St. John Bosco, the football team from Bellflower, Calif., that visited and beat Saint Louis 63-14 at Aloha Stadium last month, pounded Norwalk, Calif., 48-3 in its second game of the season on Friday night at Cerritos College.
It turns out the Braves, who are No. 6 in the MaxPreps national rankings, have a local connection of sorts.
Ben Holmes, who played right guard against the Crusaders, started at left guard against Norwalk. His father, Henry Holmes, who is a lawyer in the entertainment industry, grew up on Oahu, and the family has a vacation home on Kauai. Ben, whose full name is Benjamin Kainoa Holmes, has been visiting Hanalei with his parents since he was 2 and learned to surf overhead waves at Hanalei Bay.
Holmes, who is a 6-foot-4, 310-pound sophomore, had a great time playing in Hawaii and loved the “big stadium vibe” of Aloha Stadium.
“I loved (staying at) Turtle Bay and practicing (one day) at Kahuku High School,” he wrote via email. “The haka the Kahuku team did for us was killer and I have never seen better and it got us all revved up for Saint Louis.”
He remembers playing in the Eastbay Youth All-American Bowl with Saint Louis wide receiver Drew Kobayashi a few seasons ago.
One of Henry Holmes’ clients is Alfonso Cuaron, who won Best Director for “Gravity” and gave Holmes a shout out during the Academy Awards telecast this year. Henry Holmes went to Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in Waikiki and also went to Pearl Harbor Elementary as well as some Pearl City elementary schools as a child in the 1940s and ’50s.
Henry Holmes said some of the parents of Braves players are keeping an eye on HawaiiPrepWorld.com to see how some of the Hawaii football teams are doing.
“Our kids love Kahuku and the aloha they showed our team,” he said. “We are all fans. We also saw a lot of Mililani on film and we think they are a really good football team and we hear great things about Punahou. St. Louis will rebound, but what a murderous schedule.”
The Crusaders (1-3) started with consecutive losses to Mililani (state runners-up a year ago), St. John Bosco (the defending MaxPreps national champion) and Punahou (the defending state Division I champion) before beating Pac-Five 60-13 on Friday night at Aloha Stadium.
That was the first win for Saint Louis’ Cal Lee since his return to coaching this season. Lee, the winningest coach in Hawaii high school history, stepped down from that post after the 2001 season to pursue other interests.