Hawaii Prep World will be releasing summer previews of all 29 Oahu varsity football teams in advance of the 2017 season that kicks off in early August.
22ND IN A SERIES
SAINT LOUIS CRUSADERS
>> 2016 record and finish: 10-1 (5-1 ILH D-I); beat ‘Iolani 33-0 in first round of ILH D-I playoffs; beat Punahou 28-14 in ILH D-I championship game; beat Waianae 42-7 in state tournament Open Division semifinals; beat Kahuku 30-14 in state tournament Open Division championship game
>> Number of returning starters: 2 offense, 6 defense
>> Number of returning seniors: 30
>> Number of starters lost to graduation: 9 offense, 5 defense
>> Number of seniors lost to graduation: 30
>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections lost to graduation: Michael Minihan, first-team OL; Jacob-Drew Russell, first-team OL; Tua Tagovailoa, first-team QB; Isaac Slade-Matautia, second-team LB; Jalen Saole, second-team S; Ronson Young, third-team REC; Rick Sandry, third-team CB
>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections returning: Noa Purcell, first-team LB; Dylan Toilolo, first-team LB; Faatui Tuitele, second-team DE; Isaiah Tufaga, second-team S
>> Among 2017 key offensive returnees: Chevan Cordeiro, Sr., QB; Eliki Tanuvasa, Sr., OL; Arasi Mose, Jr., OL; Tosh Kekahuna, Sr., SB; Jonah Panoke, Sr., WR
>> Among 2017 key defensive returnees: Isaiah Tufaga, Sr., DB; Kai Kaneshiro, Sr., DB; Dylan Toilolo, Sr., LB; Noa Purcell, Sr., LB; Isaiah Feary, Sr., LB
>> Crusaders with Division I FBS college offers: Isaiah Tufaga, Sr. DB; Chris Sykes, Sr. WR; Chevan Cordeiro, Sr., QB; Isaiah Fear, Sr., DB/LB; Kai Kaneshiro, Sr., DB; Jonah Panoke, Sr. WR; Noa Purcell, Sr., LB; Isaiah Taliuli, Sr., LB; Eliki Tanuvasa, Sr., OL; Faatui Tuitele, Jr., DL; Matt Sykes, So., WR; Mason Tufaga, Fr., LB/DB
>> All-time state championships: 4 (3 in D-I — 1999, 2002, 2010; and 1 in Open Division — 2016)
>> All-time Prep Bowl (1973-1998) championships: 14 (all D-I — 1983, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998)
>> All-time ILH championships: 35 (all D-I — 1925, 1930, 1941, 1942, 1945, 1949, 1966, 1967, 1970, 1973, 1981, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2015, 2016)
>> 2017 conference: ILH D-I
>> 2017 state tournament declaration: Division I-Open
Head coach CAL LEE on the Crusaders’ outlook for 2017:
“There’s a lot of work going on getting the kids ready, getting them in shape and teaching them the game of football. It’s a whole new season and we have lots of new kids coming up that need experience. We’re practicing hard and hopefully they’ll be ready by game time.
“We’ve got 300 kids altogether, about 100 on varsity, 84 on JV and 120 in intermediate. That’s a lot of kids. There is one thing that’s unfortunate, though. They come out here as seventh graders, make the team and then some don’t play and then they are told they can’t play in the Big Boys league. If football is the only sport you play, you can’t play after the season. We in the coaching fraternity at all the schools agree that seventh and eighth graders should be allowed to play the sport in the offseason. They’ve gotta wait a whole year for the season to start.
“We’re real fortunate at Saint Louis to have players who love the game of football, and they all want to get better. And everybody works hard to make everybody better.
“The kids want to be part of something, in a sense. They enjoy it, they go through it every day and don’t complain and work hard. Even if they don’t play in the games. You gotta love those kids. I have 10 running backs and they love being part of a group and they are part of that group. We only play one running back. Still, you can tell they enjoy it. They’re not walking around doing nothing. They’re skipping and jumping and getting after it.
“All we can do is be the best we can be as coaches and try to prepare them for the game of football. They work hard at it. We’ve got a bull’s-eye on our back as state champions and all that stuff. But they come out here and last year was last year. You can’t look back. They see that if you work hard, good things will happen. That’s all you can do.
“There’s a lot of good kids that graduated that we’re going to miss (including quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who is now at Alabama). That’s what the kids coming up now are working for, to do what the kids in front of them did. You never know. Some never played much. They come out, work hard, are dedicated and they could be the next person to keep up the expectations set by the guys who left.
“A lot of kids will be trying out for the 11 positions on offense and defense, and that competition makes them work harder. They know if they mess up, somebody else will step in. You can’t take a day off. You’ve got to be dedicated and plugging away day after day.
“We have goals. In offseason conditioning, in what we expect in the weight room. They take tests. We’ll be testing them this week on the bench, squats and the running. Those are some of the goals that can be reached that are not necessarily about football, but more the conditioning. It’s so they don’t show up and think they’re strong already.
“The biggest thing we want as coaches is we want effort. Everybody wants to win the game. If you don’t have that, you’re on the short end of the stick. We’re looking for that effort on every down, every series, every play. Those are the kinds of things we strive for as a team.”
2017 Saint Louis football schedule
Subject to change. Click here for the latest schedule updates.
Note: The ILH regular-season schedule was not out at the time this post was published.
Thursday, July 27
>> Campbell at Saint Louis (scrimmage)
Saturday, July 29
>> Kailua at Saint Louis, 9 a.m. (scrimmage, split squad)
>> Kaimuki at Saint Louis, 4 p.m. (scrimmage, split squad)
Saturday, Aug. 5
>> Saint Louis at Waianae (nonleague)
Saturday, Aug. 12
>> Baldwin vs. Saint Louis, at Aloha Stadium (nonleague)
Saturday, Sept. 23
>> Narbonne (Los Angeles) vs. Saint Louis, at Aloha Stadium (nonleague)
2017 Saint Louis varsity football staff
>> Head coach: Cal Lee (263-39-5, 25th season)
>> Offensive coordinator: Ron Lee
>> Quarterbacks: Vince Passas
>> Wide receivers: Gerald Welch
>> Slotbacks: Howard Peralta and Robbie Fukuhara
>> Running backs: Tupu Alualu and Aaron Mikami
>> Offensive line: Robert Crowell and James Hall
>> Defensive coordinator and linebackers: Frank Pahia
>> Defensive line: Nainoa Campbell and Shawn Kalima
>> Defensive backs: Wes Tufaga and Keone Batoon
>> Linebackers: Sam Taulea, Shawn Pacheco, Gary Graham and Sam Downey