Pac-Five not sure of 2019 state football classification

Pac-Five running back Bruce Shewalter (21) was tackled by Roosevelt's Kekai Kaimikaua (50) as the ball popped loose in a Division II state tournament game last year. The Wolfpack are unsure if they will be able to compete for a return trip to states in 2019. Photo by Cindy Ellen Russell/Star-Advertiser.

As it stands right now, Pac-Five is a Division II football team.

The Wolfpack will be playing a D-II schedule in the OIA-ILH alliance this fall, just like last year.

But their postseason status is in a void at the moment.

There is an HHSAA football rule that states a league must have at least two teams in order to get one berth in the postseason. With St. Francis, another D-II classified school, closing at the end of this school year, that leaves the Wolfpack as the only D-II ILH school.

So, as it stands, Pac-Five will not be eligible for the state tournament in 2019.

That status could change if the ILH decides to change its classification format. Saint Louis, Punahou and Kamehameha in Open; ‘Iolani and Damien in D-I; and Pac-Five in D-II is what’s in place now for state tournament purposes.

One person in a position of authority in state football circles who did not want to be identified suggested that maybe Pac-Five could play the D-II regular season and move up to D-I for the ILH playoffs in order to have a possibility of state qualification. Two others in positions of authority who didn’t want to be identified thought that scenario is unlikely to come to fruition due to the inherent unfairness of a team playing a weaker schedule being allowed to go up a Division for the playoffs only.

A scenario allowing the Wolfpack to compete in an at-large play-in (pre-state tournament) game against a D-II team from another league is also not going to happen, according to Hawaii High School Athletic Association executive director Chris Chun.

“No. You need two teams from a league (even in that situation),” texted Chun.

Kip Botelho, the Pac-Five coach, said he has not been informed of what the ILH intends to do about the Wolfpack’s state classification.

Efforts to reach ILH executive director Blane Gaison and assistant executive director Georges Gilbert for comment were unsuccessful.

Leagues have until Aug. 1 to declare their teams for a state-tournament division, according to Chun.

In other developments, the OIA’s talked-about move of Nanakuli from D-I to D-II is official. The league also discussed the possibility of moving Kaimuki up to D-I, but a decision was made to keep the Bulldogs in D-II.

Note: In the original post, it was incorrectly stated that Kaimuki was moving up to D-I.


  1. Mahatma Gandhi March 22, 2019 1:58 pm

    Pac-5 in the lowest division. Hard to believe they actually won 2 Prep Bowls in the early 1980s.

  2. Kobe March 22, 2019 2:41 pm

    Have games between Pac-5 and OIA teams count on their record. This Division will have 3 State berths. The top 3 teams receive the berths.

  3. Falcon Future March 22, 2019 3:03 pm

    The easiest solution is for Pac-5 to move up to D1 with Damien and Iolani. If that happens, Pac-5 is on the bottom looking up, but I don’t think they would be that far behind. I think they could hang in that division. All it takes is one or two recruits on that level to turn things around.

  4. ??? March 22, 2019 4:59 pm

    @Falcon Future
    On point.

  5. notes March 23, 2019 8:18 am

    poor ILH schools. try to rig the system and stack the deck, get screwed over in the process. this is the future the ILH wants for our keiki: rich people buying championships for their keiki and the rest of us on the outside looking in

  6. Observation March 23, 2019 8:37 am

    @Falcon Future
    Pac-5 does not recruit like other ILH programs and they would not be competitive in the D1. HHSAA has to figure out how to make this work by changing the rules where they can divide Pac-5 along with the OIA schools into two conferences outside of the ILH/OIA system.

  7. Public School Grad March 23, 2019 10:41 am

    How is this different than in 2016 when Iolani got the automatic bid to the State Tournament? Damien, St. Francis and Pac 5 were in Division II. Iolani go the automatic ILH spot for Division I and lost to Mililani.

  8. Hmmm? March 23, 2019 12:42 pm

    @Public School Grad, you sure you went public school? Good point…@M. Gandhi, yeah Pac-5 won 2 Prep Bowls and were a competitive team in the past, just like McKinley in there hey day, The Tigers claim to be state champs in the tri-fecta, football, basketball, baseball, times change programs change, its cyclical, and RECRUITING…

  9. "UNITY=STRENGTH" March 23, 2019 3:51 pm

    Make a exception for the Wolf-Pack attack if they win most of there games why not make them play for there division Championship. If they didn’t win most of there games it won’t matter anyway if there the only ILH team in the division. If the HHSAA made the rules they can change it also and come to a agreement for the current situation.

  10. ??? March 24, 2019 9:41 am

    Maybe we need 6 or 7 different divisions like the mainland has. Lord knows, in today’s political correct nation every kid needs to take home a Trophy. JBS!

  11. One for the gipper March 25, 2019 10:20 pm

    Or maybe Pac 5 can just wait with a losing record again and see if a school gotta forfeit there season so they can get an Automatic bid to the playoffs

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