Former Kaiser football player Isaac Slade-Matautia has been near and far in the past nine months.
Now enrolled at Saint Louis as a sophomore, he practices every day, but that’s the extent of his playing at the prep level.
“He is not eligible to play (football) this year,” ILH executive director Don Botelho said on Monday.
Slade-Matautia, who started at Kaiser last year as a freshman, will have to sit out one year before becoming eligible to play football for the Crusaders. That means he will suit up in 2015 as a junior.
Permitting Slade-Matautia to play would also have violated HHSAA transfer rules.
“We’re just supporting ILH and HHSAA policy,” HHSAA executive director Chris Chun said.
The transfer policy forbids a student-athlete from being eligible immediately after going from a public high school to a private high school.
Saint Louis coach Cal Lee had hoped for better news since Slade-Matautia had enrolled at Bishop Gorman (Nev.) in the offseason, which makes him a transfer from out of state.
Normally, out-of-state transfers can play immediately, but this is not a typical situation.
“If he can’t play, all you’ve got to do is put it in the rules,” Lee said.
After helping Kaiser win the Division II state title, Slade-Matautia and older brother Quinton transferred to Bishop Gorman, a program that is independent of that state’s athletic association. Haskell Garrett, one of the top freshmen in the state, transferred with them from Saint Louis.
Kaiser quarterback Kahi Neves, then a sophomore, also transferred to Bishop Gorman.
Since then, the Slade-Matautia brothers have returned. Isaac enrolled at Saint Louis. Quinton returned to ‘Iolani, where he will be a senior. Neves, however, is said to be in Utah now. Garrett is the only one who remained in Nevada.
Saint Louis’ defensive unit lost two all-state players, safety/linebacker Jacob Lacaden and cornerback Jaisen Sanchez, to graduation. Lacaden is now at the University of Nevada and Sanchez is at Colorado.
Had Slade-Matautia enrolled at a public school, Kaiser or otherwise, he would’ve been eligible to play this fall.