Star-Bulletin Sports

Monday, June 18, 2001

ILH to discuss
Damien forfeits

League officials hope to
resolve the matter by week's end

By Jason Kaneshiro

Interscholastic League of Honolulu officials are to meet with Damien High School representatives today to discuss the Monarchs' intention to forfeit their two varsity football games with St. Louis in the upcoming season.

Damien president Br. Gregory O'Donnell, principal Michael Weaver and athletic director Herb Lloyd are scheduled to discuss the forfeits with league administrators.

ILH president and Kamehameha principal Anthony Ramos will preside over the meeting, which will include Kamehameha athletic director Blane Gaison, who doubles as president of the ILH's board of athletic directors.

Any recommendations from the meeting will be forwarded to the ILH principals who will convene Wednesday for a previously scheduled meeting.

Both Ramos and ILH executive secretary Clay Benham declined to comment on the forfeits specifically yesterday, but Benham said he hopes the matter will be resolved by the end of the week. Ramos said ILH principals have yet to address the situation.

O'Donnell sent a letter last week informing St. Louis president Allen DeLong, who is out of town, of the forfeits.

Copies of the letter were also sent to Ramos and Benham. The plan to forfeit was then presented to ILH athletic directors at their annual workshop.

O'Donnell cited safety concerns in the letter, pointing to the physical disparity between the teams.

St. Louis beat Damien by scores of 49-7 and 84-0 last season. The Crusaders have outscored the Monarchs 415-7 in the past six meetings.

"We are a very young team," O'Donnell said Saturday. "That's the only issue.

"If somebody gets hurt seriously, I wouldn't know what to say to their parents. As an administrator, it's my job to make the tough decisions."

The planned forfeits sparked talk of reconfiguring the ILH in football -- including splitting the six-team league into two divisions -- although O'Donnell said his letter dealt solely with canceling the Monarchs' dates against St. Louis this fall.

If granted, Damien's forfeits would be the first for ILH football since 1998 when St. Louis conceded a game to Kamehameha.

The Star-Bulletin's Ben Henry contributed to this report.

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