Punahou ends 2018-19 with 12 state titles and more national recognition

Punahou has won eight consecutive state titles in boys volleyball. Photo by Jamm Aquino/Star-Advertiser.

Punahou hauled in six spring sports championships to double its previous total for the school year and finish with 12.

The ILH captured 35 of 45 state team championships, and private schools (including a D-II title won by Hawaii Prep of the BIIF) accounted for 36 of the 45.

‘Iolani earned the second most 2018-19 state crowns with five, followed by Kamehameha and Hawaii Baptist (three in D-II and one in D-I) with four each.

With three, Moanalua had the most among public schools.

Punahou was recognized by StadiumTalk.com in its “Best High Schools for Sports by State” list of the 50 states and Puerto Rico.

That website’s feature story includes this about the Sons (and daughters) of Oahu:

“Punahou School is best known for being the alma mater of Barack Obama, and the former president won a basketball state title in 1979. That is one of the nearly 499 state championships the school has won, which the school claims is the most of any high school in the nation. … For the 2016-17 academic year, the school finished second in the national MaxPreps Cup standings. The standings are determined by state titles and runner-up finishes.”

Much is made of McKinley’s triple crown (football, basketball, baseball) of ILH championships in 1938, but this year ‘Iolani pulled off what could be considered as the girls version at states (volleyball, basketball, softball). Kamehameha is the only other school to do that, in 1991-92.

The list of this year’s Hawaii state champions by sport, by school and by league follow.

2018-19 team state championships
>> Boys air riflery: Mid-Pacific (ILH)
>> Girls air riflery: Mid-Pacific (ILH)
>> Boys bowling: Mililani (OIA)
>> Girls bowling: ‘Iolani (ILH)
>> Cheerleading large: Moanalua (OIA)
>> Cheerleading medium: Sacred Hearts (ILH)
>> Division I boys cross country: Maui (MIL)
>> Division II boys cross country: Hawaii Baptist (ILH)
>> Division I girls cross country: Punahou (ILH)
>> Division II girls cross country: Hawaii Baptist (ILH)
>> Open Division football: Saint Louis (ILH)
>> Division I football: Waipahu (OIA)
>> Division II football: Lahainaluna (MIL)
>> Division I girls volleyball: ‘Iolani (ILH)
>> Division II girls volleyball: Sacred Hearts (ILH)

>> Division I boys basketball: Maryknoll (ILH)
>> Division II boys basketball: Damien (ILH)
>> Division I girls basketball: ‘Iolani (ILH)
>> Division II girls basketball: Hawaii Baptist (ILH)
>> Boys paddling: Kamehameha (ILH)
>> Girls paddling: Punahou (ILH)
>> Mixed paddling: Punahou (ILH)
>> Division I boys soccer: Punahou (ILH)
>> Division II boys soccer: Kapaa (KIF)
>> Division I girls soccer: Kamehameha (ILH)
>> Division II girls soccer: Hawaii Prep (BIIF)
>> Boys swimming: Punahou (ILH)
>> Girls swimming: Punahou (ILH)
>> Boys wrestling: Kamehameha (ILH)
>> Girls wrestling: Kamehameha (ILH)

>> Division I baseball: Punahou
>> Division II baseball: St. Francis
>> Boys golf: Hawaii Baptist
>> Girls golf: Waiakea
>> Boys judo: Moanalua
>> Girls judo: Moanalua
>> Division I softball: ‘Iolani
>> Division II softball: St. Francis
>> Boys tennis: ‘Iolani
>> Girls tennis: Punahou
>> Boys track and field: Punahou
>> Girls track and field: Punahou
>> Boys volleyball: Punahou
>> Division II boys volleyball: St. Francis
>> Girls water polo: Punahou

2018-19 team state championships (by school)
Open/Division I
>> Punahou (ILH): 12
>> ‘Iolani (ILH): 5
>> Kamehameha (ILH): 4
>> Moanalua (OIA): 3
>> Mid-Pacific (ILH): 2
>> Hawaii Baptist (ILH) 1
>> Maryknoll (ILH): 1
>> Maui (MIL): 1
>> Mililani (OIA): 1
>> Sacred Hearts (ILH): 1
>> Saint Louis (ILH): 1
>> Waiakea (BIIF): 1
>> Waipahu (OIA): 1

Division II
>> Hawaii Baptist (ILH): 3
>> St. Francis (ILH): 3
>> Damien (ILH): 1
>> Hawaii Prep (BIIF): 1
>> Kapaa (KIF): 1
>> Lahainaluna (MIL): 1
>> Sacred Hearts (ILH): 1

2018-19 team state championships (by league)
>> ILH: 35
>> OIA: 5
>> MIL: 2
>> BIIF: 2
>> KIF: 1

Other 2018-29 highlights (compiled by the Star-Advertiser and Hawaii Prep World’s Jerry Campany):

