Kaiser scrimmage off for Thursday, but on for Saturday

Kaiser football parent Gregory Tartamella, who was found guilty of two felonies and two petty misdemeanors last Friday, will be sentenced May 8. At that time, he and his lawyer Eric Seitz will make a decision on whether to appeal. Cindy Ellen Russell / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

The Kaiser varsity and junior varsity football teams will not be playing in scheduled scrimmages Thursday at Kaimuki.

Kaimuki coach David Tautofi told Hawaii Prep World on Wednesday afternoon that Kaiser pulled out of the scrimmage due a low number of available varsity players.

Kaiser, however, is planning to participate in a three-way scrimmage Saturday against Aiea and McKinley, according to Lindsay Chambers, a spokesperson for the Department of Education. She told Hawaii Prep World on Wednesday that communication about this matter from Kaiser’s end would go through her.

“The scrimmages have been moved around in order for Kaiser High’s football teams to meet HHSAA and OIA safety and acclimation protocols,” Chambers wrote in an email.

The cancellation comes less than a week after a Kaiser parents meeting with the school’s administration. After that meeting last Friday, principal Justin Mew announced the team would be playing a “modified” schedule this year. Although he didn’t define the word modified, it is believed that Kaiser may have to forfeit some games due to low numbers.

According to Tautofi, Kaiser officials initially contacted him on Tuesday to say the Cougars would still be participating in Thursday’s scrimmages before cancelling Wednesday.

Nineteen Kaiser varsity players attended tryouts last week and several are ineligible, according to a statement by Mew from Friday night.

In a related matter, Hawaii Prep World received a copy of a Monday letter written to Kaiser parents from the school’s administration. Jessica Tafao, a parent of two players on the team, provided us with the letter. In it, Mew states that any players who were not at tryouts could possibly be added (but not automatically) to the team on a case-by-case basis.

Kaiser is scheduled to open its season Aug. 4 at Roosevelt, with a home opener on its new artificial turf field scheduled for Aug. 11 against Mililani.

Mew and other Kaiser officials have made it clear that safety is the No. 1 concern. In essence, that means games may be forfeited if it is deemed that there are not enough varsity players to safely play in games.

It is unclear how many Kaiser varsity players would have been available for the scheduled scrimmage Thursday.

Tautofi said the Kaimuki football teams will instead participate in a three-way scrimmage Thursday against Radford and Kailua at Radford High. The start times are 5 p.m. for junior varsity and 6:30 p.m. for varsity.

Kaiser’s three-way scrimmage on Saturday at McKinley begins at 9 a.m. (JV) and 11 a.m. (varsity).


  1. Manoa#1 July 26, 2017 8:03 pm

    Can Kaiser just please Drop Football alltogether.!!

  2. HK Cougars July 26, 2017 9:35 pm

    Kaiser Varsity has about 16 players, Yet the Kaiser Coach does not want to allow any new player to join team and has done nothing all year to encourage any players to come out for football.

  3. YourSchoolBoardSucks July 26, 2017 10:53 pm

    This is would’ve never happened if the school and board supported Coach Miano & Ikei who went out and build a championship program through sacrifice, motivating, and recruiting players and Coaches who got things done at all costs! Hind sight is truth and now you know how you don’t treat a person of much great worth to your children and school people, chew on that!

  4. MJ July 26, 2017 11:00 pm

    I truly feel bad for the kids who have stuck with the program if they don’t get to play a full season. There are 2 sides to every story. I hope the program comes to good solution that will work for everyone – rebuilding years have to happen to get a program back. We wish you luck Cougars.

  5. Alpha July 26, 2017 11:39 pm

    Kaiser is screwing up the season for a lot of seniors. . .

  6. BK July 27, 2017 12:13 am

    Why is Aiea and McKinley allowing Kaiser to scrimmage?
    Aiea plays Kaiser this year during the season. Is the DOE interfering? Aiea and McKinley will get fewer reps. and their scrimmage was set up months ago.

  7. J July 27, 2017 1:37 pm

    waiting for the day the schools with small turn out combine together and make like Pac 5 of the OIA.

  8. bandits1 July 27, 2017 2:58 pm

    I feel bad for the Kaiser kids, but feel 10x worse for all the schools they cancel on. It’s 100% not the other school’s problem. If Kaiser has already publically stated that they plan on only playing 50% or less of their scheduled games, they should cancel their season and let the OIA redo the schedule, using the week teams played Kaiser as their bye week instead of having one scheduled bye and one Cougar-induced bye.

  9. Whoa nelly July 27, 2017 5:15 pm

    Whoa nelly

    2 sides of da story is Miano,Ikei years was bad! Only using kids!
    Miano getting paid to teach full-time but only taught one maybe two classes a day(tax money wasted)!!!
    While rest of faculty had a full day of classes.

    A lot of players go to class late,hide and sleep in the locker room,parking lot etc.
    There was a stud player who did not even graduate with his class.Miano was nowhere to be
    found as player was in trouble for months!!!

    Miano’s years at Kaiser were ran like da U at Miami.
    And now new staff gets stuck in D-1.No Miano,Way less recruiting.

    And as far as school’s principal he don’t know how to run da school,so now he going get involved athletics?
    You hired an A/D let him do his job!!!
    Now our tax dollars gotta pay for an D.O.E. spoke person???
    Wot nobody at Kaiser got a brain you have to have a outsider speak for school???
    Tax dollars wasted again!!!
    Dats why kids in your area go private school!!!

  10. IDM July 28, 2017 12:18 am

    Bring someone in that loves the sport, cares for the kids and the community, and willing to promote and represent Kaiser High School with pride.

  11. Q July 28, 2017 3:27 pm

    Maybe we should blame the Teachers…not all but a few, they know who they are. Yes, Kaiser is an IB (International Baccalaureate) school only public school on the island with hard-earned reputation for high standards of teaching, like Principal Mew said Kaiser is 2nd to Iolani as far as academics go. 8 classes a year with 4 daily, its either you keep up with the academically inclined or you struggle like the majority, no such help for the mediocre kids. Teachers should kokua some of this kids that do play athletics, a lot of these kids are multisport athletes that play all year round; but I know there are teachers who care for less for the athletic programs and choose to fail these student athletes. This is part of the reason why 1/3 of the boys are ineligible, Academic Review Status, and the season is crushed, especially the seniors, thanks teachers. I know athletics isn’t everything; but don’t we teach these kids to be well rounded and not one dimensional? It will only help them later on in life. A lot of the boys don’t get home till 8pm or later, shower, eat dinner, homework, then sleep. Thanks Teachers you know who you are, it’s not hard to find out who those teachers are that failed these student athletes……

  12. Former OIA Insider July 28, 2017 10:36 pm

    Despite the high academic standards at Kaiser, that blame shouldn’t be put on the teachers. If anything that’s on the AD and the football coach. Study hall/tutoring should be required prior to practice as most schools do. Why has nothing come from the AD on these matters? Why hire one if they don’t do anything? But that is what happens when you hire an AD within no experience. Being a former assistant AD doesn’t really prepare you for being an AD. So should the opposing schools on Kaiser’s schedule that aren’t guarantee mercy rule games contact the “DOE spokesperson” to find out what games will still be on? Kaiser once had a proud athletic program, now they are a joke, worse than Kalani. They are the Waialua of the East, struggling to field teams in the “revenue generating” sports. The principal better be ready to use school,funds to pay for athletics with all the money they’ll lose out on

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