‘Super Conference’ Unites Football Teams in Isle Public, Private Schools

By Abramo, Nick | Honolulu Star - Advertiser, February 22, 2018 | Go to article overview

‘Super Conference’ Unites Football Teams in Isle Public, Private Schools


Abramo, Nick, Honolulu Star - Advertiser


DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARADVERTISER.COM Kahuku running back Enoch Nawahine (22) runs for a first down during the Open Division I state championship football game against Saint Louis at Aloha Stadium in 2017. The Oahu Interscholastic Association and Interscholastic League of Honolulu sent out a joint news release this week confirming their historic football agreement first reported by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Feb. 13.

Hawaii’s new football superhighway is here.

The Oahu Interscholastic Association and Interscholastic League of Honolulu sent out a joint news release Wednesday, confirming their historic football agreement first reported by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Feb. 13.

With one final step Tuesday, principals of ILH schools voted unanimously to OK the deal that calls for sweeping changes in the prep football landscape that are expected not only to elevate the competition but also level the playing field starting this fall.

THE BREAKDOWN

Besides the Open Division, other high school football teams will play in two other divisions. Here’s the breakdown:

DIVISION I

>> Aiea

>> Castle

>> Damien*

>>Kailua

>> Leilehua

>> Moanalua

>> Radford

>> St. Francis*

>> Nanakuli

>> Waipahu

DIVISION II

>> ‘Iolani*

>> Kaimuki

>> Kaiser

>> Kalaheo

>> Kalani

>> McKinley

>> Pac-Five*

>> Pearl City

>> Roosevelt

>> Waialua

*-ILH team

Scheduling specifics are still being worked out and are expected to be announced in the near future. Technically, the deal is not a merger, but rather a way for both leagues to benefit from cross-scheduling interleague and regular-season games in Open, Division I and Division II. The leagues remain autonomous in the sense that they will still crown their own champions.

“On behalf of the OIA membership, we’re pleased to have reached an agreement with the ILH … and look forward to exciting competition beginning with the upcoming season,” said OIA Executive Director Raymond Fujino in the release. ILH Executive Director Blane Gaison went on to say, “The ILH is very grateful and looking forward to this partnership with the OIA that will create renewed interest and benefit the athletic programs and student-athletes from both leagues.”

When the Star-Advertiser first learned of the deal, it was understood that neither the ILH nor the OIA would count interleague games toward their own league’s standings. However, according to several sources, the ILH is looking into the idea of counting games against OIA teams in its standings. The OIA, for sure, will not count interleague games toward its standings.

According to OIA football coordinator Harold Tanaka, when the regular season concludes, the OIA’s Open division will have two weeks of playoffs to determine the top three teams (semifinals, final, and third-place game) that it will send on to state championships. In OIA D-I and D-II, those two weeks of playoffs will consist of semifinals and finals to determine the one or two state representatives in each division.

Several ILH coaches reached via cellphone Wednesday said their league is in the process of formulating a playoff format to determine the league’s one state qualifier each in the Open, D-I and D-II. Calls on Wednesday to Gaison and Assistant Executive Director Georges Gilbert for comment on the league’s playoff plans were not immediately returned. …

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