OIA football quarterfinals take on new meaning

All 14 Oahu Interscholastic Association Division I teams are in the running for one of eight spots in the Open or D-I state tournaments. Four will go to each. Neither Moanalua nor Radford has been to a Division I state tournament, but the odds of them doing so this year have increased under the new three-tier state format. In photo, the Rams' Jonah Soakai tackled Na Menehune receiver Brandon Bender in Moanalua's 40-0 victory Friday. Bruce Asato / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
All 14 Oahu Interscholastic Association Division I teams are in the running for one of eight spots in the Open or D-I state tournaments. Four will go to each. Neither Moanalua nor Radford has been to a Division I state tournament, but the odds of them doing so this year have increased under the new three-tier state format. In photo, the Rams’ Jonah Soakai tackled Na Menehune receiver Brandon Bender in Moanalua’s 40-0 victory Friday. Bruce Asato / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

When the Oahu Interscholastic Association Division I football quarterfinals roll around each fall, it’s an exciting time for Hawaii high school football fans.

This year, that quarterfinal round takes on new meaning. In the past, it was lose and you’re done for the year.

Now, just getting to the quarterfinals punches your ticket to either the Open division or the D-I state tournament.

OIA quarterfinal winners then go on to the biggest stage at the state level, the new Open division, which is reserved for elite football programs, so to speak.

Instead of going home, OIA quarterfinal losers join the fray in the eight-team D-I states, the winner of which will capture what some people are pooh-pooing as a less meaningful middle division. But, in actuality, whoever wins that title will take their place on the list next to the D-I championships won by Kahuku, Saint Louis, Punahou, Kamehameha, Mililani and Leilehua since the inaugural state tournament in 1999.

Don’t want to pound the point into the ground, but the new Open division champion will be the first of its kind. Yes, it’s a higher echelon, and the four OIA teams who get to that Open division this year are MOVING UP. The ones who don’t are STAYING at their own designated level, and NOT moving down.

With all of this in mind, Monday night’s Farrington vs. Leilehua football game was sort of a template. Those two teams could conceivably not only make it to the OIA quarterfinals, they could meet each other there.

Leilehua (1-4) is only 1-3 in league play, and all of its losses are to teams in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Top 10 — No. 1 Kahuku (49-15), No. 5 Kapolei (44-13), No. 6 Farrington (19-7), as well as No. 3 Punahou of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu. So, even though the schedule gets only a tad bit easier for the Mules — with games against Kailua (formerly in the Top 10), Castle, and No. 8 Mililani remaining — the extra-tough tests each week may prime them for when the OIA playoffs begin.

The Mules are being used as an example here, mainly because they were leading the Governors 7-6 at halftime before getting worn down in the second half of a 19-7 loss. But any OIA D-I team could get hot at the right time and grab one of those eight (four Open, four D-I) state berths available to them.

So, let’s just say that Farrington and Leilehua meet in the quarters and the Mules take a 7-6 halftime lead again.

Imagine what Leilehua head coach Nolan Tokuda is telling his team at the break: “Don’t let them score, boys, and we’re going to the Open division, baby!!!” Or something like that.

And then you could picture what Farrington’s Randall Okimoto is saying at the same time: “We didn’t come this far to lose now. We want to prove where we belong, and we belong with the best in the state.”

As it turns out, the top two teams in the regular-season standings in each OIA D-I division (Red and Blue) get a bye into the quarterfinals and are assured of a state spot (either Open or D-I).

And then the fun starts. Where do you want to go, fellas? Win that quarterfinal game and you have a chance at new glory. If you weren’t considered elite before, you are well on that path now.


  1. Education First September 9, 2016 8:14 am

    87 September 8, 2016 at 10:08 am
    hey the ILH has to cater to their high paying tuition athletes and their familys so now it adds more meaning that Puns/Stl and Iolani have a lock into the post aeason and can use that as a recruiting sales pitch of why its better to play in the ILH. All about keeping the PRESTIGE in tact.

    Any evidence to support this theory?

  2. Education First September 9, 2016 8:19 am

    al September 8, 2016 at 10:13 am
    87: sorry, bruh. the only “prestige” you are talking about in this grand ILH conspiracy you made up exists only in your head.

    AMEN Al! The only sore loser’s that have to come up with this asinine theories are people that are butt hurt that they never got into a private school or their kid didn’t get into a private school.

