Ka`u Latest to Drop Football Prior to 2013 Season
by Josh Pacheco
Ka`u High School Athletic Director Kalei Namohala announced Friday that her school will not be able to field a football team for the 2013 Big Island Interscholastic Federation season.
In an e-mail to league athletic directors, Namohala stated that “our day to day lack of numbers was the main reason.” Last week, the Trojans’ AD said that numbers were low to kick off conditioning practices but that she would wait 14 days to make a decision on her school’s participation. Her decision came three days before the official declaration date.
League rules state that a member school has two weeks after a sport’s designated start date to declare its team’s participation in a sport. After that time, a school is penalized for every game they forfeit. Dropping a football game at another school’s field can cost $1,600.
Low turnout at several schools has been an unfortunate topic of conversation to administrators, parents, and fans across the island. Last Wednesday, Kohala High School announced they were unable to field a football team after 16 players with completed physicals showed up at the final practice.
Earlier this week, Honoka`a High School Athletic Director Keith Tolentino told Big Island Now that his school also suffered from a small turnout, but was working with Kohala to allow their players to play at Honoka`a this season. The proposal was sent to BIIF President Shawn Suzuki, Principal of Konawaena High School.
Suzuki told Big Island Now this week that he received letters from principals of both Kohala and Honoka`a schools to formally introduce their proposal. He said all of the league’s principals will vote on it once they have gathered information.
In a phone interview Friday, Kohala Principal Janette Snelling said that the league is working to set up a video conference for the special meeting. Principals normally meet once every quarter on BIIF topics unless an appeal is filed on issues such as illegal transfers.
Friday’s announcement by Ka`u throws the BIIF schedule in a state of flux. Namohala, who is also the league’s football coordinator, said that the league “will be changing our football regular season schedule” and hopes to have it finished by next week. She did not say how the pending Kohala/Honoka`a proposal would affect the schedule.
The season’s initial schedule called for all schools to matchup with one another during the season. Prior to that, each school played home-and-away games against other schools in their division. It is unclear how the schedule will be adjusted.
Eight schools are now scheduled to compete this season. Division II, however, has been lessened to four schools with the departures of the Trojans and Cowboys. Kamehameha-Hawai`i, Hawai`i Prep, and Honoka`a are going after last season’s DII champion, Konawaena.
Kealakehe, Hilo, Kea`au, and Waiakea compete in Division I.