Football committee saves three tiers

Four teams will qualify in all three of the state tourmament divisions for 2017. In photo, Saint Louis’ Dylan Toilolo (28) and Luke Kava (44) teamed up to bring down Waianae running back Rico Rosario in a state tournament game last season. Jamm Aquino / Honolulul Star-Advertiser.

Hawaii’s high school football administrators came up with a compromise to keep the three-tiered state tournament intact today.

Representatives of all five leagues voted in favor of three divisions of four teams this morning at a meeting of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association football committee on the Kaimuki High campus.

The top-tiered Division I-Open for 2017 will consist of the Oahu Interscholastic Association’s best three teams and the Interscholastic League of Honolulu’s Division I champion.

In the middle-tiered Division I of the ’17 state tournament, there will be a distinct neighbor islands flavor. All three D-I champions from the Big Island, Maui and Kauai will qualify along with one of two teams from the ILH, either Damien or St. Francis.

The D-II state qualifying teams will be the D-II champions from the OIA, Big Island and Maui along with one of two teams from the ILH, either ‘Iolani or Pac-Five.

The ILH’s Big Three — Saint Louis, Punahoua and Kamehameha — will be vying for the league’s lone Division I-Open spot. The rest of the ILH slotting for state-tournament purposes is based on the league’s planned state declarations that was decided a few months ago at an ILH meeting.


  1. rrforlifebaby July 7, 2017 2:21 pm

    Very interesting to say the least.
    Looks like ILH D1#2 get’s the big shaft as well as the OIA D2 #2.

  2. Hmmmm? July 7, 2017 2:55 pm

    OIA gets the big shaft for State Tourney, total of 22 teams and only 4 play, where as the ILH has a total of 7 teams and 3 play, Maui has 5 and 2 play……

  3. July 7, 2017 3:19 pm

    Gud move

  4. Coach A July 7, 2017 3:42 pm

    Told you. The OIA championships are brutal in their own rights. For States, 2 games to the D1 ship is nuff.

  5. Whhy July 7, 2017 3:43 pm

    I’m glad all of these administrative issues are squared away. Time to play some football and settle it on the field.

  6. Mahatma Gandhi July 7, 2017 3:57 pm

    Good! I like that! Now the ILH championship actually counts for something. But I thought the whole reason for creating 3 divisions was for schools like Iolani who were not quite good enough to play with the big boys but too good for schools like Waialua. Now they are playing in the lowest division? For realz?

  7. ALL ILH July 7, 2017 5:04 pm

    So how come all the cry babies not saying how unfair it is for an ILH team need to go through 2 OIA teams. Interesting as just like before, you will have a top team in the state, not able to go to the state tournament. But that’s OK because the team that lost to Kahuku maybe 3 times, regular season, OIA playoffs, then again in the state tournament because they would get in! Just have Waianae, Mililani, and Farrington beat up on Moanaloa, Campbell, Kapolei, etc…
    Here’s to a great football season!

  8. RidgeRunnerE-5 July 7, 2017 6:00 pm

    Meh…I’ll take it. At least the OIA third place game has some meaning to it again. The Second tier looks to include an interesting bunch and I’m sure it’ll be the most competitive of the three. ‘Iolani given a ninth state title.

  9. C-Pop July 7, 2017 6:01 pm

    Iolani can compete in D1 tier proved it last year, this year coach says they are lacking. Size that they had in 2016, still they couldn’t compete with St. Louis, Punahou, and Kamehameha. Appears that St. Francis and Damien will give Iolani a serious run for the ILH D2 title. They did declare State D2, whereas Damien and St. Francis D1?

