Lewis: ‘(OIA chooses) to come up small’

The creation of the Open Division in the state tournament in 2016 gave us a memorable game between Kapolei and Punahou. The Hurricanes won 33-21. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

It was quite the eventful week at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island for the annual Hawaii Interscholastic Athletic Directors Association Conference.

The big news came Friday when the OIA said it will not enter any teams in the Open Division of the state football tournament this year.

That decision was met with plenty of blowblack, including from Star-Advertiser columnist Ferd Lewis, who wrote in Saturday’s newspaper, “what the Oahu Interscholastic Association did Friday was the bureaucratic version of picking up its football and going home in a pout because it didn’t get its way.”

You can read the full column here.

Feedback is welcome below in the comments section.


  1. Hyn June 10, 2017 2:17 pm

    I totally agree. So what ILH has this and has that. I remember when I use to play we looked forward to playing those teams. Just like in California your going to have a few good private schools and public schools. I don’t hear them crying about it. I bet they look forward to competing against them.

  2. Made in America June 10, 2017 3:07 pm

    OIA is playing the victim. Period.

  3. Maihiro June 10, 2017 3:41 pm

    Why don’t the Ilh Divsion 2 teams and neighbor islands declare for the open division.
    Then the Division 1 would have the ILH and OIA powers.
    Division 2 would have OIA division 2 playing themselves.

  4. grabum.bythe.puppy.gate June 10, 2017 3:50 pm

    get rid of district boundary for oia, ilh enjoy picking on public school that have there hands tied behind dey back, all out recruit free for all and stloui n puns will get smash. york at mil won title only recruit 5 players, let him recruit 20 and game ovah fo ilh

  5. Hyn June 10, 2017 4:29 pm

    Always complaining about recruiting. The last 3 players that got offered from Hawaii at St. Louis wasn’t recruited. I bet you if they went to a public school they probably wouldn’t have got offered. Don’t blame there parents for making a decision that best suited there kid. Again they weren’t recruited .

  6. Abcdeer June 10, 2017 5:08 pm

    Ray fujino is the Donald trump of the oia. You said that all the other leagues voted in favor? Fake News! We all know who ray fujino looks up to now and inspires to be! Seriously this guy only thinking about himself, how he felt 40 years ago when the ilh left. Does he know that he’s supposed to have the kids safety and welfare in mind? Actually I take that back cause he doesn’t. Just looks at the oia schedule this year. It’s like trumps version of making the states he don’t like pay for it. In this case he clearly hates oia d2. Go trump! I mean Fujino!

  7. ilh June 10, 2017 5:24 pm


  8. Coach C June 10, 2017 5:30 pm

    Okay folks, what if everything went thru and Castle, wants to declare D1. Since they gotta play, Mililani,Kapolei,Kailua,Farrington,Leieihua and Nanakuli. They go 1-5 for the season with close games on some loses. Do they get considered??What if the 5 lost were against top 10 teams?? Another question. Is IOLANI still guarantee a D1 slot??? If IOLANI goes 1-5 in the ILH, they ARE guarantee a spot. HUH???

  9. Mahatma Gandhi June 10, 2017 5:34 pm

    I was saying way back in the 1990s, that if St Louis was that determined to win the Prep Bowl, so obsessed with winning that they recruited so many players, then just have all other Oahu teams forfeit their games against them, give them their state football championship trophy without having played a game, and then have all other schools battle it out on the field for #2.

  10. Coach C June 10, 2017 5:37 pm

    If OIA went with an OPEN league, KAHUKU,KAPOLEI,MILILANI,WAIANAE,FARRINGTON and Campbell/Leileihua or Kailua. This would be the State Premier league. Why are ILH ex players flocking back to the OIA? The big colleges are recruiting from the public schools.

