SPRING-ing into FB: Saint Louis Crusaders

Saint Louis' Ronson Young, shown running after a reception against Kahuku, is back for his senior season. Jamm Aquino / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
Saint Louis’ Ronson Young, shown running after a reception against Kahuku, is back for his senior season. Jamm Aquino / Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Next: Waipahu Marauders


>> 2015 record and finish: 9-2 (5-1 ILH D-I); defeated Punahou 27-23 in ILH championship game; defeated Mililani 56-30 in D-I state tournament semifinals; lost 39-14 to Kahuku in D-I state tournament final
>> Number of returning starters: 7 (3 offense, 4 defense)
>> Number of returning seniors: 24
>> Number of starters lost to graduation: 15
>> Number of seniors lost to graduation: 26
>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections lost to graduation: Nate Herbig (first-team OL), Tytus Timoteo (second-team OL), Tanielu Evaimalu (second-team DE), Ronson TImbreza (second-team CB), Drew Kobayashi (third-team REC), Jordan Iosefa (third-team LB)
>> Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State selections returning: Tua Tagovailoa (first-team QB), Isaac Slade-Matautia (second-team LB), Jalen Saole (second-team S), Dylan Toilolo (third-team LB)
>> ILH D-I All-Stars lost to graduation: Nate Herbig (first-team OL), Tytus Timoteo (first-team OL), Drew Kobayashi (first-team REC), Tanielu Evaimalu (first-team DL), Jordan Iosefa (first-team LB), Ronson Timbreza (first-team DB), Aperaamo Augafa (second-team OL), Aaron Miller (second-team OL), Saitaua Lefau (second-team RB), Samuela Mafua (second-team OL)
>> ILH D-I All-Stars returning: Isaac Slade-Matautia (first-team LB), Jalen Saole (first-team DB), Leelan Oasay (second-team REC), Ronson Young (second-team REC), Jimmy Gonsalves (second-team RB), Dylan Toilolo (second-team LB), Iosefo Noga (second-team DB)
>> Among 2016 key offensive returnees: Tua Tagovailoa (QB, Sr.); Michael Minihan (OL, Sr.), Leelan Oasay (SB, Sr.), Jacob Russell (OL, Sr.), Ronson Young (WR, Sr.)
>> Among 2016 key defensive returnees: Isaac Slade-Matautia (LB, Sr.), Jalen Saole (CB, Sr.), Noa Purcell (LB, Jr.), Isaiah Tufaga (SS, Jr.), Dylan Toilolo (LB, Jr.)
>> Crusaders with Division I FBS college offers: Tua Tagovailoa (QB, Sr.), Isaac Slade-Matautia (LB, Sr.), Michael Minihan (OL, Sr.), Isaiah Tufaga (LB, Jr.), Faatui Tuitele (DL, So.)
>> All-time state championships: 3 (all D-I — 1999, 2002, 2010)
>> All-time Prep Bowl (1973-1998) championships: 14 (all D-I — 1983, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998)
>> All-time ILH championships: 34 (all D-I — 1925, 1930, 1941, 1942, 1945, 1949, 1966, 1967, 1970, 1973, 1981, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2015)
>> 2016 conference: ILH D-I

Head coach CAL LEE on the Crusaders’ outlook for 2016:

“The first day with helmets will be July 18, so we’ll get that going then. Things are going pretty good. Our first preseason game is Aug. 6 with Mililani, then our first league game is Sept. 2 with ‘Iolani. We’re ready to go and it won’t be long before football season starts.

“Everybody is pretty much excited. When the season ended in November, the kids had time to reflect on this coming season as far as what they have to do — offseason conditioning, offseason weight training for those not involved with other sports.

“For spring ball, I always think there’s a really bad ILH rule. They give you five days of spring ball. Is somebody against football? For baseball, basketball and track and other sports, it’s year-round and as soon as the season is over, you can play the same sport somewhere else. For football, they really watch football. If a guy wants to get better, they have to do it on their own or go to camp, that kind of stuff. I just don’t see it. I brought it up to the league. In those five days, you can’t do anything with the kids. On other days, if you try to teach them, that’s against the law.

