BIIF’s fall sporting seasons are starting to take shape and the playing fields are cleared for practice. These are the football fields where the images will take a little longer to become clear.
Eligible public school athletes can return to work on September 27, and BIIF executive secretary Lyle Crozier said on Saturday he was set to release schedules in three sports, while a draft schedule volleyball was also in preparation.
The revamped football schedule calls for matches starting in mid-October, but in the sport, due to its larger numbers, and some teams may be in standby mode until it determines which athletes meet the tenure of the game. Department of Education to be vaccinated by Sept. 10, or may qualify for a medical or religious exemption.
“That schedule might have to change depending on who shows up,” said Crozier. “Football is the one we don’t know.”
Hilo High coach Chris Todd has said he is confident his team will open training in eight days. He said he would need at least 30 players to field a competitive team and could easily reach that threshold.
“We are compiling a lot of information,” Todd said. “I know a vast majority of the guys we rely on were fully vaccinated, but I don’t have the exact numbers.”
Konawaena coach Brad Uemoto was less clear on his numbers, but was confident the situation would work out. The Wildcats, he said, fielded a roster of some 27 players in 2018, while remaining a contender.
“I see this as an advantage for us,” Uemoto said. “We’re used to playing with lower numbers. I am optimistic that we will be able to compete.
Crozier was to publish schedules for cross-country, bowling and rifle shooting, individual sports that require fewer participants. The volleyball season will be split along the east and west sides leading up to the playoffs.
“Speaking to AD, it looks like most (volleyball) schools will have a season,” Crozier said.
He also said there will be a competitive cheering season.
The BIIF 2.0 football schedule, released on Friday, is a condensed one-round division roster that includes all 11 teams that were on the original schedule and one semi-final that was not.
After a period of acclimatization, the first matches are scheduled for October 15, with two Division II competitions (Ka’u in Kamehameha and Kohala in Honokaa). The opening weekend is marked as preseason for the Division I teams (Hilo High, Waiakea, Keaau, Kealakehe and Konawaena).
Those five will start the following weekend, with Hilo and Konawaena meeting on Friday, October 22, in what will likely be the most anticipated game of the regular season.
The DOE announced its tenure on August 4, and all things considered, Todd is happy with the direction his team is taking.
“We’ve had a few players who have moved to Utah, and it’s pretty hard to blame the families for making that decision,” he said. “I appreciate those who stuck it out, and I want to make sure we can do anything we can to fix it.”
The schedule calls for each team to face division opponents once – that’s half the round-trip format featured in the original schedule – although Kamehameha has seven games, including two non-league, one against Keaau and Kealakehe. . These DI teams each play five games, while the other three play four. Besides Kamehameha, the other D-II teams have five games.
Another new facet of the 2.0 calendar: the semi-finals of the BIIF. Previously, only two teams qualified for the playoffs.
The DI semi-finals will take place on November 26, with the title match on December 3. The D-II semi-finals and finals are on December 4 and 11, respectively. The DI and D-II state tournaments start on December 24 and 25.