Damien, St. Francis may declare for D-I

St. Francis running back Tyson Shimabukuro escaped a tackler to pick up yardage against Pac-Five in a game last fall. St. Francis and Damien, both Division II schools in the ILH, may declare for D-I for the three-tier state tournament. Bruce Asato / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
St. Francis running back Tyson Shimabukuro escaped a tackler to pick up yardage against Pac-Five in a game last fall. St. Francis and Damien, both Division II schools in the ILH, may declare for D-I for the three-tier state tournament. Bruce Asato / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

There’s no question Damien and St. Francis will be classified in Division II for Interscholastic League of Honolulu football this fall.

It’s possible, however, that both the Monarchs and Saints will declare for Division I in the three-tiered state tournament.

At a league meeting recently, according to sources, a discussion of athletic directors and league personnel centered on declaring Saint Louis, Punahou and Kamehameha for the Open Division state tournament, Damien and St. Francis for Division I states, and ‘Iolani and Pac-Five for D-II states.


The meeting was held so the administrators could get an idea of where the schools wanted to be classified for states, sources said. Another meeting will be held in the near future, when a final determination is made.

In league competition for 2017, the Crusaders, Buffanblu and Warriors will play in D-I and the other four will play in D-II.

On Friday, ‘Iolani coach Wendell Look told Hawaii Prep World that the Raiders are declaring for D-II in league play (down from D-I the past two seasons) and also D-II for the states (although, with one more meeting to go, apparently that last part could change).


Asked about his feelings of possibly being placed up one division from what the Monarchs will see in regular-season competition, Damien coach Eddie Klaneski said, “We’re not opposed to it at all. If it happens, fine.”

St. Francis coach Kip Akana also did not have a huge problem with it.


Both Klaneski and Akana, however, would have reservations about being placed in Division I if certain teams (they didn’t name) that they feel are fully capable of competing in the Open Division are also put in D-I.

“We don’t want to be pigeon-holed (into a division where we don’t belong),” Akana said.

COMMENTS

  1. Mahatma Gandhi April 3, 2017 1:14 am

    Who are the schools that would choose to be in the Div 1 playoffs instead of the “Open” division? Mililani? Coach Rod York made it perfectly clear he was dissapointed about losing in the first round of the OIA playoffs and being relegated to the State Div 1 playoffs. He said it was like a “Bowl game”.


  2. Mahatma Gandhi April 3, 2017 1:21 am

    Why blame Wendell Look for being in the Div 2 state playoffs? I say it’s the Iolani admin who wants to be able to boast about being Hawaii state champions in basketball and football and their academic excellence. Mainlanders don’t know the difference between Div 1, Open and Div 2. In fact, on the mainland, the higher division (Div 5), is the highest level of play. I’m sure Iolnai has looked at what it takes to be competitive in the Open division, and I assume they don’t want to go there, selling out their values to bring in shady characters to be able to compete with win-at-all-costs St Louis Crusaders. I remember when Wendell Look played football at Iolani. First team ILH defensive end. Tough as nails. Never backed down from anyone.


  3. Ldub20 Owl316 April 3, 2017 6:48 am

    Mahatma Gandhi–and your point about your football glory days is what?


  4. Ldub20 Owl316 April 3, 2017 7:28 am

    Sounds like St. Francis and Damien haven’t got a choice as to where to play. Why isn’t that the case with Iolani?


  5. Se_Polo April 3, 2017 10:57 am

    Why can’t HHSA follow the mainland schools when it comes to classifying divisions for HS football? The mainland public schools classify the high school divisions based on their student body population. This eliminates the “big” schools playing the “small” schools during the regular season. For the private schools, they can follow the same format but when it comes to state playoffs they have the option to play either in the Open Div, Div I, or Div II. It should be about numbers and not ego or arrogance.


  6. anywaaaays!! April 3, 2017 1:00 pm

    se_polo. The Mainland has bigger populations to spread out the talent evenly. If a few players transfer to neighboring schools it does not affect their balance of power, Oahu is a small island. You saw what happened to Campbell last year when 6+ players transferred to Kapolei, Kapolei became a power house and Campbell, the school with the biggest student enrollment, had to play with the small fish in the D1 tourney because they were not very good. A lot of the elite ILH players are also from Campbell district so it must suck to be a coach at Campbell knowing that St. Louis and Punahou are picking your pocket.

