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This is how Oahu high school football aligned before and after the 1970 rift between the OIA and ILH,
and last season, prior to the February announcement of the historic reunion.


• Aiea • Castle • Damien EAST • Kalaheo • Kamehameha
• Damien • Castle • Punahou “I think adding the interleague
• Campbell • Farrington • Farrington • ‘Iolani • Kalani
• Kahuku • Punahou • Farrington • Kaimuki • Saint Louis
• Castle • ‘Iolani • Kahuku
games in with the rest of our
• Kahuku • Kaimuki • Kalani • Kamehameha • McKinley I LH DIVISION I I

• Kailua • Punahou • Kailua • Saint Louis • Kailua • Pearl City • Damien season schedule is genius. It
• Kaimuki • Kaiser • Roosevelt • ‘Iolani
• Leilehua • Kalani • Moanalua
makes things so much more
• Nanakuli • Kamehameha • McKinley • Waialua • Pac-Five
• Radford • McKinley • Roosevelt • Radford • Waipahu • St. Francis competitive for all teams. It adds
• Waialua • Roosevelt OIA WEST WEST
• Aiea
games for the ILH, and it allows
• Waianae • Saint Louis • Aiea
• Waipahu • Campbell • Campbell for more games, so it’s a win-win
• Kapolei
• Leilehua
• Leilehua
all around. If you look at the teams
• Nanakuli
• Radford • Mililani in all three divisions, there should
• Nanakuli
• Waialua
• Waianae
be great football games played
• Waianae
• Waipahu every week in every division.
DENNIS ODA / 2017 That’s exciting for everyone.”
Saint Louis defeated Kahuku,
31-28 to win the Open
Bryson Carvalho
Division state championship. Waipahu coach

