ILH football preseason schedule takes shape

Punahou and Leilehua are scheduled to play in the first week of the football preseason in August. In photo from a 2015 game, the Buffanblu's Judd Cockett caught a touchdown pass with Bryson Caminos Kekahuna defending.
Punahou and Leilehua are scheduled to play in the first week of the football preseason in August. In photo from a 2015 game, the Buffanblu’s Judd Cockett caught a touchdown pass with Bryson Caminos Kekahuna defending.

High school football never gets old in Hawaii.

So, what’s the latest? Three schools are in the process of hiring head coaches: Kamehameha, Kamehameha-Maui and Kalani. Two new head coaches have been hired in this offseason — Lon Passos at Radford and Savaii Eselu at Moanalua.

There might be two high-high-high profile assistant coaches. June Jones is in as offensive coordinator at Kapolei. Colt Brennan is waiting for the paperwork to clear before he can become quarterbacks coach at Moanalua.


Well, spring drills are almost here, and, to help tide you over until the season starts in August, Hawaii Prep World has learned about the preseason schedule involvinh ILH teams.

The highlight, of course, is state Division I runner-up, Saint Louis, going against the D-I champion from two seasons ago, Mililani, on Saturday, Aug. 6.

One OIA nonleague game — state D-I champion Kahuku at two-time national champion Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas on Sept. 17 — could turn out to be a blockbuster.

If any OIA football coaches want to send us their preseason schedule, please email Nick Abramo at nabramo@staradvertiser.com. We will be gathering a list of OIA preseason games in the near future.

Below is a list of preseason games involving ILH teams. Please note that all games, times and sites (if listed) are subject to change and that it is not a complete list as of yet.


Friday, Aug. 5
>> Damien at Moanalua, 6 or 7:30 p.m. (depending on if Moanalua JV team schedules a game)
>> Punahou at Leilehua

Saturday, Aug. 6
>> McKinley vs. Pac-Five, 4 p.m., at Radford
>> ‘Iolani at Radford, 7 p.m.
>> Saint Louis at Mililani

Friday, Aug. 12
>> Pac-Five at Kamehameha-Maui
>> Damien vs. Maui, at War Memorial Stadium, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Aug. 13
>> Saint Francis vs. Kauai, at Vidinha Stadium
>> Punahou at Hilo

Saturday, Aug. 20
>> Konawaena vs. St. Francis, at Oahu site TBD
>> Kealakehe vs. Damien, at T.C. Ching Field, 4 p.m.
>> Waimea at ‘Iolani, 2 p.m.
>> Hilo at Kamehameha


Saturday, Aug. 27
>> St. Bernard (Los Angeles) vs. St. Francis, at Oahu site TBD
>> La Jolla Country Day School (San Diego) at ‘Iolani, 2 p.m. — Father Bray Classic

Unknown date
>> Kamehameha vs. Baldwin, at War Memorial Stadium

COMMENTS

  1. Mauian5 April 11, 2016 3:57 pm

    I know Baldwin plays Kamehameha here on Maui. Don’t know date yet.


  2. USMC April 12, 2016 11:38 am

    Nick,

    I read in one of your previous articles there had been D-I/D-II realignment for four schools; Nanakuli and Radford moving to D-I, Waipahu and McKinley moving to D-II. Has there been any information released as to whether ‘Iolani will be moving back to D-II? I pulled the win/loss record and scores from the Hawaii Prep World stats page and this is what I found. Over the past five years (2011-2015) ‘Iolani went 0-20 vs. D-I schools and lost those games by an average score of 48-21 (lost all 20 games by an average of 27 points). During that same time period ‘Iolani went 34-1 against D-II schools with an average score of 34-13 (21 points/game difference). I can see where D-I schools would want them in their division, as it is almost an assured win (as ‘Iolani’s 0-20 record would show). D-II schools would also want ‘Iolani to be in D-I because of ‘Iolani’s record against D-II schools. With all false bravado, chest pounding, and question of manhood aside, the question to ask is really quite simple. As it has been historically proven over the past five years; would ‘Iolani want to lose every game they play vs. D-I schools or would ‘Iolani want to presumably make the playoffs and possibly play for a state championship? Just for the record, the two teams that moved down to D-II from D-I for this upcoming season (Waipahu & McKinley) had records of 3-20 & 3-19 (I didn’t count forfeits as wins) vs. D-I schools over the last three years. Waipahu: 3-20 vs. D-I and moved to D-II, McKinley: 3-19 vs. D-I and moved to D-II, ‘Iolani: 0-20 vs. D-I and yes, they should be moved back to D-II.


