Big Island football classification causes economic, scheduling problems
There's a reason why they call it the "Big" Island, and that broad expanse is part of the reason why high school football teams there still haven't gone all in for Division II.
Four of the five D-I teams in the Big Island Interscholastic Federation played Division II teams from other islands in nonconference games. The four -- Hilo, Honokaa, Keaau and Waiakea -- were a combined 0-5 and were outscored 197-34.
Those results, against D-II powerhouses Kauai, Lahainaluna and Waimea, are not an aberration. With the exception of a few teams, the BIIF has historically struggled against the rest of the state.
Kamehameha-Hawaii athletic director Bob Wagner doesn't see a move by the entire football league to D-II.
"That is not on the (league's) radar at all," he said. "If anything, it's the opposite."
With bus rentals hovering at $550 per trip, athletic directors are strapped.
"I would love to see everybody in D-II next year," Konawaena athletic director Lyle Crozier said. "But financially, it's hard to do."
The current schedule allows teams to play only within their division, which they do twice. That means a D-II team like Konawaena plays Ka'u, Kohala and Hawaii Prep twice. An out-of-division exhibition game against Division I Kealakehe last week was scheduled during a bye week and did not count against Konawaena's league record.
"We made $5,000 for the Kealakehe game," Crozier said. "HPA doesn't have a JV (team), so we made $900 for that one."
Not only do the league's traditionally stronger schools draw more fans, but they have JV squads, and that puts an economic pinch on a school like Konawaena. Ka'u also has no JV program.
Kamehameha-Hawaii, the two-time BIIF Division II champion, isn't under the financial constraints of other D-II athletic programs.
Wagner isn't looking forward to seeing Konawaena move up to D-I next year,
"You're preaching to the choir here," Wagner said. "We should all be in Division II in football. I mentioned this three or four years ago and nobody disagreed with it. The biggest schools on this island are not as big as the big OIA schools. It's a denial type of situation, a macho thing."
The current D-I teams may not have a choice about the schedule next year. Crozier said that if Konawaena moves up next season, there would be six D-I entries and only four in D-II. The imbalance would force the league to return to the single round-robin schedule of previous years, involving both divisions.
That would present another problem, though. HPA, Ka'u and Kohala simply do not want to play Kealakehe, Crozier said.
Castle two-way lineman Solomon Koehler
is out for this week's pivotal football matchup against Kailua, Knights coach Nelson Maeda
The 6-foot-3, 300-pound Koehler was ejected in the first quarter of last weekend's loss to Kalaheo for apparently kicking another player.
"Our coaches who looked at the video said the suspension is probably gonna stand," Maeda said. "It wasn't an intentional kick. There was a pile and (Kalaheo quarterback) Cody vonAppen was on the ground."
Maeda said the widely recruited Koehler was getting up when the unintentional kick occurred.
"It's unfortunate. That's not the kind of kid he is. Solomon felt really terrible after that. He knows the consequence of what he did," the coach said.
With Koehler out of the game for the remaining three-plus quarters, Kalaheo won 29-13.
"Sitting out of the (upcoming) Kailua game is a heavy price for him," Maeda said.
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Athletes of the week
The 5-foot-10 senior recorded a team-high 12 kills, one block and an ace in a win over Punahou
Kama Bailey, Damien football
The senior ran for 294 yards on 24 carries against Iolani
» Chad Asato
, Academy of the Pacific: 241 against Waldorf
» Timothy Ng, Academy of the Pacific: 231 against Waldorf
» Corrie Wong, Academy of the Pacific: 227 against Waldorf
» Cody Gibo
, Hawaii Baptist: 637 high series against Saint Louis
» Evan Hayashi, Pearl City: 223 high game against Mililani
» Valerie Ibarra, Kapolei: 236 high game against Waipahu
» Kellie Ann Inouye, Mid-Pacific: 256 against AOP
» Justin Kanda, Roosevelt: 257 against Kailua
» Jaydeen Koizumi, Pearl City: 647 high series against Mililani
» Jonathan Magnum, Leilehua: 614 high series against Campbell
» Kayle McNulty, Campbell: 236 against Waianae
» Albert Moniz, Maryknoll: 243 against AOP
» Jonathan Nakagawa, Kalani: 265 against Kalaheo
» Joel Nakamura, Saint Louis: 230 against Hawaii Baptist
» Kevin Ornellas, Campbell: 255 high game against Leilehua
» Austin Patacsil, Kailua: 258 against Roosevelt
» Ashley Plunkett, Campbell: 221 high game against Leilehua
» James Pirtle, Pearl City: 660 high series against Mililani
» Cheyenne Ritt, Campbell: 240 against Waianae
» Kimie Roller, Kapolei: 632 high series against Waipahu
» Seiko Santos, Pearl City: 237 high game against Mililani
» Nani Siafuafu, Mililani: 245 high game against Pearl City
» Scott Sunada, Kapolei: 690 high series against Waipahu
» Venny Jean Turner, Sacred Hearts: 234 against Hawaii Baptist
» Haley Abing
, Maryknoll: won the ILH girls meet with a time of 19 minutes, 51 seconds
» Chris Burniske, Punahou: won an ILH boys meet in 17:20
» Michael Among-Serrao
, Mililani: ran for 120 yards against Kapolei
» Timothy Benito, Kalani: rushed for 118 yards and a touchdown against Waialua
» Edieson Dumlao, Leilehua: caught seven passes for 133 yards against Waianae
» Joshua Fernandez, Farrington: ran for 106 yards and one touchdown against Moanalua
» Reid Furukawa, Iolani: caught five passes for 122 yards and ran for a touchdown against Damien
» Dalton Hilliard, Punahou: ran for 100 yards on 24 carries against Kamehameha
» Ronnie Hirokawa, Iolani: caught eight passes for 102 yards and a touchdown against Damien
» Lowen Kahooilihala, Roosevelt: went 20-for-33 for 239 passing yards and two touchdowns against Nanakuli
» Epa Maika, Radford: passed for 282 yards and a TD against Aiea
» Kela Marciel, Iolani: went 20-for-27 for 341 passing yards and two touchdowns against Damien
» Donovan Matas, Waialua: ran for 248 yards and three touchdowns against Kalani
» Justin Paredes, Kaimuki: ran for 126 yards and three touchdowns against Waipahu
» Solo Sausi, Nanakuli: rushed for 241 yards and two touchdowns against Roosevelt
» Justin Yamamoto, Iolani: rushed for 124 yards and three touchdowns against Damien
» Kanani Herring
, Kamehameha: eight kills against Punahou
» Anuhea Keanini, Punahou: 10 kills against Kamehameha
» Lavinia Latu, Kahuku: five aces against Roosevelt
» Emily Maeda, Roosevelt: seven kills and three blocks against Kahuku
» Leilani Tafuna, Kahuku: nine kills against Roosevelt
» Jacey Tagavilla, Roosevelt: nine kills against Kahuku
» Tajana Santiago, Roosevelt: eight kills against Kahuku
To nominate ...
To nominate an athlete of the week, contact the Star-Bulletin Sports Department by 11 p.m. Sunday: