Friday, June 22, 2001
ILH coachesInterscholastic League of Honolulu varsity football coaches are greeting the league's new format with a cordial handshake if not a full embrace.
welcome new format
The league will evaluate the
2-division system at season's end
By Jason Kaneshiro
The new ILH configuration splits the six-team league into two divisions and reduces each team's regular season schedule from 10 games to seven.
The changes were necessitated by the Damien Memorial High School administration's intention to forfeit its games against St. Louis next season. The format was approved by ILH principals Wednesday as a one-year plan and will be evaluated after the season.
"Unless you try something you're not going to know if it works or not," said Kamehameha head coach Kanani Souza. "I'm just excited to see what happens."
Kamehameha, Punahou and St. Louis form one division, while Damien, Iolani and Pac-Five the other. ILH executive secretary Clay Benham said the schools were grouped based on enrollment and past records.
Since 1978, all of the ILH teams have played each other at least twice per season. This year's plan calls for two games within the divisions which do not count in the league standings, followed by a five-game round-robin to determine the league champion.
The teams also have two preseason games and can fill their bye weeks with non-ILH games.
Damien president Br. Gregory O'Donnell said the school still plans to forfeit to St. Louis, leaving those teams with just six games and an extra bye week.
"It's more like an intermediate schedule," said St. Louis athletic director and head football coach Cal Lee.
With fewer playing dates, Benham said the league's gate receipts will likely drop this season. The revenues are distributed equally among the football playing schools.
Pac-Five athletic director John Hom said reduced expenses due to the shortened schedule should offset the drop in earnings, and revenue generated by a non-league game will be kept by the individual schools.
Iolani coach Wendell Look hopes to schedule a non-league game with Punahou to maintain the traditional home-and-home series between the schools. But Look said the intra-division games may create a dilemma .
"We're always going to play to win," said Look. "But in essence, you're going to have four preseason games and you're going to get ready for that five-game stretch."
While some view the changes as a step toward classification for football, those most directly impacted by the plan are focusing on more immediate concerns this summer.
"The kids must talk about it among themselves," said Lee. "But I think they're more concerned about taking care of themselves and getting ready for the season."
Hawaii School Web Sites