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.