Cal Lee and Ron Lee are back at it on the hill at Kalaepohaku.
Just hours after a scrimmage with big, talented Kapolei, they were on the field again. Ron, the offensive coordinator, was there by 7 a.m., studying film from the scrimmage. Cal was there on the field just a little while later. By the time they were done with practice around 6 p.m. — with a certain Heisman Trophy candidate working out with the varsity — they were spent.
Happy and spent. What Cal Lee got out of the Kapolei scrimmage was the plain fact that the Crusaders are far from deep up front on the defensive side. Kapolei ran well, and it was exacerbated by injuries to the Saint Louis D-line. On the other hand, the Crusaders threw the ball well. Ryder Kuhns is in tune with his receiving corps, and with Ron Lee back in charge, receivers are making reads.
Lee demanded this at Kalani, where the offense literally went over the top in three years. He learned from the best, guru Mouse Davis, and former UH coach June Jones. That’s probably why Kuhns and wide receiver Drew Kobayashi are smiling so much.
While the defense develops, the Crusaders will have to be offensive this fall, and they don’t mind the task of scoring points in bunches to keep title hopes alive.
In an era of mobile QBs and read options, it’s about — this sounds odd enough — old-school run-and-shoot techniques and tweaks. During the scrimmage with Kapolei, Ron Lee drew up some key changes to routes. On the fly, the young receiving group made the adjustments as if they’d done it a million times before.
The Lee brothers know they won’t have the biggest team, but they’ve thrived with less before, whether it was Ron guiding Kaiser to a Prep Bowl title more than three decades ago, or Cal building a dynasty at Saint Louis (with Ron) in 1980s and ’90s.
It’s something else, seeing them do it all over again with baby steps. With the soft new synthetic turf and convenient new parking garage, some things have changed, but the old tradition is back. Even offensive lineman Fred Ulu-Perry has both Lee brothers raving and drawing (cautious) comparisons to great O-linemen in the school’s past, NFL veterans Olin Kreutz and Dominic Raiola.
Fun times ahead for Saint Louis?
Sure. This might be the purest version of the R&S in the islands in some time.