Pupule ballot: Damien survives, Waipahu marauds

'Iolani slotback Rayden Kaneshiro was brought down by Damien linebacker Braden Halili in an overtime game last week. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

The ballot remains the same for this pupule. That’s a first this fall, and it’s fitting.

• Saint Louis scored 56 against Narbonne and gave up 50. Those of us who were at Aloha Stadium could see why the Gauchos have their share of FBS prospects, which means yes, Saint Louis is worthy of national rankings. Not quite there with the nation’s top 5 or 10 (right now), but 56 is 56.

• Kamehameha narrowed the gap in a 21-17 loss to Punahou. Just a few weeks ago, the Warriors lost to the Buffanblu 21-0. Punahou QB Stephen Barber may not have been at full strength (elbow), but this is more evidence that Kamehameha is a justifiable No. 5 behind No. 4 Punahou.

• My 6 through 10 are unchanged. Again, this isn’t about Top 10 most talented programs. It’s about the resume. Hilo had a big dropoff (right out of the Star-Advertiser Top 10) after losing at Konawaena. Low ceiling, low floor due to the dearth of ranked teams on the Vikings’ slate. Same goes for Damien, though arguably the Monarchs AND St. Francis are worthy of spots in the poll. Same argument applies to Leilehua, which beat St. Francis.

Pupule FB ballot 9/25/17
1. Saint Louis
2. Kahuku
3. Mililani
4. Punahou
5. Kamehameha
6. Damien
7. Lahainaluna
8. Waipahu
9. Campbell
10. Farrington

* Ranked opponents

1. Saint Louis Crusaders (5-0, 2-0 ILH)
Star-Advertiser Top 10 this week: No. 1
How I voted last week: No. 1

Over the weekend: def. *Narbonne (Calif.) 56-0.
Wins: @ *Waianae 49-7, Baldwin 61-0, *Kamehameha 44-0, *Punahou 49-13, *Narbonne 56-50.
Losses: None.
Next: vs. *Kamehameha, Aloha Stadium, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

The skinny: Best of the best at this point. The Crusaders are relatively unscathed and healthy. A year ago, they were on a roll when the second run-through of ILH competition provided a major obstacle. That’s when defense and special teams make all the difference, and the Crusaders are outstanding there. By the way, with 393 yards and six TDs, plus masterful game management and first-down running against Narbonne, is Chevan Cordeiro the most clutch of all clutch QBs statewide?

Sumo rank: Yokozuna.

2. Kahuku Red Raiders (6-1, 6-0 OIA)
Star-Advertiser Top 10 this week: No. 2
How I voted last week: No. 2

Over the weekend: def. Radford 64-0.
Wins: Leilehua 24-0, @ *Waianae 37-0, Moanalua 40-6, @ Aiea 51-7, Kaiser 2-0 (forfeit), Radford 64-0.
Losses: *Bingham (Utah) 17-0 (Las Vegas).
Next: @ *Campbell, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

The skinny: If you pulled these scores out, on a sheet of paper, and removed the team names and said, ‘Guess what year this is for Kahuku’s football team in its first six games?’ it could have been from any season, basically, over the past 20 or 30 years. The OIA has done a bit of tinkering, but by and large the current divisional setup is mediocre. And it won’t change because the needs of the many — all schools that receive a share of football revenue — outweigh the needs of the few, which in theory would be the league’s superpowers. There won’t be a “super conference” or “open division” whether it is merged with the ILH or within the OIA itself. But we can dream.

Conversely, I will always assert that forcing teams like Kaiser to play in the same division with Kahuku was a major factor (not the only one) in the poor turnout. That’s only one of seven regular-season games played, not to mention any home preseason games (revenue kept by the home team and split with the visitor). The six games forfeited is lost revenue, and if this trend continues — CTE/brain damag e concerns are another part of the equation) — at other schools that are required by the league to face behemoths like Kahuku, the only question I’d have left is, how could a circle of intelligent and informed individuals not see this coming? Waiting TWO YEARS to reshuffle the deck is way too long. Annual meetings to recut the divisions should be automatic. It ain’t easy, but it ain’t that hard, ladies and gentlemen.

Sumo rank: Yokozuna.

