‘Iolani football looks headed to Division I

'Iolani has dominated Division II under head coach Wendell Look. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.
‘Iolani has dominated Division II under head coach Wendell Look. Photo by Bruce Asato/Star-Advertiser.

If you missed Saturday’s Star-Advertiser story by Nick Abramo about ‘Iolani likely playing Division I football next year, subscribers can read it here.

An ILH rule instituted two years ago stipulates that any Division II team in any sport that wins two ILH or state championships in a row must move up a level for at least one year.

The Raiders have the ability to appeal the decision, but Raiders athletic director Carl Schroers says “We are obligated to go to Division I. At ‘Iolani, we believe in following the rules.”

‘Iolani has won 11 straight ILH Division II championships and seven of the last eight Division II state titles.

But the Raiders have really struggled against Division I teams, going 0-7 over the last two years. ‘Iolani hasn’t defeated one of the ILH’s Division I teams since a 13-6 win over Kamehameha in 2010 and since the beginning of that year, is 41-18 overall but 3-17 against Division I schools.

However, in 2009, with one of its best teams, the Raiders went 12-2 and defeated Kapolei, Kamehameha and Punahou in the same year.

The ILH is scheduled to meet Monday, when a decision on ‘Iolani’s jump to Division I football could be made official. A decision needs to happen soon so the rest of the league can focus on the complicated task of filling out a schedule.

Another rule passed by the ILH says Division I teams may not play Division II teams starting next year.

If ‘Iolani does make the jump, the four Division I teams will be able to play each other twice, but will leave Damien, Pac-Five and St. Francis in a tough spot with potentially only four league games. If the Raiders do appeal and stay in Division II, that would make quite a problem for powerhouses Punahou, Saint Louis and Kamehameha.

The Buffanblu played only nine games in 2014 with four against Division II schools.


  1. Jimmy Clausen January 31, 2015 1:47 pm

    Anyone who thinks Iolani does not belong in D1 hasn’t played football. Iolani can easily hold its own against the Big Three and hasn’t got that small of a team. Nor is there a lack of numbers, as there’ve been about 55 players ever since 2011. Other teams that were as small as they played the big dogs and toughed it out. Punahou’s teams of the late ’90s and early 2000s were NOTHING like its teams since Manti have been. They had about only 10 players over 200 lbs and only 60 players total. Punahou may be a much bigger school than Iolani but turnout is turnout. Did they complain about lack of numbers and size in football in the early 2000s? Hell no. And remember Waianae’s 2010 team? That was one of their smallest teams of all time with only 15 players over 200 lbs. Did Matsumoto cry about having to play Kahuku in the preseason and St. Louis, Leilehua, and Mililani twice? Hell no. Maybe since Matsumoto ain’t coaching now, Iolani can hire him so they can bring in a guy with guts who won’t cry and make excuses. Schroers surprisingly is saying he’s willing to tough it out. Will Look do the same, or will he cry and make excuses as he always has?

  2. Jimmy Clausen January 31, 2015 1:49 pm

    I say Iolani can easily hold its own because Billy mentioned the 2009 team himself. I believe those teams are more common at Iolani than losing teams. Plus, remember when Donny Mateaki and Joe Igber played for them? The only team that was bashing Iolani on a consistent basis was St. Louis. Iolani gave Kamehameha huge challenges and was a better (and bigger) team than Punahou around that time. Why am I talking about Donny and Joe? Because Iolani just had its biggest team last year since Donny last played.

  3. T milo January 31, 2015 6:59 pm

    still whining…now your Pac-5 team get chance….

  4. Hiilei February 2, 2015 11:10 am

    Funny reading this because from a good source that’s within Iolani administration, Wendell Look is againts the idea of playing in D1 and has put a request in to stay in D2. Are u serious Wendell? I think you have enough D2 championship banners hanging in the gym.

  5. Nick Abramo February 2, 2015 3:13 pm

    If you read the link to the original story that ran in the Star-Advertiser, it mentions that ‘Iolani has the option to appeal for an exemption and they hadn’t done it yet and they weren’t sure if they were going to do it. Per ILH rules, ‘Iolani is going up to Division I football unless they appeal. Via text message earlier today, Carl Schroers said ‘Iolani did not appeal at today’s monthly ILH meeting. I doubt they would wait one more month and file an appeal at next month’s ILH meeting. And hey, as an added bonus, that last fact about Schroers’ text message hasn’t been reported anywhere yet. So you are getting it first. Will be putting it on Prep World soon.

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