McKinley and Waialua disband JV football for 2019

McKinley's Tyler Sheidlin (9) brushed off a tackle attempt by King Kekaulike's Tomasi Finau (70) during the Tigers' season opener. McKinley won't have a junior varsity team this season. Photo by Andrew Lee/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

Do to a lack of participants, there won’t be any JV football games for the McKinley and Waialua programs this season.

For McKinley, this is something new. Waialua hasn’t had enough numbers to field a JV team since 2013.

In addition, the Kalaheo JV team will not be in action this week due to low roster numbers, but the Mustangs will still be trying to play games this season.

“I’ve never had to drop a JV schedule before at any of the other schools that I’ve coached,” McKinley varsity coach Pat Silva said. “And I’m not sure when, if ever, the Tigers have dropped a a JV schedule before.

“It was a tough decision, but one that was needed to be made for the health and safety of our players. You can’t expect to play with low numbers and not worry about the players’ health.”

McKinley moved all of its 10th grade players to the varsity level.

The last two years, the Tigers’ JV team had roughly 22 players, with about 30 on the varsity.

This season, the Tigers started with 18 JV players, including 14 sophomores, and 32 on the varsity. Now, it’s 46 on the varsity.

“We were looking at possibly having only 16 players for the (Aug. 3) JV game against King Kekaulike and only 19 (with 13 on academic probation) on the varsity,” Silva said.

“These past two years, we were trying to play with these numbers hoping things would change, but we were only fooling ourselves, so I decided — due to our players’ health and safety — to suspend the JV. Those 10th graders had significant varsity playing time against King Kekaulike, which helps them gain varsity game experience and in the long run helps with adding depth on the varsity level.”

The McKinley varsity (0-2, 0-1 OIA Division II) plays Pearl City (0-2, 0-1) tonight.

The Bulldogs of Waialua brought eight players up to the varsity team, which now stands at 35 players.

“We gave the JV players an option if they wanted to play varsity or not,” Bulldogs athletic director Bryce Kaneshiro said. “This is a pattern that’s been happening for years. Its just the lack of numbers. In the beginning (spring workouts), everybody is gung-ho. Then the summer comes and it starts dwindling. Then, when some JV players don’t see the numbers coming out, they may not feel ready for varsity and they stop coming out.

“There are a lot more people being cautious about playing football now, with scares of concussions and injuries, and that’s understandable.”

Kalaheo’s Mustangs have about 20 kids on the JV squad, according to varsity head coach Darrell Poole.

“We’re still trying to get heat and pads transition protocol out of the way,” Poole said.

There won’t be a JV game for the Mustangs this week prior to the the Kalaheo varsity (0-2, 0-1) game on Friday night against Kaimuki (2-0, 1-0) at Skippa Diaz Stadium.

Poole said one likely scenario is for the Mustangs JV team to play its first game on Sept. 7 against McKinley at Alex Kane Stadium.

If that becomes the case, then the Kalaheo JV team would miss its scheduled game Aug. 23 at Pearl City.

The Waialua varsity team (1-0, 1-0) hosts defending OIA champion Roosevelt (1-0, 1-0) on Friday night.


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