Ka'ahumanu Hou voted out of Maui football competition
By Dennis Anderson
Tiny Ka'ahumanu Hou School of Kahului was voted out of Maui Interscholastic League football yesterday because it doesn't have enough players.
Athletic directors of the six Maui high schools with football teams voted 5-1 to oust Ka'ahumanu Hou under a league rule that requires a team suit up 21 eligible players for games.
Dave Marocco, principal, athletic director and head football coach of 100-student Ka'ahumanu Hou Christian Schools, voted against the exclusion.
Marocco, who on Monday said he knew nothing about the new rule, held practice as usual yesterday with 17 players, and said his school would look into alternatives, such as playing other small schools or playing schools on their open dates.
"We've always had thin numbers, but our kids are strong in heart. They want to play," Marocco said. "In four years in the MIL, we've never forfeited and we've never lost a player for the season to injury. We have 10 former players on Mainland college rosters."
Steve Kim, executive director of the MIL, declined to talk to reporters.
A spokesman said the MIL enacted a rule following last season requiring a football team to have 21 eligible players in uniform and a certified trainer or doctor on the sidelines for games. The rule clearly was aimed at Ka'ahumanu Hou, which had 15 players suited up at a game last season.
Marocco took 13 players to Texas last week to practice and scrimmage with schools of similar enrollment in the Dallas area. Marocco said there were some students who had just arrived for the start of classes who might turn out. Many of Ka'ahumanu Hou's students reside off-island.
The Hawai'i High School Athletic Association requires that each team member have a minimum of nine days of practice before the first game. The Lions were scheduled to play Lahainaluna Saturday in their opening game.