It could have been something unprecedented.
Instead, the first matchup between Saint Louis and Kamehameha on the gridiron since the 2019 season has been cancelled. The scrimmage had been scheduled for Saturday, but has been wiped out due to safety and protocol measures by the host team, Kamehameha.
Instead, Saint Louis will now host the Mill Vill Trojans, a JPS club team, for a second weekend in a row. That scrimmage will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday.
Saint Louis will have a scrimmage at Punahou on May 1.
The scrimmages — the first on-field action involving a high school team since the fall of 2019 — are rooted in the relationship between Mililani/Mill Vill coach Rod York and Saint Louis coaches Ron Lee and Cal Lee. They once coached together at a Big Island football clinic. The Mililani Trojans program gets a boost from the Mill Vill JPS team, which uses the same system and terminology at the youth level.
Before the first Saint Louis-Mill Vill scrimmage was played, Crusaders head coach Ron Lee noticed criticism of York on the internet.
“Rod York, in my opinion, he’s thinking about his program,” Lee said. “What’s wrong with what he’s doing? The other coaches should put in the time, too, rather than sitting and waiting for somebody to tell them what to do. That’s the thing. You can’t wait for guys to make decisions. I would be doing all I could to keep my program alive rather than not doing anything. This year is done, no football for the OIA, so start and push for spring football.”
Saint Louis and other private-school football programs have a long history of developing talent at the middle-school level. Mill Vill, along with several other youth football club teams, are filling a gap and building a path to high school programs.
“Rod has something going. He’s got a club with kids from multiple schools. That’s a good way for the kids to say, I like the coaches. I’m going to transfer to Mililani. Hey, do something about your program instead of complaining. Start your own club. That’s what I’m saying. People have to speak up and fight. We would’ve had seniors transferring out if we hadn’t hung in there,” Lee said.
York appreciated the support from Lee, but declined to comment.