    St. Louis and Punahou also get first pick of the elite talent around the entire island, its not like the ILH only recruits the city of Honolulu, no, they go to the north shore, westside and now Cal Lee and the St. Louis crusaders are recruiting the neighbor islands. ILH recruting throws the balance of powers out of wack, sort of a “rich get richer and the poor get poorer” environment.


  7. anywaaaays!! April 3, 2017 1:14 pm

    The D1 tourney is nothing more then a “left-overs” division of teams that belong in the open division but the HHSAA is following the AYSO moto of “everyone gets a trophy” so they made it possible for the rejects of the open division to play for a trophy in the D1 tourney.


  8. The Rim April 3, 2017 3:17 pm

    @ anywaaaays- For outer Island teams, D1-D2 state tournament makes sense. We don’t have the enrollment or the recruitment draw like ILH, but that doesn’t mean we’re rejects. Both Baldwin and Hilo did well in the new format and the games at all divisions were competitive and entertaining. We could say that about Girls basketball, only Kona, Maryknoll, Kamehameha Kapalama, and Lahinaluna should play, everyone else is rejects.


  9. Se_Polo April 3, 2017 4:32 pm

    Anyways! I disagree with your assumption with mainland public schools spreading the talent evenly. They deal with the same problems with Hawaii public schools which is why they create divisions to even the playing field as possible. Its not the perfect solution but classifying the schools by their enrollment is pretty fair to me. If school A and B has similar enrollment, statistically they both will have similar pool of talent to select from. Conversely, if school C has a smaller enrollment then they will have smaller talent pool to choose from. This applies to the neighboring high schools as well.

    For the ILH, they can have keep the 2 Divisions as it is with St.Louis, Punahou, Kamehameha, and Iolani in Division 1 and Damien, St.Francis, and Pac-Five in Division II. However, I think when it comes to state playoffs the winner of ILH Div I will be in the Open Division and the runner can be in the Open or Div I playoffs (depending on rankings). The winner of ILH Div II goes to the Div II playoffs.


  10. anywaaaays!! April 3, 2017 5:35 pm

    You guys proven my point that there shouldnt be an option of a team that is playing D1 during the regular season and capable of the Open div. to be able to play in the lower D1 tourney. examples are Mililani, Campbell, Moanalua, Leilehua and Iolani. These were the schools I was referring to as rejects. Hilo Baldwin and Waiakea are true D1 tourney level and got the short end of the deal by getting swept by the OIA schools whose season should have been over during the OIA playoffs simply by not qualifying for the Open division.

    sepolo, In your assesment Kahuku would be D2 because their enrollment is 1300, the bigger schools like Kapolei, Mililani, Campbell, Farrington are in the mid 2000’s.


  11. Coach_B April 4, 2017 8:11 am

    @TheRim
    I agree that the D1 worked really well for the neighbor islands. Schools like Hilo, Kapaa, and Baldwin have had great teams in the last few years, but never at the level of the old D1 with schools like Kahuku. It hurts the game on the neighbor islands if they know they never had a chance to win. I know it sounds like the AYSO mentality, but I’d think that the possibility to win a title probably influenced players like Vartic and Nichols transferring to Oahu schools. However, I also agree with @anywaaays that D1 is just the consolation prize for most Oahu schools these days. The only school that might genuinely fit here is Iolani that is always stuck between divisions. Gotta get them out of State D2


  12. The Rim April 4, 2017 8:17 am

    @anywaaays- Okay now you make a good point. On Maui and the BI all teams in DI and DII play each other. On BI they play once with the top two teams playing for the championship. Since this new format was implemented, DII teams Kona, HPA, and Kam Hawaii have benefited by playing schools with size like Hilo and Kealakehe, preparing them for the DII state playoffs. With the three tier playoff format, Hilo and the Maui representative will be competitive in the DI playoffs.


  13. Education First April 4, 2017 9:52 am

    St. Louis and Punahou also get first pick of the elite talent around the entire island, its not like the ILH only recruits the city of Honolulu, no, they go to the north shore, westside and now Cal Lee and the St. Louis crusaders are recruiting the neighbor islands. ILH recruting throws the balance of powers out of wack, sort of a “rich get richer and the poor get poorer” environment.
    —————–
    Anyone can have their first pick of the elite talent. Punahou and STL does not have first pick of anyone. Any school can go to community leagues to look for talent and hopefully make contact with them. But if you don’t provide an appealing package then no one will go unless all other options have been exhausted.

