‘Iolani opts for Division II in state football

'Iolani receiver Brent Nagami made a tough catch over Mililani defensive back Asher Pilanca in the Division I state final in November. The Raiders, who are moving down to D-II for 2017, lost that game to the Trojans, 31-20. Jamm Aquino / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
‘Iolani receiver Brent Nagami made a tough catch over Mililani defensive back Asher Pilanca in the Division I state final in November. The Raiders, who are moving down to D-II for 2017, lost that game to the Trojans, 31-20. Jamm Aquino / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

After two years of playing against Division I football competition, ‘Iolani is going down to Division II in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu, Raiders coach Wendell Look confirmed Friday.

In addition, Look said that ‘Iolani has declared itself a D-II team for the state tournament. D-II is the bottom level of the new three-tier state tourney system.

“Division II is what’s best for our program at this time,” Look said. “Two years is enough at the D-I level. We had the physical size and maybe not the depth. Now, this year, we’re back to a normal ‘Iolani team. We’re thin in size and in depth.”

When there were only two divisions at the state tournament (before the HHSAA added Open to D-I and D-II last year), ‘Iolani was dominant in D-II, winning eight state titles out of 12 chances.

Two years ago, the Raiders moved up due to an ILH rule stating that a D-II team winning two league or state titles in a row must go up to D-I.

At the time, Look thought about appealing that rule, but instead let the players make the decision, and they wound up voting for D-I in both years.

The decision went to the players again this year and they chose D-II for 2017.

“We talked to the kids and they’re not dumb,” Look said. “They know what this team is about. They know what it’s like to play at the D-I level. They’re being realistic about the makeup of this team.”

Since 2010, the Raiders are 48-33 overall, but just 7-32 against D-I competition statewide.

Look knows ‘Iolani’s decision to play at the D-II level will rankle some people.

“I was criticized by my own league last year, when we were placed in Division I for the states (the only ILH team classified there in the new pilot program). I had no say in it. They said it was unfair.”

Division I at the state level did appear to be the right place for the Raiders, though, and it seemed to some that they were finally where they belonged (since they used to dominate in D-II and get dominated in D-I but would no longer have to face many D-I teams now playing up in the Open Division).

Sure enough, ‘Iolani made it all the way to the D-I state final, where it lost 31-20 to Mililani.

But Look said that if ‘Iolani plays a D-II schedule, then he believes they should be classified in D-II for state tournament purposes.

“For those people who think we should play in D-I, they’re not in my shoes,” Look said. “Tell them to come stand in my shoes.

“The three-tier state tournament is a great concept, but the best case is if we have a three-tier regular season with a merged ILH and Oahu Interscholastic Association, too,” he said.

There was a push for that alliance prior to the 2016 season, but it was never voted on by the HHSAA. It remains to be seen if a proposal for an OIA-ILH alliance is brought up again.

“There are more coaches who want it than don’t,” Look said. “Imagine the possibilities that could occur — great matchups every week in three different divisions. And, with more interest in each game, it would be a lot better financially.”

There are other coaches and athletic directors who do not want such an alliance, but, for the most part, they do not go on the record against it.

Although he didn’t say he was for it or against it, OIA football coordinator Harold Tanaka said in February that he doesn’t think the state is ready for it.

At that time, Tanaka also said he thinks the OIA should eventually switch from two to three divisions, but that it would not be on the table until 2018.

The Hawaii High School Athletic Association football committee, of which Tanaka is a member, is set to meet this month to finalize a state football proposal (for Year 2 of the the three-tier system) to bring to the Hawaii Interscholastic Athletic Directors Association meeting in June.

HHSAA executive director Chris Chun said last month the football committee is concentrating on a proposal that may tweak “the size of the tournament divisions, the seeding formula and declarations (schools and leagues choosing which teams go in which division).”


  1. grabum.bythe.puppy.gate April 1, 2017 8:51 pm


  2. Ldub20 Owl316 April 1, 2017 11:28 pm

    Iolani will possess the talent to win D-1 next year (against teams like Hilo, Leilehua, Kailua, and Baldwin), so why pass up an opportunity to do that? Are they too NARCISSISTIC and INSECURE that they need a GUARANTEED championship? Go ahead and avoid St. Louis, Kamehameha, and Punahou but why avoid teams on your level?

  3. Mahatma Gandhi April 1, 2017 11:54 pm

    Iolani Black Raiders.

