Due to St. Francis’ decision to close Grades 7-12, there are 22 Saints varsity football players in grades 10 and 11 who are looking for a new high school to go to and play next season.
That number doesn’t include intermediate players in grades 8-9 from last fall who will be eligible to play varsity this fall.
Jonan Aina-Chaves, the Saints’ star running back, is undecided on where he wants to go. He has options.
According to ILH, HHSAA and OIA administrators, St. Francis players can choose to go to any other ILH school without the normal transfer penalty of sitting a year or go to an OIA school in their home district.
“Me and my buddies are all going to decide where we’re going to go after the school year,” said Aina-Chaves, referring to about five teammates. Aina-Chaves lives in Kalihi and, should he chooses to go the public-school route, would wind up at Farrington.
Aina-Chaves also said his first choice of an ILH school — if he goes the private-school route — would be Saint Louis, which has won three state Open Division championships in a row.
St. Francis went 9-0 (8-0 ILH Division II) last year with a berth in the state tournament clinched, but wound up forfeiting all wins (except one nonleague contest) due to an ineligible player.
That stunning news in October was followed in January with an announcement that the school was going to be closing Grades 7-12 at the end of the 2018-19 school year.
In other transfer rule news, OIA executive director Raymond Fujino confirmed recently that the OIA is not making changes to its transfer rule for the foreseeable future.
The OIA had planned to review — and possibly make changes to — its transfer rule after deleting an amendment last year. That amendment, which went into effect in 2015, required any player transferring from one OIA school to another to sit out one year.
However, due an agreement by both parties in the court case of basketball player Jalen Miller, the rule became less strict last year. Miller was initially barred from transferring from Mililani, where he had gotten a district exception, to Kapolei, his home district. The Miller family filed suit and the case was settled out of court, with the OIA agreeing to let Miller (and ostensibly others in the future) go back to his home district.