  3. phILHarmonic April 12, 2016 2:05 pm

    To be completely honest, they almost beat Punahou and St. Louis twice last year. Kamehameha was the only team that just ran right through them. For the first punahou game they were in it for the first three qtrs, and in the span of 3 minutes I think punahou scored 3tds and in the 2nd game against punahou they were in it for four quarters. the ST Louis game they were in it both times and were threatening to score in the fourth qtr for the lead. It really is a great question, stay up and lose or go down and win. Go down and make the other 3 D-2 teams better or stay up and make Iolani better. thoughts??


  4. USMC April 12, 2016 3:38 pm

    phILHarmonic,

    Yes, Kamehameha and Farrington rolled over them this past year and even though ‘Iolani made the St. Louis and Punahou games interesting for a while, the end result was the same as it is has been 90% of the games vs. D-I teams over the last decade. I know the kids will play their hearts out in every game, no matter who they were competing against. But, going 0-20 for the past five years and 3-30 over the past decade doesn’t make one think this season will be any different than the last ten seasons vs. D-I teams. The real problem (in my opinion) is ‘Iolani is neither a D-I nor a D-II team, rather a D-I.5. I know the issue of there being three leagues is a “third-rail” subject and there is just as much of a chance as that happening as there is the likelihood of a OIA/ILH combined league. But the question you pose is interesting. Does ‘Iolani return to D-II and make the other D-II teams better or remain in D-I to make ‘Iolani better? I don’t know if ‘Iolani remaining in D-I would necessarily make them better, as getting beat every game doesn’t equate to getting better. I would liken it to mid-major football programs like Tulsa, Cincinnati, and Central Florida, as they can have good records vs. schools that are their approximate size, but their record vs. Oklahoma, Ohio State, and Florida would look very similar to ‘Iolani’s 3-30 record. They might play them close for a while, but the end result is the same. From the OIA standpoint I’m assuming that is why there is realignment every two years, to provide a team who consistently loses a better opportunity. I would propose that ‘Iolani return to D-II, but still be allowed to play the “Big Three” during the season (as they have every season previously). This gives the Big Three an extra game apiece, yet it also allows ‘Iolani the opportunity to compete in a league that fits their size. Again, ‘Iolani isn’t a true D-I team, nor a true D-II team. If given the choice, why would ‘Iolani choose a path that highly favors (historically proven) another winless season against D-I opponents instead of a path that they could be very competitive in? I understand that the rule in place from last year stated that two D-II consecutive league championships or two state championships mandates a move up to D-I for one year. ‘Iolani complied and that experiment resulted in a way that many expected; a couple of close games for a while, then the same result, another loss. If ‘Iolani were to return to D-II and then win two consecutive league championships, then they would once again move to D-I, but in the interim they should return to D-II, as has been proven by their 0-20 and 3-30 records vs. D-I teams over the past five years and decade, respectively.


  5. Ldub Twenty April 13, 2016 1:25 pm

    USMC, at least you ain’t somebody that thinks Iolani should strictly play D2. I agree that they haven’t got a peer in the ILH and that they are neither a D1 team nor a D2 team. But unless they make an announcement out of the blue, they’ll be playing D1 teams in 2016. But will it really hurt that bad since their preseason schedule does not seem to be too hard? Furthermore, there’ve been rumors that the seniors-to-be were in favor of playing the Big 3. Iolani won’t have as small of a team as it usually does and will likely give as good of an effort as it gave St. Louis both times and Punahou and Kamehameha in the 2nd round. If anything, the ILH should have a bye week after the first three games of the league season have been played, to give teams a week to recuperate. And if it makes you feel better, Iolani will likely play D2 in 2017 (probably because of the loss of many members of the class of 2017 and lack of size after this year). And the complaints about them playing D2 will resume and be louder than the complaints about them playing D1 have been (trust me, there are more people that dislike Iolani’s in D2 than there are that dislike their presence in D1). But this demonstrates that this isn’t their problem: it is an Oahu problem because of the paucity of teams in the ILH. If the two leagues would merge, nobody would be complaining about issues like this. Whoever is against an ILH-OIA merger can play in traffic.


  6. Nick Abramo April 13, 2016 6:02 pm

    TO USMC:

    I believe ‘Iolani is going back to D-II, but I am not 100 percent sure. Thanks for the idea. I will check on that. They should be Division 1.5 by themselves because as you point out, they fall right in the middle. A superconference (which looks like it’s never going to happen) with about 10 teams in PLATINUM/AAA would fix ‘Iolani’s division problems. Then, the Raiders could play in GOLD/AA with most of the rest of Hawaii’s football teams. A small amount of teams, 6 to 8, could go in a SILVER/A.


  7. Nick Abramo April 13, 2016 6:04 pm

    Thanks Mauian5 … will check on Kamehameha vs. Baldwin on Maui.


  8. Ldub Twenty April 13, 2016 6:28 pm

    Nick, are they going back this coming year (2016)?


  9. Ldub Twenty April 13, 2016 6:33 pm

    I ask because the people I spoke with (some Iolani teachers and parents of kids playing FB) have told me that their intention was to play D1 again in 2016 and then go back down in 2017.


  10. USMC April 14, 2016 9:44 am

    Ldub Twenty,

    I’m with you on an ILH-OIA merge, how much buzz and excitement would that bring to island football! There would be some packed stands for those games. Nick’s idea about the Platinum, Gold, and Silver divisions sounds like such a solid way-ahead, but I know there are many, many underlying issues in regard to the gatekeepers/decision makers who would champion those ideas. That would be a change from the norm and the known, and many people are resistant to change. I absolutely do believe ‘Iolani should play the Big Three each season, even though they have only won three games in ten years, as there is a rivalry there that surpasses just football, but is absorbed by all their athletic teams that goes back decades. I’m sure the upcoming seniors DO want to play the Big Three, for those very same reasons. But, having ‘Iolani play ONLY the Big Three (with the exception of preseason games), twice, just doesn’t seem logical. If ‘Iolani were to make the playoffs in the ILH (D-I) they would have to win four games in one season; ‘Iolani hasn’t won a total of four games vs. the Big Three in over ten years. If they haven’t won a total of four games in over a decade the likelihood of them winning four games (D-I) in one season is perhaps a bridge to far. However, ‘Iolani’s scrimmages and preseason this year does cover both ends of the spectrum and should be very interesting. They scrimmage vs. Wai’anae (D-I) who went 10-4 last year; losing twice to the eventual State Champions (Kahuku), Mililani (who only lost to Liberty, St. Louis, and Kamehameha), and Kamehameha (who beat ‘Iolani by an average of 28 points in their two games). They also scrimmage a D-II team (Roosevelt) who had two wins last year (not counting the ‘Anuenue forfeit). Then ‘Iolani starts their preseason vs. Radford, who went 13-0 last year on their way to winning the D-II State Championship and who will move to D-I this year. Waimea (D-II) is next and I would like to think ‘Iolani would do well (based purely on Waimea’s win/loss record over the past few seasons). They end the preseason in the Father Bray Classic vs. La Jolla Country Day who made it into the second round of their state playoffs before losing to Coronado (who went on to play in the State Championship). Once ‘Iolani rolls into league play, be it D-II or D-I, they will have played (scrimmage/preseason) vs. three very good teams and two that have seemed to struggle. If the upcoming seniors do play an integral part in the final decision, I just hope they focus on how do they want to be remembered; as the team that might win one game in D-I or as the team that could possibly compete for a State Championship in D-II? We, collectively, are on the outside and each of us has our own opinions, but when the whistle blows it’s the coaches on the sidelines, players on the field, and spectators in the stands. It’s ‘Iolani’s team and I’ll be in their corner, wishing them the best on whichever path this season’s journey takes them.


  11. Ldub Twenty April 14, 2016 2:53 pm

    USMC, I think that if Iolani were to insist on playing D2, they’d schedule really good teams before ILH play. I think only one team on their preseason schedule strikes fear–the California one. And one more thing: they are scrimmaging four times? I didn’t know teams could do that (always thought the most a team could do that was twice).


  12. USMC April 14, 2016 4:52 pm

    Ldub Twenty,

    You are correct about the two scrimmage limit, as ‘Iolani plays Roosevelt (28 July) and Wai’anae (30 July). The other three games are preseason games; Radford (6 Aug), Waimea (20 Aug), and La Jolla Country Day (27 Aug).


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