  10. Hyn July 7, 2017 8:24 pm

    If the ILH wins the open states this year I wonder what the oia going cry for next. Put 5 oia and 1 ILH . Lmao

  11. NoMakeSense July 7, 2017 8:28 pm

    According to this years format, the ILH champion from all three divisions is the leagues lone representative. So, in essence, the entire regular season means something, like it did back before the divisions came into play. But in the OIA, you finish number 3 and your in the championship. In a backhanded way, this format is saying the number 2 and number 3 OIA team is better than the ILH number 2 team, and will always be as long as they stick with this format. Unless the power schools start playing interleague games during the regular season, there will always be that argument as to which team is better deserving of playing for the championship. OIA supporters would say, “well, win your league”, ILH supporters would say, “well, you certainly didn’t win yours, but you came in third”. This argument will go on forever.

  12. Laie Resident July 7, 2017 8:33 pm

    Why can’t the ILH 2nd place team play in the Division I tournament? Why is that restriction?

    Also, why is the OIA depriving 4-6 less team in post season games. Once again, its the kids that get hurt.

  13. Whhy July 7, 2017 10:28 pm

    ALL ILH – Its always been split based on league size. It was the ILH that tried to turn it into the PAL league where 3 of 4 teams make it to states. You talk about it being boring a team can lost to Kahuku 3 times in a season. When’s the last time an OIA school played each other 3 times in a season? I can tell you that Punahou and St. Louis played 3 times last year. If they met up in states that would have been 4 times in one season. Yawn… Why isn’t the ILH complaining about more slots in other sports?

    C-POP – Iolani was basically playing D2 last year. I think just Mililani (lost that one) would have normally been D1. They barely squeaked by Moanalua which is hit and miss.

    HYN – I can almost guarantee you the two best teams in the state will play for a title. OIA #1 and ILH #1.

  14. July 7, 2017 11:08 pm

    Dis footbal not baseball u ilh fan like 7 games series? What dat ayso soccer? If yur ilh1 no can win state title why u tink ilh2 can? Same 4 oia 2 n 3, lose money. Only ilh1 n oia1 ever win title, minus go back prep bowl

  15. July 7, 2017 11:18 pm

    laie resident u son go punahao and lose stlouis no make state torney? Sen um baxk kahuku bulnuts

  16. July 7, 2017 11:21 pm

    DA only way kids gut hurt is too much game playoff evruone hurt more game more hurt, title game evry year some 1st stringers not play

  17. Hyn July 8, 2017 6:35 am

    Whyy – just bring the prep bowl back then. Why are we giving the oia #2 and #3 extra games. I know why so maybe they can get lucky and beat ILH #1. I hope the ILH wins so we can see what the oia going cry about now besides they recruiting.

  18. 88 July 8, 2017 9:45 am

    If the ILH #2 was able to beat the OIA #4 last year in the Open Div. playoffs than I think the playoff format would be very different. However we know that they couldn’t so thats why the ILH only has 1 representative in the Open Division.

  19. Laie Resident July 8, 2017 10:13 am

    In the end, the OIA kids are the one that gets screwed…4 less teams…Why cant ILH #2 play in the Division I tournament?

  20. Hyn July 8, 2017 10:18 am

    ok so the ilh#1 out right beat oia #2 so does that mean they shouldn’t be in there?

  21. 88 July 8, 2017 10:28 am

    If you are into participation trophies than yes the kids are getting screwed. However if you want the quality of play to improve and our athletes to take their game to the next level than this playoff format will definitely help. You have 14 teams playing for 3 spots. Regular season games mean more. OIA playoff games are more competitive.

  22. 88 July 8, 2017 10:35 am

    I agree with you. The BEST teams in the State should all be in the playoffs. However we don’t have a leg to argue on if the #3 team in the State(#2 in the ILH) loses to the #6 team in the State(#4 in the OIA) when the ILH FINALY gets 2 teams into the playoffs.

  23. Whhy July 8, 2017 12:58 pm

    Hyn – Personally I would be fine with that. But as it is it seems there is a want for a semis. HHSAA uses this same participation format for all sports. If they tried to change it just for football then that is wrong.

