Oct. 19, 2018 and Feb. 14, 2019 are days that live in infamy for the St. Francis football program.
The first date was when the Saints, who were 9-0 at the time, were forced to forfeit their season due to an ineligible player. The second date is when the school announced it was shutting its doors for good.
Members of the 2018 team who still had eligibility left are scattered across Oahu. Thursday night’s matchup between Farrington and visiting Campbell at Skippa Diaz Stadium featured two brothers on opposite sides playing against each other for the first time in Jonan Aina-Chaves (Campbell) and Jonah Aina-Chaves (Farrington).
Both Jonan and Jonah are seniors, although Jonan is older. On Thursday night, Jonan and the No. 5 Sabers got the best of the Governors in a 41-6 win.
“It felt kind of weird at first because I’m usually with him,” Jonah said. “After a while, I kind of got used to it. But I still love him.”
Despite a junior season that came to an abrupt end, Jonan earned Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State first-team honors at running back, rushing for 1,289 yards on 15 touchdowns. Against Farrington, he carried the ball 13 times for 73 yards and a touchdown for the Sabers (1-1, 1-1 OIA Open).
“It was the first time we got to play each other,” Jonan said. “I wish I got to play some defense against him.”
Jonah got Farrington (0-3) on the board with a 4-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. It was the first score of any kind for the Govs this season, who were shut out against Leilehua and Punahou.
“(The touchdown) felt great,” Jonah said. “As an offense, we were struggling the first two games.”
Jonah says the family “just wanted to try something new” in sending Jonan to Campbell. Faaope Laloulu, who also played at St. Francis last season as a junior, is at Farrington as well. Laloulu, who is committed to Oregon, earned a Polynesian Bowl invitation on Thursday.
After the game, Laloulu was seen catching up with Jonan and posing for pictures with his former teammate.
“It hurts my heart that I cannot play with them,” Jonan said. “But they’re all doing really good.”
Among other notable former Saints on other Oahu rosters are Zion Paro-Amina at Farrington, Skylar Kalilikane-McMoore at Pearl City and Shepherd Kekahuna and Chase Akana at Roosevelt.
Another reunion is set to take place when Pearl City takes on Roosevelt on Sept. 6. But on Thursday night, the senior year at St. Francis that never was won’t be dwelled on too much now that everyone’s moved on.
“It’s still weird,” Jonah said. “I would’ve loved to play my senior year with them, but things went down and we didn’t have the opportunity.”