‘It’s official. ‘Iolani will be playing football in ILH Division I next season, Raiders coach Wendell Look confirmed Thursday.
Having won multiple ILH and state championships in D-II, the Raiders were required by a new rule to move up to D-II, barring appeal.
School officials had been meeting the last few months in an attempt to make a decision on whether ‘Iolani would appeal to stay in D-II or not.
Eventually, the Raiders’ returning players made the decision.
“We met with them and that was the deciding factor,” Look said. “We sent our declaration to the ILH to be in Division I. The players want to give it a shot and see where they stand. It’s another challenge for them. We will continue to approach the season like we approach every season, with the goal of making and winning the championship.”
Now, instead of Pac-Five, St. Francis and Damien as their main foes, the Raiders will be trying to surpass Saint Louis, Kamehameha and state runner-up Punahou in order to get a spot in the state tournament. As a matter of fact, the ILH is keeping the two divisions separate for the first time this fall, so the Raiders won’t be playing Pac-Five, St. Francis or Damien in league contests and will likely have two games each against the three ILH powerhouses.
The Raiders’ promotion to D-I is for one year only. They will have the option to choose D-I or D-II the following season.
Since the start of the 2010 season, ‘Iolani is 41-18 overall, but 3-17 against D-I schools.