  11. 88 June 10, 2017 7:19 pm

    Why do these CLOWNS have to go to the Hilton Waikoloa Village for this meeting? Why can’t these CLOWNS, who probably all live on Oahu, just meet at the DOE office down town or at one of the DOE district offices. These are Admin guys right? Thought only teachers were off during the summer.

  12. Whhy June 10, 2017 9:40 pm

    Ferd Lewis… Why shouldn’t the OIA have a bigger say they are the large majority of teams involved. Why not disband the ILH and have one league in Oahu. If the ILH wants to be separate that’s fine but leave them completely on there own and let’s not play together. The public schools are doing just fine getting their good student atheletes recruited. The ILH running up stats against each other will not have the same effect. The St. Louis’s and Punahous garner clout from beating the OIA top tier teams (when that happens in the last 17 years not so many times). Without the OIA the ILH just doesn’t have enough teams to truly be considered competitive. 1 or 2 teams may be competitive but if they aren’t playing more teams who have beaten teams they just don’t look very good beating up on an unmatched team 3 times.

  13. Made in America June 11, 2017 12:18 am

    If you think the OIA is fine as it is, please give your reasoning. Those who say that fail to do so.

  14. Nak's June 11, 2017 6:40 am

    What a joke! Why does the OIA, handi cap themselves forever more? Pick the top six teams from the OIA, St. Louis and Punahou…super football conference. Allow them to recruit like Bishop Gorman. Kamehameha, out…gotta have part Hawaiian. Go at it baby!

  15. Nak's June 11, 2017 7:03 am

    Whose that person comparing Fuj. to Trump? We all know da President’s policies is going to help the high end business people get richer. He is doing his best to keep this country safe but the politician’s keep blocking his path. Remember, there was no terrorist when they made the constitution. We have thousands of potential terrorist in this country already. We are to free and spoiled…but someday when they hit us in the land of the free…people of the USA will will rally around each other and become one again like after 911. Hope it never happens? But, we were in NY, back in 1996, when they tried to bomb one of the twin towers…then in 2001, it happened. We need to combine OIA and ILH to form a super conference for the safety of the player’s who cannot compete at that high level. Always, safety first these days! Aloha S

  16. Whhy June 11, 2017 7:26 am

    Maybe I’m not clear. OIA is a big enough representation of hawaiis high school football talent by itself. If the ILH doesn’t join in with the OIA. They go back to a 4 horse race where Iolani loses to each team 3 times. Kamehameha also ends up losing practically 3 times to
    St. Louis and Punahou. In my opinion there just isn’t enough there to be considered truly competitive. Yes the OIA has a bunch of weak schools (arguably because some of them don’t have enough talent coming out) but for
    a good team beating 3 different weak teams looks better than beating the same weak team 3 times in a season. The ILH playing in that small of a league then coming out to beat a true league champion legitimizes the 4 team league of the ILH. Not being able to do that is a huge loss for the ILH and not the OIA.

  17. CriticalReader June 11, 2017 7:47 am

    The OIA is doing right by its players and families. The organization has an obligation to look after the students best interests, and that’s what it’s doing on two important levels. On the first level, the OIA is protecting its students from playing against bigger and better teams, and risking injury and other effects of doing so. The heads of Damien and Iolani have both taken stands that embrace that approach, and prevented their students from the physical and emotional consequences of being on the field against a larger pool of superior talent. It has worked out well for both schools. OIA also ensures its players can avoid being evaluated by college recruiters against excessive exposure to ILH competition. That ensures a better chance of highlight and lucrative recruitment. Less chance of revealing pukas in a recruit’s abilities if the competition is not as stout, and stout competition is not as frequent. The ILH big 3 are too good, to the point it exposes OIA payers to unreasonable risks of injury, embarrassment and lost scholarship opportunities. The OIA is being responsible in minimizing those risks.

  18. Hyn June 11, 2017 7:53 am

    Critical reader are you saying that in the open division the top oia teams cannot compete with the ilh. Didn’t kapolei beat punahou and kahuku probably was one play away from repeating as state champs. What about the mismatches between the oia division 1 teams.