  4. Mahatma Gandhi April 2, 2017 3:11 am

    Now get too few ILH teams in Div 1. What now? Punahou gotta play Kamehameha and St Lulu 3 times in the “regular season”?! You gotta blame St Lulu. I grew up in the 1970s. Had tremendous balance in football all over the state. No need for different levels of play. I even seen the Iolani Red Raiders destroy Waianae in the 1980 Prep Bowl. I seen Pac-5 win the Prep Bowl twice. St Lulu decided in the early 1980s that they were going to commit to building a powerful, win-at-all-costs football program. That they did, destroying the competitive balance of Hawaii state high school football from 1986 to 2000. Punahou was then forced to recruit if they wanted a competitive football team. St Francis too. Which has gutted the OIA of its rosters. Now St Louis gotta play mainland schools to get some variety in its schedule. They the ones to blame.

  5. Ldub20 Owl316 April 2, 2017 3:56 am

    Mahatma Gandi, who cares what happened when you were young in the 1980s? It ain’t our fault you can’t stop LIVING IN THE PAST.

    And thnk1st, thank you. The problem is Coach Look and his victim mentality.

    Let me mention once again: I ain’t got no problem with Iolani avoiding Pun, STL, and KSK. But avoiding teams like Kailua and Leilehua and claiming you are too small to play THEM? Give me a break.

  6. Northshore April 2, 2017 4:31 am

    Heck if Iolani is able to opt to play in what ever division they feel comfortable to compete in than every school should have that option and the ILH, OIA and HSAA should have no say as to how they will categorize every school. All the wimps should play in Division II like Iolani.

  7. f milo April 2, 2017 4:45 am

    Yes, Mr. Look many know that your “shoes” will always be smaller than those of your predecessors.

  8. Bumbuchas April 2, 2017 5:15 am

    We have some Iolani haters here, let Iolani & the ILH make their own decisions on where they want to go. That’s for ILH Director Blaine Gaison and the other ILH HC’s to decide. I agree though, Iolani is a program where they belong in the middle Tier. Their success is a reflection of the great coaching job they do there. They win with inferior talent against teams that have great athletic ability. Their longtime philosophy of Team, ultra fast No Huddle, combined with the addition of DC Delbert Tengan several seasons ago, have made them top notch. I think leaving the decision to the Team is a good thing, they did decide to stay in the ILH D1 level for 2 seasons. I do not agree that the ILH & the OIA should merge for the regular season, state tournament, yes. The ILH schools ALL recruit heavily and more power to them. Look at St Francis and Damien even, how many elite Polynesians they have on the team. The scholarship players benefit, getting an opportunity to attend a private school. The state tournament is where all the league champions can compete against one another. It’s unfortunate that the ILH has so few teams that they have great difficulty filling out their season’s schedule but the public schools need to compete against opponents on a level playing field for the regular season anyway. The league pride can kick in when they compete against all in the state tournament.

  9. locomoco April 2, 2017 12:17 pm

    Go look at their roster on ScoringLive … returning next year are 5 players who weigh 200 pounds or more (and two of those guys are 5′-8″ 200 and 6′-0″ 202). Just one returning D-lineman. Anyone saying this will be a legit D-1 team is uninformed; their several years with size are clearly behind them.

  10. anywaaaays!! April 2, 2017 1:31 pm

    If Iolani gets to opt out of D1 because of size (smaller players) then we should allow any school to opt out of their conferences for any reason. For example the ILH has tons of highly skilled players in soccer and volleyball. Schools like Kahuku who have a good (but not highly skilled) girls volleyball team could opt out of the D1 level and play in the D2. Im sure Kahuku parents and their kids would much prefer a better chance at a D2 state title then to go up against highly skilled teams with numerous advantages (recruiting, resources…).

    The difference between a D1 and D2 title means nothing to a college recruiter who only cares about the fact that they are getting a kid that won a title period, therefore the kid is a WINNER!

    Heck while we are at it, why dont we make 10 divisions in every sport so each team can find a place to fit in and we can have ten champions instead of only three. If a team cant find a perfect fit in the 10 divisions then lets just give them a free trophy anyway so their kids can put down “champions” on their resume.

  11. Ldub20 Owl316 April 2, 2017 3:17 pm

    Locomoco–so you think they belong in the same tier with Kapaa and Waialua? You must be a village idiot. Their place is the middle tier. Period.

