An altercation at the Kaiser football field requiring police attention led to the school’s decision to cancel the rest of the Cougars’ season.
According to a source high up in the Kaiser administration, an argument between parents and head coach Arnold Martinez began after practice Monday.
“The parents almost punched him and it got really ugly,” the source said. “The parents were irate and there was some pushing and shoving.”
A security guard stepped in to keep the peace and, apparently, some players also got into the mix, according to the source.
Kaiser principal Justin Mew sent out a letter to Kaiser parents and players today announcing that the varsity and JV season — in which the varsity team has struggled to field a team and has ended up forfeiting most of its games — was over.
The source said the school has asked for a police presence of six to eight officers for the rest of the week, which concludes with the annual homecoming assembly Friday.
At 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, four police cars were at the entrance to the field.
The incident on Monday led to an emergency meeting of faculty and staff later in the day, when Mew made it known to them that the football season would be canceled due to safety concerns. Martinez then held a meeting Tuesday with players to let them know of the development.
Mew’s letter, addressed to the Kaiser Cougar Ohana and obtained by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, reads as follows:
“Due to a series of prevailing events and extreme concerns for student and staff safety, the decision has been made, in consultation with Complex Area Superintendent Donna Lum Kagawa, to cancel both the Junior Varsity (JV) and Varsity football seasons effective immediately.
“The well-being of our school community is a top priority and we are committed to keeping our students and staff safe. An incident occurred on campus yesterday evening, Sept. 18, which required police involvement. This unacceptable behavior is one of a series of escalating events that has led us to this difficult decision.
While we recognize that football is traditionally a highlight of Homecoming Week, we assure you that Kaiser’s Homecoming festivities will continue.
We would like to thank the players on the JV and Varsity football teams for their hard work and perseverance. It is our hope that the Kaiser community will come together in a positive manner to support the school.”
The Cougars have managed to play only one of their five games this season — a 71-0 loss to Campbell — due to low player turnout and safety concerns.
Kaiser was scheduled to play Moanalua on Friday in its homecoming game. The source said about five to seven players were asked to move up from the JV to the varsity for that game in order for the varsity to have enough manpower.
A blessing for the brand-new artificial turf field, which was scheduled for this week, has been postponed.