Saint Louis just outside of Top 10 in first national rankings

Saint Louis safety Kamo'i Latu is one of six returning All-State selections for the Crusaders. Photo by Steven Erler/Special to the Star-Advertiser.

After finishing the 2018 season ranked as high as No. 7 in the country, the Saint Louis Crusaders open the 2019 season ranked No. 11 in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 preseason rankings released today.

The three-time defending Open Division state champions have won 26 games in a row and are 40-3 over the last four years.

The Crusaders lost eight All-State selections to graduation, including defensive player of the year Faatui Tuitele and first-team picks Ben Scott, Arasi Mose and Korvin Feagins, but return six All-State selections, including first-teamers Jordan Botelho and Nick Herbig at linebacker, Roman Wilson at receiver and Kamo’i Latu at safety.

Cal Lee, who has won 284 games as Saint Louis head coach, will begin his 27th season overall on Aug. 15 against Kapolei.

Bishop Gorman, which is coming off a down year by the Gaels’ standards, finishing 11-3, is ranked No. 17. The Gaels will play the Crusaders at Aloha Stadium on Aug. 30 in one of two games in the Aloha Football Classic.

California has five teams ranked in the top 25, including No. 3 St. John Bosco, which will travel to the islands to play Mililani on Sept. 21 at John Kauinana Stadium.

St. John’s (D.C.), with starting quarterback Sol-Jay Maiava, a Kahuku transfer, is ranked No. 5.

Mater Dei is No. 1.


  1. ahinalu July 22, 2019 3:42 pm

    Coach Cal, Ron, Vinny and Staff Groom Them Well Up Kalaepohaku !

  2. Mahatma Gandhi July 22, 2019 4:09 pm

    Sorry, I do not care to follow win-at-all-costs high school football programs that destroy the competitive balance of the area. St Louis has ruined football. Auwe.
    Back in my days, the 1970s, Punahou, Iolani Red Raiders and Pac-5 would recruit just enough to be competitive. But never to the point that they were so dominant that no other team stood a chance against them. If St Louis doesn’t want to fight for their wins, then I hope the other high schools will forfeit their games against them before they play.
    It isn’t just St Louis, it’s also Bishop Gorman of Las Vegas. Mater Dei in California. John Bosco in New Jersey. All Catholic schools.

  3. Randy Burnett July 22, 2019 7:01 pm

    Please. Mr. Gone Hi , get a grip every school has a opportunity to get their players. Don’t blame SLH for their success. It’s the coaches that make the team. Not the players. Oh yes, the players get better with good coaching.

  4. CatholicFootballFan July 22, 2019 9:29 pm

    Randy, forget about reasoning with the St. Louis haters, especially the one above your post. If you notice, he mentioned only Catholic schools, except Damien. You have to wonder why? Hmmm.

  5. Suspense July 23, 2019 6:57 am

    Randy more. The players want to be coached by the good coaches

  6. Stl Alum July 23, 2019 7:06 am

    Good comment Randy no waste time trying to reason with “Gandhiria” fools who cling to their false beliefs likely suffer from much more than simple hatred towards Stl and the ILH. Anyway, tell Cookie send out thank you cards….summer almost pau.

  7. Coach C July 23, 2019 9:14 am

    A win against BG would put them in the Top 10. But I agree that the Prep Bowl run that Stl. had from the 70”s to the 90”s was unfair. The OIA should walk away from the Open format and go back to OIA champs vs.ILH champs Prep Bowl. The reason players are leaving Stl. is because they want to play. Stl.3rd string could play at any Open public school. A rule on excessive recruiting as quoted by Saban, is to take ALL the best so they don’t beat you ,sitting on your bench instead of playing against you.

  8. HLI July 23, 2019 11:10 am


    Nope. Nope. Nope.

    The coaching augment the physical skills and game IQ these kids are coming in with. St. Louis is getting the biggest, fastest, strongest, etc…….. statewide.