3. Mililani Trojans (7-0, 6-0 OIA)
Star-Advertiser Top 10 this week: No. 3
How I voted last week: No. 3

Over the weekend: def. Nanakuli 44-33.
Wins: @ Kaiser 2-0 (forfeit), Leilehua 47-0, @ Castle 49-0, @ Clayton Valley Charter (Calif.) 49-30, @ *Farrington 42-6, @ *Kapolei 42-21, Nanakuli 44-33.
Losses: None.
Next: vs. *Kailua, Saturday, 6:30 p.m.

The skinny: Methodical, precise, surgical. Giving up 33 points to a balanced Nanakuli squad was a bit surprising, but a win is a win. If anyone is close (or even or better) than Cordeiro as a master playmaker from the pocket, it might be Dillon Gabriel.

Sumo rank: Ozeki.

4. Punahou Buffanblu (5-1, 2-1 ILH)
Star-Advertiser Top 10 this week: No. 4
How I voted last week: No. 4

Over the weekend: def. *Kamehameha 21-17.
Wins: Moanalua 35-7, *Torrey Pines (Calif.) 56-42, @ *Serra 56-42, *Kamehameha 21-0, *Kamehameha 21-17.
Losses: *Saint Louis 49-13.
Next: Idle this week. vs. *Saint Louis, Saturday, Oct. 7, Aloha Stadium, 6 p.m.

The skinny: This is a week of rest that the Buffanblu have earned. Between the mainland trip and constant lineup of Top 10 competition, the down time is probably embraced. That much more time to heal for Barber and his banged-up teammates.

Sumo rank: Ozeki.

5. Kamehameha Warriors (3-3, 0-3 ILH)
Star-Advertiser Top 10 this week: No. 5 (tie)
How I voted last week: No. 5

Over the weekend: lost to *Punahou 21-17.
Wins: @ *Farrington 34-15, @ *Lahainaluna 34-10, Carson (Calif.) 33-10.
Losses: *Saint Louis 44-0, *Punahou 21-0, *Punahou 21-17.
Next: vs. *Saint Louis, Aloha Stadium, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

The skinny: The Warriors are gradually narrowing the gap with powerhouses Saint Louis and Punahou. As talented as the school is in virtually every sport, I wonder if the boys programs have been affected as drastically as the girls programs by the opening of Maui and Big Island campuses. Football? Probably not severely, but certainly some kind of impact. There’s also the priority level of football at Saint Louis and Punahou over the past several years. Coaching consistency. Kamehameha this season is without question a very good team. Is there another league like the ILH in football across the country? I would guess no.

Sumo rank: Ozeki. The Warriors have three losses, but all are to formidable, ranked teams. Their wins over ranked teams are by wide margins, and this close loss to Punahou is proof enough that Kamehameha is a step above the Komusubi rank and file.

6. Damien Monarchs (6-1, 4-0 ILH D-II)
Star-Advertiser Top 10 this week: No. 10 (tie)
How I voted last week: No. 6

Over the weekend: def. @ ‘Iolani 42-35 (OT).
Wins: @ Castle 42-7, @ Kealakehe 20-7, ‘Iolani 35-21, Pac-Five 39-18, St. Francis 27-20, @ ‘Iolani 42-35 (OT).
Losses: *Villa Park (Calif.) 14-6.
Next: vs. Pac-Five, Skippa Diaz Stadium, Saturday, 10 a.m.

The skinny: General rule when it comes to a growing list of close victories —Damien rallied from a 28-point deficit to win at ‘Iolani last weekend — is that the pendulum eventually swings back to the other side. Reversion to the mean. But once in a great while, a program or organization simply has something that numbers can’t define. Losing talent and graduates should have derailed this Monarchs team to an extent. But here they are, and according to my measures, they have deserved a spot in the Star-Advertiser Top 10 for WEEKS. Win close or win big, wins are wins and Damien has found ways to overcome almost 100 percent of the time. Doesn’t hurt that Villa Park is an excellent squad in the CIF.

Sumo rank: Komusubi.

7. Lahainaluna Lunas (6-1, 5-0 MIL)
Star-Advertiser Top 10 this week: No. 9
How I voted last week: No. 7

Over the weekend: def. Maui 24-17 (OT).
Wins: @ Pearl City 20-7, King Kekaulike 45-0, Maui 32-13 (War Memorial Stadium), Baldwin 28-20 (WMS), @ Kamehameha-Maui 39-19, Maui 24-17.
Losses: *Kamehameha 34-10.
Next: vs. King Kekaulike, Friday, WMS, 7 p.m.

