St. Francis underclassmen have options regarding transfer

St. Francis offensive lineman Faaope Laloulu (75) is one of the top 2020 recruits from Hawaii and will have to look for a new school for his senior season. Photo by Steven Erler/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

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.


  1. ILH February 11, 2019 9:30 am

    Heard through the grapevine that it was like “what can your school offer my kid” action.

    Who they kidding, Iolani or Punahou (maybe for Ope they might) wont put up with that action and you know they aint going up on the hill. So…………who does that leave????

    Yep you guessed it, Kalaepohaku or Millilani.

    It would be nice for them to go to Farrington and Make Kalihi Great Again.

    Btw, what the heck is happening at Kalaepohaku with the QB?? Heard some unsettling news about him and another boy getting into DEEP trouble that could lead to expulsion. Ai ya.

  2. Wake up February 11, 2019 10:13 am

    STL doesn’t need them. Would be nice to have though. Not sure what you heard but the QB is still there.

  3. CynHyn February 11, 2019 10:30 am

    No problem. STL has squashed liquor,strippers and teacher intimidations in the past. A little fight with injuries will surely be quelled by an office full of coaches.

  4. Coach February 11, 2019 6:14 pm

    So is the ILH going to let the play even though they played in that all star game at Pearl City last month? ILH rules is no underclassmen can participate in post season all star games. So if this rule is valid they all going to public school next year. But this is Hawaii where we teach our kids they dont have to follow rules. And if you cry loud enough the OIA and ILH will change the rules for you.

  5. ??? February 11, 2019 6:58 pm

    @Wake up February 11, 2019 10:13 am
    STL doesn’t need them. Would be nice to have though.

    Typical STL statement! why would these kids want to play for people who act like that? They should embrace competition and want to Beat those guys instead of being another Kevin Durant and join a team that “Doesn’t need you”.

  6. ILH February 12, 2019 7:39 am

    cynhyn- might be more than just a little fight. I dont think the coaches or even the school may be able to stand behind this one.

    Coach- great point. It will be interesting to follow this. ILH coaches who know they arent receiving any of these players should inquire now with the league office. Im pretty sure those players and their parents weren’t thinking about this when they decided to play in those games.

    ???- wake up has a point. They really dont need them, theyre stacked and the machine keeps bringing in talented kids. Wouldnt it be something if they all went to Millilani???

    What about those brothers from Campbell?? Trojan bound??

  7. notes February 12, 2019 9:31 pm

    Look at all these ILH people here treating these kids who lost their school like they’re pieces of cattle. “who should recruit this kid? who should recruit that kid? where are these kids gonna go? does STL need them?” this is what ILH football and the cal lee legacy did. we treat these kids like commodities on the market. they’re only useful for how well they play football. none of them matter.

    The Saint Francis football program was banged for an ineligible player and forfeits almost all its wins and then the school closed down right after. it doesn’t take a genius to see the connection. and it could happen to all the other large private schools so they recruit because without football, you know those “schools” would never stay open

  8. ILH February 13, 2019 10:54 am

    Nobody said they cattle. Us people who like to discuss football are excited to see how the landscape of HS football, especially in the Open division can drastically change with the addition of these players to a roster. Its great discussion and debate.

    We heard you already. Its unfair, there’s recruiting, only interested in making money and prestige for the school, etc. etc.

    Theres no traction with that argument. It hasnt moved the needle towards becoming independent of the ILH, in fact its moved in the other direction, they merged football this year.

    Like my surfshorts that ive had for the past 20 years, with its comfort, familiarity and pukas, youve got to let it go and move on to a much more lightweight, updated and puka-free argument.

    You never answered the question about how some of the most notable, respected families in your own community are still sending their children to private school. Why come?

  9. notes February 13, 2019 5:08 pm

    so you admit that the rampant recruiting destroying public school football is happening. you just don’t care. got it. just another morally bankrupt ILH apologist paid off by the deep pockets of “coach” cal lee. same reason why “notable respected families” are sending their kids private school too. they’re seduced by the fame and glory without understanding that all of that is fleeting. community and family is forever. i’m here to speak truth. sad that you guys don’t understand this

  10. ALLILH February 13, 2019 7:16 pm

    Hey Notes/aannyywwaayyss….why don’t you coach a public school and instill community pride! Don’t just complain, do something about it! Oh never mind…..I forgot you are an IDIOT!!!


  11. notes February 14, 2019 8:24 pm

    star advertiser just reported that the ENTIRE saint francis is shutting down at the end of the school year. this is right after the football team was forced to forfeit all its wins. you guys see how ILH recruiting not only hurts public school football but it hurts ALL our kids? when your heart chases greed, it only brings the whole community down. ILH and “coach” cal bears sole and full responsibility for this

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