  19. What You Wish For June 11, 2017 8:58 am

    in response to Coach C – If Castle goes 1 – 5 I doubt that they would be considered unless the OIA is awarded 6 slots; Iolani will be playing Div 2 this year and if they go 1 – 5 (against P5, Damien, St.Francis) they will not be guaranteed anything except for no post season. I think most of the coaches of successful High School football Programs work at the school (the coaches’ pay alone is not enough to justify the time spent) so maybe that’s why you see a lot of ex-ILH people coaching OIA – not enough openings at ILH schools as teachers or administrators.

  20. NotNasti June 11, 2017 9:54 am

    From 1999 – 2015: Division I state champs: OIA-10, ILH-7
    2016: Open Div.: ILH Div. I: OIA
    Looking at the statistics, it doesn’t appear that the OIA is severely handicapped nor handicapped at all when it comes to competing against the ILH. As it was mentioned before, the extreme mismatches come within each league, OIA vs. OIA and ILH vs. ILH. This has led to the calls for an ILH/OIA super conference, which would eliminate the inter-league bloodbaths. I do not believe the top OIA teams will take a back seat to any ILH team.

  21. objective June 11, 2017 10:07 am

    criticalreader: kahuku is the best football team going into the season…they have the capability to dominate punahou, st. louis, or kam…the top ilh all have glaring weaknesses…the main reason that the crusaders were crown champs is due to tua…

    although it would benefit hawaii high school football both financially & competitively, i highly doubt that there will be a super conference of oia & ilh schools due to the oia’s deep-seeded resentment towards the private schools…

  22. Whhy June 11, 2017 10:09 am

    This is Critical Reader trying to be funny.

    Here I can do the same thing.

    It’s probably best for the ILH to not want to play with the OIA because of how embarrassing it’s been losing to OIA so many times over the last 16 years. Why not try to give ILH a fresh start and erase any feelings of inadequacy from the Teams. Let’s make up a new division and say it’s “above” what Hawaii had known as the top league in the state we will call it Open. Then we will double our chances at winning it now. Even though we only have 3 teams and Iolani. Let’s make it so that all 4 of us can be title holders. Instead of only sending one to Rep all 4 of us we will send literally half of our teams to the big dance in hopes of doubling our chances of winning a title. Then our two step sister schools can get shots as well by playing directly against the crappy teams that the OIA already blows out.

    Oh and about recruiting, go look at the HPW recruiting page. The OIA and ILH are both doing ok. However, OIA can hang on its own with 20+ teams to showcase.

  23. Coach C June 11, 2017 10:46 am

    In last year’s HHSAA OPEN, ILH fielded 66% of their OPEN team. (That would be StL.and Punahou)not Kam. The OIA open fielded 28%. Hmm. Iolani got a slot and Damien. So yeah maybe that’s why OIA got the short end. Make the OPEN 4 teams, 1 ILH and 3 OIA. get rid of bye game. Also have ILH OK to OC16 weekly televised match up. Also the ILH should work together to insure ALL teams including St.Francis,Pac5 and Damien can bring their programs up to suit the pleasures of St.Louis and Punahou. The best programs have $$$.

  24. You guys are such idiots. Thats you combine all the leagues then there is no ILH or OIA. The playing field is leveled as far as competition. OIA can figure out who can play in an open type division or DI, then make a DII, and DIII or however you want to call it. Forget OIA and ILH, make one huge league and then at the end of the regular season top teams play off in each division for a state title. Don’t talk about recruiting and all that BS already, everyone does it, some people are just better at it. If OIA wants to change there transfer rules to be able to let kids play out of district then do it. Just put more restrictions on it. Like for example, you can only transfer one time once you start varsity sports, then after that you will have to sit out one year unless you return to your original district school. That would be the only exception. OIA needs to think about other solutions to the problems rather than just crying about stuff. There are answers out there, figure it out.

