HONOLULU (KHON2) — It was a disappointing night for students and families from Kalani and Kalaheo High Schools, Saturday night’s football game was called off at the last minute after no referees showed up. The Oahu Interscholastic Association said this was the result of a scheduling error, but community members said this was too big of a mistake.
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The players walked away from a homecoming football game that did not go at all how they expected. Players from Kalani and Kalaheo High Schools did not get the chance to play against each other.
The Kalani High School Interim Head Football Coach Quinn Griffiths said his players were uniformed and ready to go.
Griffiths said, “It was just disbelief you know you never think that right you see another team there and you think hey we’re ready to roll and we were ready we were ready to play football tonight.”
The Kalaheo High School Head Football Coach Jaymason Lee said he started to get concerned when no referees were on the field, they usually show up an hour before the players and coaches.
Lee said, “Ready to play our game, we were both suited up in our game uniforms and they had all their fans there, the stands were filled.”
KHON2 News reached out to the Oahu Interscholastic Association Executive Director Raymond Fujino, he referred us to a statement below.
“To our Oahu Interscholastic Association supporters from Kalani and Kalaheo, I would like to profusely apologize for the lack of a referee crew at the Saturday night football game. We had an extremely rare scheduling error and cannot express my apologies enough for the error.
We will learn from this mistake and ensure to be more vigilant to make certain this does not occur again. I humbly request for your understanding. The game will be made up on Oct. 20 at 6 p.m. at Kaiser Stadium. Admission will be free for spectators.
Refunds for tickets purchased for the Oct. 7 game will be processed on Monday.”
Parents like Kahea Soberano were frustrated by this mistake. Soberano said there was a lot of effort put by the students and parents to make Kalani High School’s Homecoming Game memorable, it was also senior night.
“Who doesn’t have referees for a game? And this was on schedule from the beginning of our season,” Soberano said. “Everyone is upset about it because we spend a lot of time, money, family coming from everywhere, they came from Vegas, my parents came from Big Island, and no game, it’s disappointing.”
The OIA said, that while scheduling caused Saturday night’s game cancellation, there is a known shortage of referees that has caused issues in the past. Football games have been staggered or rescheduled to ensure there is enough staffing.
Coach Lee said he understands it is a hard job to fill, there will always be a side that is dissatisfied by the outcome of the game.
Lee said, “It’s a hard job to do and that’s why we are so limited nationwide, you know, you have to deal with disgruntled coaches like me and parents and you know you got to try to do your best job.”
He said he is trying to see the positive, the student-athletes will be able to make up the game at another time.
Meanwhile, a parent of a Kalani High School football player said the seniors still made the best out of their homecoming night.