The threat of Hurricane Lane that caused football games to be canceled or postponed the weekend of Aug. 24-25 has also caused the ILH to adjust its Open Division football seeding procedure, according to sources.
The ILH is not going to count either Mililani’s 31-24 victory over Kamehameha on Aug. 18 or Punahou’s 43-21 victory over Mililani on Sept. 8 in the standings. Georges Gilbert, the ILH assistant executive director who is also the league’s football coordinator, has not returned phone calls requesting confirmation of the new procedure.
Due to Saint Louis’ canceled Aug. 25 game against Mililani, there was an imbalance in the number of games scheduled for the league’s three Open Division teams. Originally, all three ILH Open teams were scheduled to play eight games (two against ILH Open and six against OIA Open squads). So, by not counting Kamehameha and Punahou’s games against the OIA’s Trojans, the league gets an equal number of games (a total of seven instead of eight) played by the three teams.
As has been reported previously, the first-place Open team will get a bye in the first-round of the ILH playoffs. The other two teams will play for the right to meet the top seed in the title game Oct. 27. The system is similar to formats used in the past, except this time, whoever wins that second playoff game will be the champion and state Open Division representative. In the past, if the top seed lost that game, there would be another game to determine the champion.
Cal Lee, the coach of Saint Louis (5-0 ILH Open) has said more than a few times that he is not a fan of this year’s format.
“You can go undefeated and then lose one game and be out,” he said. “What is that?”
Punahou coach Kale Ane would also have reason to gripe, since his Buffanblu (now 3-2 in ILH Open) got past Mililani and are losing a win in the standings that the Crusaders do not have.
“It was good to battle Mililani,” Ane said. “And it would have been exciting to see Saint Louis battle Mililani. Either way, it’s a tough haul.”
Ane said he respects the ILH’s decision (that has yet to be made public) to not count Punahou’s win over the Trojans.
“There were a lot of variables and bringing the two leagues together this year for games happened pretty quickly,” he said. “I’m sure there will be adjustments made in the future.
Ane also realizes that the eventual No. 1 seed (the Crusaders can clinch with one more win) is getting the short end of the stick in a different way.
“The number one seed doesn’t have the luxury of having those two games … and the league did the best it could to make it as equal (seven games each instead of eight) as possible. I understand it.”
The league’s rationale for not allowing the No. 1 seed the luxury of another game if it loses the Oct. 27 contest is unclear. There is an open weekend (Nov. 2-3) before the Open state tournament starts Nov. 9-10.
No changes to the ILH Division I or II postseason procedure have been made, despite the cancellation of some games during the week of Tropical Storm Lane. Division I teams ‘Iolani and Damien and D-II teams St. Francis and Pac-Five all had games canceled that week, and sources said, the reason no changes are needed to the postseason procedure in place is that all will finish with an equal number (eight instead of nine) games.
St. Francis has already clinched the ILH D-II state berth, but the ILH Division I race will come down to the last two weeks between ‘Iolani and Damien. The team with the better win-loss record moves on to states. If they end with the same record, a playoff would be held Oct. 27.
The Raiders caught a break when their game against undefeated Moanalua, ranked eighth in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser Top 10, was canceled. Damien’s canceled game was against Aiea, which is 2-4-1 overall this season.
The Monarchs (4-2 ILH D-I) are a game behind the Raiders (5-1), including a 31-13 loss to Moanalua on Sept. 21 that counts toward Damien’s league record.
“I think we need to reschedule the games because we have an open week or we just count common opponents in Division I and Division II like we did in the Open Division,” Damien coach Eddie Klaneski said.
The ILH rationale, however, is not common opponents, sources said, but, rather, an equal amount of games played.
The OIA and ILH Division I and II regular seasons end the weekend of Oct. 12-13. OIA playoffs are scheduled for Oct. 19-20, with the championship games on Oct. 26. There is an open weekend — Nov. 2-3 before the D-I and D-II state tournaments start the weekend of Nov. 9-10.