Say prefers OIA’s East/West football alignment

Head coach Wendell Say was on his way to the team bus after his Aiea Na Alii football team lost 54-6 to Mililani at John Kauinana Stadium on Saturday.

He brought up an interesting point, suggesting in a casual sort of way that the Oahu Interscholastic Association should go back to the East/West alignment for football.

The league went to a non-geographical format starting with the 2014 season. There had been a perception that the West teams were a lot stronger than the East teams and that was the impetus for the change.


Whether it was the change or not that made a difference, there does seem to be a much better showing from the East teams these days.

To help illustrate that point, below are the division standings using the teams’ overall records as of today. After that, we jumbled the standings to show what it would look like if the standings were based on the East/West alignment. Obviously, this doesn’t take into consideration that the scheduling would have been a lot different had the East/West format been in effect. Anyway, here goes:

Standings (overall records only) as of now
OIA Red
>> Kahuku, 5-0
>> Waianae, 4-1
>> Leilehua, 2-3
>> Kaiser, 2-3
>> Castle, 2-4
>> Waipahu, 1-4
>> McKinley, 0-6
Totals: 16-21
OIA Blue
>> Farrington, 5-0
>> Kailua, 5-1
>> Mililani, 4-1
>> Kapolei, 3-3
>> Moanalua, 2-3
>> Aiea, 1-5
>> Campbell, 0-5
Totals: 20-18


Standings (overall records only) using the East/West alignment
OIA East

>> Kahuku, 5-0
>> Farrington, 5-0
>> Kailua, 5-1
>> Moanalua, 2-3
>> Kaiser, 2-3
>> Castle, 2-4
>> McKinley, 0-6
Totals: 21-17
OIA West
>> Mililani, 4-1
>> Waianae, 4-1
>> Kapolei, 3-3
>> Leilehua, 2-3
>> Waipahu, 1-4
>> Aiea, 1-5
>> Campbell, 0-5
Totals: 15-22

As you can see, the true standings show the OIA Blue, of which Say’s Aiea is a member, is a bit of a stronger conference than the OIA Red. The biggest eye-opener is how much better the former OIA East teams are faring than the former OIA West teams, nearly a six-win difference. In league games only, the former East teams hold a three-win (17-14) difference.


“I like the East/West way. I’d like to go back to the old rivalries,” Say said. He didn’t elaborate more than that. After all, it was a very short conversation because he had a bus to catch.

Certainly, it’s something for administrators to think about, no matter which alignment is better for the schools, the players and the fans.

COMMENTS

  1. EwaEwa September 16, 2015 2:06 pm

    The OIA West in the past 10 years was becoming a stronger conference because of the shift of new homes/ new family’s out in Ewa/Kapolei. While the East is an aging population with little to no housing/population growth.

    The West distanced themselves from the OIA East teams and became a stronger conference, except for one problem, KAHUKU! The west could never beat Kahuku in the OIA title game.

    It took an ILH minded Iolani grad, Rod York, to come to Mililani and implement recruiting strategy’s to gather an elite player (or two) from Leilehua, Kapolei, Campbell, Waianae, Aiea, Waipahu and yes even Farrington to finally take down Kahuku and win a state title. Mililani is really a sort of OIA west all-star team.

    Following that footprint many football players are realizing that they need to combine talents and stack a team. That is why campbell is weak this year because a lot of their stars have scrambled to fill a roster at Kapolei, St. Louis, Mililani etc..

    Out east Kaiser is doing the same thing in trying to stack their team with out of district players in order to be competitive – its working.

    That’s the environment we live in, no one feels obligated to stay and play in their own districts anymore. Its all about stacking a team to win a title which in turn gives the athlete more recognition and possible scholarship offers.

    I like the old format of East and West because of the rivalries and closer traveling.


  2. princess peach September 16, 2015 2:44 pm

    I think the writer needs to do a more detailed analysis of the records between east and west schools to come to this conclusion. half a season/two thirds of a season’s worth of games doesn’t mean there’s a trend. maybe this year is an outlier.


  3. 88 September 16, 2015 3:54 pm

    From 1990-2014 the OIA Championship record stands at 17 Championships(18 if you count the year Kailua and Kahuku were co-champs) for the East and 7 for the West. How is the West stronger than the East again? Please explain because I do believe 17 is greater than 7.


  4. Nick Abramo September 16, 2015 3:56 pm

    good point Princess Peach; just wanted to get something out there because Say mentioned he liked the old way better. It surely is not a scientific article and there are many variables involved. Still, I think the data from this one year is at least interesting, even if it doesn’t prove or disprove anything.


  5. Nick Abramo September 16, 2015 3:58 pm

    All good points, EwaEwa. Closer traveling is one really good reason to go back to the old way. I personally like the new way better. Also, the new OIA transfer rule is now in effect and next year there will be less movement. Players going from one OIA school to another will have to sit out a year.


  6. Matuu Pulotu September 17, 2015 3:33 pm

    It does not matter how you divide the leagues if there is still a great difference in teams within that league like an Aiea or McKinley that although has talent, not the depth to hang with the Kahuku’s and Mililani’s. Split up the OIA into three tiers or let the schools struggling to play 8 man football. Give the outer island champs a chance to play with OIA’s big boys and opportunities to play mainland competition so that all of our teams can improve and see if they can play with the competition outside of Hawaii. And by the way, Next year when Milton, Malepeai and Timotea have graduated…Mililani will return to mid tier again. Let’s enjoy the season and cheer on all of our island boys as they prepare for even bigger and better things for themselves and the rest of us here in the 808 to be proud of. Go BIG RED!


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