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Hawaii News

Kahuku forfeits

Paul Honda
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Outside Kahuku High School's locker room, football players Kama Kalulu, left, and Zachary Matthews bid aloha to each other and their No. 1-ranked team's season yesterday after learning Kahuku had been disqualified for fielding an ineligible player.

The top-ranked Kahuku High football team lost its appeal yesterday to school administrators for using an ineligible player and will have to forfeit the season, it was announced yesterday by the Oahu Interscholastic Association.

As a result, Mililani won the OIA Red Conference title, and the two teams involved in tonight’s third-place game between Leilehua and Waianae automatically advance to the state tournament playoff that begins next weekend.

The infraction was self-reported by Kahuku at an OIA sanctioning committee meeting on Thursday night that led to the forfeiture. The Red Raiders appealed the ruling yesterday but failed to sway the committee.

A statement released by the OIA said the league "unfortunately and regrettably must declare Kahuku High School ineligible to participate in any further varsity football games this season, and must forfeit all games in which it used an ineligible player."

The OIA said Kahuku’s principal, Donna Lindsey, received an anonymous phone call last week claiming that one of the Kahuku players was in violation of the OIA’s eligibility rules.

"It is always disheartening to the schools, players and all sports enthusiasts when something off the field like this takes away from what actually happens on the field. But the rules are the rules, and whether the student-athlete is a three-time all-state player or one who rarely gets to participate, the rules must be applied evenly and equally to all."


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