Punahou, Kamehameha turn down chance to play at Aloha Stadium, TV coverage

Kamehameha running back Tanner Moku (7) gets past Punahou defensive back Kilinahe Mendiola-Jensen (15) on the way to a touchdown during the first half of an ILH football game on Friday, Oct. 25, 2019 at Aloha Stadium. Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

For safety’s sake, Wendell Look wanted to see exhibition football games between private schools played at Aloha Stadium.

Following a cancelled football year in Hawaii, it would have been nostalgic. Memorable. Epic, maybe. Instead, the ‘Iolani co-Athletic Director saw his intricately assembled plan come to a halt. Of all the plans laid out by the ILH’s football coordinator since last summer, this one wasn’t dependent on entities outside the private-school league. It wasn’t even at the mercy of the league, which cancelled its involvement with football for the entirety of the 2020-21 academic calendar.

“That was the beauty of it. I had a schedule made for all of us to play at Aloha Stadium. We had Spectrum (prepared) to televise the games. A (COVID-19) testing program set up for the schools that didn’t have testing: Saint Louis and Damien,” Look said on Wednesday. “Then Punahou and Kamehameha decided to go on their own. They wanted to have their own games.”

They wanted, Look said, to host games or scrimmages.

“Aloha Stadium is a secured facility. You wouldn’t have fans, wouldn’t impact school staff and school personnel to monitor the campus. I tried to make it as simple as possible,” said Look, who is also ‘Iolani’s longtime coach. “We got the approval of the lieutenant governor and governor.”

Once Kamehameha and Punahou declined to participate, Look informed Aloha Stadium that the plan was shelved.

“I gave up the dates already. I’ve been kind of mum. From day one, I gave (the ILH) my return-to-play plan. Then my ILH plan, and then this plan,” he said. “It could have been Hawaii teams playing the last games at Aloha Stadium. We could’ve done that.”

The Aloha Stadium games would have included Punahou and Kamehameha on May 1.

“It comes down to the administration,” Look said.

At Punahou, it was a “consensus” of administrators and coaches coming to a decision, Coach Leonard Lau said.

“We felt it was safer for everyone involved to play at the school sites because safety guidelines and protocols are already set in place at each school,” Lau said. “Also, each school could do their own livestreams for their families to watch. Just trying to be safe.”

The dominoes fell after that. Damien opted out.

“Damien was only going to play football if the ILH approved the season,” Damien Athletic Director and football coach Eddie Klaneski said. “Pretty much because we would have had a lot of kids opt out due to (spring) sports we approved. Others would’ve opted out because they already had scholarships.”

That meant that ‘Iolani had only one non-Open Division opponent, the Saint Louis ‘B’ team, and Look opted to close it down rather than practice for just one game.

“It didn’t make sense for us to play one team,” Look said.

The current schedule of exhibition matchups are at Kamehameha and Punahou’s fields. Punahou’s matchups will be in a controlled scrimmage format.

Saint Louis will play at Kamehameha on Apr. 17 with no spectators allowed.


  1. Osko April 8, 2021 1:13 pm

    Hey @Wendall Look. Try ask Kahuku and Mililani to come as independent teams probably would be more fun and draw a bigger TV audience than that of the other two anyway.

  2. Falcon Future April 8, 2021 1:33 pm

    LOL, figures that it would be Punahou and Kamehameha to back out. Both those schools get hit with so many scandals that the administrations get super scared of anything they cannot control.

    Kudos to Coach Look for trying!

  3. ILH GRAD April 8, 2021 8:57 pm

    Who will hold these AD’s and administrative responsible for voting not to play? We put them in charge of our kids. And for anyone to say that to practice for just one game is not worth it sounds like an idiot. 90% of these student athletes are not going to play at the next level. This is all they have. Let them have there games, even if it’s just one game. Choose your school wisely. Some AD and admin don’t care about student athletes.

  4. Findingaway April 8, 2021 9:55 pm

    Coach Look for head of OIA. OIA MIA.

  5. 96730to89 April 9, 2021 12:32 am

    Nice efforts by Mr. Look, but was money a factor in any of this? What about those who don’t have a Spectrum subscription? Lol.
    From the sounds of it, I now may actually be able to stream it. Sorry Look & Spectrum.

  6. What? April 9, 2021 12:18 pm

    Ask Mililani , the team would be there and show up the day before with more new poly kids not even from their district.

  7. Shen April 10, 2021 8:57 am

    It’s a shame you can literally play to play here. Where accommodations are made for those that can afford the testing.

  8. Palolo Valley King April 12, 2021 8:39 am

    anybody got word on the Saint Louis Mililani scrimmage? Heard Mililani kind of played with them, but also heard half the Saint Louis starters wasnt playing due to injuries or other issues? Can anybody confirm? Also heard the leader was going ballistic for Mililani, can anybody confirm that too? I got word from a few sources that was there, just trying to confirm. Thanks.

  9. ILoveHawaii April 13, 2021 8:13 am

    Truly unfortunate that it didnt work out.
    Even with the strict protocols, Kam had to shutdown for 10 days.
    Maybe the schools should provide the vaccine for their students like they do the coaches.

    Look must have been really disheartened that he would speak publicly speak out on this.
    Dare I say, Iolani is the victim again??? Feel like we have been here before.
    He could have had a modified season and set up scrimmages.

    Lulu just scrimmaged Millilani.
    Moanalua is practicing. Just saw Kalani at Kapiolani yesterday.
    Trench Dawgs is ALWAYS game. MBC too.
    7v7 is the rave nowadays. Uku million teams out there.
    There were so many options to create some sort of experience for the team, especially the seniors.

    But you get this, “Then Punahou and Kamehameha decided to go on their own. They wanted to have their own games.”

    So what, thats their prerogative. As my HS coach would tell me, Figure it out!!
    Ok, Pau.

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