  12. Raider Parent April 2, 2017 7:14 pm

    Look should retire. He treats his players like dirt. Despite complaints to the school they won’t get rid of him. If he was in the DOE, Look would be terminated but Iolani just looks the other way. He has run the football program into the ground. Kids don’t want to play for him and parents don’t want to see their kids go through crap he puts them through. His interpretation of the One Team philosophy is me, myself and I.
    #me/myself/and /I

  13. f milo April 2, 2017 7:47 pm

    Don’t want to get misunderstood as a Iolani hater. I think the school does great things for student athletes there. I think what’s offensive to me at least is Mr. Look’s statement about being a victim of his smaller player turnout despite the fact that he’s been coaching there for decades having more than enough time to develop improved squads of (bigger, faster, more athletic) players from the isle. It is simply his personal preference to stay at this level. I would respect him more had he stated this outright. Instead, he choses to blame the players. ONE TEAM? Yes definitely, because its his team. Iolani will be D2 for a while.

  14. Ldub20 Owl316 April 2, 2017 9:33 pm

    Raider parent, are you saying Look is a narcissist?

  15. locomoco April 2, 2017 9:49 pm

    I guess I’m the village idiot.
    Since you asked about Kapaa and Waialua – Kapaa returns 2 more 200+ pounders (7) than Iolani (5), Waialua returns 2 fewer 200+ pounders (3) than Iolani (5).
    Punahou returns 10 more 200+ pounders (15) than Iolani (5); Punahou returns 2 more 300+ pounders (2) than Iolani (0). Iolani won zero league games in two years in Div. 1 with their largest sized players in a long time. Next year they become micro-sized. They belong in Div. 2.
    And repeating your Simpson, Manson, and Saddam nonsense tells readers more about you than it says about me.

  16. Northshore April 3, 2017 2:41 am

    A team that is stacked with 10 two/three hundred pound players on the roster doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re at a huge advantage compared to teams with lesser weight players. Many players could be slow and bench warmers and the faster and lighter players are the spark of the team. As an example, the military academies (Army, Navy, Air Force) do have weight restrictions (fat boy program) and limited to how heavy and big the players are compared to the the other Division I teams that they have to compete against. They don’t opt to compete in Division II because they don’t use weight or size as an excuse…They’re there to compete and make no excuse and do the best with what they have. Maybe Iolani should start recruiting bigger boys and stop using size and weight as an excuse to compete in division I. If that’s the case, Iolani should compete in all Division II sports.

  17. Ldub20 Owl316 April 3, 2017 6:43 am

    locomoco should know that his position is hapless. Nobody shares his viewpoints that Iolani belongs in D2 with Waialua and Kapaa. Is anyone saying Iolani belongs in the same division as Punahou? I think we all know the answer to that.

  18. Ldub20 Owl316 April 3, 2017 6:47 am

    Would it surprise anyone if locomoco is really Coach Look?

  19. Coach_B April 3, 2017 10:04 am

    First off I think that Iolani belongs in D1 for the state tournament regardless of where they belong in the ILH. They’re gonna lose all their games in ILH D1 or probably win all their games in ILH D2 (but I personally think that their advantage over D2 schools like Damien and St. Francis is shrinking as both programs are on the rise as of late so their might be an argument for ILH D2 over D1). State D1 makes the most sense for them though as shown by this past year’s success in that division.
    However, I’m gonna take over as village idiot for the sake of argument. I think locomoco has a point about the fact that the average linemen on their best teams in the state far outweigh the average Iolani lineman. I don’t think its a coincidence that Kahuku and Waianae, perennial OIA contenders, usually have the biggest lines in the state.
    @Northshore I get what you are saying about smaller lines being able to be just as effective, but I’d argue that Iolani’s success is a result of them overachieving along the lines of the military academies in spite of their small lines. Teams like Kapaa and Damien had as many outliers on their roster as Iolani. The Unutoas at Kapaa and Buelow at Damien easily have D1 college size despite playing at smaller schools.
    @f Milo I agree that Look has had enough time to develop a better program, but I always looked at their program as an overachiever considering they don’t recruit anywhere close to the level of STL or PUN. You cant have it both ways in complaining about schools recruiting and also complaining about not developing a bigger team.
    @RaiderParent I don’t wanna tell you how to parent because that isn’t my place, but having played football, sometimes it takes tough coaching to get the best out of a team. It also takes the players to have “a few screws loose” to really respond to that type of coaching. How are you gonna get your undersized players to willingly run into bigger, faster, and stronger athletes over and over if you are easy on them?

