ILH, HHSAA deny Slade-Matautia

Isaac Slade-Matautia won a state championship with Kaiser last year but will be sitting on the sidelines for Saint Louis as a sophomore this year. Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Isaac Slade-Matautia won a state championship with Kaiser last year but will be sitting on the sidelines for Saint Louis as a sophomore this year. Jamm Aquino/The Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

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.


  1. Smoking Duck August 12, 2014 2:37 am

    I wonder if the Las Vegas heat drove them away.
    Nela Otukulo left St Louis for Bishop Gorman the previous year.

  2. Derrick August 12, 2014 7:46 am

    Lee is back at it again, huh? Nice try.

  3. Kapaa Warrior August 12, 2014 12:18 pm

    Smells fishy? Looks to me like they were trying to circumvent the rules in the first place and did not get away with it?

  4. bleedred August 12, 2014 1:13 pm

    I wish these players the best of luck and hope they can reach their goals of earning a college scholarship.

  5. KHS August 12, 2014 7:14 pm

    Cal Lee tried to pull a fast move and got caught.

  6. KAY-E-F-E August 12, 2014 8:17 pm

    Let the kid play, it’s just high school ball. We all need to learn to support our island athletes instead of trying to keep them from thriving. For many sports is the motivation to do well in the classroom. We can only hope that they will get the college recognition that they need to excel at the next level. We need to support and encourage. The people of Hawaii are always quick to judge someone else’s situation. We have no insight to the kid and his family’s situation. Sheesh!
    Good luck to all our island athletes. Stay positive.

  7. Mojo August 12, 2014 10:32 pm

    Why is it that an athlete can transfer from a private school to a public school and play right away yet if its the other way around he/she can’t? I know I know it’s about recruiting. SO WHAT!! We all know it happens. Look at Punahou, they could pass for Kahuku or Farrington if you change the jerseys. The fact is without the success that St.Louis had or the success that Punahou is currently having where would Hawaii high school football be. St. Louis brought recruiters from all over the nation and what happened? A lot of talent was on the other side of the line and they got attention too. Do what’s best for the kids not for the alumni.

  8. More to the story August 13, 2014 9:29 pm

    Before folks point the finger at Cal Lee or St. Louis, look a little further back into the history. Wasn’t this player an 8th grade standout at Iolani, then urged by Puns to come over (but not to waste 9th grade sitting so he repeated 8th somewhere else)? Things never materialized with Puns, so he attends and plays at Kaiser 9th grade 1st semester. 9th grade 2nd semester at Bishop Gorman. 10th grade 1st semester coming up at St. Louis. The rules make sense to curb this kind of school shopping, and me thinks a season off is in order.

  9. NoyoroSpartan August 14, 2014 10:34 pm

    Hawaii people, know your role; support the student athletes of all kinds. Do what’s best for them. Would we rather have these athletes keeping busy with positive activities? Their future is a direct representation of our islands. When they do well, we do well. We don’t need to be negative within and to our own kind. Our island athletes already face that
    Challenge when they leave our islands to continue elsewhere. Too many people outside of our island of Aloha treat and stereotype them as nothing else but beach bums and grass skirt dancing hula girls. Auwe! It doesn’t matter where you’ve been, where you’re at and where you’re going! What matters is we love what we are doing. If something’s not right or suitable then do what’s needed to make it right or better. If it means you have to continue shopping, then keep shopping. Keep going and doing until you’re GOOD, BETTER, BEST. never let it rest. Until your good is better and your better is best. Everyone’s path is unique. Let’s encourage, not discourage!
    I was born and raised in Oahu, grew up in waimanalo. Graduated from Castle. I’ve lived in the mainland for over 14 years and it was a shock culture. It’s amazing how many mainlanders still believe that we live in grass shacks, we wear grass skirts and coconut shells and our children just surf all day and everyday.
    When I come back to visit and have the chance to watch family/friends children play sports, it’s the same thing. I hear the whispers amongst the little groups. Why? I hear too many island people complain about our island athletes not being able to compete, compare to out of state athletes or getting recognition, but how can they? We’re too busy tearing our own island athletes! Stop the whining about recruiting! Reality is, it’s happening whether we like it or not! Recruiting takes place in our everyday life! Believe it!
    I am a proud born and raised hawaiian from Oahu. I was recruited to live on the mainland because of the opportunity and the reality of the affordable cost of living! Better opportunities for my family of 5. Bottom line: my choice(s). I did what was best for us.

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