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.