    Bottom line, I’m not saying Look is the best person/coach in the world, but I don’t know if I’d do anything different considering his team’s situation… save for maybe staying at State D1

  20. Ldub20 Owl316 April 3, 2017 10:37 am

    Coach_B, Iolani might not have bigger players than most teams, but there are a lot of speedy players on their team. Sometimes you don’t need Kahuku-sized players to survive. All you need is speed. And yes, Iolani recruits. They just don’t recruit Kahuku-sized kids. They recruit speedy players.

  21. Education First April 3, 2017 10:52 am

    You guys insult Coach Look and what division they play in. But after the day is done and their season is over, their kids will graduate with a diploma from Iolani. Most will go into upper tier universities and live a productive and comfortable lives that do not depend on government assistance. Can many of you from other schools say that? The numbers do not support it that’s why.

  22. Coach_B April 3, 2017 11:51 am

    @Ldub20 Ok. I never said that they didn’t recruit. I said that they didn’t recruit at the same level that STL and PUN does. This is because Iolani probably has the hardest academics in the whole state, which severely limit the players that they could actually recruit. This is in contrast to schools like PUN that have specially class tracks that cater to players that might not be able to handle the standard courses at PUN. To that point, since they don’t recruit to that level, couldn’t you say that they do rather well for what they have?

    The coaching staff always have solid QBs, WRs, and other skill players. From guys like Reece Foy, Tai-John Mizutani, Jim On, and others, Iolani has developed quality QBs, the hardest position to develop for most teams. Where they always lose is when they can’t run the ball or stop the run. They do the best they can by substituting run plays with screens to take advantage of those speedy players you mentioned, but you cant win a game if the other team can just run out the clock with 50 run plays in a row and you don’t have the players to stop it. Speed can overcome many things, but not everything. Given that limitation, size does still matter to a certain extent

  23. punting snapping turtle April 3, 2017 12:04 pm

    Iolani is moving down because they can’t win or too small, but they have no problem playing older and bigger players in intermediate and dominating with bigger kids at that level. I guess its okay for them to runaway at varsity because of size, but in intermediate play older and bigger players.

  24. Raider Parent April 3, 2017 1:00 pm


    It takes a good leader that creates an environment of encouragement and support to bring out the best of a team. Applying pressure to athletes in a positive and constructive way will help develop confidence and promote a cohesiveness. Have you ever watched Look coach? During games he’ll loudly curse at players, refs, and his coaches. How is a coach suppose to get a positive response when only the person with “a few screws loose” is the coach himself?
    The game has changed including safety rules implemented to help protect players from potential head injuries. Blocking and tackling schemes and techniques have also been adjusted to protect players. The mindset of constant collisions in football play is going out of style as fast as being a inept coach. Iolani has to change as well and go in a new direction of coaching.

  25. Ldub20 Owl316 April 3, 2017 1:02 pm

    One fact nobody can deny: teams like Kailua and Leilehua don’t dwarf Iolani size as locomoco makes it sound. They haven’t got a monstrous advantage over them there.

  26. Education First April 3, 2017 1:26 pm

    olani declaring D2 for state tourney with PAC-5 and SF & Damien to D1. Coach Look and school sandbagging and looking for a cheap title against TRUE D2 schools with far less resources and privilege. What an embarrassment to Bray’s legacy. They’re trying to compete with the Mighty Buffnblu but they don’t come close!!!!!! The Golden “O” sticker on my mom’s Kia Optima says it all. PRIDE and will ALWAYS compete at the highest level. Now let’s see big bank take little bank. Onward Sons of Oahu.

  27. anywaaaays!! April 3, 2017 3:09 pm

    Education First April 3, 2017 at 10:52 am
    “You guys insult Coach Look and what division they play in. But after the day is done and their season is over, their kids will graduate with a diploma from Iolani. Most will go into upper tier universities and live a productive and comfortable lives that do not depend on government assistance. Can many of you from other schools say that? The numbers do not support it that’s why.”

    Well maybe Iolani should drop their football program since their kids obviously dont need it, instead they would rather act like elitists and force change into the landscape of Hawaii High school football to fit their snotty little hopes and desires and sadly enough Iolani is not the biggest offender of this type of mentality, the school on the hill is even more guilty. #elitistsMentality

  28. Ldub Twenty April 3, 2017 4:22 pm

    No, Iolani’s got more elitists than Punahou and St. Louis COMBINED. If you don’t think Iolani preaches elitism, there is something wrong with you! We are seeing this elitism with Coach Look!

