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ILH's No. 2 team should never be left out of states

By Dave Reardon


As Kamehameha football coach David Stant walked off the Aloha Stadium field last week, an intended well-wisher told him good luck in states.

Stant had to correct the person with, "Thank you, but unfortunately there is no next week for us."

Kamehameha was less than a yard short of perhaps at least tying Punahou when the Interscholastic League of Honolulu championship game ended, and the Buffanblu won 24-17. Punahou advances, but there is no place for Kamehameha among the 12 teams (six in Division I) in the state tournaments starting this week.

Maybe there are few tears being shed away from Kapalama Heights for the Warriors, who are perceived as among the haves in Hawaii high school sports. But there should be. And that's because the ILH runners-up belong in states.

OK, you ask, whom would they replace?

The answer is simple: No one. Division I should have an eight-team tournament, not six.

THE REASONS are quality of competition, finances and fairness.

» If you believe in the best teams in the state playing in the state tournament, the No. 2 squad from the ILH should always at least get a chance to play in to a six-team tournament — or, better yet, get an annual berth in an eight-team tournament. All you have to do is see them play once and you'll know it.

» High school sports are strapped for money. Punahou, Kamehameha and Saint Louis all have large followings that put dollars into the prep coffers whenever they play in states. It makes no fiscal sense to leave out two of the three.

» Some say it wouldn't be fair to have two of the three ILH Division I teams in the tournament. But an eight-team tournament would actually level competition by eliminating byes for the top two seeds.

Even Stant acknowledges that an extra week before the Warriors' 2009 state semifinal was a huge advantage on the way to the championship.

"I kind of agree," Hawaii High School Athletic Association executive director Chris Chun said. "Look at (Division II) Kapaa. They played (Monday) and have to play again Saturday."

Meanwhile, Waipahu and ‘Iolani get byes, as do Kahuku and Punahou in Division I.

An eight-team Division II tournament is not feasible, though, because the additional teams would not draw enough to offset costs, as they would in Division I.

This might be the most balanced field in the 13-year history of the state tournament, so the omission is not as blatant as in other years. But the No. 2 ILH team should have a chance, at least in a play-in game.

In addition to Kamehameha, an excellent Campbell team could have made an eight-team field.

PLEASE, ATHLETIC directors, when you meet next spring, consider making the state Division I football tournament an eight-team event.

It doesn't help only the ILH. Remember, an eight-team tournament means another public school gets in, too.

