Freshmen allowed to play ILH varsity football

Kamehameha quarterback Kiai Keone threw the football against Punahou in a game earlier this season. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

If you’ve noticed a freshmen playing on an Interscholastic League of Honolulu football team, your eyes are not deceiving you.

A rule passed in the offseason allows freshmen to play in league games for the first time, according to ILH assistant executive director Georges Gilbert.

“Similar to the sport of varsity wrestling, the ILH allows freshmen to participate on the varsity level of football provided a waiver form is submitted by the member school to the league office,” Gilbert wrote in an explanation to Hawaii Prep World via email.

Kiai Keone, a freshman quarterback for Kamehameha, is the only ILH player listed as being in ninth grade on Hawaii Prep World’s team rosters. Keone has played in two games and completed 12-of-27 passing for 75 yards.


  1. Brian Takara October 5, 2017 9:43 pm

    Imua Kiai!!!

  2. Education First October 6, 2017 11:05 am

    Here is some information for the nitwits that didn’t believe me. This just illustrates that more people are aware of the risks of playing football and how important academics is.

    You think it’s a coincidence that Punahou could barely field an intermediate and jv team? You think there’s no correlation between the low turnout at Iolani and the risk of CTE? Kaiser, traditionally a community with middle class and higher citizens have kids who are not interested in football (and this was prior to the new coach coming 1 year ago).

    Here is the full story –

    I will highlight parts of the story below. I know many of our Kahuku Fans cannot read the entire article, so I will help you guys out.

    “The situation at Centennial — where a long history of losing has dampened students’ enthusiasm for football — is unique to this part of central Maryland, but there are plenty of similar examples around the U.S. Participation in high school football is down 3.5 percent over the past five years, according to the annual survey by the National Association of State High School Federations, or NFHS. The decline would be much steeper if not for a handful of states in the South and the West. Throughout the Northeast, the Midwest and the West Coast, in communities urban and rural, wealthy and working-class, fewer kids are playing football.”

    “The risks of football have never been more apparent. This summer, researchers at Boston University said they’d found evidence of a brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of the 202 former football players they studied. The athletes whose brains were donated to the study had played football in the National Football League, college and even high school.”

    “A study published last month in the medical journal Translational Psychiatry showed that kids who played football before age 12 were more than twice as likely to have mood and behavior problems.”

    “Maryland is one of 14 states where participation in football was down 10 percent or more over the past five years, according to NFHS data. In all, 41 states saw a decline between the 2011-12 and 2016-17 school years, and just nine states and the District of Columbia saw increases.”

    “In West Windsor Township, New Jersey, which borders Princeton University and has a median household income of $137,000, one of the two public high schools dropped varsity football this year, and the other might have to do the same next year.

    “Trinity High School in Manchester, New Hampshire, also disbanded its varsity team, with hopes that it could return in a lower division next year.”

    “In Ventura County, California, northeast of Los Angeles, Thousand Oaks High School disbanded its junior-varsity team this season because it needed sophomores and juniors to fill out the varsity roster. In Marin County, north of San Francisco, Novato High School announced that it wouldn’t field a varsity team this year, but the program got a last-minute reprieve when more athletes than expected showed up for practice.”

    “The decline in participation isn’t just limited to wealthy, coastal communities. Among the states where participation is down more than 10 percent are Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois. Population in Illinois has also declined over that period, while in Michigan and Wisconsin it has only grown slightly.’

    “While participation in tackle football is down, flag football is becoming more popular. Participation in the NFL Flag program run by USA Football for kids ages 6-17 increased by 66 percent from 2013 to 2016, with 385,000 kids playing last year.”

  3. anywaaaays!! October 6, 2017 9:41 pm

    Of course you would say something like this, education last. you never played a down of football in your life.

    The freshmen playing varsity rule just proves that the ILH will do anything it can to gain and advantage and win. They change rules when it suits them. All they do is recruit and everyone is supporting the ILH agenda. And you know what? The more I think about it, the more I realize that the entire ILH is against Kahuku.

    Hear me out. They know that Kahuku has more prestige than any ILH school because of our football program. So the ILH agenda is about stealing the kids out of kahuku by recruiting them and turning them against the north shore community. All the rule changes, from the state tournament changes to having freshmen play, is a direct assault against Kahuku and our dominance in the classroom and on the football field. It’s sick and pathetic and everyone, including the media and HHSAA is complicit.

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