Thursday, June 26, 2003


Pac-Five wins
right to play in
state tournaments

Pac-Five became a legitimate state tournament contender yesterday for the first time.

And it's not because the Interscholastic League of Honolulu athletic program just got an influx of "higher, faster, stronger" athletes. It's because the Hawaii High School Athletic Association executive board voted yesterday to allow Pac-Five teams to compete for state championships if they're good enough to qualify.

In the past, Wolfpack teams weren't given that opportunity because of a perceived unfair advantage. Unlike other programs, Pac-Five doesn't get its athletes from one school. Its teams are made up of athletes from up to 20 small Interscholastic League of Honolulu schools.

"This decision gives all kids the opportunity to win a state championship now," Wolfpack athletic director John Hom said after the vote at the Oahu Interscholastic Association office at Radford High School. "I'm grateful that the board members voted for it."

Hom said Pac-Five had been trying to get support for its teams to be allowed in the state tournament for about 10 years. The Wolfpack program has been in existence for 30 years.

The HHSAA approved the proposal even though the Hawaii Interscholastic Athletic Directors Association rejected it earlier this month. HHSAA executive director Keith Amemiya said the board rarely overturns a measure rejected by HIADA.

The proposal may have gotten more support due to the Pac-Five boys soccer team's performance in the winter season. The Wolfpack placed second in the ILH, but because of the rule in place, they yielded a spot in the state tournament to third-place Kamehameha.

At the time, parents of the players gathered together in support of the Wolfpack and approached Hom about trying to get the rule changed right away. But Hom told them that any changes would have to go through the proper channels.

The dominoes were lined up in perfect order yesterday. Not only was the Pac-Five item approved after a similar proposal passed, it also preceded yet another motion that eventually passed.

Prior to the Pac-Five motion, the board approved a measure to allow athletes of small charter schools to participate in state tournaments for the public school team in the district in which the charter school is located.

Hom argued that since combination teams from the public school leagues would be eligible for state tournaments, then it was logical to allow combination teams such as Pac-Five from a private school league to be eligible for state tournaments as well.

After the Pac-Five measure passed, an impromptu motion, made by Maui Interscholastic League executive secretary Stephen Kim, was also approved. It allows an MIL combination football team to be eligible for state tournaments. St. Anthony, Kaahumanu Hou and Seabury Hall are combining for the first time this fall.


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