  25. anywaaaays!! June 11, 2017 1:03 pm

    I agree with Coach C with the 1 ILH + 3 OIA in the Open Division just like it has been the past 16 years, except the ILH cried to the HHSAA to get it changed. Why did they cry? because the lone ILH rep was not winning that title, Kahuku and Mililani took home the titles. So the ILH goes behind close doors and changes the format to the 2 ILH and 4 OIA.

    Everyone forgets that when the ILH want something they dont cry, they re-write the rules.

    The OIA is so fricken poor and powerless that the only thing they can do is pull-out of the Open division as a way to retaliate.

  26. anywaaaays!! June 11, 2017 1:16 pm

    If the OIA removes district boundaries it will not level the playing field with the ILH.

    1. I seriously doupt that a kid from town will want to travel to Kahuku everyday to play football or a kid from Kaneohe travelling to Kapolei everyday. Removing district boundaries will only allow schools that are central like Mililani or Kapolei to attract the nearby talent. In contrast the ILH attracts kids from island-wide and state-wide, they have room and board for their recruits, they find ways to get mom/dad a job and living close by to the school.

    2. Recruits attending an ILH school for football is not even the biggest plus, its the education and resources that the OIA schools cannot match. It will never be a level playing field.

  27. Exactly, kids who decide to go to private schools make a conscience decision to sacrifice money, time, and alot of other things in order to get a good education and succeed on the field or court. It’s not the ILH’s fault that not all OIA schools can provide the same. The ILH just wants to play the best that the OIA has to offer, whats so hard about that to figure out. Are you guys just dumb. Who cares about the other BS. Competition is all that matters. The best should play the best and the same level talent should play the same. No more waste time games that don’t make money or don’t bring fans in. The kids would love to prepare and be able to play the ILH teams every year. Same goes for the ILH. Why don’t you dumb idiot parents figure this out and start to help make a change by complaining that we don’t combine leagues. Its the best for all parties. 3 tiers and outer islands need to declare prior to the season what league they playing for and that will make up state tournament. Maybe should be 8 teams in each tournament. gonna cost more but would also make more money too.

  28. anywaaaays!! June 11, 2017 2:08 pm

    You think the AD’s at OIA schools sit around all day thinking about football? No, they have a million other sports and a million other knucklehead kids to worry about. St. Louis on the other hand only needs to worry about football, in fact they brought in a specialist, former NCAA and NFL legend June Jones to handle their football operations. How is the OIA supposed to compete with those kinds of minds and resources? St. Louis is a football factory, why dont they set their sights on similar schools like BG and IMG, makes you wonder why they choose to stay in Hawaii picking on the unfortunate and disadvantaged public school kids. And check this out, what happens when one of the public schools like Kahuku rise to the top? STL and PUN come in and start swooping away the talent, then they want to turn around and call Kahuku out to battle? wow, talk about paying for your championships.

    The OIA is sick of being bullied by the ILH, even the ILH know their wrong doings thats why they tried to buy the OIA’s approval with that 3 million dollar offer to merge the leagues.

    I think everyone can agree that if they want to see the best play the best then the formula has already been done in the past. PREP BOWL! ILH1 vs. OIA1

  29. CriticalReader June 11, 2017 2:12 pm

    To Whhy: The central faults with your argument are 1. I’m not trying to be funny; and, 2. The ILH WANTS to play the best of the OIA’s best, while the OIA only wants to play one of the ILH’s best, and defnitely avoid an all ILH State Championship. The OIA really is obligate to prevent too much exposure of OIA teams to the ILH. Based on your numbers. The ILH and OIA are even in the recruiting numbers, except for the fact that there are that many fewer ILH teams. That means high concentrations of college level talent on a few ILH teams. Dangerous for the OIA, and even more dangerous the more OIA vs. ILH games are played. The higher overall level of ILH play, based on its ostensibly more talented players put the OIA at a dangerous disadvantage, which Damien and Iolani addressed internally within the ILH. On the second point, it is the OIA refusing to put best against best.

