One of the dangers of creating football divisions based on the strength of competition is that one never knows the specific fortitude of a given team from year to year.
Who knew Kaiser was going to fall apart in 2017? Who knew Saint Louis was going to start the season as the No. 12 team in the nation and then move up two spots a few weeks later — after many seasons where the Crusaders didn’t sniff the Top 10?
Did anyone expect ‘Iolani to be this good so far in 2018? Or Waianae off to an 0-3 start?
And while there is no provision in the two-year pilot program of the historic OIA-ILH alliance for schools to move up or down, the chances are there will be such a possible pathway provided in the future if the alliance is renewed for the 2020 season and beyond.
That’s why it was a heartening sight to see many Division I teams schedule Open Division teams for their nonleague games; same goes for Division II scheduling Division I teams.
It’s likely that some schools are not in a division that is the best fit. The scuttlebutt is St. Francis should be in Division I and not D-II. The coaches, reportedly, want to be in D-I. But it didn’t happen, mainly because the ILH wants a 3 Open, 2 D-I and 2 D-II setup and the Saints were the odd-team out.
A less extreme example is Pearl City. The Chargers are always at the top end of D-II and could compete on a yearly basis in the new D-I.
On Maui, where classification is based party on school size, Lahainaluna is a D-II powerhouse that is coming off a 49-6 victory over MIL rival Baldwin, a solid D-I entity.
Can D-I teams Leilehua or Kailua or others ever show that they want in on the Open? Do they want to?
With all of that in mind, listed below are the 2018 inter-tier scores from across the state. These nonleague games are good markers of how a team stacks up against those above or below them.
Division II is 4-3-1 against Division I teams and Waipahu is the only team outside the Open Division to beat an Open team.
Division II vs. Division I
>> Kauai (D-II) 28, Maui (D-I) 14
>> Kaiser 12 (D-II), Aiea (D-I) 12
>> St. Francis (D-II) 28, Radford (D-I) 21
>> ‘Iolani (D-I) 63, Kalani (D-II) 0
>> Roosevelt (D-II) 13, Nanakuli (D-I) 7
>> Kealakehe (D-I) 33, Pearl City 20 (D-II)
>> Maui 41 (D-I) 41, King Kekaulike (D-II) 20
>> Lahainaluna (D-II) 49, Baldwin (D-I) 6
Division I/D-II vs. Open Division
>> Waipahu (D-I) 34, Waianae (Open) 13
>> Farrington (Open) 35, Leilehua (D-I) 16
>> Kapolei (Open) 53, Castle (D-I) 7
>> Kahuku (Open) 61, Konawaena (D-II) 9
>> Campbell (Open) 54, Hilo (D-I) 14