Saturday morning grind: Crusaders among early birds training on sand

Two hours of non-stop running and hurdling in the sand is exactly what some of the most dedicated student-athletes in the state want on Saturday mornings.

Three of them, Saint Louis football players Tasi Tadio, Iona Purcell and Prince Solomon, barely broke a sweat despite the constant footwork and 20- to 40-yard sprints at Ala Moana Beach Park at 7 a.m. The training is coordinated by Liahona Youth Empowerment. Approximately 50 athletes worked out, including a few from the Hawaii Rainbow Wahine volleyball squad, including Braelyn Akana.

Tadio admitted with a grin that the grind never stopped during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said conditioning is at peak level.

“It’s probably like a 10. Training every day. No days off. Cannot. You can’t be a couch potato,” said Tadio, who trains with Tactical Strength, as well as Michael Lafaele. “God gives you another day of life, you’ve got to take it as an opportunity to get better.”

Purcell saw significant playing time as a freshman last year while Saint Louis four-peated as Open Division state champion. The linebacker trains with an uncle, Francis Silva, and older brother Noah Purcell.

“As of right now, we don’t know if there’s going to have a season,” Purcell said. “We’ve got to keep training as if there’s a season.”

Solomon, a receiver, trains with his father, Paul. He also works out with Marcus Kimura.

“All glory to God. We can’t wait to have a season,” Tadio said.


  1. Bias Bias Bias July 13, 2020 2:03 pm

    50 athletes and all Paul Honda could do was interview three…..from the same school. Stop with the bias already.

  2. MiliLouis July 13, 2020 10:31 pm

    StL players seen practicing in helmets and someone said in shells too.

    If there’s an active (StL) coach present on the field, then is this permissible under the ILH rules?

    Maybe this is how you stay ahead of the pack.

    Just wondering….

  3. Whatever July 14, 2020 11:51 am

    Were all fifty kids practicing from STL? Asking for a friend? Lazy reporting. Go ahead and delete my post ago…..

  4. Paul Honda July 14, 2020 1:30 pm

    There were UH Wahine volleyball players and kids from middle and elementary schools.
    It’s in the story.

  5. Paul Honda July 14, 2020 1:33 pm

    The Liahona workout was open to athletes of all sports, including UH Wahine volleyball players and keiki in middle school and elementary school. No helmets. No shells. Just nonstop running for two hours.

  6. Paul Honda July 14, 2020 1:40 pm

    The four-time defending Open Division state champions deserve coverage. All 50 or so kids there did. But two of these three Crusaders haven’t been interviewed by us before, and one of them (Purcell) was interviewed just once at a GPA Combine two years ago.
    I’ve interviewed thousands of student-athletes over the past three decades. Some are defending champions. Some aren’t. Given a limited time frame, I usually ask for the champs. There’s always another opportunity to interview more student-athletes in the future.
    Did you have someone else in mind?

  7. Nalei11 July 14, 2020 4:30 pm

    EVERY school is doing the same thing. Yes f anyone can HONESTLY say their school is not practicing and/or training is a lie.

  8. dahitman July 14, 2020 9:47 pm

    The four-time defending State Champions working hard for a fifth. The offseason is where Championships are earned.

    “the will to win is important, but the will to prepare to win is what separates those who wish and dream from those who make it happen”

  9. 96730to89 July 14, 2020 11:07 pm

    Mahalo for the story, Mr. Honda.
    The hate comments are probably more jealousy and/or envy than anything else. I’m not a Crusader. In fact I was raised as a Crusader rival, but this is what separates the goods from greats and the greats from the extraordinary. Keep working hard young folks.

  10. MiliLouis July 15, 2020 7:07 am

    I wasn’t referring to this particular practice in the article (re: use of helmets & shells).

    However, offseason workouts is definately a must.

  11. SASA July 15, 2020 8:02 am

    What do HATERS do ? They HATE, they can be doing several things that are more productive,but yet they on this blog HATING on the SAINTS (kids that are working hard on a weekend to better themselves by choice)
    Mr. Paul Honda can interview who ever he wants what ever he wants, that’s his job. So when you become a reporter, you too can do what ever or who ever you want to interview. Besides it is more interesting to interview the Champs, to see what are they doing to prepare, hard work and discipline etc. NOT some Joe Blow Wanna Be. Stop HATING on the kids, it is not what we need right now. Appreciate, Love, Care, Praise them.

  12. ILoveHawaii July 15, 2020 8:22 am

    I have heard that there is a group that works out at Kakaako and sometimes at Ala Moana which is led by a St. Louis Coach.

    It is open for all, but, there are many crusaders that participate. Is this still good or a violation??

    Asking for a friend.

  13. READ July 18, 2020 3:17 pm

    SASA READ the comments, nobody hating on the kids. Paul Honda doesn’t “own” the newspaper, he a reporter. I have nothing against STL football but there has got to be more interesting and in-depth stories out there. A lot of talented players don’t play for STL. Why not see what there up to or how their training is going? Not that this site is going to win a journalism award or anything.

  14. jim July 21, 2020 9:44 am

    If the local high schools are contemplating postponing certain “high level contact” sports to the spring, why can’t the powers to be reschedule the lesser “high level contact” sports to the fall. Sports such as baseball, softball, tennis, golf, etc. can be moved up to the fall instead of the spring. I don’t think there is a policy that requires certain sports be held during certain times of the year. Just wondering?

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