Amemiya leads those in Hawaii who make it happen

hen the football alli- of steep state budget cuts. nance chairwoman, and Ron “It will be a season filled with
ance of the pub- >> They took the lead on Kouchi, state Senate president. awesome matchups at all three
lic-school OIA and partnering the NFL, Legislature Without them, UH and UH Hilo
private-school ILH was an- and Rough Rider alumni to don’t divide up $3 million and levels.”
nounced, ending five decades of raise $2 million for the renova- public high school athletic
acrimony, its architect, Keith tion of Roosevelt High’s sta- teams don’t get an $850,000 Kili Watson
Amemiya faced a recurring dium and track. transportation appropriation. Nanakuli coach
question from friends and ac- >> He also helped initiate an 6. Marcus Mariota, Titans
quaintances. $850,000 grant from the Legisla- quarterback. Apart from his
What, they asked, would be ture to help fund team transpor- considerable influence on young
his next chal- tation for high school sports. athletes, Mariota’s three-year-
lenge? Peace in The rest of the Top 10: old 501(c)(3) Motiv8 Foundation
the Middle 2. Duane Kurisu, chairman of bought 1,000 UH football tickets “It does bring back the old rivalries
East? AIO, owner of two radio sta- and helps sponsor Polynesian
It was a tions, part owner of the San football events and camps. from the past and makes for some
tongue-in-cheek Francisco Giants and the Hono- 7. Vara. Underwrites sports exciting football during the season
question, but in lulu Star-Advertiser and former medicine fellowship program at
the arena of Ha- owner of the Hawaii Winter UH and a major overall sponsor
with the big matchups in each
of UH athletics. division. The OIA D-II level is very
waii sports in Baseball league. He played a ma-
general and high jor role in the OIA-ILH agree- 8. Bobby Curran, KKEA radio competitive and the inclusion of St.
school ones in ment, contributes to UH sportscaster. His commentary
particular, Am- baseball and has underwritten on UH broadcasts and a morn- Francis and Pac-Five in this
emiya has be- several youth league trips. All in ing talk show is respected. season’s schedule will make it even
come the go-to guy for vision, addition to funding a village to 9. Mark Rolfing, TV golf com-
raising money and getting things house the homeless. mentator. Officials at the PGA, more competitive. Looking forward
done. 3. Peter Ho, chairman, Bank of LPGA, TV networks and state lis- to the season ahead.”
A lawyer by profession and Hawaii. A major contributor to ten to him.
executive at Island Insurance by UH and, with Hawaii Pacific 10. Jeff Portnoy, attorney, Pat Silva
day, he stands out as the reign- Health CEO Ray Vara, is said to sometimes radio broadcaster McKinley coach
ing mover and shaker of Hawaii have raised more than $100,000 and member of the UH Board of
sports, bringing parties, some- to fund the UH men’s basketball Regents. As chairman of the ——————
times widely disparate ones, to- trip to Australia. Committee on Intercollegiate
gether. 4. Pete Derzis, ESPN senior Athletics, he has the ear of ad-
Let us count the ways over vice president, college sports ministrators when he chooses
the past decade, he: programming and events. The to exercise it. Legend has it he More quotes on
>> Brokered the OIA-ILH alli- only non-Hawaii resident of the was all that stood in the way of
ance, for which he has pledged bunch. From Charlotte, N.C., he UH signing Gib Arnold to a ——————
to raise $1 million. has created — and calls the three-year, $1.2 million contract
>> He and his wife, Bonny, a shots on — two of the biggest extension during the NCAA’s “It’s great that the two leagues got
CFO at AIO, oversaw the $1.5 sports properties in the state, investigation.
million Save Our Sports cam- the Diamond Head Classic and ———
together and made it happen. It
paign in 2009 that propped up Hawaii Bowl. Reach Ferd Lewis at flewis just makes sense on so many
high schools sports in the face 5. Sylvia Luke, State House fi- or 529-4820. levels. Aside from all the obvious
benefits of better matchups,
renewed fan interest and reducing
H I S TO RY O F C H A N G E S the safety concerns, the fact that
Key dates in Oahu high school football history: we are getting more games is
1909: The ILH is formed with three teams — Kamehameha, Punahou and Honolulu High (later renamed McKinley). College of Hawaii
huge. This is the best thing for our
(later renamed University of Hawaii) participated as an unofficial member for 10 years. league. We now will be playing a
1940: The Rural Oahu Interscholastic Association is formed with Benjamin Parker (later renamed Castle), Kahuku, Leilehua, Waialua and
full nine-game schedule as
1970: Five ILH schools (Farrington, Kaimuki, Kalani, McKinley, Roosevelt) leave to join what will now be called the OIA (joining Aiea, opposed to our current four-game
Castle, Campbell, Kahuku, Kailua, Leilehua, Nanakuli, Radford, Waialua, Waianae and Waipahu). The remaining ILH schools are regular-season schedule. Just this
Damien, ‘Iolani, Kamehameha, Punahou and Saint Louis. The two leagues are free to schedule early-season interleague games.
1973: The annual Oahu Prep Bowl is created, with the ILH champion facing the OIA champion for an overall title.
in itself is a major benefit for the
1998: The last Oahu Prep Bowl is held. players.”
1999: The first state football tournament is held.
2001: Some severely lopsided scores prompt the ILH to break into two divisions, with Division I featuring Kamehameha, Punahou and Kip Botelho
Saint Louis, and Division II made up of Damien, ‘Iolani and Pac-Five. Pac-Five coach
2003: For the first time, all five leagues classify their teams for Division I or Division II and a two-tiered state-tournament is held.
2004: The OIA and ILH agree to allow teams to play multiple crossover (interleague) games per season.
2011: The last year of OIA-ILH crossover games; select interleague games continue.
2016: OIA-ILH alliance is proposed and passed by the ILH but voted down by the OIA.
• HHSAA executive board votes to divide the state tournament into three divisions — Open, Division I and Division II — for a one-
year pilot program.
2017: The HHSAA votes to continue the three-tiered state tournament, but the OIA makes a political stand and announces it will only
participate in two.
• The state tournament tripleheader at Aloha Stadium finishes at 1 a.m. on a Sunday after giving fans thrilling games in Open (Saint
Louis’ 31-28 back-and-forth, last-second win over Kahuku) and D-II (Lahainaluna’s 76-69, seven-overtime victory over
FEB. 13, 2018: News of the OIA-ILH alliance breaks in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Sources: Island Football Magazine, the Honolulu Advertiser and Honolulu Star-Bulletin archives.

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