    As for recruiting who cares? On the mainland many private schools recruit heavily and the public schools still win.

    It doesn’t work here since most public schools lack high level education. So who’s to blame any parent for seeking and obtaining better options for their kids.

    As for Punahou and STL, they could show up at the last minute and still grab whoever they want. They offer a better package and many families will often choose them. They do not get the elite talent since they reach out to families first. They get their pick of elite talent since many families know the schools have a proven record of either being good at football or being really good at everything else (Punahou).


  14. locomoco April 4, 2017 2:19 pm

    Hawaii’s divisions are a defective system. There should be clear criteria such that schools with large enrollments cannot dip down into D2. Smaller enrollments like Kahuku can certainly opt to play up divisions, but not vice-versa.


  15. Manuel Manzo Jr April 4, 2017 9:03 pm

    Mahatma Gandhi: “Mainlanders don’t know the difference between Div 1, Open and Div 2. In fact, on the mainland, the higher divisions (Div 5), is the highest level of play. WRONG!!!!
    Don’t generalize the 48 states on the mainland. In California, where I coached for 21 years and was an Athletic Director for three years, the set up is the same as Hawaii.
    Open division is the top division. There are 13 divisional football championships in California from Open, Div 1-AA, Div 1A, etc. to Div 6A. Matter of fact I would not be surprised if the HHSAA used the CIF (California Interscolatic Federation) as a template for their playoff system. Other state such as Texas have the higher number divisions (Football Conference 6A Division 1) as the highest division in their state.
    Google ca be your friend……


  16. Northshore April 5, 2017 6:33 am

    @Manuel Manzo Jr. Wow I’m impressed. Since you’re so well versed,”coached for 21 years and was an AD for three years,” you must have the solution on how to categorize Hawaii’s high school football divisions after mentioning, “the set up is the same as Hawaii.” Maybe you have the solution for Hawaii. To be able to compete in 13 divisions, what are the criteria used by all the Calif high schools? Can’t visualize that the set up is the same as Hawaii since Calif has the largest number of public high schools in the nation. Be interesting to hear how Calif categorize the schools in all the 13 divisions. Waiting for your response.


  17. Northshore April 5, 2017 6:49 am

    @Locomoco: Enrollment being the criteria? Never happen because as you’ve mentioned, Kahuku would be in a different division from Campbell, Farrington, Mililani, Kapolei, Moanalua and others if they didn’t opt to go up. Complaints would be coming from the schools categorized with Kahuku cause they “gonna get buss-up every year.”


  18. Education First April 7, 2017 1:14 pm

    From my days as a student helper, have heard from authorative sources that Punahou has a special educational track for those coming in to play sports but otherwise wouldn’t qualify for admission in the “traditional way”. It keeps them eligible to play and doesn’t challenge them unfairly in the classroom so they can concentrate on sports and athletics. Tuition is taken care of as well but they didn’t have to wipe desks and help out in tech room like I did.


  19. Se_Polo April 8, 2017 7:09 pm

    Based on HIDOE website, the 5 largest High Schools have enrollment range from 2000 to 3100. I dont know what Kahuku’s enrollment is but I would imagine its close to these schools.(http://www.hawaiipublicschools.org/ConnectWithUs/MediaRoom/PressReleases/Pages/HIDOEEnrollment1617.aspx)

    Here is a simple format for class/division classification for public schools:
    Class 3A(Schools with enrollment 2000>)*
    Class 2A (Schools with enrollment 1000-1999)*
    Class 1A (Schools with enrollment <1000)*

    During the regular season you will have Class champions. State playoffs should have 2 Divisions: Open and Division I. Open is reserved for schools from Class 3A, Class 2A**, and ILH-DI. Division I will be Class 2A, 1A, and ILH-DII. As far as how many teams in each playoff division is something they need to figure out. At the end of the season, you will have 2 State Champs; Open & Division I

    * You can create subdivisions based on location if the Class is too large
    ** Class 2A has the option to move up to Open Division or stay in Div I for state playoffs


  20. Education First April 10, 2017 11:19 pm

    Se_Polo – stop whining. In reality, in any given year the ILH has the best 3 teams in the State. OIA, MIL, BIIF are irrelevant. Iolani would have beaten Kahuku last year in the open division final as well. Iolani players have higher SAT scores and Look is a better coach than Cal Lee. Kahuku is a fluke and Mililani can’t recruit anymore. Any questions? CLASS DISMISSED. LOL!!


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