  29. Ldub Twenty April 3, 2017 4:26 pm

    Why is it that nobody else is taking locomoco’s position (that D2 is the ONLY state tournament that Iolani should play in)? Is it because that people with that opinion make Donald Trump (and brainless his supporters) look like EINSTEIN?

  30. Coach_B April 3, 2017 4:55 pm

    @Raider Parent
    In a matter of fact I have seen Look coach. I’ve actually seen him coach as an opposing player and coach. I see nothing out of the ordinary with his coaching behavior. Cal Lee yells at referees, players and coaches all the time. I don’t think you could make any case that he is inept as a coach. You know why Eric Kadooka got pushed out at Punahou? They said he wasn’t “positive enough.” Winning 7 state baseball titles is quality coaching. Positivity has nothing to do with quality coaching. Look may be tough, but many times his comments are warranted. Mentally weak players that can’t handle coaching won’t be successful in football.

    Have you ever played or coached football? Football is an inherently aggressive and physical sport. Inept coaching would be to neglect to instill a tough and physical mindset into your players. Explain to me how blocking and tackling is in any way less physical than before. Less dangerous yes, but not less physical. What is defense and blocking? Tackling and blocking implies collisions. How does Kahuku win these days? Big physical lines that dominate smaller opponents.

  31. Raider Parent April 3, 2017 9:30 pm

    You ask me if I know why Eric Kadooka got pushed out … my answer: yes, I was there and had personal knowledge of the situation that led to him leaving and your intel is wrong. I understand the scope of football and my opinion of Look is based on personal knowledge of how Look treats the kids and how he runs his program, and what I am saying is that he crosses the line beyond tough coaching. Everyone has their opinions and my opinion is based on my personal experience with Look and the program and will stand by it…. Look should either retire or be terminated. I am not trying to convince you. It’s just sad to hear that you did not have more positive coaches in your life like I did when I played football. #GoRaiders

    @Ldub20 Owl316 Yes I would be surprised because I think @Coach_B could be Look. LOL

  32. anywaaaays!! April 3, 2017 9:47 pm

    Ldub20 you got some serious issues to be hating that hard on Iolani. At least the rest of us with an opinion have reasonable point of views.

  33. ??? April 4, 2017 2:11 am

    Hawaii prep world better NEVER compare coach Look to Cal Lee ever again.

  34. Ldub20 Owl316 April 4, 2017 8:10 am

    anywaaaays!!, my only beef is with people that think that Iolani belongs in D2 with Waialua and Kapaa, as well as Iolani ELITISTS. And plus, you can’t say that people who’ve got that opinion have got a point. Whoever says they’ve got a point deserves to suffer in Guantanamo!

  35. TonyRomo April 4, 2017 8:35 am

    Some of the statements made her are ridiculous. Coach Look runs a very professional high school football program. In fact I would say its a model program that the majority of high level AD/S and Schools would love to have. His coach’s on staff are first rate experienced high energy coaches that both played the game and know how to teach it to young inexperienced undersized players. The players have excellent resources with a full time strength coach, 3 full time athletic trainers, and fantastic all grass field, and full time equipment managers that take care of the football team and players like most colleges do. Also the players have pre game meals, chapel service, community service opportunities. In addition these student athletes are that students first and with that have access to the finest education on the island. Is coach look perfect. Hell NO, and he would more than like tell you that. But to say some of the things said other about him is ridiculous. I would agree that school like Iolani should play D 1 in every sport including football. However the reason they can’t, or won’t is not all on Look. IT FALLS 100% ON THE SCHOOL, BOARD OD TRUSTEES, AND HEADMASTER, AND PARENTS. Thats right PARENTS. Parents at Iolani rule the school. They won’t their kids to play sports, but if its too hard they complain, coach too mean complain, student not playing complain. What does the Iolani do. They cave, they give in. All of these people are soft, weak mined and have no real desire to push these kids athletically. Most students at Iolani are soft. Watch their soccer teams or baseball or water polo, or softball. Weak, no backbone. That comes from the coaches being recruited and TOLD by the admin and parents to take it easy on them, be soft, losing is ok, everyone plays mentality. All they won’t to do is have team that kinda wins. If I was Coach Look id be pissed off at Cottrell. That dude has none nothing for athletics nothing. In fact if Look wasn’t at Iolani or resigned the athletic department as a whole would implode. Most of the clowns that run that place have no idea what they are doing. Coach Look wants to play D1, of course he does. But I mean HOW? Maybe he knows something you don’t. That the players he has really down want it. Football in a war of attrition. When you only have like 50 players and half of them aint that good. Not much a coach can do. Come on Iolani. Grow up little bit.