    Im not against it, the rest of the state needs to catch up, thats all. Look at Millilani, they get it and have embraced it. Campbells on the way there along with Kapolei. RRs refuses to do this but 3 consecutive years of ZILCH may change their mind.

    I wish we could test your theory and send the coaches to Kalani for a year and see how many Koa trophy’s they win. Oh, wait been there, done that. Yup, zero.

    Great coaches and the best players win championships.

  9. Coach C July 23, 2019 1:32 pm

    Lol,Randy. “It’s the coaches that make the team, not the players”??? So Stl don’t go out and recruit players statewide???? The players come raw and are teached? Funny.

  10. HSFootballfan July 23, 2019 2:51 pm

    Actually Coach C, St. Louis wasn’t as dominant as most people would like to think that they were from the 1970s to the late 1990s. Between 1973 and 1983, Kamehameha and Waianae won more Prep Bowls than St. Louis. Waianae went to 14 Prep Bowls from 1973 to 1999. St. Louis went to 17. While all the focus is St. Louis’s dominance, Waianae dominated the OIA for most of that time also.

  11. Mahatma Gandhi July 23, 2019 4:11 pm

    HSFootballFan, Waianae was not recruiting football players to their program back in the 1970s. maybe some Nanakul kids made their own way to Waianae High, but the Waianae coaches had nothing to do with it. And they were not so dominant that no other team stood a chance against them.

  12. Haters gonna hate July 24, 2019 8:32 am

    What really hurt Waianae in the 80’s was the 2.0 rule. That disqualified half the team unfortunately. It’s still happening today.

  13. Katosan July 24, 2019 10:28 am

    Mahatma Gandhi:

    Mater Dei didn’t win the Trinity League last year. They also didn’t win it in 2016. Sure, they won state, but lets not act like there isn’t anybody near MD that can beat them. I do agree with your premise, but I just disagree with your accuracy.

    FYI, Trinity League 3rd place finisher ended up #17 in the final Cal Prep National Top 25 Rankings despite 3 losses: All to Top 5 National teams in the CIF Southern Section D1 in MD, St John Bosco & Oaks Christian.

    Two nearby public schools also are regulars in the national top 25 with #11 Cen10 and Mission Viejo.

    So it’s not like all of Southern Section D1 is weak due to Mater Dei,.

  14. Katosan July 24, 2019 10:30 am

    St Louis should be playing Bosco. Bosco is about 4 TDs better than Gorman.

  15. RED ONLY COME OUT WHEN WINNING July 25, 2019 11:58 am

    Here we go again, cry babies. Put it this way, if Kahuku had good coaching, theyd be right up there with saint louis. Honestly, Kahuku has talent across the board but they still stuck in that pop warner offense which gets them no where. Their Defense is the only thing that keeps successful, other than than, its just natural athletes doing their thing out there, no coaching whatsoever. So dont blame Saint Louis for having great coaching.Its hilarious how some of this people on here can hate a school so much with so much success. They are representing hawaii high school football as a whole in being top 20 in the nation. Lets talk about recruiting, Mililani half the team is not from Mililani, Kahuku they recruit family members from other states and from the islands. So stop complaining. In this day everybody recruits, regardless if you are OIA or ILH. Its the nature of the way high school football is going moving forward in the future. True talk.

  16. Coach C July 25, 2019 4:28 pm

    Huh???#15. Huh????

  17. Stephanie July 28, 2019 9:25 am

    I remember Pac 5 won during my Freshman Year (11/83) and Senior Year (11/85). Before the 1990’s, it was pretty much anyone’s ball game. But now, yes its St. Louis! They have a great football program which are coached by great coaches!

  18. Cristine August 7, 2019 6:51 pm

    I love how people assume Saint Louis recruits kids… what is there to recruit? Their football program draws boys to that school and there is no sports scholarship, their parents pay a hefty price to send their son’s to SLS so that they can get coached by some of the best football coaches, get exposure for college scholarships and the academics.

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