The skinny: It’s not quite the gauntlet of the ILH, where D-I teams will meet each other perhaps three times, or even the KIF, where that triple round-robin format is the norm. Still, meeting D-I programs twice is not altogether an advantage for the Lunas. The competitive aspect is a plus, sure. But Maui had the Lunas on the ropes, so to speak, and now every foe in the MIL can sense opportunity.

Sumo rank: Komusubi.

8. Waipahu Marauders (6-0, 5-0 OIA D-II)
Star-Advertiser Top 10 this week: Not ranked
How I voted last week: No. 8

Over the weekend: def. Pearl City 37-6.
Wins: @ Nanakuli 51-14, Kalaheo 2-0 (forfeit), Roosevelt 35-8, Waialua 63-7, Kalani 49-0 (Kaiser Stadium), Pearl City 37-6.
Losses: None.
Next: vs. Kaimuki, Skippa Diaz Stadium, Saturday, 6:30 p.m.

The skinny: The Marauders are in a good position from this standpoint: first place in the division, still unranked by coaches and media. As a team, there’s nothing to prove to voters, but if this snub fuels their fire, that’s a plus. There have been oodles of teams in football and basketball that rose in the rankings nationwide, but couldn’t get through a certain level because the schedule lacked strength, and that’s where Waipahu is right now. One thing is for sure: when they stop committing penalties, they can wipe out just about any foe in D-II, as Pearl City learned. And the Chargers are a solid team.

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

>> Tangled web
Waianae beat Campbell
Campbell beat Farrington
Farrington beat Kapolei
Kapolei beat Waianae
Leilehua beat Kapolei

9. Campbell Sabers (5-2, 5-1 OIA)
Star-Advertiser Top 10 this week: No. 7
How I voted last week: No. 9

Over the weekend: Idle.
Wins: *Farrington 26-20, Aiea 48-13, Kaiser 71-0, Moanalua 51-6, @ Radford 35-19.
Losses: *Kapolei 23-7, @ *Waianae 27-14.
Next: vs. *Kahuku, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

The skinny: The Sabers were in developmental mode during the month of August, coming away with a win over Farrington and losses to Kapolei and Waianae in their matchups with Top 10 opponents. How far has Darren Johnson’s team come since then? The Sabers had a bye week to prep extra for defending league champion Kahuku. It’s difficult to replicate Kahuku’s power on defense in a practice session. Campbell has a playoff berth locked up, but a loss would give Waianae an opportunity to move into a second-place time. In that event, the Seariders would claim the head-to-head advantage and earn a first-round bye.

Sumo rank: Komusubi.

10. Farrington Governors (4-3, 4-2 OIA)
Star-Advertiser Top 10 this week: No. 8
How I voted last week: No. 10

Over the weekend: def. Castle 53-16.
Wins: @ Nanakuli 35-0, *Kapolei 28-7, @ *Kailua 3-0, Castle 53-16.
Losses: *Kamehameha 34-15, @ *Campbell 26-20, *Mililani 42-6.
Next: @ Leilehua, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

The skinny: The win over a tough-as-nails Castle squad was a breakout game of sorts for junior QB Chris Afe, who seems to have recovered from an early-season shoulder injury. With the OIA Red standings in a jumble, a win on the road against the tough Mules — arguably a team that should be in the Top 10 — would be another huge feather in the cap.

Sumo rank: Komusubi.

Honorable mention

Waianae Seariders (5-3, 5-2 OIA)
Star-Advertiser Top 10 this week: No. 5 (tie)
How I voted last week: Not ranked

Over the weekend: def. Aiea 44-0
Wins: *Campbell 27-14, Moanalua 43-20, @ Radford 47-15, Aiea 44-0.
Losses: *Saint Louis 49-7, *Kapolei 7-0, *Kahuku 37-0.
Next: Idle. (Automatic forfeit win over Kaiser, which forfeited its remaining games last week.) OIA playoff schedule to be announced.