    I will guarantee this! If Punahou or Iolani came up to these fools and offered them $21,000 to have their children attend the school, they would be in the stands on the weekends waving their Punahou or St. Louis towels sporting Punahou or St. Louis t-shirts. They would be smiling and loving the opportunity their child got.

    Since that didn’t happen, they choose to come blog to vent. It’s totally natural that when you haven’t met the goals you set for yourself or your child that a lot of hate and jealousy comes out.

    We should all expect it. I mean, how would you feel if you never got to take your child to Disneyland? How would you feel if you had to wait to watch movies at home getting the dvd from Redbox since you cannot afford to take your family to the movies.

    I totally understand the jealousy here. Since we cannot provide, let’s try and belittle and insult the league of schools that reward families for being able to provide for their children.

  3. Education First September 9, 2016 8:21 am

    Ldub20 Owl316 September 8, 2016 at 11:16 am
    We all know a graduate of an ILH school stole your girl, 87. Don’t blame the ILH for everything that’s crap in your life!

    @ Ldub20, I think you are being a little too optimistic my friend. Do you really think 87 ever had a girl?

  4. Education First September 9, 2016 8:27 am

    87 September 8, 2016 at 5:59 pm
    do you think the kids and coaches created this new format? no ILH adults forced it, secretively behind closed doors and all my adult friends from all around the island say it is ILH bias. the OIA kids and coaches have no say about how the ILH adults are using them to format this ILH bias tourney, u are right about the kids n coaches just want to play…but if someone is screwing you over royally i think its fair to say something and notjustcomply because they have more money.

    It’s ILH biased since your friends said so!!!! HAHAHA! BWAHBWAH! Are your friends Confucius, Ghandi, and the Pope? If not, who cares who your friends are.

    If the OIA had more votes than the ILH and they approved this new format, how can it be ILH biased unless the OIA leaders are plain fools like you. Let me guess, your friends are the ones who made the decision!

    HAHAHAH! All my adult friends around the state said it’s ILH BIASED!!! OMG, that is the best one ever! My adult friends! Why do you have adolescent friends too? HAHA!

  5. think of the kids September 9, 2016 10:10 am

    toomeke: “From the horse’s mouth to my ears…directly. Just because you weren’t “in the room when it happened” doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. (Hamilton – look it up and get you some culture). ”

    weak. objection, your honor. hearsay. I don’t believe you.

    “Circumstantial evidence has been the downfall of many criminals. And what the ILH and HHSAA did behind closed doors is downright criminal.”

    you haven’t given enough circumstantial evidence to prove anything. you also haven’t proven or even explained what went happened “behind closed doors” and how exactly it circumvented established processes. for example, how did The ILH walk in and then force their wishes over the entire committee (most of them NOT ILH representatives)? How did they force all of them to vote to approve this? Do you even know how the committee works?

    All you’re doing is asserting things. “IT’S TRUE BECAUSE I SAID SO AND I WILL KEEP REPEATING IT AS PROOF.”

    ” In the NFL? Nope. Teams from same division can play each other in the first round of playoffs…because it’s not RIGGED. ”

    no, retard. in the HHSAA and OIA. I actually coached in the OIA and it’s standard practice in individual sports to set draws so that as much as possible, people/teams from the same school don’t play each other in the first and preferably second round. With team sports, usually teams are seeded so that OIA East doesn’t play their own teams in the first round, as much as possible. ILH does the same thing for their individual sports (because they don’t have enough schools for their team sports to have this kind of conflict).

    get a grip, toomeke.

    “To be honest, I’m excited at the prospects of playing both St LuLu and Puns in States. Just don’t like being forced to do so. Drawing names out of a hat to determine seeding would be best. Maybe next year.”

    Good. you’re the first kahuku fan to say this. that’s respectable. what would be best is if there’s an OIA/ILH merger with three different divisions feeding into their respective tournaments.

    “Now go cheer on your mediocre team this weekend…Iolani maybe? The future 0-6 “Champion”? Who cares. Downright LAUGHABLE…and pathetic. Kind of like your poorly researched responses. Back to the drawing board. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…”


  6. al September 9, 2016 10:20 am

    Kahuku fans not looking too smart right now.