  30. CriticalReader June 11, 2017 2:19 pm

    I agree with anywaaaaays!!. OIA can’t compete with the ILH because of the way the ILH does things. The OIA has to use all the power in numbers and political maneuvering ability it has to avoid excessive exposure to the ILH. Let the OIA and State Championship system simply figure out which OIA team can stand to run with the best of the ILH in a given year, and limit it to as few interleague match ups as possible. The other ILH players will still receive the important benefits both during and after their high school years.

  31. Hyn June 11, 2017 3:38 pm

    Easy objective I don’t see how kahuku is better then St. Louis when they lost more guys then St. Louis . We just have to see how the season plays out.

  32. anywaaaays!! June 11, 2017 4:29 pm

    The OIA teams and its administrators are not afraid to play the ILH despite the obvious differences. Thats what pre-season games are for and Im sure certain OIA schools could cater a mid-season game with an ILH school during their bye week, similar to how Kahuku went to play BG last season mid-year and how they will go up to play Bingham this year on their bye week. STL could get maybe a game vs Kapolei and Millilani in the pre-season and then a Kahuku in the mid season. Same with PUNs. There is no excuse why they cant get 3 games against OIA teams, maybe they should be pushing their own league (ILH) to cater to that schedule because I know those certain OIA teams would love the battle test.

    But I will agree with most that the OIA admins do not want the post-season to be a pure display of OIA vs ILH artillery because its a losing battle for the OIA when the ILH have endless resources to bounce back year after year.

    One and done post season, OIA1 vs ILH1 is easier to digest.
    Even the more recent 6 team format (ILH1, OIA3, MIL1, BIFF1) was better and gave the ILH at least two games in the post season but the ILH got greedy and wanted to get a second ILH team in and now the OIA admins are putting their foot down.

    If the ILH is afraid of losing some of their talent to the mainland because their season sucks, thats not the OIAs problem, man up and figure out your own problems dont put it on the dinosaurs of the DOE/OIA because they could careless about football.

  33. Whhy June 11, 2017 6:04 pm

    Critical Reader… I think maybe your being funny your just not in on the joke. OIA has owned the last 16 years of the D1 era. St. Louis winning this past year I think is half way to what Kahuku has done in the last 16 years? Mililani and Leilehua also got in on that action. I don’t think there is a huge concern that the OIA can’t stand up physically to the ILH. As far as recruiting yes talent is spread out over the 20+ teams. With the ILH only having 4 teams (that is to say, 4 teams of handed picked starters) yes. It there will be a lot of people recruited from the ILH. Especially since many of them are being recruited for high school sports it’s not impossible to think that a college may also like one or more of those players. But I can tell you this, if you had to choose between a player who has good stats against various levels of competition versus a ILH athlete who gains 200-300 yards every time they play Iolani… (oh and did I mention they play Iolani 3-4 times in a season?) Now you can see that ILH needs to beat the best in the OIA to legitimize themselves. ILH end this weird attempt of the ILH to get 50% of their teams a shot at the championship title bracket.

    For those who say the OIA is afraid of an all ILH title match. I say this… if the ILH runner up lost to the ILH champ 3 times in the season. They don’t deserve a 4th or 5th shot at winning states.

  34. The Watcher June 11, 2017 6:49 pm

    May I ask a question?

    1) Is the HHSAA Football Tournament to identify the best football team?

    2) Why do some people feel a league should have more representatives than other leagues just because they have more school, regardless of the quality of the league or school?

    If the goal is to figure out who the best teams are, then the ILH should clearly have 2 teams.