>> The ILH’s 35 titles is the all-time high by that league. The previous record was 32 in 2009.
>> The OIA won five titles this year, its fewest since it won five in 2009.
>> The MIL won two titles this year, its fewest since one in 2012.
>> The BIIF won two titles this year, its fewest since one in 2010.
>> The KIF won one title this year after being shut out last year.
>> ILH boys won 16 titles this year, their most since 15 in 2014.
>> The OIA boys won three titles this year, their fewest since one in 2010.
>> The MIL boys won two titles this year, down from the league high of three last year.
>> The BIIF boys were shut out this year, the first time that has happened since 2009.
>> The ILH girls won 17 team titles this year, beating the 15 they won in 2011 for most all time.
>> The OIA girls won one team title this year, the last time that happened was 2000.
>> The MIL girls were shut out this year, the first time that has happened since 2012.
>> The BIIF girls won two team titles this year, down from three last year.
>> The KIF girls have not won a team title since 2012
>> Punahou’s 12 titles break down as five for the boys, six for the girls and one mixed.
>> Punahou and Moanalua were the only schools to win at least one boys, girls and mixed.
>> Schools to win at least one boys and one girls are Punahou, Mid-Pacific, Hawaii Baptist, Kamehameha, St. Francis, Moanalua and ‘Iolani. All are ILH schools except Moanalua.
>> The ‘Iolani girls won four team titles this year (bowling, volleyball, basketball, softball).


  1. Austin Chang May 15, 2019 12:18 pm

    Yeah cause they recruit there athletes

  2. Charles Manson May 15, 2019 2:01 pm

    The last thing we need is Rex Kamakana commenting here.

  3. Charles Manson May 15, 2019 2:01 pm

    The last thing we need is Rex Kamakana commenting.

  4. ILH May 15, 2019 2:28 pm

    Wow, easy they’re tiger.

    What about the schools that recruit and dont win??
    Whats there excuse??
    Their really isnt one isnt they’re?

  5. Mahatma Gandhi May 15, 2019 5:33 pm

    Look at that. The only sports the OIA can win is judo and cheerleading. Whoop dee doo. The ILH will give them those. And the ILH will cede the Div 2 state championships to the OIA and outer island schools. No way OIA can compete with the ILH and their recruiting. Once ILH schools determine a certain sport has reached enough stature in the state, watch out. Let the recruiting begin. Volleyball used to be nothing. Now it has grown enough to the point that the ILH is recruiting volleyball players. Back in my formative years, 1970s, ILH was only recruiting football and basketball players. The recruits played both sports. Only Maryknoll and University High required their recruits to play only basketball.

  6. Mahatma Gandhi May 15, 2019 5:36 pm

    ILH, their excuse is that the school that won states also recruits. I have no problem with recruiting to make your team competitive. That’s what Punahou and the Iolani Red Raiders did with basketball and football in the 1970s. I have problems when the recruiting becomes so excessive that is destroys the competitive balance on the sport as St Louis is doing with football and what Iolani did with basketball first part of this millennium.

  7. 808fan May 16, 2019 6:57 am

    Not to be a stereotypical math nerd, but your article miscounted. Iolani had 5 state titles, not 4. And Iolani does not recruit athletes.

  8. ILH May 16, 2019 8:51 am

    Only one school is doing that. And its in only one sport. If you look they only won one state championship out of all the sports.

    I dont think that blanket statement should fall upon ALL the ILH teams. There is only one school that is recruiting excessively, which I agree, has made the competitive balance slant towards that one school. But, I must say that there is an OIA school that has contributed to that imbalance by recruiting just as excessively as Kalaepohaku. If the best recruitable players arent going to Waialae Ave. they are ending up on Meheula Pkwy taking even more high star recruits away from their home schools.

    These practices, as you shared, have been happening since the 70’s and will continue. It still is, in my opinion, in the best interest of the family to get a Private school education along with the spoils that come with being on a competitive team. What parent, if given a chance would NOT take that opportunity. Take a look at that kid from Punahou that is going to Notre Dame. What was his alternative? How can you compare the two? This kid will go on to get a Diploma from a prestigious schoool like Notre Dame and potentially play at the next level? That increases the chances for positive life-long outcomes for his children and their children. Not to mention his sibling also benefit from it also.

    At its lowest point, a recruited kid will earn a Private school education, participate on a competitive team or teams, become part of a network that will assist in future personal and professional endeavors and become exposed to opportunities that you just wont get at a their home school.

    Maybe, not have the two leagues compete? Because I would assume that a Parent will most likely choose a private school over their home school.

  9. 808sportsfan May 16, 2019 9:24 am

    How do you all define recruiting? I guarantee that Iolani and MPI have people in their system actively encouraging players to attend their school. I can personally attest to hearing phone calls and conversations attempting to convince kids or parents of those kids to come to their school. I am sure most, if not all other ILH schools do the same. Are you all saying there’s more to the story? Arranging financial aid outside of the normal financial aid process?

  10. Nick Abramo May 16, 2019 5:16 pm

    FYI, number of 2018-19 titles by ‘Iolani (5 instead of 4) and St. Francis (3 instead of 2) have been corrected in the article.

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