  36. All I got to say is that if Iolani is able to declare DII for states then something really needs to change in the ILH office. Everyone in their right mind knows that Iolani has the resources as stated by Mr. Romo to be competing at the highest level in all sports, football included. Probably not in the open division but definitely shouldn’t be begging to play in the DII state tournament. Playing in the DII in the ILH is the right fit but not for states. If Coach Look is the one behind them moving down to DII then he has lost his competitive edge and will start to break down what he built over the last 25 + years and his legacy will be tarnished. The conversation of merging the leagues together needs to be addressed NOW, not tomorrow, not next year, TODAY!!!! Or we will be having this same kind of dialouge forever. Make 3 divisions that teams need to declare for or league deems them to be in and set schedule based on that. Top 6 in the open qualify for states, top 4 from (Oahu) DI plus 1 BIIF and 1MIL, top 3 DII (Oahu), 1 KIF, 1 MIL, 1BIIF. PERIOD!!!! Leagues need to put a term in place kinda like OIA used to have about moving up or down every 2 years or every year. This will be the only way to truly even the playing field. Take the recruiting BS out cause a lot of the OIA teams recruit kids too and the facilities and resources cause last time I looked the OIA schools out number top notch playing fields than the ILH schools have now. Tired of all the bureaucracy, lets just get it right and have better match ups each week, even playing fields, created new rivalries, generate more money (which is what is the driving force behind athletics) and great competition each and every weekend during the football season. HHSAA, OIA, and the ILH need to put the past in the past and get this SH%& done.

  37. anywaaaays!! April 4, 2017 1:02 pm

    The playing field is not even when the ILH has all 8 islands to recruit from. Havent you ever noticed that when Punahou goes on a recruiting binge they end up winning the ILH and usually the state title? and when St. Louis goes on a recruiting binge they end up winning the ILH and states?

    Some OIA schools try to recruit but STL and PUN are WAY, WAY, WAY better at it, to the point where its not an equal playing field.

    The OIA and ILH should never merge, they dont need to. The OIA should make 3 tiers on their own to match the HHSAA state tourney, that would make sense cause they have enough teams to do it, but leave the ILH in their own league to figure things out on their own. The ILH should set their sights on competing with other recruiting schools in california and nevada like Bishop Gorman and Mater Dei instead of picking on the lowly OIA public schools. Does it sound like I have no compassion for the ILH football schools? you are right, they can go suck on their thumbs.

    Finally, let me remind you all. All this commotion about 3 conferences is due to one school. Kahuku. The state of Hawaii and the ILH got sick of seeing Kahuku dominate all these years. Now they are trying to figure out how to make it harder for Kahuku to win a title and easier for other schools to win a title. It was never about an even playing field, its about deflating the tires on the BIG RED machine.

    Let me repeat, STL Crusader alumni complained about Kahuku having a cupcake season in the OIA and then only having to play the ILH winner (STL or PUN) once in the state title game. They said “Kahuku wouldnt be winning titles if they had to play Pun/STL/Kam in the regular season and the playoffs”. Now guess what, STL crybabys are trying to make it happen by merging the leagues. They took the first step by getting PUN and STL into the state tourney, now they want to merge leagues.


  38. Education First April 4, 2017 2:17 pm

    Lot of jealous for several schools on this strand ranging from Punahou to Iolani to KS. But I get it. When you are your child applied and wasn’t good enough to attend, then there is a lot of hatred.

    Or even worse, many people cannot apply since they cannot afford it. Regardless, there is a lot of hate and jealousy for some fine academic institutions.

    Instead of being angry at schools for recruiting. Why aren’t you people appalled or furious at your local schools who put out some of the worst test takers on the island, if not the world?