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HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Well if the ILH Number Two is invited then another team would be needed to balance the field to eight teams. Where would that number 8 team come from. Probably the OIA because if we invite the number two from Maui, then the Big Island will scream. LOL.
on November 9,2011 | 02:13AM
CriticalReader wrote:
Maybe that questions should be answered in another column by Dave, entitled, " ILH's No. 3 team should never be left out of states"
on November 9,2011 | 04:40AM
kahuku01 wrote:
To make it more competitive, one and two from OIA, one and two from ILH, one from BIIF and and one from MIL. Just eliminate the third place from OIA instead of trying to field eight teams. Done deal!
on November 9,2011 | 02:30AM
ss7 wrote:
Thats a good idea too. It'll be good to see an outer island make it to the top.
on November 10,2011 | 04:14PM
PinkSushi wrote:
But then you increase the likelihood of an all ILH state final, which is never good.
on November 9,2011 | 02:56AM
pukahead1 wrote:
No ... because you can still insert a rule that keeps the ILH teams on the same side of the bracket to ensure that the Championship game is inter-league. Even if the ILH as the #1 and #2 ranked teams in the state, I think the ILH teams would accept such a rule if it was the negotiated point that gets 2 ILH teams into the tourney. No big deal.
on November 9,2011 | 03:37AM
kahuku01 wrote:
Com-on! what is the purpose of having a state football title at stake? To determine what high school is the best in the state and not whether it will end up being an all OIA or ILH state final. To be able to reach that goal, schools will have to play solid football and if schools cannot compete so be it.
on November 9,2011 | 05:03AM
Roadalii wrote:
it would only be an all ILH final if the ILH teams win the semi final games. It also could be an all OIA final as well. We will never know until they make it happen. But the goal would be is to get the best teams playing in the final.
on November 9,2011 | 07:44AM
Eradication wrote:
Never? How many folks showed up at the Punahou/St. Louis game? How about the Punahou/Kamehameha game? The good teams like Kahuku & Farrington or Leilehua will always rise to the top. They will always compete against the top three from the ILH. Best team wins. having the #3 team in the state eliminated from the state competition only lessens the credibility of the overall playoff system.
on November 9,2011 | 02:32PM
nanakuli32 wrote:
Sorry dave I know u just stirring the pot up ands its your job. But that would mean 1 out of three teams gets a play off birth , I don't thinks so its fair. Not to mention they have a stack team in the ilh. Now everyone may say that there's no recruiting going on . But when I played in the 80's & 90's someone of my friends got some kind of tuition waiver Also I've been coaching for 15years and someone of my players have gotten tuition wavers. Good for all of them. Step back and look at the big picture dave the ILH is getting exactly what it deserves 1 shut at the title. Chances r its a good one tooo... take care be blessed and focus lol
on November 9,2011 | 04:00AM
Eradication wrote:
You need to go back and learn how to write.
on November 9,2011 | 02:16PM
nanakuli32 wrote:
Maybe but u had nothing else to say do move on
on November 9,2011 | 10:53PM
OregonRedRaider wrote:
let them play i say....eight teams or like kahuku01 said, two from oia, two from ilh.....
on November 9,2011 | 04:08AM
kaohe24 wrote:
there is nothing wrong with an all ILH or OIA final.Pink sushi is clueless and undoubtedly an OIA homer.The best teams in the state should be playing for the title.
on November 9,2011 | 05:55AM
SOLID3 wrote:
The ILH play each other twice in the regular season and maybe three times if there is a tie, that should be enough of a chance of any team to represent the ILH in the states. Are tthey going to play each other four times in one season? come on! that's sooo stupid. I believe there should be an eight team playoff with the OIA filling in the two spots. I know the die hard ILH supporters will always claim to be superior than the OIA, if so, bring on your best team after the season and accept the fact that which ever team is there it is the best in the ILH and support that team regardless if it's not your team that's playing. Who wants to see two ILH teams play for the state title? only the ILH. It's good to have the rivalry of Private against Public schools.
on November 9,2011 | 06:10AM
nanakuli32 wrote:
Bad don't compare this to the BCS. Far from it, your clueless. That ILH have only three teams competing for that one spot. That's a 33 1/3% of getting in the tournament. The oia have what like twelve teams in the red division going for three spots, um I calculate that at 25%the chance at getting in. TELL ME WHAT'S FAIR NOW, THINK ABOUT, THINK ABOUT, WAIT A MINUTE, GOOD NOW YOU SEE THE PICTURE. BE BLESSED
on November 9,2011 | 07:20AM
egghead wrote:
"THE REASONS are quality of competition, finances and fairness" should be UNIVERSAL and so simple yeah? But ask the OIA if that is their goal? We need to realize that each league is out for their own benefit (OIA has the biggest hammer).....not anyone else. Whatever gives that league the best odds at winning a championship.....irregardless of the chances.....I'm taking all I can get. Look at college football/sports as an example. Quality of competition???? Why should I care? Finances???? It ain't my money.... Fairness???? How do you define that? Look at the BCS...they have the upper hand and they ain't giving it up.
on November 9,2011 | 06:20AM
Pookie_Baby wrote:
I say re-vamp the entire OIA and ILH. Mix it up. Build 4 conferences, all one devision.
on November 9,2011 | 06:27AM
Hapuna wrote:
Put the best two teams on the field for the championship regardless of what league they come from. Eight-team tournament, number two from the ILH and another public school added to the field. Or maybe we could follow the BCS example and vote for the final two teams!!
on November 9,2011 | 06:50AM
JunJun wrote:
Why not just have an "At Large" bid in the tournament instead of the OIA 3rd place automatic. The coaches and media can vote on it. It leave the way for ILH#2, OIA # 3 or Big Island/Maui team. Get the best teams in the state tournament to make it mean something.
on November 9,2011 | 06:55AM
kiragirl wrote:
Last season, the ILH had very good teams. This year, Punahou and Kamehameha lost to OIA schools. Campbell beat Punahou but is not in the playoffs. The ILH has only a few teams and the OIA many. If the ILH has two schools in the playoffs, it would have a disportion amount of representatives. That would not be fair to the OIA. It is fine the way it is!
on November 9,2011 | 07:08AM
quint34 wrote:
Seems like a great idea long over due.
on November 9,2011 | 07:17AM
akuman808 wrote:
Whether it's 6 or 8 team championship tournament, the teams selected should be those that are ranked in the state 1-8, irrelevant of what league or island they are from. The key would be those who comprise that group who determines the state rankings must be respected and credible.
on November 9,2011 | 07:35AM
Cubsfan wrote:
Simple, let the OIA3 play the ILH2 for the final spot. How easy!
on November 9,2011 | 07:36AM
waianae94 wrote:
Disband the ILH. There are only three teams in the ILH at the Division I level, so why should they have 2/3 of the division going to states? Yes, they have good talent, but during years that have one junk ILH team would mean the other two could play weaker and still get in. Solution: Disband the ILH and split the OIA more evenly.
on November 9,2011 | 07:38AM
asahi wrote:
the ilh made a choice. if all of their teams stayed in the d1 category, then, i could say let the runnerup get in to the states. until then...no.
on November 9,2011 | 07:50AM
Schmidtke1410 wrote:
The main problem is what do you do with 'Iolani. They can't quite compete at the ILH D1 level because their enrollment is so low. But in D2 they are prohibitive favorites every year and there is no reason to think that will ever change. You can't put 'Iolani in D1 because they can't compete and giving Damien or Pac-5 a 50% shot into the D2 tourney really is hugely unfair. Really it's time to merge the ILH and OIA (for football only, there are too many small ILH schools for this to work with all sports). This would have happened a long time ago if not for St. Louis's multi-decade run. Since the state tourney has started, the OIA has won 6 and the ILH has won 6. There's no reason for this division anymore.
on November 9,2011 | 08:10AM
asahi wrote:
"Since the state tourney has started, the OIA has won 6 and the ILH has won 6." does this say it all? why would the ilh have a second team when they haven't dominated they have only split the prize? re; iolani, and facility and money wise they have more than any other program. so why would they be in d2 unless they believe it is the only way for them to win a title.
on November 9,2011 | 07:45PM
CouchPotato wrote:
Guess what guys ... St. Louis has a smaller graduating class of boys than Iolani. Should St. Louis drop down to D2 so that they can claim a championship. D2 has been a perfect fit and a blessing to a bunch of schools who have not been competitive on a state level. Classic example would be Iolani in football who has been a consistent 4th placer in their league. Wow! 4X State Champions! Now days you got so many divisions in sports like volleyball and basketball that you get players who can't really play. So here you got all these sports that have doubled their opportunity for a championship with D2 status. Then when budget cuts come around ... the minority sports that were not given the opportunity to ever expand get down sized. Get rid of the D2, it's like giving hope to the winner of the losers bracket and proclaiming them king of the mountain.
on November 10,2011 | 07:59AM
PCWarrior wrote:
Not having the the top two ILH teams in the state playoffs is only the second most ridiculous thing our athletic administrators stand for. Number one is the beyond belief practice of putting schools with exceeding large enrollments into state division 2 playoffs. That has got to be done by enrollment, plain and simple. You can move up if you want, but not down.
on November 9,2011 | 07:54AM
NorthShoreFan wrote:
How do you handle schools such as Iolani? Small enrollment but deep financial pockets to support their recruitment efforts. NO! Then have them move up to DI upon winning its DII championship. OIA DII leaders move up to DI why should Iolani continue to dominate DII?
on November 9,2011 | 12:40PM
aiea7 wrote:
Agree with the idea of fairness but not a good idea when the details are worked out. Cannot have the two ILH teams in the two different brackets as it would likely be that both could be in the championship game; this the public schools powers do ot want to happen. They want to have one team in the championship game. This sounds reasonable as it obvious that the ILH teams, Punahou, St. Louis, Kam and Iolani do recruit players and have the pick of the better players since they can offer more. True, there are some recruiting going on at public schools but not as much as the private schools. So to level the playing field, the current format was devised. Putting the two ILH schools in one bracket will not be good as they maybe playing 3 or 4 times a season, which really does not make sense.
on November 9,2011 | 08:11AM
Pookie_Baby wrote:
Sorry when I posted, the format got messed up. Kind of confusing. Each division starts with Kahuku, Waianae, Farrington, Leilehua.
on November 9,2011 | 09:28AM
Mulepower wrote:
You don't need to go to private school to figure this out. Win and you're in, lose and you're out. Simple.... Look at all the other good schools that had their chance. No one is complaining. If the ILH had a three way tie with St. Louis being in the mix, Would they be saying ILH should have 3 teams in States? Bottom line is, you was one yard short of the state tournament. Hard luck, but, that's how it goes. Mililani, Moanalua, Campbell, they all are good teams too.... Nobody else complaining.
on November 9,2011 | 09:09AM
eros_et_logia wrote:
Im an ILH guy, so I would like this, but 2/3 qualifying doesn't seem right. If I was the ILH, I'd come up with an ultimatum: merge leagues (in football only) or pull out of the state championships. All of them. If you merged leagues, you would have a real state tournament, with the top six teams qualifying and the top two from MIL and BIIF. Fantasy I know, but the ILH/OIA split only hurts the quality of play and college recruitment opportunities.
on November 9,2011 | 09:19AM
Pookie_Baby wrote:
4 Divisions. All games played at home team's field. Higher seated teams get home field advantage during play-offs. (including BIF, MIL, KIF) Championship game at Aloha Stadium. Kahuku/Punahou/Millilani/Pac-5/Radford/Roosevelt/McKinley Waianae/Kamehameha/Castle/Kailua/Kapolei/Nanakuli/Kaiser Farrington/St. Louis/Moanalua/Pearl City/Aiea/Wailua/Kalani Leilehua/Iolani/Campbell/Waipahu/Damien/Kaimuki/Wailua BIF MIL KIF This would be great for Hawaii High School football. Imagine the rivalries that could form: Red Raiders/Buff & Blue (All the Polys that Punahou recruit from Kahuku) Crusaders/Governors (All the town Polys that St. Louis recruit that would be going to Farrington) Warriors/Sea Riders (The Hawaiian's on the hill vs the Hawaiian's that didn't get in) (sorry if I left out a school)
on November 9,2011 | 09:25AM
BigOpu wrote:
Funny post...but I like the idea.
on November 9,2011 | 01:39PM
billybob_76 wrote:
Simple solution but it's to easy to do so it won't happen. Winner of each division and one neighbor Island team (after playoff) in a four team state championship. Each team plays everyone in their own division only for their regualr season. Leeward Division Waianae Nanakui Kapolei Campbell Waipahu Pearl City Aiea Radford Moanalua Central Division Damien Farrington Iolani Kaimuki McKinley Roosevelt Punahou Pac-Five St. Louis Windward Division Kaiser Kalani Castle Kahuku Kailua Waialua Leilehua Mililani
on November 9,2011 | 09:38AM
Anonymous wrote:
Simple solution but it's to easy to do so it won't happen. Winner of each division and one neighbor Island team (after playoff) in a four team state championship. Each team plays everyone in their own division only for their regualr season. Leeward Division: Waianae Nanakui Kapolei Campbell Waipahu Pearl City Aiea Radford Moanalua Central Division: Damien Farrington Iolani Kaimuki McKinley Roosevelt Punahou Pac-Five St. Louis Windward Division: Kaiser Kalani Castle Kahuku Kailua Waialua Leilehua Mililani
on November 9,2011 | 09:40AM
DLIR_RS wrote:
