Saturday was a bright day in what has turned into a mess of a fall football season for Skylar Kalilikane-McMoore.
Kalilikane-McMoore is a junior in high school, an offensive lineman for St. Francis, and he and is family are doing what they can through the court system to get him on the field as an eligible player this season.
Amazingly, he was eligible for and got to play last Saturday in the Saints’ 26-6 victory over Pac-Five. But it’s possible that he may not get to play in another game until next season.
Knowing the circumstances, his team made it an extra special game for Kalilikane-McMoore. He got the call to try and score on a 2-point conversion, but the play did not work.
At the end of the game, he lined up at quarterback in victory formation and took the snap that sealed the victory.
“He is a fun kid,” St. Francis coach Kip Akana said Tuesday. “I don’t know the fate of his eligibility. We thought it would be fun to get him in those situations, being that it was a TV game, to get as much exposure out there for him. The kids love him. Everybody knows his situation and are supportive. On the 2-point conversion, designed for him to get a backward lateral, I don’t know what happened. It was covered well.
“After he took the victory formation snap, he pointed to the sky. That was awesome. He got warned by the officials to not do that again or that he would get flagged. Little do they know Skylar’s situation.”
The Kalilikane-McMoore family is suing the Hawaii High School Athletic Association, the Interscholastic League of Honolulu and the Oahu Interscholastic Association in an effort to make him eligible for every game.
Here is a recap of Kalilikane-McMoore’s complicated eligibility situation:
>> Before enrolling in a high school in 2016, the Kalilikane-McMoore family wanted to get Skylar into St. Francis. However, at the time, the family did not have the financial resources to send him to that private school and instead enrolled him at Pearl City. Kalilikane-McMoore played for the Chargers’ junior varsity team in 2016.
>> In July 2017, with the family finances in order, Kalilikane-McMoore applied to St. Francis, and he was eventually accepted in August. However, during the summer of 2017, he practiced with Pearl City, apparently for more than seven days.
>> He willfully sat out all games of the 2017 season, thinking that is exactly what transfers are supposed to do.
>> In the eyes of Hawaii football administrators, by practicing more than seven days in the summer of 2017, he was deemed to have been a Pearl City football participant during 2017, making it necessary to also sit out the 2018 season.
>> Skylar’s parents, Fata McMoore and Starr Kalilikane, applied to the ILH for an exemption, but were initially denied. They appealed and were eventually granted an exemption. Soon after, they were told that they also needed to get an HHSAA exemption (the umbrella for rules in the newly formed OIA-ILH alliance). They applied to the HHSAA, but were denied.
So, as it stands now, the family is awaiting a decision by Hawaii’s First Circuit Court.
The reason Kalilikane-McMoore was eligible for the Pac-Five game is because it was an ILH team vs. an ILH team and fell under ILH (not HHSAA) rules, according to Akana, St. Francis athletic director Chad Konishi and Stephanie Segovia, the Kalilikane-McMoore family’s attorney.
On Tuesday, Akana texted his take on the case:
“Skylar is a big (270 pounds), loving young man. He is a team favorite. We all pray this situation gets resolved where he can play and not have to sit out (all but one game of) two seasons.
“I understand what the letter of the rule states. I don’t necessarily understand it’s function, but I read what it states.
“In this case, there are many factors that make Skylar’s case unique and we continue to pray for the best outcome for him, his family as well as our team and our school.
“Lastly, the letter of the rule is one thing, but I don’t think the ‘spirit’ of the rule as it pertains to Skylar and his situation was intended to have a player sit out two seasons. This is speaking only of what I know to be true of Skylar’s case. This is my own personal opinion. I respect the HHSAA and its members, but hope that they can reconsider their position based on the unique facts of the case.”
Chris Chun, the HHSAA executive director, said he can’t comment during ongoing litigation. Joe Stewart, an attorney for the HHSAA, did not want to comment because Kalilikane-McMooore is a minor.