  7. Education First September 9, 2016 12:34 pm

    I have to apologize for my writing today. It is sloppy. There are run on sentences. It seems reading the posts written by the Kahuku Bandwagoneers are taking an effect on me. My writing is becoming more poor. I think I am becoming less intelligent. Now I am not saying as unintelligent as 88, but I am sure you guy get the idea.

    I will try my best to uphold the standards for writing that is essential and necessary to keep this blog going and moving in the correct direction.

    On behalf of all man kind I apologize for not proofreading my work and setting poor examples for children to read. That is the job of the Kahuku Bandwagoneers and 88.

  8. 87 September 9, 2016 1:28 pm

    ainokea, this is high school sports not business, oh wait…. to the ILH and their paying athletes it is a business…and when they lose and dont adapt they will go out of business like how stlouis almost shut their doors a few years ago. ooops u are right change to help the ILH be relevant and protect their PRESTIGE status is necessary.

  9. 87 September 9, 2016 1:38 pm

    al, Kahuku fans the only ones not afraid to talk fact and fairness its called pride. I lived here in Honolulu the past 15yrs and one thing I notice is that public schools are seen as the pits. Everyone and their dog wants their kids to attend a private school and when that is not possible they homeschool b4 they send um to public. No pride.

    Sports families everywhere (EXCEPT KAHUKU) look up to St.Louis/Punahou as their big brother so there is no reason to complain, they all drinking the coolaid. When the ILH tell these people to jump, they say “how high”?

    the 3 divisions are a good thing but its the way the ILH used this opportunity to guarantee more of their teams a seed.

  10. ManoaMauka September 9, 2016 1:46 pm

    Considering what Obama did to this country and what Chow did to UH football….ILH not looking too good so far.

    Now they want to ruin Hawaii High School football.

  11. think of the kids September 9, 2016 2:15 pm

    ” this is high school sports not business, oh wait…. to the ILH and their paying athletes it is a business…and when they lose and dont adapt they will go out of business like how stlouis almost shut their doors a few years ago. ”

    BS. you know nothing about private school. punahou produced a president of the US. that has way more prestige than any football championship. Where’s your evidence that football powers enrollments and “prestige” in private schools and that they’re dependent on it? Where are your numbers and enrollment figures? Stop making things up.

    You keep repeating the same BS over and over about “prestige.” Between kahuku and all the ILH schools, the only school that relies on football for any kind of “prestige” is kahuku.

  12. i love 88 September 9, 2016 5:20 pm

    I thought 88 was the dumbest person on here. I now know it’s actually his sister 87. Can you provide any evidence?

    Fact? Have you even wrote a fact.

    Here is a fact: Kahuku won the state football championship last year.

    Here is another fact: Human Beings need oxygen to survive.

    You have yet to list any facts. But then again I am assuming you know what a fact is. So it’s my fault for OVER-ESTIMATING you. I apologize.

  13. 88 September 9, 2016 9:22 pm

    The only idiot on here is you buddy. Only a loser would come on here post under one name(Education Last) and than make up another name(I lust after 88) to reply to his own post. Go fold the laundry sole before your dad gets home from work…… Killing me

  14. Checkyoself September 12, 2016 11:20 am

    HHSAA is making things more complicated than it really is. No need for different divisions. No need for ILH.
    Let every team play every team period. Play offs will be attained by your teams record of the top eight teams.
    Everybody got their chance. No ifs…. No should’ves…. No I wonders…. Private schools can play more games and public schools can be more competitive with private schools through regular gameplay instead of private schools just playing amongst themselves.
    When playing with every team no matter of league or division, it will cause no doubt. If your team is good enough you can win States. If your team has individual talent, it will show when your team plays top tier teams. You don’t have the grades you cannot play.
    Same rules should apply to private schools and should be enforced by a third party or mediator.
    When playing football it is inevitable to have injuries.
    So private school athletes will have to play more games and go through what public school athletes go through. A true and fair playing feild.
    You wanna play football? Let’s play football!!!!
    None of this different division mumbo jumbo.
    No sacrifice, No reward.
    Enough with all this political correctness…..
    This is football. Let the kids play.
    Many teams will be beat by dominating teams but it’s the experience that matters. The trials, the tribulations. The sweat, the tears. The effort versus the talent. The humble versus the arrogant.
    No segregation. Just plain old fashioned Football.

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