    Back in day, UH used to belong to a conference (I cannot remember if it was the WAC or Mountain West). At that point in time their conference had 16 teams. They had more teams than the BIG 10, PAC 10, SEC, BIG 8, etc. Using the model of team representation in a championship tournament, do you think the NCAA should have given UH’s conference more teams just because they had a larger league with more teams?

  35. anywaaaays!! June 11, 2017 7:10 pm

    Hows about the best team from the OIA vs the best team from the ILH? Is that too complicated for you ILH folks? Does #1 vs. #1 not equate to an overall Champion aka The best team in Hawaii?

    ..oh wait, those ILH folks want the OIA#1 to go through two ILH teams.

  36. Chloropicrin June 11, 2017 8:46 pm

    The way it was formatted in the early days of the state tournament is correct, at least for the top teams,

    An OPEN 8 team tournament; 4 OIA, 2 ILH, MIL and BIIF. Everybody plays a first round game.

    As for the OIA regular season. The Top teams all play open division, with the top 4 from the OIA playoffs advance to the Open tournament. As for the losers, they play in the consolation state games 4 semi final losers from OIA, 2nd place MIL, 2nd and 3rd BIIF, and 3rd ILH…but no championship for winning the consolation bracket. At least the kids can play on. D2 would be different because they already declared D2, so that would stay the same.

    There would be two divisions, Open and D2, essentially D1 and D2.

  37. Whhy June 11, 2017 9:17 pm


    1. Agreed, best team on that day wins.

    2. The reason why this works to give the OIA more teams is because it’s a Oahu state tournament. To be a state tournament we need to have at X amount of teams. In collegiate football there was no such playoff system at the time. I think it was conference and non-conference play then the #1 in the WAC played like the number #5 in a bowl and so on. So knowing that was how it worked no it’s not the same thing. That was still a one on one process. If you remember following your favorite team by the end of season it was like if my team wins their last game they go to bowl x or if they lose they end up at some lower level bowl.

    So although your argument sounds good it’s not the same thing as what we have here. Again, in order for this to be a state tournament what’s happened is the conference with the most participants gets a fair representation in the tournament. So ILH has 1 of 4, thats 25% of their league. Then OIA having over 20 teams has 4 teams in it that’s less than 20% of their league.

    Unless you’d like it to be only 1 versus 1. Which has a name it’s called the prep bowl and it not a true state champ (although traditionally the outer islands haven’t really made any runs for titles).

    This past year shows what bright minds at the ILH come up with when they want to increase their chances at state titles. What used to be 1 in 4 D1 teams having a shot at a title has become all four of them playing and legitimately trying for 3 titles (2 of them going for Open, 1 D1, 1 D2).

  38. The Watcher June 12, 2017 1:46 am

    To Whhy, isn’t the state tournaments for all the islands, not just Oahu?

    I will use the NCAA Basketball Tournament since it’s been around forever. Could you imagine breaking the 64 teams across 8 leagues and the league with the most participants gets the most berths based solely on representation over quality of league?

    That is just crazy. While it might look fair, it clearly doesn’t determine who is the best. The ILH #2 team is cleary among the top 6 of 8 teams in the state. If they are not represented it’s hard to say that you are really trying to figure out who is the best when all of the best teams are not present.

  39. mryoshi13 June 12, 2017 3:00 am

    This does not appear to be just about concerns for safety or competition as the top teams in each league will be fairly competitive.

    Is there a financial component to this that is influencing the OIA’s decision?

    There has been no official explanation either. Do we anticipate a formal comment rather than all these baseless allegations?

  40. Money June 12, 2017 6:19 am

    Is the OIA holding out for a bigger paycheck? $1M x 3 years was on the table for combining the leagues. No deal, but that basically anchored a sub-floor price. Now these kinds of deals would have to better that price. OIA doesn’t seem to be raising any kind of counter-offer, and the HHSAA/ILH/private interests are not raising the offer.

