The Oahu Interscholastic Association held its first meeting for football officials Monday evening.
The gathering comes after a generous donation that allows the OIA to keep its high school football games to Fridays and Saturdays.
KHON2 previously reported that some games this coming season might have to be played on Wednesdays and Thursdays due to a shortage of officials. Fortunately for players, teachers, and families, that’s no longer the case.
There were nearly three dozen new faces in the crowd at Monday night’s meeting.
Their presence was made possible thanks to an organization called Junior Prep Sports, which donated thousands of dollars to assist in the recruitment and training of new officials.
“What we wanted to do really was to support the OIA high school programs, because we knew that if we supported them, eventually it would trickle back down to us and we’ll have enough officials to cover our league,” said Robert Faleafine, Junior Prep Sports. “At the end of the day right, there’s no football games without officials, so we’re definitely invested in this.”
“My wife is a high school mathematics teacher at Pearl City High, and when I brought it up to her and I said, ‘Well your students might be out till 11:30 at night on a Wednesday,’ she was not favorable about that either, so it really hit me in the heart as to how we can fix that,” said HHSAA officials coordinator Matt Sumstine.
Both the new and returning officials will attend a number of training sessions and workshops to ensure they will be ready when the prep season kicks off in August.