Two St. Francis softball assistant coaches have started an online petition asking for support in their request for the ILH to immediately move the Saints up from Division II to D-I for league and state competition.
“I fully support their effort,” St. Francis head coach Randy Langsi said Monday. “I’m really hopeful and I feel like the girls deserve it.”
Langsi said he doesn’t know if the ILH can grant the request and referred that question to Saints athletic director Chad Konishi.
Calls to Konishi and ILH softball coordinator Missy Kilbey for comment were not immediately returned.
Briana Tovio-Asato and Ululani Reyes, the two assistant coaches and former St. Francis players, are the ones who started the petition.
St. Francis, which will be closing its doors for good after this school year, won the state Division II championship a year ago and was ranked as high as No. 4 in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser poll of all teams (D-I and D-II) in the state two weeks ago. The Saints were second in the D-II states in 2017 and third in 2016.
They are off to a 2-2 start in ILH play with losses to No. 2 Maryknoll and by one run against No. 7 Mid-Pacific.
In the petition, Tovio-Asato and Reyes wrote, “This is Saint Francis School’s final year in existence. The varsity girls softball players, parents, coaches, and alumni wish for its very last varsity softball team to play at the top of their capabilities by competing with the top softball programs in the state of Hawaii and be recognized for doing so.
We are extremely passionate about this endeavor as Saint Francis School and its softball program are very, very dear to our hearts. We simply intend to give our best effort to fight for our girls so they may experience the opportunity they have been humbly asking for year after year.”
You can view the petition here.