    For the post-season tournament, I assume the 3 tiers basically grows the size of the pie. For the OIA to opt out of Open, it must not be happy with its slice of the pie even if it’s bigger.

  41. Whhy June 12, 2017 8:52 am


    I don’t think this is comparable (so we don’t have to talk about every sport). In march madness (just like what they do for volleyball and any other sports you can think of). You basically have all number 1’s (of each region) they play the number 1 from another region and winner moves on. Losers season is over. (They don’t get to lose to a team then work their way back into the tournament through a losers bracket presumably to lose yet another time to the same team). That is how that works only winner moves on until they are left with only one overall winner.

    In the State of Hawaii, if there was 8 island/league champions we could conviably do this. We could have all 8 number ones from each island/region enter a play off. Until only one was left standing. (This however is still a resounding No to ILH #2).

    The way Hawaii has it someone will have additional representation in order to make at least 6 teams and a play off.

    I agree that the number 2 in the ILH could also be a good football program in Hawaii. What I don’t agree with is the idea that the number 2 team from the ILH who has lost 2-3 times to the ILH league champ can come back at it again now in states and attempt to play that same ILH team again for a 3-4 time in the same season to win. At least when the OIA has additional representation it could be the second time that the two teams are squaring off rather than the 3-4 time. That is what I think is ridiculous.

  42. CriticalReader June 12, 2017 11:09 am

    To Whhy: Whhy are you trying to make things so complicated? The OIA has spoken. It does not want to play more than ONE ILH team per season in “on the line” games. In past comments, the OIA has hung its hat on procedural voting rules, and the reports over time are filled with understandings that OIA decision makers have expressed resentment over the ILH having a “recruiting advantage” (ie. ILH has better players). The numbers or divisional configurations don’t matter except to the extent the OIA can avoid competing with more than one ILH team for a championship. That’s why they don’t want to play in an open division, and want to only play in the single ILH representative Division 1 tournament. Playing in a bracket with more than one ILH team doubles the talent deficiency highlight, increases the chances of OIA v. ILH blowout, increases the chances of OIA physical and emotional injuries at the hands of a higher number per team of better players, and highlights the educational benefit and amenity reasons high value, highly rated players choose to go or stay at ILH schools if they are able. The ILH champion has to play the ILH second place 2,3 or 4 times during a season.
    The OIA wants to avoid its team(s) playing the ILH second place even once while it may be peaking. Everybody can see that the OIA is not having the number of teams it enters in State Championship pay decreased. The number increases. The OIA is so concerned about the prospect of its best teams having to run a two team ILH gauntlet in a bracket, that it is foresaking its lower level teams. Although that is the smart thing to do and within the OIA’s mission to protect its players and families. It is almost a waste of time to play a championship game since the biggest league in Hawaii is all but conceding that the smaller ILH is so much better and rigorous. It is like the ILH has already won. But it is still better for the OIA players and families and they should be appreciative and relieved by the OIA’s stand to protect them.

  43. CriticalReader June 12, 2017 11:21 am

    To ABCdeer: This is not Fujino’s decision. This is what the OIA ADs and Head football coaches want. This is what OIA families with recruit prospects want. The ADs and coaches can let Fujino take all the flak now. 6 months from now, if there is an all ILH state championship, it is the ADs and coaches who take the flak. So they put the pressure and demands to avoid the ILH on Fujino now. The more a single markee player on an OIA team has to play multiple ILH teams with plenty markee players, the more things are exposed. Fujino is just following orders. The ADs, coaches and OIA families are super quiet and satisfied to let Fujino take the flak.

