15TH IN A SERIES
Saint Louis is going into the 2018 season with big aspirations.
That’s as usual. The difference this year, though, is for the first time in a long time, the Crusaders are playing a brutal schedule. No pushovers.
There could also be a trap game in Friday’s OIA-ILH alliance Open Division opener. Saint Louis plays Waianae, a team licking its wounds, at Aloha Stadium.
The Seariders were roughed up 34-13 by Division I Waipahu last week in a nonleague opener and, if nothing else, they will be coached up and ready to play their hard-nosed brand of football this week.
The gauntlet Saint Louis is going through continues with California Division I-A Narbonne (Harbor City, Calif.) on Aug. 17, followed by all of the Hawaii Open teams waiting for their shot at the two-time defending top-tier champion — Mililani, Kahuku, Punahou, Kapolei, Campbell, Farrington and Kamehameha.
Coach Cal Lee did not exactly love his team’s effort in a scrimmage two weeks ago against Moanalua. The players know this, so expect Saint Louis (No. 12 in the MaxPreps national rankings) to be ready for Waianae and beyond.
“We put that in their minds,” Lee said. “You gotta go four quarters. The rest is about execution. As coaches, we’ve got to get them ready to play the game.”
Lee talked about some of the Crusaders’ leaders:
>> Faatui Tuitele, defensive tackle: “He’s just a great kid to be around. Personable not only on the field but off as well. Good student. Shoot, I wish everybody was like him. He does everything right. He’s humble, works hard. I can’t say enough about him and what he brings to the table. He’s a leader out there. He doesn’t yell, yell, yell. He’s a good one.”
>> Gino Quinones, defensive tackle: “He has really developed from his sophomore to junior year and this year. The thing I like about him is he’s got size. Now he’s working on perfecting his defensive skills. You only do that by hard work. He’s a hard worker on the field and tries to get better and better. He’s critical of how he’s doing and knows what he needs to get better at. Another good kid on and off the field.”
>> Arasi Mose, offensive line: “He’s a big, big kid. What he’s gotta do is move a little faster. We know he’s got a lot of weight to move and he’s working on that. He’s going to do good stuff for us, a big physical guy. And he’s a got a good future ahead of him.
>> Ben Scott, offensive lineman: A tackle who has skills that he can take advantage of. I like his work ethic. He comes to work every day and tries to get better.”
>> Junior Wily, safety: “Talk about work ethic. This guy comes to practice, hits the weights — always in the weights — getting stronger for the physical game of football. He’s always hustling and running around and he’s smart. He really comprehends the game. He’s got that football sense.”
Friday’s game will mark the debut of Jayden de Laura, the next in line (after Tua Tagovailoa and Chevan Cordeiro) at quarterback for the Crusaders.
Next in series: Waipahu Marauders.
• Aiea Na Alii
• Campbell Sabers
• Castle Knights
• Farrington Governors
• Kahuku Red Raiders
• Kaimuki Bulldogs
• Kaiser Cougars
• Leilehua Mules
• McKinley Tigers
• Mililani Trojans
• Moanalua Na Menehune
• Nanakuli Golden Hawks
• Pearl City Chargers
• St. Francis Saints