Close this search box.

FOCUS ON FOOTBALL: Work Continues Behind The Scenes For Saint Louis And PAC-5


Football closed up shop for the season in November, but in this day and age, high school football stories can come in any month.

In today’s Focus On Football column, we give you an update on two ILH programs.


A catch-all place for the sights
and sounds, impressions and overheard
things from our colorful
world of football


1) Saint Louis Crusaders

Not long after the 2022 season ended, Bedrock Sports Hawaii gave Cal Lee a call.

The reason? To check up on the health of the Saint Louis football program.

For the Crusaders, who have slipped the last two seasons after winning four Open state championships from 2016 through 2019 (before the canceled season of 2020), the question has been raised a bunch by pockets of fans — what happened?

After so many years of success, the combined record for Saint Louis the last two season is 10-9. Who would have thunk?

One easy answer for the downward movement is that the Crusaders’ two main rivals, Kahuku and Punahou, improved by leaps and bounds during the height of the pandemic and it showed on the field.

There have also been rumors that Saint Louis is not giving as many scholarships to football players as it used to. However, that line of thinking, according to Lee, is not true.

Lee has never been one to make excuses for any reason, and if one happens to slip out, he will immediately say, “But that’s not really an excuse.”

Now an assistant under brother Ron Lee after masterminding the dynasty that brought 14 Prep Bowl titles and seven state championships to the campus, Lee is well aware of one possible factor that contributed to the less-than-stellar season — the loss of a handful of stars via transfer. And as already noted, he will not use that as an excuse.

Although Lee didn’t have an exact answer as to why those players left, he did say he has spotted a trend — that parents these days are much quicker than they used to be to move their kids from school to school, for, say, not getting enough playing time or other things they may be unhappy with.

The following did not come from Lee, but another possibility is that the strain of the pandemic made it so staying at a private school was not possible for the kids of some parents. The fact that many parents began working from home and were not traveling to town could be another reason.

But Lee maintains that the school’s football health is good and that the Crusaders are gearing up for next season just like in any other year with the intention of going all the way, if possible.

2) PAC-5 Wolfpack

Not long after the 2022 season ended, Bedrock Sports Hawaii gave Peter Estomago a call.

The reason? To check up with the athletic director on the health of the PAC-5 football program.

There are some fans out there who believe  that the Wolfpack football program is on its last legs.

Not so, says Estomago.

Everyone knows it’s a real challenge every single year for PAC-5 to put together a team of players from a bunch of different ILH private schools, and the difficulty factor has only been tougher in the last few seasons. Mid-Pacific, the previous largest feeder school, no longer sends its players over. Also, the pandemic-related social distancing was far from ideal in putting players from different schools around the island all in in one place for practices and games.

And, for sure, putting together a roster large enough to compete will be a challenge again next year.

On the bright side, there were 45 players on the roster last fall, and the fact that the Wolfpack made their first state tournament appearance is something to build on.

Estomago and coach Kena Heffernan will continue their efforts to bring in players from the various schools, with help from the respective athletic directors.

Sure, there is always the chance that the roster numbers fall and the Wolfpack’s survival as a program will be in jeopardy.

Bottom line, though, Estomago, believes there’s enough momentum to keep things rolling.



>> Kamehameha Boys And Moanalua Girls Rise To Wrestling Championships At Moanalua Duals

Bedrock Sports Hawaii Stories Emailed To Your Inbox:

Bedrock's YouTube Channel: