Star-Bulletin Sports

Sunday, May 6, 2001


ILH coaches recommend
against football expansion

Star-Bulletin staff

A proposal calling for St. Louis and Kamehameha to field two varsity football teams next season and for the Interscholastic League of Honolulu to split into two divisions may be barely breathing after failing to win approval of league coaches at a meeting last week, but it still has a faint pulse.

According to ILH executive secretary Clay Benham, the coaches will submit their recommendation of maintaining status quo in the league to the athletic directors for consideration at their meeting May 29. The athletic directors will then make a recommendation to the league principals for final approval. And the possibility remains, however unlikely, that the athletic directors and principals will keep the proposal alive.

The proposal to allow St. Louis and Kamehameha to field "A" and "B" teams arose as a response to the implementation of roster limits that allow 65 players to participate in league games next season. Both St. Louis and Kamehameha had more than 100 players on their varsity rosters last fall.

The more likely scenario would involve reviving junior varsity football in the ILH. The league's divisions would be adjusted to limit the intermediate level to seventh- and eighth-graders, the junior varsity to freshmen and sophomores and the varsity to juniors and seniors. Currently seventh- through ninth-graders may play intermediate football, and freshmen to juniors can play on the junior varsity.

Benham said the adjustment will require a change to the league's by-laws to make an exception for football. The current rules would apply to all other ILH sports.

The ILH has been without junior varsity football for the past three seasons, which helped create the inequity in numbers at St. Louis and Kamehameha. St. Louis coach Cal Lee and Kamehameha coach Kanani Souza have said previously that the varsity roster limits would be more workable with a JV program.

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