‘Iolani clinches spot in D-II states

'Iolani's leading rusher from a season ago, Kaua Nishigaya, returns for his senior season in 2018. Cindy Ellen Russell / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

‘Iolani dropped its final Interscholastic League of Honolulu contest Friday, but still clinched a berth in the state Division II playoffs.

The Raiders lost a 49-13 game to St. Francis at home Friday and fell to 4-5 overall. It was a virtual playoff game that the league calls its second round of the regular season. The Saints move on to play Damien (a 30-20 winner over Pac-Five) in the ILH D-II championship game next week and a spot in the D-I states.

That’s where it is a little tricky, but in a nutshell, Damien and St. Francis — even though they play their regular season in D-II — are classified for D-I at the state level.

‘Iolani and Pac-Five (1-8) are the league’s teams that are classified in D-II at the state level, and the Raiders get the berth based on their better record in league games — 3-3 to the Wolfpack’s 0-6 — according to Pac-Five coach Kip Botelho. ‘Iolani won both games against the Wolfpack head to head — 55-20 on Sept. 16 and 34-0 on Oct. 2.

The Raiders are the second team to qualify for the 12 state spots (four in each tier — Division I-Open, Division I and Division II). Kauai High (5-2), the KIF champion, has clinched a spot in the D-I state tourney.


  1. Mahatma Gandhi October 15, 2017 11:41 am

    The Iolani Reds do not belong in Div 2. Div 2 is for schools like Kalani and Waialua. I seen Iolani destroy Waianae in the 1980 Prep Bowl. 32,000 fans attended.

  2. Eh she go October 15, 2017 12:10 pm

    Mahatama Gandhi

    That was 37 years ago… if you saw Iolani’s roster now, physically they have no business playing D1 teams. Their Lineman are as big as other teams DBs…

  3. Choloropicrin October 15, 2017 12:42 pm

    Iolani and Lahainaluna does not belong in D2 period!! Lahainaluna is beating the “D1 / Open” teams, whatever you wanna call them on Maui. Their roster, like Iolani has some big guys and have numbers/ size in numbers.

  4. HobraH October 15, 2017 1:16 pm

    So they lost their game and made it to states. After this year they should open a d3 so Iolani can play pop warner teams and win a “state title”

  5. iwalanib October 15, 2017 2:57 pm

    This whole state playoffs is laughable with the mediocre teams that qualify and the good teams that don’t.

  6. Coach C October 15, 2017 4:28 pm

    This is exactly why the HHSAA “change every year” format is flawed….

  7. Education First October 15, 2017 4:28 pm

    Mahatma Gandhi October 15, 2017 11:41 am
    The Iolani Reds do not belong in Div 2. Div 2 is for schools like Kalani and Waialua. I seen Iolani destroy Waianae in the 1980 Prep Bowl. 32,000 fans attended.
    This guy has been around since Jesus was around. That’s how old this geezer is. Yeah buddy, with an O-Line that averages 5’8 and 175lbs they definitely belong in D1. And that butt whooping that St Francis just put on them really shows they belong in D1.

    But, at least you aren’t crying about Cal Lee ruining football on this post. That in itself is amazing.

  8. RidgeRunnerE-5 October 15, 2017 6:25 pm

    Wasn’t the DI state tournament supposed to consist of outer-island teams only? I thought the DII ILH champion competed in the DII states, while the DI went to the open division?

  9. Tokotoko October 15, 2017 8:48 pm

    Anyone that has seen Iolani play this year would definitely agree that they do not belong in the Division I. Their roster took a tremendous hit this year as they lost a lot of talent to graduation. Last year they declared for the Division I state tournament prior to the season starting, and even though they went winless in ILH Division I play (vs. St. Louis, KS, & Punahou), they still qualified for the Div I tournament because they were the only team in the ILH to make the aforementioned declaration (St. Louis, KS, & Punahou declared for the OPEN division, and St. Francis, Damien and Pac-5 declared for the Div II tournament). Despite their conference record, they were able to make a remarkable run in the state tournament before eventually falling to Mililani in the state title game.
    This is NOT the same Iolani team from a year ago…..Far from it. Any coach/team in the state that had Iolani’s roster this year would have undoubtedly declared for Division II as well.

  10. PlayaHatersAnonymous October 15, 2017 9:37 pm

    How’s this for the records, The St Francis v Damien game this Sat. is to determine who wins the second round of play since Damien won the first round by beating SF. If Damien wins they clinch the DI spot and ILH D2 Champions. If SF wins they win the second round, and now 1st round winner plays 2nd round winner for D2 ILH Championship the next week! More games for those ILH D2 schools to prepare them for the DI playoffs! I hate these private schools have an edge by playing right into tournament time!

  11. Shawn October 15, 2017 9:44 pm

    Bro, that’s not gonna happen for a while. We staying in D2 for a while. Our boys are young and we struggled when it comes to D1 teams. (Maui and Baldwin can only compete in the D1 tournament not the open tourney.) Also, don’t try to make us go up. (We getting negative responses from all over saying that we should be in D1)

  12. SHHHHMEANNN October 16, 2017 8:45 am

    If Lahainaluna had an “option” to contend in D1 playoffs like the ILH D2 teams have…I honestly believe they would be on “Da SHIP” playing for that Championship. Do they belong playing in D1?..if the bracket is permanent and set up the way it is this year where OIA teams and D1 ILH teams are all “OPEN”…then YES!!! They belong in D1, not D1 “OPEN”. But FOR NOW, because of the inconsistency of turnouts of players..D2 with the “option” is where they stand. IMUA LAHAINALUNA!!

  13. Craaaaazy October 18, 2017 7:12 am

    States is a joke! It’s made only to benefit the rich.

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