Tuesday, September 17, 2002


Missed grade checks
led to Kalani forfeit

By Jason Kaneshiro

Misunderstanding, miscommunication and a missed deadline led to the Kalani football team's forfeit to Waialua, school officials said yesterday.

Kalani coach Ron Dement and athletic director Gordon Miyashiro said the Falcons were left with too few players to play in last week's Oahu Interscholastic Association White Conference game after several missed the deadline to turn in grade checks.

"We're not going to change the rules so we can play a game, and we're not going to create a safety risk by pulling guys up from the JV," Miyashiro said. "We're going to make sure the varsity players qualify."

Kalani requires its student-athletes to complete grade checks every two weeks in order to be eligible to play. Those who do not meet the 2.0 minimum grade-point average, have failing grades, or fail to meet the Thursday deadline must sit out the following week's games.

Dement said eight players did not turn in grade checks in time to play in last week's game. The Falcons began the season with just 25 players on their roster.

Miyashiro said the same problem forced 20 junior varsity players to sit out last week. But the JV team still suited up 21 players and defeated Waialua 33-12. He added that members of the school's volleyball teams were also affected.

"If we had a lot of guys, it's no problem," Miyashiro said.

Dement said an internal dispute regarding JV head coach David Rita's role on the varsity staff did arise last week, but was resolved at a meeting with the players last Monday.

Dement said Rita had been assisting with the varsity defense when the staff was shorthanded, but he later asked Rita to concentrate on running the JV program full time. Some of the players took issue with the perceived demotion and sat out practices.

"That was a different problem, that wasn't the reason (for the forfeit)," Dement said. "It did happen, but we took care of that."

Kalani (0-3) was rated third in the OIA White in total defense after giving up an average of 194.5 yards per game in its first two games.

Dement said the Falcons spent two days in study halls and practiced Friday and Saturday. He said 23 players showed up for practice yesterday, and the team plans to be on the field for Friday's game against Nanakuli at Kaiser Stadium.

"For me and the boys, we just want to get it over with and continue our season," Dement said.

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