“Another rule I don’t like is football players not being able to play for another team in the offseason. If you are a seventh-grader and are on our intermediate team and you’re not even seeing game action, you can’t go and play in the Big Boyz league after our season or you will sit out next season. That really hurts. They do this to kids that don’t even play a down in intermediate. Why?

“We are approaching this year the same as any other year. We came close (state D-I runner-up) so, like in any year, that means we’ve got to get better. We’ve got to get in shape, stay in shape, get bigger, faster and stronger the best you can. As coaches, you do whatever you can do to get better, work harder, teach better. Everything’s gotta be better. We’re not looking for a C-minus. We’re looking for an A. We’ve got to find out what you did right and that is great, but also what we didn’t do well and improve whatever it is.

“We’ve got to work on three phases of the game. It doesn’t matter (too much what we did last year). This is a new group, new kids. It would help to get all 11 guys back, but sometimes you don’t have 11 back.

“Last year (losing 39-14 to Kahuku in the D-I state title game), you’ve got to blame the coaches and I’m the head coach. I’ve gotta do better job in getting the (players) to play better and getting them prepared better.

“(As for the loss to Kahuku), in our league, and nothing against our league, we throw the ball a little more, so when you come against a team that runs the ball a little more, it’s a little different. Everybody could see that. We’ve got to be more physical and prepare the players to be more physical. When you throw the ball, it’s almost like a pass league. When you run, it’s more smash mouth. We’ve got to prepare for teams that are going to run ball. If you don’t stop the run, you’ve got problems. We are conscious of that and we will make sure we do that.

“You’ve gotta give them (Kahuku) credit. Somebody’s gotta lose. The winner gets all the accolades. They played good defensive football. You can’t win if you can’t score. It’s right there in black and white. If you don’t block, if you don’t catch, if you turn over the ball eight or nine times, you gotta take care of that stuff. We preach that.

“Are they ready? We’ll make sure they’ll be ready. You do things by steps. We’re not going to play a championship game on Aug. 6 (against Mililani). Play that first game as a team and go on. Grow as a team and move on and on. And in that first game against Mililani, we will be tested because they’re balanced. They can play either the run or the pass.”

2016 Saint Louis football schedule
>> July 28: at Kailua (scrimmage only)
>> July 30: Campbell (scrimmage only)
>> Aug. 6: at Mililani
>> Aug. 20: at Hilo
>> Aug. 27: Waipahu (scrimmage only)
>> Sept. 2: vs. ‘Iolani, at Aloha Stadium
>> Sept. 9: vs. Punahou, at Aloha Stadium
>> Sept. 17: vs. Kamehameha, at Aloha Stadium
>> Sept. 23: at ‘Iolani
>> Sept. 29: vs. Punahou, at Aloha Stadium
>> Oct. 7: vs. Kamehameha, at Aloha Stadium

2016 Saint Louis varsity football staff
>> Head coach: Cal Lee (253-38-5, 24th season)
>> Offensive coordinator: Ron Lee
>> Quarterbacks: Vince Passas
>> Slotbacks: Lee Boyd
>> Slotbacks: Logan Nakamura
>> Wide receivers: Gerald Welch
>> Running backs: Tupu Alualu
>> Offensive line: Robert Crowell
>> Offensive line: James Hall
>> Defensive coordinator and linebackers: Frank Pahia
>> Defensive line: Nainoa Campbell
>> Defensive line: Shawn Kalima
>> Defensive backs: Wes Tufaga
>> Defensive backs: Keone Batoon
>> Linebackers: Sam Taulea
>> Linebackers: Shawn Pacheco
>> Linebackers: Gary Graham


  1. 88 July 9, 2016 3:03 pm

    Spot on coach! Everyone wanna play hero ball with that spread offense and score 60pts a game. It looks nice….until you run into a team that plays defense.

  2. Mahatma Gandhi July 9, 2016 7:01 pm

    How many outer island recruits on the St Louis team this year? Last year had Drew Kobayashi, Luca Vartic, Tristan Nichols, Nate Herbig….
    I remember when Vince dos Passos was the starting QB for St Louis at the old Honolulu Stadium in Moiliili. Long time football assistant at St Louis. Total take charge coach at practice.