  39. Kahuku has been recruiting kids from all over the place too. Maui, samoa, new zealand, etc.. So does Rod at Mililani from other programs. Kapolei and Campbell have done it too. Good thing the OIA changed the rules or it wouldve got more out of hand. And FYI Kahuku would probably still compete and win games playing the likes of STL, KAM and PUN but it would be a lot harder than going through an OIA East schedule. Game planning and having to make adjustments each week vs. those teams would make it a lot harder to win championships every year. And I’m not just talking about the open div. The entire state would benefit from a merger. You are looking at this proposal very narrow-mindedly. Think about the exposure for the state of Hawaii and all the kids that play in these porgrams that would be able to showcase their talents vs. more name opponents. Open, DI,and DII would be able to play up and get better. Open your eyes.

  40. Dictator April 4, 2017 2:31 pm

    I wish people would stop playing the victim. Both OIA backers who are against a merger with the ILH AND Iolani sympathists that think that D2 is the only state tournament they can play in. Those opinions are destroying football here.

  41. anywaaaays!! April 4, 2017 6:22 pm

    ILH dude, you must be ecstatic of all the new development in Kakaako because it will showcase the beautiful city line of Honolulu and bring better exposure to our islands and economy. You sound just like those greedy mainland developers coming into Hawaii to make a buck by driving up real estate prices with their million dollar condos and forcing the middle class locals to move to the mainland and the homeless out of the city. All this because its good for everyone right?!?!

    Becareful which cool-aid you drinking, dont believe the dialogue coming from the ILH and HHSAA about showcasing and exposure for the local talent. Whats good for one group of people is bad for the other. Coach LOOK, ANE and Cal Lee are all out to do whats best for their high paying clients (aka ILH students, their parents and their alumni). St. Louis and Punahou have been losing some of their elite players to mainland schools, in order to keep their golden kids home to help them win state titles they need to better their ILH conference. How do they better their conference? by increasing their season games and merging with the OIA. The ILH’s 3 team D1 conference is probably the stupidest in the nation, parents and alumni are tired of it. The ILH needs the OIA, the OIA does not need the ILH.

    Why has there never been talk in the 90’s about merging conferences? Because the ILH has always dominated the OIA and everything was right in the universe. I didnt hear Cal Lee back in the 90’s saying…”Hey Kahuku, Waianae if you guys want to get better you need to come and play seasonal games with us in the ILH, our level of play is better and you will get better too”. NOPE, they kicked our arse in the 80’s and 90’s and made us figure things out on our own.

    Now that Kahuku is a dominating force, on top of the fact that some elite ILH kids are leaving to the mainland because of their idiotic 3 team conference, now Cal Lee and the ILH is saying …”we need to unite and make each other better”. BULL CRAP! WHATS GOOD FOR THE ILH IS NOT GOOD FOR THE OIA!

    STL dominated in the 80’s and 90’s. In the 2000’s Kahuku became a power, now in the 2010’s Kahuku continues to dominate. Now is the ILH’s chance to merge with the OIA under the guise that “The oia is getting better”….NO, Kahuku is getting better. The rest of the OIA is still struggling. 2014 State champs Mililani couldnt even qualify for the open division in 2016. I REPEAT, KAHUKU IS THE ONLY ONE GETTING BETTER, but the word from the HHSAA/ILH is that THE ENTIRE OIA IS GETTING BETTER.

    A three tier divisions in the OIA is awesome, I support it. D1, D2, D3. This will transition well into the State tourneys post season 3 tier tournament. The ILH can go suck their thumbs and FIGURE THINGS OUT ON THEIR OWN.

    End of Story!

  42. anywaaaays!! April 4, 2017 6:45 pm

    Another point: If you are a baller College coaches will find you. The OIA has been able to produce College talent from as far as Waialua, Nanakuli, Kaiser, Castle and of course all the usual big schools like Kahuku, Mililani and Waianae. The OIA does not need an ILH merger to better showcase our kids, as a matter of fact if im not mistaken, I think the ILH is having ups and downs on their D1 offers, when they are not producing state titles and D1 offers they will lose funding from their boosters and alumni.


  43. Tommy Robertson April 4, 2017 8:35 pm

    If I were a D2 team and won my league, I’d BOYCOTT the D2 tournament just because of Iolani’s presence there. Any decent coach would, too.

    I mean, wouldn’t you boycott the D1 tournament if St. Louis were part of it? Iolani deserves to play in the D2 tournament as much as St. Louis does in the D1 or D2 tournaments.