The skinny: As I expected, the Seariders bounced back from an incredibly tough early schedule (Saint Louis, Kapolei, Kahuku) with success over the ensuing four games. Confidence is high, Rico Rosario is back to his old self, injuries are relatively under control and Kana‘i Mauga’s versatility is being utilized for good. The forfeiture by Kaiser gives the Seariders another week to heal — they had a bye week on the weekend of Sept. 15-16. Huge blessing there.

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

Leilehua Mules (5-2, 4-2 OIA)
Star-Advertiser Top 10 this week: No. 10 (tie)
How I voted last week: Not ranked.

Over the weekend: def. *Kailua 38-14.
Wins: St. Francis 13-9, @ *Kapolei 20-19 (OT), Castle 43-6, Nanakuli 51-14, *Kailua 38-14.
Losses: @ *Kahuku 24-0, @ *Mililani 47-0.
Next: vs. *Farrington, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

The skinny: That’s two wins over ranked teams (Kapolei, Kailua), and it might end up being three if St. Francis rises to the next level in these coming weeks. The Mules have always had defense and special teams going for them thanks to an astute and experienced staff. Having a defensive coordinator who happened to have a year of HC experience on his tool belt get promoted to HC permanently is always one of the best routes to take. But now that the offense is in gear with all the whims and knowledge of former Mules great Andrew Manley. This is not a team I imagine anyone would want to face in the playoffs.

Back to my previous notes about the OIA format: Kahuku, Mililani, Kapolei, Kailua, Farrington and Leilehua in the same division (Red). Kahuku, Campbell, Waianae and four teams struggling in D-I in the Blue. How is this different from the old West and East conference format, really? We had imbalance then, which the league tried to rectify. And we have imbalance now. The party line, of course, will be that just about everyone in OIA D-I will make the playoffs. And that in itself covers any and all previous sins. If that’s the case, and nobody is willing to reshuffle the deck annually, why not just revert back to geographical lines?

Sumo rank: Komusubi.

Kapolei Hurricanes (3-4, 2-4 OIA)
Star-Advertiser Top 10 this week: Not ranked
How I voted last week: Not ranked.

Over the weekend: Idle.
Wins: @ *Campbell 23-7, @ *Waianae 7-0, @ *Kailua 33-0.
Losses: Castle 2-0 (forfeit), @ *Farrington 28-7, Leilehua 20-19 (OT), *Mililani 42-21.
Next: @ Nanakuli, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

The skinny: A playoff berth is at stake when the Hurricanes visit neighboring Nanakuli on Friday. Schedule makers, I’m 99 percent sure, didn’t see this coming. Kapolei is another team, like Leilehua, that has a huge growth spurt going right now, and with Lonenoa Faoa settling in, grasping the offense and building chemistry with his receivers better each day, this is an offense that has yet to peak. Right now, they have a puncher’s chance against anybody. But within 2-3 weeks, we might see this team, with it’s uber-talented defense, rise to another level. The back-end focused balance of the OIA schedule is perfect for late-blooming teams like this.

Sumo rank: Komusubi.

Konawaena Wildcats (5-2, 5-0 BIIF)
Star-Advertiser Top 10 this week: Not ranked.
How I voted last week: Not ranked.

Over the weekend: won @ Waiakea 57-8.
Wins: @ Kealakehe 46-16, Keaau 50-0, Honokaa 40-7, *Hilo 24-14, @ Waiakea 57-8.
Losses: Kapaa 33-13 (Vidinha Stadium), St. Francis 39-20.
Next: @ Kamehameha-Hawaii, Friday, 7 p.m.

The skinny: A win at KS-Hawaii would be a huge step toward claiming the outright BIIF championship on paper since the entire league plays a single round-robin regardless of division. Of course, the divisional playoffs would follow, but there’s no hotter team in the BIIF right now than Konawaena.

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

Hilo Vikings (5-1, 4-1 BIIF)
Star-Advertiser Top 10 this week: Not ranked
How I voted last week: Not ranked.

Over the weekend: won at Kamehameha-Hawaii 28-14.
Wins: @ ‘Iolani (62-35), @ Hawaii Prep (73-6), Honokaa (41-0), Waiakea (54-0), @ Kamehameha-Hawaii.
Losses: @ Konawaena 24-14.
Next: vs. Keaau, Wong Stadium, Friday, 7 p.m.

The skinny: The Vikings gained a modicum of redemption by beating KS-Hawaii following the road loss at Konawaena.