Kahuku, Leileihua, Kapolei, and other schools farthest from town are fortunate that they do not have the proportion of athletes going to ILH schools as the Honolulu and closer Central and Windward District schools do. Yes, I know some good ones do play for ILH schools, but in all probablity proportionally not as many. Seems like the only town school that complete is Farrington, likely due to the fact that they are both big and probably in the most economically disadvantaged area of town. For this reason, its always the same powers in the OIA- way Leeward, North Shore, and Farrington. Roosevelt, McKinley, Kaiser, Kalani, Kaimuki, Castle, Kalaheo, Kailua, Moanalua, Aiea, and Pearl City would likely be a lot more competitive if they had the same proportion of student-athletes competing for their home district schools as those the farthest from town...thats just geographic reality.
on November 9,2011 | 09:50AM
LanceT wrote:
Anyone who is afraid of seeing an all-ILH final is basically admitting that one of the state's best football teams is currently being left out. The very purpose of having a state tournament is to have the best teams compete for the championship. I'm all in favor of expanding the field to eight teams, as Dave suggests, and eliminating byes.
on November 9,2011 | 09:53AM
AhiPoke wrote:
If the goal is to crown the best team as the state champion you're correct. Unfortunately, the issue has become "political" between the public and private schools. While I believe the private schools have an advantage in recruitment, no one can make me believe that some public schools aren't also recruiting kids from out of their districts.
on November 9,2011 | 09:58AM
monz wrote:
Wow, the BCS is part of Hawaii High Schools.
on November 9,2011 | 10:24AM
tarheelnation wrote:
well I think the ILH and the OIA should come to gether and make one league because I dont its fair to play in a 3 team conference and get 2 bids
on November 9,2011 | 01:00PM
BigOpu wrote:
Yeah, but when the 3 teams could be in the top 5 of the OIA year after year, playing each other twice is just as challenging as any OIA red schedule.
on November 10,2011 | 03:00PM
BigOpu wrote:
Best teams in the states. 3rd OIA & 2nd ILH should play in. If 2 ILH teams, then put them in different brackets. Lower seed ILH w/ Higher seed OIA in the same bracket, and vice versa. If Neighbor Island team has a higher seed then opposition, then their games should be played on NI home field until championship. As of for D2, keep it to size of school. Deep financial pocket or not, it still should be kept to the size of student body the teams can pull their talent from. The Red/White OIA thing is a joke and not fair to small schools. This is all good thought for conversation...never going to happen in my lifetime.
on November 9,2011 | 01:56PM
Eradication wrote:
If anyone believes that only private schools recruit players then I have news for you. There are kids going from outer island schools to schools such as Kahuku for the college scouts to see. Scouts rarely go to the outer islands unless there is an obvious star.
on November 9,2011 | 02:25PM
Kaisei wrote:
Kahuku doesn't recruit players. What are we going to tell them? Come on down and go to one of the poorest schools in the state. Come and experience our mud track and rock field. There's only one kid that I can recall that came to Kahuku for football with no family ties and that was the kicker Cameron. Kids play football at Kahuku for the feeling of pride that they get knowing that their older brothers, uncles, fathers, grandfathers, all played on the same field and represented. Kahuku doesn't recruit, we keep it all in the family...
on November 9,2011 | 06:52PM
jrboi96786 wrote:
Well may be if the ILH DI to expand their conference to at least 6 teams and stop playing ILH DII and start playing more with the OIA Red division. May be it would be fair for their "No 2" team to play for the state. They play more of DII teams that any teams in OIA Red teams. OIA teams have to compete for the top 3 stops in the playoff in order to play for state, regardless if the team finished in the top of their division unbeaten. If the argument is about who deserved to earn a spot for for the state, well I guess the Campbell should be in the mix too. After all, the Sabers did shot-out Punahou the current ILH DI champion. Moanalua should also be in the mix since they were able to compete with the current top 2 OIA red schools; Farrington and Kahuku... Not to mention the top 2 in the state also.
on November 9,2011 | 03:14PM
BigOpu wrote:
Stop with the pre-season references already. Those aren't real games. Just like the NFL who doesn't put any weight on those games. Teams are testing out personnel to see what works. Should Campbell play Punahou again, They'll probably lose 2 out of 3...sort of like Kamehameha, hence a play-in game for OIA #3 and ILH #2.
on November 10,2011 | 02:44PM
Mulepower wrote:
Like I mentioned earlier, If you win, there would be no need for this conversation. Win and In....... Like Al Pacino said...You know when you get old in life things get taken from you. That's, that's part of life. But, you only learn that when you start losing stuff. You find out that life is just a game of inches. So is football. Because in either game life or football the margin for error is so small. I mean one half step too late or to early you don't quite make it. One half second too slow or too fast and you don't quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They are in ever break of the game every minute, every second. On this team, we fight for that inch On this team, we tear ourselves, and everyone around us to pieces for that inch. We CLAW with our finger nails for that inch. Cause we know when we add up all those inches that's going to make the #$%@! difference between WINNING and LOSING between LIVING and DYING.
