ILH football: One more delay, new start date is Mar. 15

Iolani's Carter Kamana (21) rushes with the ball and fends off a tackle attempt by Castle’s Kela Harbottle (3) on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019. Andrew Lee/Special to Star-Advertiser.

The delay of football in the ever-shifting timeline of prep sports in Hawaii is no surprise.

The Interscholastic League of Honolulu’s start date of the postponed football season was scheduled for today — Feb. 22 — but has been delayed to Mar. 15.

The league had already cancelled most fall and winter sports. While public-school leagues cancelled football in January, the ILH remained persistent and consistent about keeping the sport alive in an academic year altered severely by the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, the City and County of Honolulu remains in Tier 2. The state/DOE has made no changes regarding the restart of public high school sports. On Oahu, the seven-day moving average for new cases has dropped from 100-plus at its peak during the winter season to 27 as of Sunday, with a positivity rate of 1.1 percent.

ILH football coordinator Wendell Look has timelines, sites and schedule options lined up, but nothing is 100-percent easy.

“Football is going to be dependent on the availability and affordability of rapid testing. The RTP plan relies and hinges on testing,” he said.

Look noted that it’s more than a matter of tiers or a simple, singular step in the chain of command.

“We’re waiting on a lot of groups for approval,” he said.

In other sports that have been cancelled, progress is ongoing. Hawaii Baptist and Kamehameha played a home-and-home series over the weekend in girls and boys basketball that required pre-game testing for all participants, including media.

Air riflery and cross country are active in the ILH with teams remaining separated during events, competing at staggered times.

The football delay of game comes as Nevada and California have opened up their respective states for spring football season. In Nevada, however, Clark County, home of Las Vegas, has opted out of public-school prep football.


  1. dahitman February 24, 2021 4:29 pm

    The ILH needs to just make a decision and not keep the players hoping for a season. Seniors need to move on and underclassmen need to get their mind right on a fall season. Most ILH schools end school in mid May. So just 8 weeks for proper training/conditioning and games?

  2. ??? February 24, 2021 7:19 pm

    With OIA football done, I wonder how many kids will try to get into an ILH school to play?

  3. Sam February 28, 2021 12:52 am

    Just end efforts on football already… everything pretty much evens out with spring sports canceled last year. Anything further is pretty much political, favoritism for football, and bias against other sports. It’ll make the ILH a bit discriminatory.

    Continuing to keep the 2020-2021 Football season alive wouldn’t be fair for gender-equality either as the #1 fall sport for girls is volleyball.

    We all need to turn the page and move forward. If people really want a football season, do it at the club football scene and create highlights there. Each school/combination of schools can make their own team and compete in their own special league.

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