  3. Mahatma Gandhi July 9, 2016 7:06 pm

    Had to be humiliating for St Louis to lose to Kahuku last year. Anytime you come in as the favorite but lose big, it’s humiliating. I bet St Loiuis wants Kahuku again this year in the state championship football game.

  4. anywaaaays!! July 10, 2016 12:21 pm

    I have a feeling the Saints will make it out of the ILH again this year.

  5. 808warriorfan July 10, 2016 12:43 pm

    They got as much coaches as Punahou

  6. Northshore July 10, 2016 3:05 pm

    It’s unfortunate to hear that Cal Lee doesn’t like the ruling about not allowing his seventh grader, who plays for his intermediate football team not allowed to play on the “Big Boyz” league after their season is over…and the consequence; must sit out the next school football season. Kids (12,13,14) are allowed to participate in Pop Warner (age and weight restrictions), Intermediate football (ILH only), or Youth Football (Big Boyz no weight restrictions). There are a lot of kids that are in the age bracket (12,13,14) that are not allowed to play in Pop Warner because of being over the weight limit and in the OIA, no sanctioned intermediate football is available. Youth Football (Big Boyz) have allowed the OIA kids that are over the weight limit an opportunity to participate in their season of football. Shouldn’t playing in one sanctioned football league per season be enough for a kid to participate in or does Lee want an over kill for his future players? “If something is good or acceptable for one person it is therefore good or acceptable for another person.” Because his thinking doesn’t apply to every seventh grader in the state, the ruling that he thinks should be changed should continued to be enforced. Can’t make an exception for only his seventh grader.

  7. Mahatma Gandhi July 10, 2016 5:22 pm

    No kids should play football year round. Too much banging of the head. Even pros limit contact in off-season.

  8. Mahatma Gandhi July 10, 2016 5:26 pm

    808warrior, why so many coaches on the St Louis staff? Punahou too. When I played late 1970s, we had 5 coaches total. That was it. 1 OL coach. 1 backs/receivers coach. 1 DL/LB coach. One DB coach and the head coach who oversaw everything.

  9. Northshore July 10, 2016 8:01 pm

    Mahatma Gandhi: Why does Punahou and St Louis have so many coaches (17)? Who knows and who cares. Maybe the players require constant coaching, one on one or they want to look impressive with the number of coaches on the field. At times, too many coaches may cause animosity amongst the coaching staff because one or two would try to run the whole show his way and others will say nothing especially when they use verbal instructions instead of showing the proper technique and execution. It’s quite easy to tell but some don’t have the ability to take the time to explain and walk through the techniques such as, running routes, blocking, tackling, pursuit, pass routes, one on one coverage, stunting, blitzing, special teams and etc. Hey, the more coaches the better for them, they’ll need all the help to be successful, just to beat the OIA teams.

  10. oia#1 July 11, 2016 8:49 am

    NS he said that because some of the kids dont get to see any action, so they can get experience in outside leagues. Also oia kids play big boiz football too so there is an advantage. Mahatma theres kids from all over the state especially from waianae side.

  11. Northshore July 11, 2016 1:55 pm

    OIA#1: If a seventh grader on the ILH intermediate team warms the bench, would you think that he will gain experience by playing in the “Big Boyz” league? I don’t think so! Be great to see Lee’s intermediate team challenge the “Laie Park”Big Boyz team. It’s unfortunate that the two leagues are played in different months of the year. There’s no advantage for the OIA kids playing in the Big Boyz league since the ILH has an intermediate football league.

  12. bumbuchas July 12, 2016 9:21 am

    nothing worse then 1 who calls himself a coach but is not there at every practice but is there definitely for the game. People laugh at these part time coaches.

  13. bumbuchas July 12, 2016 9:37 am

    If the OIA had any long range vision and stop making excuses, they would have implemented a middle school/freshman program at all OIA schools. That would allow them to impact the student-athletes earlier in their lives and help provide structure, guidance, discipline for them. On the athletics side, it would streamline their respective schools with a true program running from middle school, JV, Varsity teams., all running the same overall program. The ILH, mainland schools have been doing this since the Dark Ages. The OIA ran an experimental middle school FB program at Nanakuli, Waianae, and 3 more schools which ended last year? 2 years ago? It was hoped that it would open the OIA eyes to the benefits but…… excuses, excuses, excuses. The concerns of those intermediate age FB players playing year round, w/no academic monitoring, would be addressed. There are enough hand me down equipment, uniforms from the respective high schools to field an intermediate team.

