January 1, 2021 8:57 pm

    Opinion- mask boy or girl, not sure what u are cause you have no balls. So girly man, put on your mask and stay away from COVID.

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