  44. Anyways. Bro you killing me. The reason why the ILH didn’t merge back in the 80’s and 90’s was because the ILH was the toughest league by far. From Damien and Pac-5 to Stl and Pun. Top to bottom was beast but of course STL threw off the balance as they began to recruit more and more they widened the gap between themselves and the smaller schools. Take a look at the Prep bowl results in both the championship games and 3rd place games. ILH had a lot of different representation throughout the years and most times beat the shit out of the top 2 OIA teams. But now we live in a different world, in order for Hawaii football to continue to develop and get better all around we need to create division and parity by merging the leagues and making each one as competitive as possible. If there was a merger, there would be more parity and competition each week. The gap needs to be closed and made tougher and more competitive at every level.

  45. Tommy Robertson April 4, 2017 11:31 pm

    Only an idiot would disagree with ILH makes there own rules anyway…….

  46. Hyn April 5, 2017 12:47 am

    Just imagine if St. Louis makes a power conference with 5 other mainland schools and only plays in the ILH. They would boycott the state tournament and now the OIA would beg for them to come back. Just a rumor that’s going around.

  47. Just Play April 5, 2017 7:32 am

    @Hyn I have heard that as well. My guess is “Iolani Opts for Div II …” will soon become not as controversial once other things become public. OIA/ILH football is about to get interesting.

  48. Education First April 5, 2017 8:30 am

    anywaaaays!! April 4, 2017 at 1:02 pm
    The playing field is not even when the ILH has all 8 islands to recruit from. Havent you ever noticed that when Punahou goes on a recruiting binge they end up winning the ILH and usually the state title? and when St. Louis goes on a recruiting binge they end up winning the ILH and states?
    @anywaays, you must hate college and pro sports then. There is never a level playing field. The SEC, PAC 12, BIG 10, and other major conferences will always be better than the WAC and Mountain West.

    In professional sports, cities like LA, NY, Chicago, and other major cities will often have more appeal to lure free agents than cities like Sacramento, San Diego, Minnesota, etc.

    It’s the name of the game. If you don’t like it you can:

    1) stop watching
    2) work for the committee who makes decisions on these matters

    But PLEASE, can you stop crying already?

  49. Coach_B April 5, 2017 11:20 am

    @Anywaaays Just a thought that I’m throwing out there… What if its not the “high paying clients (ilh parents, alumni, boosters)” that Lee, Ane and Look are trying to benefit? I’d be the last person to go out on a limb to back the ridiculously inept administrative skills of Ane, not to mention the nepotism and political web behind the scenes.

    However, hypothetically, if the ILH recruiting situation was sorted out, then would you want to see teams on the same competitive level, like Kahuku vs. STL vs. PUN. vs. Waianae, playing together? I hear what you are saying about the ILH needing the OIA more, I’d just think that competitive parity would be good all around given that recruiting would be prevented. 3 ILH D1 teams are kind of ridiculous, but so is the OIA Blue where its pretty much Kahuku and Waianae ever since Kapolei started attracting talent from Nanakuli and Campbell. OIA Red isn’t much better with Farrington, Kapolei, and Mililani, but even Mililani is questionable since their most success came with out of district players like Manu, Agasiva, Milton, Malepeai, and Timoteo. Teams like Castle and Kaiser don’t really have a realistic shot at beating these teams even though they are in the same Division, kind of like Iolani and ILH D1. Just wanted to throw that out there to show that parity is hard given the regular season set up in both the ILH and OIA and that the state set up looked more competitive across the board regardless of the perception with regards to too many champs.

  50. This is what it would look like if there was a merger. Something like this with top 2 and bottom 2 going up or down in each division after a 2 or 3 years rotation.
    Open Division
    Punahou, Kam, STL, Kahuku, Farrington, Kapolei, Mililani, Waianae, Campbell(Tweener), Kailua(Tweener), Leilehua(Tweener)
    Iolani, Damien, STF, Moanalua, Aiea, Kaiser, Castle, Nanakuli, Radford, and one of the tweener schools
    Pac5, Kalani, Waialua, Anuenue, PC(Tweener), Kaimuki, McKinley, Waipahu, Kalaheo, Roosevelt

    State Tournament berths as follows:
    Top 6 Open
    Top 4 DI plus 1 BIIF, 1 MIL
    Top 3 DII plus 1 BIIF, 1 MIL, 1 KIF

    Now tell me that wouldn’t be something to pilot for a 2 or 3 year span. Can make tweaks from the data gathered and teams can rotate up or down depending on previous years outcome. Imagine the possibilities and matchups each week and new rivalries created between programs. HHSAA take a look, get it done Mr. Chris Chun.

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