Kaimuki to stay D-II in football while Nanakuli will move down

Kaimuki running back Naomas Asuega-Fualaau scored 16 touchdowns in 10 games with the Bulldogs last season as a junior. Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell / Star-Advertiser

Nanakuli is moving down from OIA-ILH Division I to D-II for football, league football coordinator Harold Tanaka said Thursday.

There were reports of Kaimuki moving up from D-II to D-I, but that is not the case, Tanaka confirmed.

Last year, there were 10 teams in both the OIA-ILH D-I and D-II. For 2019, Nanakuli, in effect, is replacing St. Francis in the lowest tier. St. Francis, an ILH school, is closing its doors at the end of this school year.

This year, there will be only nine teams in OIA-ILH D-I, due to Nanakuli’s switch.

“For Kaimuki, it was about numbers,” Tanaka said. “They feel like they don’t have the numbers of players to be at the D-I level. For Nanakuli, they feel D-II is a better fit.”

In general, the OIA lets its football schools decide which division is best for them.

Here is the OIA-ILH breakdown of schools for 2019:

>> Campbell
>> Farrrington
>> Kahuku
>> Kamehameha
>> Kapolei
>> Mililani
>> Punahou
>> Saint Louis
>> Waianae

Division I
>> Aiea
>> Castle
>> Damien
>> ‘Iolani
>> Kailua
>> Leilehua
>> Moanalua
>> Radford
>> Waipahu

Division II
>> Kaimuki
>> Kaiser
>> Kalaheo
>> Kalani
>> McKinley
>> Nanakuli
>> Pac-Five
>> Pearl City
>> Roosevelt
>> Waialua


  1. JustSayin March 29, 2019 4:39 pm

    I think Roosevelt deserves to move up to D1. They went to States and got a lot of returnees coming back. I feel they belong in D1.

  2. Observation March 30, 2019 7:00 am

    Totally agree that Nanakuli belongs in DII. But, there is still a problem with DII in the way the current HHSAA rules are set. Right now only the OIA teams would be eligible for a postseason bid. So Pac-Five could play all their regular season games, go undeafeated and still not be eligible to play postseason. I know that may be unlikely but it is the scenario going forward for this and every season going forward. This needs to be resolved between now the beginning of the season. After all games are played on the field and not on paper; anything can happen and they can’t wait till the last minute to decide on issues of this nature.

  3. Observation March 30, 2019 10:06 am

    I think Roosevelt moving up to D1 would be the same as keeping Nanakuli in D1. Don’t get me wrong, Roosevelt is a good team and if they are returning a lot of players they are the likely favorite this coming season. But, they would likely be the doormat in that division for years to come. It is not a growing school given the neighborhood demographics.

  4. BangkokJoe March 30, 2019 5:41 pm

    I believe in the Right to work law, and that the best teams on the field should play in states. I also believe that the “entitlement “ mentality prevalent in our country today and “quotas” systems are games that adults are playing, while detrimental to young student/athletes today.

  5. Nobody March 31, 2019 9:11 am

    Roosevelt is returning skills not lineman. That’s what you need to compete in D1. No offense to Roosevelt but 2 years ago was the first time they made the playoffs in 10 years. I don’t think one GREAT year is enough justification to go up NOW.

  6. Riders808 April 11, 2019 10:48 pm

    Roosevelt needs more work at the moment before they could move to D1 and even though they had an average year and a championship season, they’re still a work in progress for years to come. The one thing they need is consistency, at times they did not show much consistency especially on offense. It was defense who carried the load. Not to take anything away from Roosevelt but I believe they are headed in the right direction.

  7. Kindafunny June 13, 2019 6:11 pm

    I think Kapolei should drop to D-1.

    Punahou, Kahuku, Mililani, and St. Louis are perennial heavy hitters. Campbell and Farrington are definitely teams that can contend with the four aforementioned teams. Kapolei however, was always a team that was in the middle. Granted, in the upper part of the middle, but in the middle nonetheless. If they work to go division 1 they may win the state championship but that is not a foregone conclusion. I am myself, I am a graduate of Kapolei, but I think they need to move to the lower division. I may be wrong But one good year two years ago does not make you one of the elite teams.

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