  44. CriticalReader June 12, 2017 11:50 am

    What is the motivation of an OIA AD? Avoiding flak, avoiding dealing with serious injury, getting revenge on the ILH for taking star players. What is the mtivation of an OIA coach? Avoiding flak, keeping the job, getting revenge on the ILH for taking star players, and winning a State Championshp, in that order. What is the motivation of an OIA parent? Protecting their kid, college scholarship, getting revenge on the ILH for not recruiting their kid. OIA ADs and coaches get unholy flak from OIA parents and coaches risk losing jobs if OIA teams have to suffer the consequences of playing ILH star laiden teams too often. Everybody gets revenge by maneuvering as much of the ILH as possible onto the sidelines. Revenge is sweeter if it is looked upon as unfair. Too many ILH games could reduce the attractiveness of a potential OIA recruit. Avoiding too much exposure to the ILH makes sense for the OIA.

  45. CriticalReader June 12, 2017 12:01 pm

    State Championships are not as valuable as college scholarships, jobs and avoiding public shaming and shunning in your community. No extra money for winning a State Championship.
    Scholarships and jobs are where the money is. OIA players college scholarships are at risk if they have to play the ILH too much. ADs, but more coaches, jobs are at risk if there is more ILH competition. OIA coaches and ADs catch all kind of community flak if they lose to the ILH. Tata got fired. Can’t blame the OIA for doing what it does. It is in the OIA’s best interest.

  46. anywaaaays!! June 12, 2017 12:27 pm

    Actually more OIA kids are getting D1 scholarships then ever before. The OIA is doing just fine. How are you guys doing over there in your 3 team ILH league?….oh, you guys are losing kids to Bishop Gorman and other mainland high schools, if im not mistaken some of your ILH players are returning to the OIA because they realize they dont need to be paying big money for exposure anymore. poor you!

    We will hope and pray for St. Louis that their doors dont shut down like they did a few years ago. Dont count an ILH/OIA merger to save your okoles cause the OIA is all good!

  47. Whhy June 12, 2017 12:33 pm

    Critical Reader, the same arguement can be made of the ILH and since the last 16 years has been one way this new change that only helps the ILH. We know it’s the ILH embarrassed that they haven’t been consistently winning state D1 football titles. Other wise they would have won them all and not even bothered begging everyone for another more title shots (I remember them floating around giving money to the OIA over a couple of years… hilarious). This isn’t just one more birth they gave themselves to “even the playing field with the OIA” they have now 100 percent of the original D1… All teams taking title shots no matter how they did in season. They should be embarrassed about this blatant abuse of the haves versus the have nots. They all instantly get births into the state tournaments just because? Shameful.

    The way you make it sound it’s like the ILH has to go through a gauntlet of OIA teams to win. I don’t think OIA #2 or #3 has ever made it to the championship game. They are good but that sure hasn’t been the reason why the ILH has come up short all these years. It’s always ended up ILH#1 versus OIA#1 and it’s been a total embarrassment for the ILH. Hence the need for the ILH to push the change last year. And what happened to that ILH#2… season was still cut short (in sure Punahou thought they were going to be facing off with Kahuku… didn’t happen).

  48. anywaaaays!! June 12, 2017 12:34 pm

    ..oh and you are wrong. When Kahuku wins championships the sales in their local apparel shop hit six figures and an average of 6 or more players get offered D1 scholarships (thats over a million dollars worth of scholarship money). Championships do equal money, money that the ILH is losing out on and thats why the ILH is trying to force change in the system.


  49. Recruiter HS June 12, 2017 12:51 pm

    Listen folks. In last year’s D2 Championship, Lahainaluna and Kapaa had Polynesian players well over 300 lbs playing. The also had 80 plus players. Why they chose to go to the weakest division? Kapaa is known to recruit on Kauai. No DE. Another question. Why opt out of the Open? By going to D2, it was like sandbagging. Kapaa played Radford in the 2015 D2 States.

  50. CriticalReader June 12, 2017 1:58 pm

    To anywaaays!!: I not disagreeing with you. The OIA total scholarships haul needs to be protected. Kahuku is always going to do well because of the tradition and out of state talent system it has. It is the programs players that are not in Kahuku that need to be protected. OIA doing the right thing protecting those programs and players.

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