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

Kamehameha-HawaII Warriors (6-2, 4-1 BIIF)
Star-Advertiser Top 10 this week: Not ranked
How I voted last week: Not ranked.

Over the weekend: lost to *Hilo 28-14.
Wins: Maui 23-0, Waiakea 56-0, Keaau 40-6, @ Kealakehe 15-13, Hawaii Prep 62-7, @ Waiakea 47-0.
Losses: Kauai 10-7 (Vidinha Stadium), *Hilo 28-14.
Next: vs. Konawaena, Friday, 7 p.m.

The skinny: The Warriors met a (previously) ranked team for the first time this season and it didn’t end as hoped for their loyal fans. Losing home games with the mythical league championship at stake — Hilo is in D-I and will not face KS-Hawaii again) — is a bummer, but if the Warriors are going to become a state-tourney entrant, they’ll have to stand their ground against visiting Konawaena.

Sumo rank: Juryo.

Kailua Surfriders (4-3, 3-3 OIA)
Star-Advertiser Top 10 this week: Not ranked
How I voted last week: Not ranked

Over the weekend: lost @ Leilehua 38-14.
Wins: @ Moanalua 44-0, Buckeye Union (Calif.) 28-27, Nanakuli 40-14, Castle 26-7.
Losses: *Farrington 3-0, *Kapolei 33-0, @ Leilehua 38-14.
Next: @ *Mililani, Saturday, 6:30 p.m.

The skinny: The Surfriders find themselves smack dab in the middle of the OIA Red standings. Now they’ll face frontrunner Mililani. They can build some confidence with a win, or even in defeat, if they can show more offensive punch. The Red has been clearly more powerful than the Blue, and when the Surfriders enter the playoffs next week, they’ll take on a Blue opponent.

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

Pearl City Chargers (5-2, 5-1 OIA D-II)
Star-Advertiser Top 10 this week: Not ranked
How I voted last week: Not ranked

Over the weekend: lost at Waipahu 37-6
Wins: Kalani 22-16 at Ticky Vasconcellos Stadium, Roosevelt 42-0 at Aloha Stadium; Waialua 64-0, Kalaheo 31-0, Kaimuki 17-15 at Diaz Stadium.
Losses: *Lahainaluna 20-7, @ Waipahu 37-6.
Next: vs. McKinley, Friday, 7:30 p.m.

The skinny: The Chargers had played at its home field or neutral fields in their first six games until visiting Waipahu — at the Marauders’ homecoming game — last week. The final score did nothing to console the Chargers, who were in a scoreless game at the half. Waipahu clinched first place for the regular season, but as last year’s playoffs showed, seeding means not a thing as long as a team peaks at the right time. Punter/defensive end/FBS recruiting target Zion Tupuola-Fetui showed his QB skills in the final two plays of the first half, completing a 44-yard bomb.

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

St. Francis Saints (5-2, 3-1 ILH D-II)
Star-Advertiser Top 10 this week: Not ranked
How I voted last week: Not ranked.

Over the weekend: Idle.
Wins: Kauai 42-0 at Punahou, @ Konawaena 39-20, Pac-Five 35-21 at Aloha Stadium, @ ‘Iolani 43-26.
Losses: @ Leilehua 13-9, Damien 27-20.
Next: vs. ‘Iolani, Aloha Stadium, Friday, 4:45 p.m.

The skinny: The Saints are well aware that ‘Iolani is playing its best football of the season. With just two ILH teams declared in D-II, it makes this regular-season chase seemingly meaningless. It never goes down that path, though. This will be a great battle on Friday afternoon.

Sumo rank: Maegashira.

>> Tangled web II
Kauai def. Kapaa 27-17
Kapaa def. Waimea 47-21
Waimea def Kauai 16-14

Waimea Menehunes (3-2, 2-2 KIF)
Star-Advertiser Top 10 this week: Not ranked
How I voted last week: Not ranked.

Over the weekend: def. Kapaa 34-24 (Hanapepe Stadium).
Wins: Pac-Five 49-21 (Hanapepe), Kauai 16-14 (Vidinha Stadium), Kapaa 34-24 (Hanapepe).
Losses: Kauai 34-20 (Hanapepe), Kapaa 47-21 (Vidinha).
Next: Bye this week. vs. Kauai, Friday, Oct. 7, 7 p.m., Hanapepe Stadium.

