Saint Louis in national record book — for now

Cal Lee won 13 straight Oahu Prep Bowls and one state championship from 1986 to 1999.
Cal Lee won 13 straight Oahu Prep Bowls and one state championship from 1986 to 1999. (Star-Advertiser)

Hawaii is represented in the National Federation of State High School Associations’ record book for football.

Cal Lee’s Saint Louis teams are listed as having the nation’s longest streak of consecutive state championships, tying with Sioux Falls Washington of South Dakota from 1951 to 1964. No other state claims a streak of double digits.

Here’s the list in the official record book:


Saint Louis, Honolulu (1986-99)
Sioux Falls Washington, SD (1951-64)


Phoenix Union, AZ (1920-28)


Charlotte Independence, NC (2000-07)
Salt Lake, UT (1898-1905)
Hammonton St. Joesph, NJ (1999-2006)


Addison Driscoll, IL (2001-07)
Animas, NM (1984-90)
Massillon Washington, OH (1935-41)
Massillon Washington, OH (1948-54)
Sidney, MT (1987-93)
Montvale St. Joseph, NJ (1999-2005)

Saint Louis was undoubtedly the best team in the state over that span, but to call its Oahu Prep Bowl championships state titles is more than a little misleading. Newspapers every year referred to it as Hawaii’s “mythical” state championship, but the national federation seems to have shattered the myth.

Like Sadaharu Oh and Josh Gibson before them in the World Series, a good portion of the state was not invited to the party for all but the last year of the Crusaders’ run. The Oahu Prep Bowl pitted the OIA and ILH champions against each other at the end of every season, and there was nothing the BIIF, MIL or KIF champions could do to claim the title.

The Crusaders played three neighbor-island teams during their Prep Bowl run, beating Baldwin 42-7 in 1996, Waiakea 41-0 in 1989 and Hilo 61-0 in 1988. A neighbor-island school has never appeared in the state championship game since it began in 1999.

The Hawaii High School Athletic Association is aware of the quandary and is discussing it. Even if Saint Louis was pushed off the list, there is room for another Hawaii team. ‘Iolani is in line to join the elite group if it can capture its seventh straight championship this year.

Although there is probably a Hawaii record in the book that shouldn’t be, there is also one missing that probably should.

Elsewhere in the record book is a list of longest rivals in terms of games.

Westerly of Rhode Island and Stonington of Connecticut have played 151 times since 1911, the oldest rivalry in terms of games currently on the books. That’s a lot of games, but the ILH’s Punahou and Kamehameha have hooked up 179 times since the first game in 1903.

The HHSAA will submit that to the Federation.


  1. piriemango September 5, 2013 8:19 am

    Do you call it a state championship now, when the best teams in the state are oftentimes not invited?

  2. Dave Reardon September 5, 2013 10:03 am

    Good reporting, Jerry. Ironic if best football program in state history is deleted from record book and team that would probably never win championship if it played D-1 gets in. But records can be strange. Anybody got some spare asterisks?

  3. KimoSabey September 5, 2013 11:02 am

    So what this the win loss of those two ILH powerhouses?

  4. Jerry Campany September 5, 2013 4:43 pm

    Kimo, I don’t have the win-loss right now, but i will share it when i get it. I saw stories in both papers about their 101st meeting one year in the 1970s and added from there. So it is certainly legit.

  5. hepkat September 5, 2013 5:14 pm

    Lets be honest… Every state title game has come down to ILH vs OIA. To say the prep bowls were not the state title game is ridiculous. The HHSAA needs to look into adding a second ILH seed, and possibly getting rid of the 3rd OIA team. It’s not right to have only one ILH seed, when there are usually 2-3 in the top 5 every year.

  6. Keala Loo September 6, 2013 9:04 pm

    Thank you for the article Jerry. You’re right the Prep Bowl was considered the Mythical State Championship. However, to me, the teams that played in those games were the two best in the state. I was apart of 3 prep bowl winning teams at St.Louis. We played Kahuku one year and Waianae the next two. No disrespect to any of the outer island teams but I don’t think they were very good during my high school years. We played Baldwin on Maui and the game was not close. It wasn’t because they were a bad team, they were the best on Maui, but we had better athletes and our coaching set us apart. Times have changed and the parity between teams is better which is good for Hawaii prep football but Oahu had the better teams during that span. Thanks again.

  7. Jerry Campany September 7, 2013 12:24 am

    We need a “like” button on this comment thread, Keala. Thanks for your words, I think everyone pretty much agrees with you.

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