  24. TooMeke July 8, 2017 3:02 pm

    People… da “what if” season is over. Season and playoff schedules are set.

    Time to get excited about actual games…not theoretical ones.


  25. Education First July 8, 2017 4:25 pm

    88 July 8, 2017 at 10:35 am
    I agree with you. The BEST teams in the State should all be in the playoffs. However we don’t have a leg to argue on if the #3 team in the State(#2 in the ILH) loses to the #6 team in the State(#4 in the OIA) when the ILH FINALY gets 2 teams into the playoffs.

    Yet the ILH #1 beat the OIA#1 straight up. And the ILH #2 beat the state champ. So that should trump the OIA #3 or #4 upsetting the ILH #2.

    It comes down to how you look at it…

  26. 88 July 8, 2017 5:51 pm

    When did the ILH #2 beat the State Champs? Are you talking about the regular season? If you are, the Crusaders were not the State Champs yet. We are talking about the playoffs buddy. And in the playoffs, after years of trying to get a second ILH team in because the #2 ILH was considered better than every OIA team except Kahuku, they lose to the #6 team in the State.

  27. AOK July 8, 2017 7:10 pm


  28. NoMakeSense July 8, 2017 8:07 pm

    Whhy – Back in the Prep Bowl days, the ILH played 2 round robins during the regular season with each winner of the round robins meeting for the ILH championship. The first 5 games of the season meant something because if you won that first round robin, you knew you had at least one more shot for the Prep Bowl. The second round, you tried to win all the games in order to not have that (if necessary) playoff game. It definitely wasn’t a yawner, at least, not according to the 15,000 or so fans in attendance weekly for a non-playoff set of games. Remember the ILH tripleheaders at Aloha Stadium? Let’s see, on a Friday night, would you rather go see St. Louis play Punahou for the second time or would you go see Kahuku beat up on a lower tier OIA division I team?

  29. Education First July 8, 2017 9:15 pm

    88 July 8, 2017 at 5:51 pm
    When did the ILH #2 beat the State Champs? Are you talking about the regular season? If you are, the Crusaders were not the State Champs yet. We are talking about the playoffs buddy. And in the playoffs, after years of trying to get a second ILH team in because the #2 ILH was considered better than every OIA team except Kahuku, they lose to the #6 team in the State.
    I am just curious, who is the #6 team in the state? And how do you determine who is the #6 team? Last time I checked both SA and Scoringlive is a subjective poll that has no bearing on the method of seeding done by the HHSAA.

    So once again, what makes Kapolei #6? Because you said they are?

  30. 88 July 8, 2017 9:24 pm

    Why and how were Kahuku and St. Louis ranked 1 and 2 in the State? Uhmmmmmm I don’t know, maybe common sense.

  31. Whhy July 9, 2017 12:09 am

    Edu – “Yet the ILH #1 beat the OIA#1 straight up. And the ILH #2 beat the state champ. So that should trump the OIA #3 or #4 upsetting the ILH #2.”
    Punahou winning the 2nd of 3 games against St. Louis in league play is not the same thing as the official OIA#3 beating ILH#2. There was some school that beat Kahuku’s BBall team preseason should they be considered one of the top teams in the state now since they “beat the state champs”?… Uhh NO! Kahuku wasn’t state champs until the end of the season they were just another team at the beginning.

  32. Whhy July 9, 2017 12:18 am

    NoMakeSense – When do you tell ILH#2 to pack it in and try again next season? How many chances should they have at beating ILH#1? Because letting them into states doesn’t just mean giving them a chance at beating OIA schools… ultimately it’s a I know I already lost to ILH#1 but maybe, just maybe I can beat them for a state title. I don’t get it. They play each other enough that ILH#1 is the best why does #2 get additional shots at it? If ILH#1 loses to ILH#2 in states can they extend the season so ILH#1 can try again to play and see if they will win the next time? Should we extend the seasons longer? Sounds like NoMakeSense yeah?! ILH#2 lost twice against #1 they don’t get a 3rd chance.

