Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Cal Lee back to work at St. Louis

Cal Lee was, in his own words, a bit tired by Friday night. When afternoon practice finished around 6 p.m., the iconic football coach had been on the field nine hours.

His brother, offensive coordinator Ron Lee, had done the same. The tanline on his face, with his sunglasses removed, told the story. He was on campus by 7 a.m. to study film of the Saint Louis-Kapolei scrimmage, which was played on Wednesday.

Exhausted? Maybe. But they both love it. Winning right away would be nice, but the Lees are steadfast about developing character, and that starts with discipline on and off the field.

"Everything they do, it makes sense. The players buy into it. They're learning. For some of them, it's going to help them to the next level. They're learning things they'll be learning at college," Cal Lee said.

Cal Lee hasn't lost a bit of his passion for teaching defensive football. Since guiding Saint Louis to 14 Prep Bowl championships and one state crown (1999), Hawaii's iconic head coach has been part of UH's glory years and even the arena football Hawaiian Islanders. Now he and brother Ron are back with the Crusaders.

"It feels good to be back," said Cal Lee, whose penchant for defensive excellence has never ceased.

For now, Saint Louis isn't deep on that side of the ball and probably won't be until the new crop of players and transfers are eligible for ILH varsity play next year. (Freshman are not permitted to play varsity football in the ILH.)

That puts the onus on the offense, which is just fine by quarterback Ryder Kuhns and wide receiver Drew Kobayashi. They're full of smiles this preseason with Ron Lee's wide-open four-wide attack in full gear.

"We're coming out flinging. What quarterback wouldn't be happy? Handing the ball off? What quarterback, and receivers, they'd rather block and stick their nose in someone's forearm? No way. They want to catch the ball and go," Ron Lee said.

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