  14. bumbuchas July 12, 2016 9:39 am

    wouldnt need Big Boyzs league

  15. Northshore July 12, 2016 10:05 am

    Bumbuchas: Your comments are well taken and the middle/freshmen football program has been sanctioned for years in the mainland and ILH. It’s an excellent program to have in the OIA but excuses are not the main cause of not having it implemented. It’s all about “funding” a public school sports program. Private schools are able to fund such program not only for one sport (football) but other sports and that includes girls sports….equality in sports for both gender. To try and play with hand me down equipment…broken, frail, improper size, fixer uppers are unsafe for any athlete to be using especially in football. The youth football program “Big Boyz” is just as effective as the middle school ILH football program although the Big Boyz are funded primarily by the parents.

  16. bumbuchas July 12, 2016 10:45 am

    pt well taken North Shore, hand me down equipment would not be that which is not safe but as we know; still usable but not the best in the market. Plus, there are some schools that either their inventory can support a team or have funds to do so. The middle schools should be contributing too as it’s their kids and will reap the benefits of improved academics, discipline, campus control, attendance, etc. For gender equity, there are less costly sports; GVB, GB-Ball, etc. to equate the numbers. The OIA is missing the boat. Big Boyzs is a good venue but costly ($450? you might know better), not under the DOE’s control in terms of compliance, academic monitoring, etc. Robert Falefine has done a marvelous job of organizing, coordinating, soliciting donations and support of labor unions. The venue they put on in January involving 2 Oahu teams, Samoa and a mainland team and televised too! was outstanding. The one knock, on that is that they used underclassmen which is a big no no, got some of the participating high school coaches in very hot water! Maybe Robert F. can volunteer to oversee the transition of
    Big Boyzs program to High School Freshman teams and program. He probably do a better job then Ray Fujino who has no FB background but is a Baller.

  17. Northshore July 12, 2016 11:35 am

    bumbuchas: Big Boyz program won’t be able to transition into OIA high school freshman program. Freshmen are already playing in the JV OIA program. the Big Boyz program was created so that 12,13,14 year old kids that were ineligible to participate in Pop Warner because of their weight restrictions were able to play in the Big Boyz…no weight restrictions.

  18. anywaaaays!! July 12, 2016 12:18 pm

    Big Boyz is a Club free from any OIA/ DOE administrative Buluseki!

    Club fees for VB/Soccer/Baseball etc. are expensive too! $500 and up so $475 for bigboyz is normal. In fact it helps to weed out the drama kids/parents who are not serious about the sport, we dont need egotistical low-lifes expecting a hand-out, The higher the fee the more you are going to respect the club and not waste everyones time. Thats the idea behind all club sports, the alternative is AYSO.

    If im not mistaken didnt the BigBoyz league start in Laie? They have the most participating teams and that league is their baby so it would be pretty hard to create a competing league and convince the Laie crowd to switch over.

  19. Bigg Sarge August 3, 2016 4:10 pm

    Please stop with the Big Boyz non-sense. Its Junior Prep Sports or JPS. This league is formed up by Individual Owned Teams across Oahu with No Weight Restrictions.. And no its not 450-500. My son plays for the Ewa Beach Sabers, so our fees are about $200 per season. JPS was formed on the premise of having these “Big Boys” who cant make the Pop Warner weight play football. It eventually grew into Organization that is truly putting out the best Players Hawaii has seen in years. Tua, Taulia, Sol Jay, Isaac, Challen, Vavae, Haskell Garrett, Palaie Gaoteote and many more All-Stars are JPS bred and where they made their marks. Look at Punahou and St Louis Rosters and they have a bunch of JPS All Stars on their rosters. Kahuku, Kapolei, Campbell, Punahou and St Louis have benefitted from this League. So now the OIA are truly benefitting from JPS because they don’t have to sit out their Freshmen year. Ewa Beach Sabers just sent 2 Varsity, 5 JV Players to Kapolei and 3 Varsity and 6 JV Players to Campbell all of them will be incoming Freshmens. Now the fight is between the 4 Westside schools on getting the JPS players into their schools.

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