After a few days of concern, Saint Louis has learned that linebacker Jordan Botelho is eligible to play in the upcoming First Hawaiian Bank/HHSAA Football State Championships.
A source in the football program confirmed the news on Wednesday afternoon.
Botelho drew two unsportsmanlike conduct infractions during the Interscholastic League of Honolulu Open Division championship game on Saturday and was disqualified from the game in the second quarter. The Crusaders weren’t certain if HHSAA rules would permit the playmaking defensive stopper to participate in the upcoming semifinal round.
Botelho was apologetic after the game.
“I take full responsibility for what I did,” he said. “I let my team down.”
Saint Louis won the game, 45-21, to win the ILH title and qualify for the state tourney.
If the infractions had been personal fouls, by rule of the ILH and HHSAA, a player is automatically suspended for a minimum of one game. Both of Botelho’s conduct flags were for celebrations. The first penalty came on his sack and forced fumble as he recovered the ball and dove — or “somersaulted,” as Lee described it — over the goal line. The second came on a celebration after a defensive interception.
“Celebrations. I don’t like it,” coach Cal Lee said after the game. “You score a touchdown, be humble.”
Nationally-ranked Saint Louis is the two-time defending Open Division state champion. Botelho, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound junior, has scholarship offers from Arizona State, California, Georgia, Hawaii, LSU, Nebraska, Ole Miss, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.