  33. July 9, 2017 6:51 am

    Why. Gud point same oia 2 n3 they lose oia1 and get more anoter shot in state tourny. Oia 2n3 shold stay home, prep bowl ilh1 vs oia1 gud enuf

  34. Whhy July 9, 2017 8:13 am

    That should be 4th chance to play. Not third. I was thinking 3rd chance to lose.

    – Grab. I’ve said similar in about this article.

  35. Hyn July 9, 2017 9:23 am

    That’s why last years tournament was so much better with another ILH school because of the kapolei vs punahou game. On paper punahou looked like the better team but I think kapolei out coached them. You can’t tell me you would rather see kapolei vs mililani or who ever else in the oia then against punahou last year. Watch how boring it’s going to be this year in the states.

  36. Mahatma Gandhi July 9, 2017 9:35 am

    Hyn, yes, Punahou – Kapolei was a good game. But I want the ILH regular season to count for something. I remember back in the day, 1970s, when ILH feature games would bring in 15,000 fans. 28,000 fans for the `1979 OIA championship football game.

  37. anywaaaays!! July 9, 2017 12:16 pm

    After Kahuku runs through the OIA the ILH start saying…”Kahuku is in a weak OIA conference and comes into the state title game rested and healthy, they lucky they dont have to play STL/KAM/PUN during the regular season”

    Cal Lee went on record after losing to Kahuku in 2015 saying “I wish we could play them during the season so we can get used to their style of play, in the ILH we are a passing league and not used to the ground and pound”…sounds like excuses to me, not to mention STL walking off the field and not accepting the 2nd place trophy back in 2015.

    POOR SPORT! Makes me wonder if they teach poorsport over there at STL, you didnt see the shirt “Private school! Public Housing Mentality!”

  38. Mahatma Gandhi July 9, 2017 2:20 pm

    anyways, I remember St Louis not waiting around for the 2nd place trophy. Apparently they left a player behind who was from the Kahuku school district and who was on the Kahuku sidelines congratulating Kahuku players on their win.

  39. Hyn July 9, 2017 3:44 pm

    C’mon you really complaining about poor sport that they didn’t stay for the second place trophy. Why is there a second place trophy. Poor sports is when St. Louis is singing there alma mater and kahuku crowd is chanting so know one can hear them .

  40. anywaaaays!! July 9, 2017 3:53 pm

    That player is now playing at Kahuku because of that big shaft. I hope the pipeline from north shore to STL is closing. Their shirt “Private schoool! Public housing mentality!” seems to say that they (STL) are keeping it all in Kalihi. Thats better for the rivalry of STL vs. Kahuku because I know STL fans dont want to win another title knowing Kahuku players are on their roster helping.

    Besides, Kahuku has enough talent to supply Punahou and still beat Punahou in the title game as witnessed back in 2011/2012

  41. Hyn July 9, 2017 8:39 pm

    Anywaaaays – like I said there’s only one kid that starts on the varsity that’s from kahuku and his dad is an alumni. You blaming the wrong private school for taking kahuku players. Stop making false accusations.

  42. anywaaaays!! July 9, 2017 9:03 pm

    Yeah Cal Lee is now recruiting outer island because he know us Kahuku fans are sick of his ish! He got his brother head coach at Baldwin on Maui sending players to STL. All these summer camps that are being held at STL is no doubt beneficial for the kids of Hawaii and ultimately better for everyone but there is conflict. It dont matter though, Kahuku is up for the challenge of playing Hawaii-All stars in this years title game….AGAIN!

  43. Hyn July 9, 2017 9:42 pm

    Name me those players you talking about. All false accusations that’s all you got . Stop crying about St. Louis recruiting and take the loss like a man.

