Nine months after returning to the Hawaii high school football mountain top, the reigning Open Division state champions of Saint Louis will begin defense of their Koa Trophy.
This weekend, the first of the 808 prep schedule, the Crusaders will take on Waianae in a rematch of 2016’s Open Division semifinal.
Saint Louis coach and living legend Cal Lee enters his 25th-season on Waialae Avenue.
“Well, I think we want to be tested and Waianae will surely give us a good test for the first game, and then you can evaluate and look at the personnel and see what we can do to get better.” Lee said.
Saint Louis brings high expectations following Lee’s 18th championship at the school, with University of Hawaii verbal committ Chevan Cordeiro as the heir-apparent to quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. The 2016 Cover2 Marcus Mariota player of the year is now a freshman at Alabama.
“Everyday we come out here and just work hard and having that target on our back just makes everything extra.” slotback Tosh Kekahuna-Kalawe said.
“You got to work harder every play. Every move, every catch counts, so, everything.”
Lee added, “You know, what happened last year is over. We just got to work hard and get better for the season, it’s really no pressure as far as that is concerned. We just got to work hard.”
The Red Reign is wasting no time to be tested as the Crusaders draw a loaded Seariders team in week one, looking for pay-back after a season ending 35-point loss in the state championship tournament semifinals a season ago.
“Waianae always come out. They come out to bang, they come out to play, they have that rugged mentality and that’s what we have here too, so it should be a good showdown” said linebacker Isaiah Tufaga.
“Coming into summer practices that’s been the mindset, just defend the Koa (trophy) and represent the team well, the alumni, everybody, the coaches, and just trust what they install in us.”
Kickoff between the Seariders and Crusaders is set for 6:30pm on Saturday at Raymond Torii Field.
HAWAII HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SCHEDULE – WEEK 1
Friday, August 4
Kalaheo @ KS-Maui
Kapolei @ Campbell
Kamehameha # Farrington
Waipahu @ Nanakuli
Punahou vs. Moanalua
7:00pm @ Radford
Saturday, August 5
Kapaa @ Maui
7:00pm @ War Memorial
Damien @ Castle
Pac-5 vs. McKinley
6:00pm @ Farrington
Lahainaluna @ Pearl City
Saint Louis @ Waianae
Saint Francis @ Leilehua
KS-Hawaii @ Kauai
KICKOFF to Season 5 of Cover2 Hawaii High School Football Weekly is Thursday, August 31st at 9:30pm on KHON2