Farrington Athletic Director and OIA Football Advisor, Harold Tanaka, says he can't remember any OIA schedule ever being a topic of discussion the way the 2017 schedule has been in recent months. But, he hopes all the talk surrounding the league's move to weekday games will finally come to close as the possibility of Wednesday/Thursday match-ups has been eliminated for next year.
Today, Tanaka officially released the league's second version of next season's final schedule, this time resuming the OIA's old Friday/Saturday game structure.
The decision to make the move came less than a week after the last "final" schedule was released, which included a number of Wednesday and Thursday games.
According to Oahu Football Officials Association President, Cal Evans, he received a call last Thursday from OIA Executive Director, Ray Fujino. Fujino asked Evans if his officials could manage to cover games next season if the league decided to go back to the Friday/Saturday format.
Evans says he assured Fujino that, despite facing a referee shortage this season, his officials would manage. Many will now have to cover both junior varsity and varsity games in a single night.
Following that decision, Tanaka was sent back to the drawing board once again to reconfigure the schedule in the OIA's typical format. While it meant putting in extra hours of work over the weekend, Tanaka says it's work he was happy to do.
"This is probably the best news," said the Farrington AD. "We're back to Friday, Saturday night. Now I don't have to worry about somebody grumbling that they're playing on a Wednesday night. I think our officials group, they understood the impact of playing Wednesday, Thursday nights. That understand that they're going to have to double-up, JV and varsity games. I think the bottom line is less impact on our kids."
Evans added that the referee shortage, which initially led the OIA to consider weekday games, should not be an issue going forward. He says they've recruited a large crop of new refs that are currently being trained. They're expected to be ready by the end of 2017 season or for the 2018 season.
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