Saint Louis. Mater Dei.
May the two be forever entwined in the lore of high school football. Saint Louis coach Ron Lee confirmed on Thursday that the Crusaders are deep into discussion with the Monarchs about a preseason matchup hosted by Mater Dei.
Four-time defending Open Division champion Saint Louis last played on the continent at the end of the 2019 season, losing to St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.), 35-19. Earlier that fall, Saint Louis defeated Bishop Gorman (Nev.) at Aloha Stadium, 31-19.
The 2020-21 football season was cancelled in Hawaii, leaving Saint Louis with controlled spring scrimmages against Kamehameha, Punahou and the Mill Vill Trojans club team.
Mater Dei was 5-0 in 2020-21 and finished No. 2 in the SBLive Power 25 national rankings.
“It’s out that we’re working on a game,” said Lee, who is currently vacationing on the mainland. “I’d go back and meet with our Saint Louis people and toss this out.”
For standout returnees who lost an entire year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Saint Louis-Mater Dei battle whets the appetite.
“Heck yeah! I’ve been wanting to challenge them,” junior offensive lineman Jonah Savaiinaea said.
The potential of a one-off matchup with a national powerhouse isn’t brand-new for the Saint Louis dynasty. However, after a layoff of nearly two years without a game, it would make for a top-line return to the gridiron.
“It’s giving Hawaii a boost with football back, going to play one of the top teams in the country, and it’s good for Saint Louis,” Lee said.
Mater Dei isn’t the only program showing interest in playing Saint Louis, but Lee said it would not be easy to turn down a chance to play the Monarchs.