Sports to Ponder: ‘Football is fun’

Waianae tacklers dropped Moanalua running back Michael Feliciano in Friday's game. The Seariders got by Na Menehune in overtime, 43-37. Bruce Asato / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Waianae tacklers dropped Moanalua running back Michael Feliciano in Friday’s game. The Seariders got by Na Menehune in overtime, 43-37. Bruce Asato / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Jerry Campany‘s Hawaii Prep World article about Mililani head coach Rod York‘s comment that “football is supposed to be fun” resonated with a lot of people.

And the whole point of it — to show that there is a huge disparity between Oahu’s power teams and the so-so teams — was right on. There is ALWAYS talk among fans and some coaches about a so-called superconference, and it is the belief among many in the football community that it would be a great thing for Hawaii football.

It would eliminate games such as Mililani, the sixth-ranked football team in the nation according to the computerized MaxPreps Freeman Rankings and the top-ranked team in the state, going up against a rebuilding McKinley team with a first-year coach.

When the issue gets around to the athletic directors and principals, the ones who make the rules, it doesn’t get much support. There are many reasons for this, and anyone who is an administrator knows you can’t just snap your fingers and go into the unknown beyond all the red tape.

And while this season has had its blowouts, including Mililani’s 73-14 pummeling of McKinley, it must be mentioned that there have been numerous excellent, razor-close games, too.

And bringing that point up actually helps support the idea of a superconference, oddly enough.

Take a gander at the scores of these games below that have been played between the middle of the pack (ranked below the top 6) Oahu football teams:

>> Damien 14, Aiea 13
>> Kailua 34, Castle 24
>> Pac-Five 16, Kalani 14
>> Kapolei 49, Kaiser 28
>> Waianae 43, Moanalua 37, OT
>> Aiea 47, Kaiser 43
>> Kailua 27, Leilehua 14
>> Pearl City 14, Roosevelt 7
>> Castle 33, Campbell 32
>> Waialua 21, Kalani 16
>> Nanakuli 28, Kalaheo 14

There have been only two blowouts so far among teams not ranked in the top 6: St. Francis 62, Anuenue 0, and Roosevelt 39, McKinley 0. You already know about McKinley’s situation, and Anuenue forfeited its game to Radford the following week due to a lack of uninjured players.

So, as you can see, most teams on Oahu are already having fun playing against similarly put-together squads. And what that means is the state ALREADY HAS a solid base for the secondary division that would come right underneath the superconference.

So, how can an upper level be fully realized? Your guess is as good as ours. The Star-Advertiser’s Dave Reardon and Paul Honda, among others, have called for it for a long time in articles through the years.

Interestingly enough, we recently learned that two sportswriters in Boston were instrumental in developing the idea of a “Super Bowl” championship on Saturdays each year in the various divisions in Massachusetts in the early 1970s. You can read that history here:

Har, har. We should be so lucky for the press to have an impact on the decision-makers for the (at least supposed) benefit of the people.

Maybe we just don’t have all the facts for what’s holding something like this up (although we know the differences in philosophy between the ILH and the OIA is a big reason; and the fact that private schools can offer paid tuition to athletes is probably the biggest sticking point). The people want it, and that can be stated here unequivocally. Media members at various outlets talk about it. Coaches, especially those already in the perceived “upper tier,” have said they would welcome it.

For illustrative purposes, this article would be lacking if it did not have a theoretical divisional example to go with it for people to chew on. Obviously, some school is going to get mad for being lumped in with the “lesser” folks. But, for a format like this to work, a line will have to be drawn somewhere. There could be strong guidelines put in place and a committee formed to meet each year to place teams where they (hopefully) belong for that season.

Ready (again)?

Platinum Division
>> Mililani
>> Punahou
>> Saint Louis
>> Kamehameha
>> Kahuku
>> Farrington

Division I (Gold)
>> Aiea
>> Anuenue*
>> Campbell
>> Castle
>> Damien
>> ‘Iolani
>> Pac-Five
>> Kailua
>> Kaimuki
>> Kaiser
>> Kalaheo
>> Kapolei
>> *McKinley
>> Moanalua
>> Nanakuli
>> Pearl City
>> Radford
>> Roosevelt
>> St. Francis
>> Waianae
>> Waialua
>> Waipahu

Division II (Silver)
>> The bottom six teams out of the 24 listed in Division I/Gold above, based on a committee’s findings.
>> *Anuenue and McKinley would be strong candidates for this division if it came into fruition at this time.


  1. 88 August 18, 2015 8:21 am

    I agree with the idea of a super conference. The teams and players only get better when they have to face the best every week. However what happens to one of the super conference teams when they have a rebuilding year? The OIA has transfer rules in place now that I believe would make it very hard for teams who are contenders now to stay on pace with the ILH schools.

  2. Whiston August 18, 2015 11:35 am

    I think u put waianae, kapolei and Campbell in the platinum thar way they play 8 games or split into 2 divisions 4 teams or 5 if kaiser and iolani want conference winner in states w/ lower division winner and outer island top 4 playoff!!!!

  3. FB fan August 18, 2015 12:03 pm

    I grad 99″ we had the res, white, blue div…. red div
    The resr made up the white nd blue div… shulda left it like that….

  4. OahuPuns August 18, 2015 12:24 pm

    ILH schools have the unfair advantage of dangling tens of thousands of dollars worth of scholarship money to recruit the best talent away from the public schools. Why should public schools agree to participate in an equal competitive super conference when it really is not equal.

    St. Louis had a down year last year so what did they do? They went and recruited a couple of the best kids on Kauai, three from Maui, one from Big Island and this year they are ranked #2 in the state. They are always pouching the elite intermediate grade kids from out of the communities here on Oahu. Leilehua and Waianae had down years last year and what is their option to rebuilding? They have to look to their elementary age kids and start coaching and training them to come up in the system and then pray that St. Louis does not come along and cherry pick those elite kids.


    If anything the OIA should narrow down the Div 1 conference from 14 to 8, that will eliminate the weaker teams and potential blow outs. Then allow for 3 non-conference games instead of just 1. This will allow them to play the likes of St. Louis/Punahou/Kam/Iolani during the regular season as a measuring stick for both sides, Heck if a D2 team is kicking butt they can even test their team by scheduling a D1 game.

  5. hwnstyll August 18, 2015 1:37 pm

    So are we saying a kid who can sleep until 715am and still make it to school on time is at a disadvantage because he attends a school that is not in the ILH? The kids leave because of the coaching and level of commitment that most ILH teams have, and that carries over to school work. Millilani has that and proved it last year by winning state championships in various sports
    and sent just as many scholarship athletes to college as did any single ILH school.
    Kahuku, even with all of its social disadvantages still produces college ready kids, its about people in the right positions caring enough to make it happen. Unfortunately the ILH schools make it happen more than the OIA schools. BTW not all players are on scholarship, and more than half pay 50% of tuition. Maybe take a look at the scholarship offers on this website and count how many are for ILH or OIA players.

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