  44. anywaaaays!! July 9, 2017 10:20 pm

    How to take a loss? huh! after the 2015 title game that STL lost you dont remember
    – Cal and the whole team walking off the field and skipping the trophy ceremonys?
    – Not to mention 90% of your fair weather fans leaving the stadium in the 4th quarter.
    – The team getting in the bus and leaving a STL player behind at the stadium?
    – Then a STL fan on facebook burning a kahuku shirt and another fan printing a shirt “Kuck Fahuku”.

    It starts from the top down STL fans act like their leaders. Poorsport. Proof in the pudding. This shirt “Private school! Public Housing mentality”

    In 2016 Kahuku losses to STL and they are graceful, some Kahuku fans might act like idiots but those are isolated incidents as you can see the coaches, school and admins have class.

    Public housing mentality! LOL, imagine PUN or IOLANi printing a shirt like that, the coach would get fired in a heart beat. STL is all about football and nothing else.

  45. Mahatma Gandhi July 10, 2017 2:43 am

    Hyn, Tristan Nichols was from Maui. A one year hired gun contract to play for St Louis. Nate Herbig was recruited out of Kauai. Is it Isaiah Tufaga you was referring to as being the 1 Kahuku player starting for St Louis? yeah, but the faddah Wes Tufaga was recruited to play for St Louis. That QB skills camp run by Vince dos Passos is nothing more than a ruse to identify top QB prospects in the islands. I have become good fiends with a former St Louis alum ILH 1st team All-Star in the 1970s. He tells me Cal Lee is the one behind all the recruiting at St Louis. That it’s him who decides what scouts go to what playgrounds to scout out certain players. He also tells me Cal Lee was quietly pushed out as head coach in 2001. I was shocked, asked him how that could have been. he shrugged his shoulders. His body language told me he felt he told me more than he should have, and that I should take it, accept it and don’t ask any more questions about it.

  46. Hyn July 10, 2017 9:55 am

    Triston Nichols barely played and you ever thought Nate wanted to go there that’s why his brother is also there. You making such a big deal about that shirt you ever thought it meant he goes to a private school but knows where his roots is from. Yes cal use to recruit like that back in the prep bowl days. Since they changed the curriculum and have no money those days are over. Stop bashing other schools and get a life!

  47. NoMakeSense July 10, 2017 11:28 am

    Hyn, funny they talk about the private school recruiting, what about the district exemptions in the public schools. During the 80s and early 90s, Kahuku was barely a blip on the Prep Bowl radar, all of a sudden they become dominant, and so does Mililani, kind of similar to the University of Oregon program, for years it was a doormat, then it becomes dominant, but no ones questions where that success comes from, but if it’s a private school, everyone wants to be judge and jury. As I recall, as of late, I remember only one school having to forfeit its wins because it didn’t play by the rules and was ruled ineligible for states.

  48. Hyn July 10, 2017 11:38 am

    Nomakesense, your right and if I wanted too I could dig up some dirt about kahuku but in the end it’s all about the kids. Public or private it doesn’t matter. I like the competition it makes Hawaii football better. But it takes those people who bash the private schools when they win. If they lose then it’s ok. As a fan or a parent just be happy for the other team, they were the better team that night and deal with it don’t cry and make excuses.

  49. anywaaaays!! July 10, 2017 12:10 pm

    Doormat? LOL, The oia started in 1940 and it took Kahuku only 3 years to win its first OIA championship in 1943 and they went back-to-back.

    Look up your facts.

    Kahuku has won titles in every decade since the 40’s. Back then the OIA was balanced but come time for the prep bowl and STL drained all the town schools of their talent and thats why Kahuku remained a power. LOL, doormat.

  50. anywaaaays!! July 10, 2017 12:14 pm

    Prep bowl radar! LOL, dont you remember Cal Lee recruiting and playing 19yr olds? thats why they won 14 straight. Come time for the HHSAA state tourney and they told Cal Lee he cant play his 19yr old boys and now all of a sudden they become Kahukus Doormat! LOL

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