First Hawaiian to sponsor state football tourneys

First Hawaiian Bank has signed on as the title sponsor for Hawaii’s High School State Football Championships, which, for the first time, will include teams from 14 schools competing in two divisions.

The series of playoff games will be known as the “First Hawaiian Bank State Football Championships.”

“This is an exciting time for high school football in Hawaii and we want to help make the format a success from the start,” said First Hawaiian Bank President Don Horner.

The bank’s sponsorship includes both cash and in-kind support to help defray the expenses of the ambitious tournament format being kicked off this year.

In the inaugural First Hawaiian Bank State Football Championships this fall, eight larger schools will compete for the Division I title while, for the first time, six smaller schools from all leagues will compete in the Division II state crown.

More than 1,000 football players will participate in 12 games statewide over a three-week series of playoffs in November and December. The two championship games will be played December 5 at Aloha Stadium.

The new format was worked out by the Hawaii High School Athletic Association (HHSAA) and its member leagues and schools earlier this year after Keith Amemiya, HHSAA Executive Director, laid out the proposal. He promised to “make good any financial losses that resulted from expanding the championship format.”

“To have a sponsor of the caliber of First Hawaiian Bank step forward, with six-figure sponsorship support, is a dream come true for Hawaii high school sports,” said Amemiya.

Last fall, the First Hawaiian Bank HHSAA Football Classic featured St. Louis and Kahuku playing against two nationally ranked powerhouses from California in a doubleheader that attracted more than 27,000 fans to Aloha Stadium. First Hawaiian also sponsors the HHSAA Canoe Paddling championships each year.

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