The skinny: Now that the Menehune have beaten Kapaa — the same defending league champs that beat Waimea 47-21 earlier in the season — the KIF is officially off the rails. This is a street fight at the bottom of the Waimea Canyon or on the beach near Kapaa, or in the heat of Vidinha Stadium by day light. But it’s turned into the roughest, closest KIF gridiron war in years.

Sumo rank: Juryo.

Kauai Red Raiders (3-2, 2-1 KIF)
Star-Advertiser Top 10 this week: Not ranked
How I voted last week: Not ranked.

Over the weekend: Idle.
Wins: Kamehameha-Hawaii 10-7 (Vidinha Stadium), Waimea 34-20 (Hanapepe Stadium), Kapaa 27-17 (Vidinha Stadium).
Losses: St. Francis 42-0 (Alexander Field, Punahou), Waimea 16-14 (Vidinha).
Next: vs. Kapaa, Saturday.

The skinny: The Red Raiders can seize sole ownership of first place by beating Kapaa.

Sumo rank: Juryo.

Kapaa Warriors (3-2, 1-2 KIF)
Star-Advertiser Top 10 this week: Not ranked
How I voted last week: Not ranked

Over the weekend: lost to Waimea 34-24 (Hanapepe Stadium).
Wins: Maui 24-7 at War Memorial Stadium, Konawaena 33-13 at Vidinha Stadium, Waimea 47-21 at Vidinha Stadium.
Losses: Kauai 27-17 at Vidinha Stadium.
Next: vs. Kauai, Vidinha Stadium, Saturday.

The skinny: At 1-2, this is a must-win matchup for the Warriors, winners of the last three KIF titles. A Kapaa win, however, would leave all three KIF teams tied at 2-2.

Sumo rank: Juryo.

Maui Sabers (2-5, 2-3 MIL)
Star-Advertiser Top 10 this week: Not ranked
How I voted last week: Not ranked

Over the weekend: lost @ *Lahainaluna 24-17.
Wins: King Kekaulike 55-0 (WMS), Baldwin 32-21 (WMS).
Losses: Kapaa 24-7 (WMS), @ Kamehameha-Hawaii 23-0, @ Kamehameha-Maui 21-13, *Lahainaluna 32-13 (WMS), @ *Lahainaluna 24-17.
Next: vs. Kamehameha-Maui, WMS, Saturday, 7 p.m.

The skinny: The Sabers’ turnaround would’ve extended into a three-game win streak had they managed to beat Lahainaluna. It’s still a plus situation, though, with the change in momentum since losing those first four games. Maui and Baldwin will duke it out of the MIL’s lone D-I state berth.

Sumo rank: Juryo.

Special mention
Ka‘u Trojans (4-1, 4-0 BIIF)
Over the weekend: def. Pahoa 18-12, Keaau HS field.
Wins: Pahoa 32-8, @ Kohala 36-6, @ Kohala 48-0, Pahoa 18-12 (Keaau field).
Losses: @ Lanai 90-58.

The skinny: It’s been quite a ride for the Trojans, who were a formidable team in the BIIF during the mid-1990s under then-coach Mark Pollard. Pahoa has made significant traction this season, going 3-2 overall — a huge success for a school that lay dormant on the gridiron for years. In the MIL, Molokai (4-1, 3-0) is reigning while Lanai (3-1, 2-1) has emerged. Hana (1-2, 1-2) and Seabury Hall (0-4, 0-3) remain competitive. The slide of Seabury Hall is surprising, but at smaller schools, change can happen rapidly. The Spartans were close to reaching the MIL finals, losing in the playoffs to Lanai. As for the Pine Lads, all the effort of putting together a sterling football facility, the struggles of building feeder programs and overcoming travel challenges are worthwhile.

There’s still no word either way whether Seabury Hall, which played an 11-man game against Hawaii Prep in preseason, is still considering the move. If that happens, folks like longtime Maui News writer Rob Collias believes Molokai could also possibly make the same move. In that still-unlikely scenario, the MIL would then have these teams in Division II (11 man): King Kekaulike, Kamehameha-Maui, Molokai and Seabury Hall.

Would that kill 8-man football in the MIL? I hope not. With the BIIF gaining traction — unless Kohala’s struggles bottom out — and the always-possible scenario of Oahu leagues giving 8-man a try, the chances of a state championship tournament will remain alive. It takes three competitive, official leagues to take that next step.