on November 9,2011 | 03:57PM
Kaisei wrote:
Let 'em play! The top two teams from the ILH should qualify for states. Dating back to the early 90s, the ILH has had at least two solid football teams almost every year. They should have a chance to play in the state tournament. When we had the prep bowl, the top OIA team played the top ILH team and that game was always a good game (even though we kept losing to St. Louis). The third place game between the OIA #2 and the ILH #2 was always just as exciting. There should be no reason to leave out the ILH #2... Who came up with this set up? Let 'em play! And that's coming from a Kahuku Boy...
on November 9,2011 | 06:37PM
masteruke wrote:
The ILH should have two teams after they quit recruiting the best the OIA has to offer. Granted they'll give them a better education but by offering education as bait, they the ILH is trying to stack things in their favor.
on November 9,2011 | 07:00PM
jtaps wrote:
I believe 2nd place ILH team should be able to participate in the State Tournament. However there is an advantage to the ILH teams. Here is the logic behind that. ILH teams have always had impressive offensive schemes and players. On the defensive side of the ball, again, great athletes and defensive schemes "BUT" they are not the defensive ILH type players of the 70's, 80's and 90's straight hard core SMASH MOUTH, KNOCK 'EM OUT style kids old school frame of mind. Currently ILH defenses in the 21st century continue to show case great athletes that are quick, talented and ball-hawking players but are not real "smash-mouth, knock-em-out" like the old ILH. I can only recall one player recently that has had that old school smash mouth, knock-em-out mentality from the ILH and that was Manti Te'o of Punahou and we all know where he was groomed and bred. So how is this an advantage to the ILH in the State Tournament? OIA schools i.e. Farrington, Waianae, Castle, Kailua, Leilehua, Kapolei and Kahuku have defensive players (big and small) that pride themselves of that old school KNOCK-EM-OUT mindset. Every week they are not just trying to accumulate "tackles" they are instilling a brand of "knock-out" football on opposing player, it's not just one or two players but half or more play with this mindset on offense and defense. Every week OIA schools face this battle. OIA schools has always gone into the OIA Championship & State tournament with a beat-up, battered team entering into the OIA playoff at 65-75% healthy hoping to win games and possibly be in the 89% and up health range for the championship game. ILH schools however come into the State tournament practically injured free 99.5% heathy. With a healthy squad this advantage can be critical when competing in the state tournament. Once again should the #2 ILH team be invited? Answer is "yes" if you want the BEST teams in the State Tournament you have to add the 2nd place ILH team. It's just a nice advantage coming into a tournament injure free.
on November 10,2011 | 07:53AM
ss7 wrote:
What??? Your standpoint is basically saying that the ILH has a bunch a little girls playing and that the OIA is out to deliberately hurt people. All the boys who play are tough. I wish the ILH and OIA would play so you could see how tough they are and all the injuries that the ILH was also playing with. I do think its kinda stupid for them to be separated for football because I don't think its fair for all the other OIA teams who could MAYBE beat the top three ILH teams during regular season. I think all football players have that KNOCK-EM-OUT mindset, they have to, thats the name of the game.
on November 10,2011 | 06:27PM
StifelHNL wrote:
You haven't be watching the line play this last season in the ILH; very talented smart kids that can go face to face AND pull into the flats and block a smaller faster corner.
on November 11,2011 | 08:21AM
ss7 wrote:
Sounds good to me! Makes the season longer for some and gives them more to strive for.
on November 10,2011 | 04:11PM
Loyalty wrote:
This must be the only state tournament where the number 1&2 seeds go straight into the semifinals without playing a game.
on November 10,2011 | 08:44PM
Anonymous wrote:
Anyone who thinks that the ILH, MIL, or BIIF don't deserve 2 teams but the OIA deserves multiple teams is a HYPOCRITE in every sense of the word. Why should we let the OIA follow different rules? Because they've got more teams? Give me a break. If you don't win the OIA, you don't deserve to play in the state tournament--period. If the ILH doesn't have another team in the state tournament, neither does the OIA. OIA fans--try and refute this statement.
on November 12,2011 | 12:55AM