HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new era of high school football on Oahu appears to be underway.
The Oahu Interscholastic Association (OIA) and Interscholastic League of Honolulu (ILH) announced on Wednesday that they have agreed to play a full slate of interleague regular-season football games across three separate divisions.
The two-year pilot program will feature nine Open Division teams: Campbell, Farrington, Kahuku, Kapolei, Mililani, Waianae, Kamehameha, Punahou and Saint Louis. Interleague games will count to a team's overall record, while games within each team's league will count toward the league standings.
"On behalf of the OIA membership, we're pleased to have reached an agreement with the ILH to compete in an interleague schedule of non-league football games and look forward to exciting competition on all three divisions beginning with the upcoming season," said OIA Executive Director Raymond Fujino.
The new format will allow schools like Saint Louis and Kahuku to square off in the regular season, rather than just playing in the state playoffs.
The Division I lineup includes Aiea, Castle, Kailua, Leilehua, Moanalua, Radford, Nanakuli, Waipahu, Damien and St. Francis. The Division II stable features Kaimuki, Kaiser, Kalaheo, Kalani, McKinley, Pearl City, Roosevelt, Waialua, Iolani and Pac-5.
"The ILH is very grateful and looking forward to this partnership with the OIA that will create renewed interest and benefit the athletic programs and student-athletes from both leagues," said ILH Executive Director Blane Gaison.
As for the state playoffs, not much will change. The current Open Division format will still feature three OIA teams and one ILH team, with both leagues still holding playoffs to determine league champions.