OIA/ILH History

High school football on Oahu began in October, 1890, when it was first introduced by Punahou Professor J.G. Wood.

The first sanctioned game was played in 1987 between Punahou and Honolulu High school (McKinley).

In 1903 Punahou, Kamehameha, and Honolulu High formed a three team league.  The official formation of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu was formed in 1909.  The College of Hawaii (now the University of Hawaii) participated in the league for the next ten years although not an official member of the league.

In 1919 the Honolulu Military Academy joined the league but dropped out in 1924.  Saint Louis High School entered the ILH in 1924.  The ILH remained a four team league for the next seven seasons until Roosevelt entered in 1932.  Iolani entered the ILH in 1936 and Farrington became a member in 1938.  Iolani suspended football during World War II and did not re-enter the ILH until 1945.  Kaimuki entered the ILH in 1944, Kalani in 1960, and Damien entered the ILH in 1966 making it a 10 team league.

Leilehua High school began its’ football program in 1931, playing as an associate member of the ILH through the 1938 season.

In 1940 the Rural Oahu Interscholastic Association was formed in 1940 with five members schools; Leilehua, Benjamin Parker (now known as Castle), Kahuku, Waialua, and Waipahu.   The ROIA applied twice for membership into the ILH, in 1948 and again in January of 1949.  Their request was denied both times.

In 1951 Benjamin Parker became Castle High school when the school moved to its’ new campus.  Over the next four year both Koolau Boys School and Honolulu Vocational would field teams in the ROIA for two seasons each.

In 1955 Kailua High school joined the OIA giving it six teams.  The ROIA became an eight member team in 1958 with the entry of Waianae and Radford.  The ROIA continued to expand over the next two decades with the entry of Aiea (1962), Campbell (1963), Nanakuli (1969), Kaiser (1971), Moanalua and Pearl City (1972), Kalaheo (1973), and Mililani (1974).

After the 1969 season, the five Honolulu public schools (Farrington, Kaimuki, Kalani, McKinley, and Roosevelt) withdrew from the ILH and joined the ROIA.  As a result of this expansion the ROIA changed its’ name to the OIA.  The ILH operated as a five team league for the 1970 and 1971 seasons.

In 1972 Maryknoll, Mid Pacific Institute, Hawaii Baptist Academy and University High combined to field a team called the HUMMERS.  Our Redeemer Lutheran Schools joined the squad in 1973 and the team changed its’ name to Pac-Five, giving the ILH six teams.

In 1973 both leagues mended their relationship with formation of the Prep Bowl, which brought together the champions of both leagues.  The Prep Bowl continued for the next 26 years until the OIA pulled out in 1998.  This created the opportunity for a true state championship football tournament which had its’ inaugural game in 1999 under the direction of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association (HHSAA).

The OIA added two more teams, Kapolei (2002), and Anuenue (2006) bringing the total number of members to 23.  The ILH added Word of Life Academy in 2008, in which the Firebrands participated for two seasons before the school closed its’ doors in 2010.  The ILH remains a six member league.

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