Kaiser has decided to forfeit the remainder of its varsity and junior varsity football seasons, according to a letter written Tuesday by principal Justin Mew.
The letter, addressed to the Kaiser Cougar Ohana and obtained by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, reads as follows:
“Due to a series of prevailing events and extreme concerns for student and staff safety, the decision has been made, in consultation with Complex Area Superintendent Donna Lum Kagawa, to cancel both the Junior Varsity (JV) and Varsity football seasons effective immediately.
“The well-being of our school community is a top priority and we are committed to keeping our students and staff safe. An incident occured on campus yesterday evening, Sept. 18, which required police involvement. This unacceptable behavior is one of a series of escalating events that has led us to this difficult decision.
“While we recognize that football is traditionally a highlight of Homecoming Week, we assure you that Kaiser’s Homecoming festivities will continue.
“We would like to thank the players on the JV and Varsity football teams for their hard work and perseverance. It is our hope that the Kaiser community will come together in a positive manner to support the school.”
The Cougars have managed to play only one of their five games this season — a 71-0 loss to Campbell — due to low player turnout and safety concerns.
Four years ago, Kaiser won the Division II state title under head coach Rich Miano. Three years ago on this exact date — September 19 — Kaiser beat Kahuku, 20-19.
Martinez, Moanalua’s all-time winningest coach, is 53-63-1 in his Hawaii high school career. He went 51-51-1 as head coach of Na Menehune from 2003-13 before taking the Kaiser job just prior to the start of the 2016 season.
He is the program’s fifth head coach since 2009, when Pat Samsonas ended his five-year run. William Lobendahn went 2-15 over two years before giving way to Miano, who went 20-4 and won the D-II state title in 2013 before stepping down.
Cameron Higgins coached for the following two years before he stepped down. Martinez was hired just a few weeks before the start of the 2016 season and went 2-7, losing in the first round of the OIA playoffs to Farrington.