The OIA isn’t exactly thrilled about that possibility, though 8-man at struggling or non-existent programs like Anuenue would be a plus, not a minus. And ILH schools, particularly on the west side, might be less resistant if there was a league to participate in. It would take just three pilot-program teams to make it worth a go, but getting 10-15 players out from tiny schools is a tough challenge. The toughest obstacle would be startup costs for equipment.

A 2020 8-man state football championship tourney comprised of Island Pacific, Lanakila Baptist or Hanalani from the ILH, Molokai and Lanai from the MIL, and Ka‘u or Pahoa from the BIIF would be a fantastical opportunity. If the Superferry somehow returns by then, they could have branding rights to the tourney and carry teams to the games at War Memorial Stadium on Monday or Thursday nights.

If, if, if.


  1. Whhy September 26, 2017 3:45 pm

    Anyone thoughts on the national anthem protesting in the NFL? I hear our local boy Mariota stayed in the locker room; well both teams did. I guess it would be hard for him to decide on his own. if the team decided not to be out there.

    Thoughts? I wonder what the players would think if they came out and everyone booed them for not coming out for the playing of our national anthem? If the fans (the large majority) are good with putting their hands over their heart why are these athletes unable to do so. Instead of participating in these meaningless kneeling or sit outs. Take their millions of dollars and donate it to help victims of police brutality? SMH.

  2. Hau'ulaBoy September 26, 2017 3:48 pm

    Waianae would smash #5 thru #10. They already beat Campbell, the others are DII and would’nt stand a chance. Too funny your rankings. Its gotta be a joke. Just my opinion.

  3. Hau'ulaBoy September 26, 2017 4:04 pm

    The United States flag reps freedom. Freedom to kneel down and make a statement, freedom from oppression and tierney, freedom to tell Trump to kiss there a$$… We live in this great country where it is not againt the law to protest peacefully. And in doing so, you could say they are actually honoring the flag and the freedom it represents. RR4L and god bless America._.

  4. Hau'ulaBoy September 26, 2017 4:20 pm

    Waipahu would’nt even beat the Mules, so why are they ranked above both Waianae and Leilehua, or even the Govs. Division 2 should not be ranked above Division 1. Thats why there DII, they couldnt hang with DI.

  5. Awrite!! September 26, 2017 4:27 pm

    These rankings are absurd, D2 and D1 should not mix.

    Also cte and extreme contact is less likely to happen in a game between Kahuku vs. Radford/Kaiser because the weaker team just gets steamrolled, doesnt resist too much and pretty much gives up by half time and is running half a$$.

    When Kahuku plays Waianae or Farr then you have to worry about the hits because its big boys hitting big boys, also Kahuku is usually the team with the most injuries after a game.

    cte, concussions and injurys are more common in closer games because its full speed and full contact in all 4 quarters

    a game that ends in 64-0 was mostlikely over by the 1st quarter and both teams are on autopilot with all the subs getting playing time too.

  6. Hau'ulaBoy September 26, 2017 5:29 pm

    Paul Honda: It was only three years ago that Kaiser could compete against Kahuku and did so in dramatic fashion. Beating a very good Kahuku team. That Kahuku team made it to the state semifinals and lost to a really good Punahou team by a walk-off fieldgoal kick. There will be down years for all programs. Even the Kahuku’s, Waianae’s, the Saint Louis’s have down years. I remember a few years ago McKinnley beat Kahuku at Roosevelt. So please stop with all this no compition stuff. For many years Saint Louis dominated the ILH, but yet no one brings that up. I mean, how can teams with no district boundries, with much bigger budgets, compete with schools with much less? Its unfair to think they could compete week to week. Better facilities,better trainers,better assitant coaches and even the amount of coaches. Just my opinion.

  7. 88 September 27, 2017 7:34 am

    Whhy do our High School teams come out for the anthem? Go to a home game and see if the home team is on the field for the anthem or if they are still in the locker room. People making too much of a big deal over nothing.

  8. Told U Sol September 27, 2017 10:45 am

    Where are all the whiners and media people who said Iolani didn’t belong in D II?

  9. Alpha September 27, 2017 11:19 am

    Just curious, is the Anthem played before the jv game also?

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