Crusaders ready,By Pat Bigold and Rod Ohira
Suspensions for 20 to 25 St. Louis School football players will remain in effect Saturday afternoon as the Crusaders play their first game in two weeks.
St. Louis (3-1), recently dropped from two national polls but still in defense of the Interscholastic League of Honolulu championship, will face Pac-Five at Iolani School at 3 p.m.
"There'll be game suspensions but I don't have numbers," said Crusaders head coach Cal Lee.
"But we're not going to lose a step, there's always someone else. We prepare for things like ineligibilities, injuries and sickness."
St. Louis' program was placed on a four-day suspension by school president Rev. Mario Pariante after an undetermined number of players trashed rooms in a Las Vegas hotel, engaged in a rowdy beer-drinking party and hired one or more strippers to entertain them.
The suspension of football activities last weekend made it necessary for St. Louis to forfeit a game against Kamehameha. That loss dropped the Crusaders from the USA Today "Super 25," where they were ranked No. 14, and the National Prep Football Poll, where they had reached No. 6 in the nation.
The forfeiture also puts Kamehameha in position to capture the first-round league title with a win tomorrow over Punahou at Aloha Stadium. St. Louis would be tied if it wins against Pac-Five but the forfeiture would tip the scales for Kamehameha.
Pariante, now on the mainland, and Lee have refused to say how many players are suspended, nor will they say how long the suspension will last.
Lee, who has admitted leaving the World Trade Center Hotel to visit The Strip at about the time security officials said the players partied, said he accepts responsibility for the incident.
"I told (the school president, the Rev. Mario Pariante) if he felt I should resign, I would. But he said no," Lee said.
"But I'm aware now of what I have to do if we ever go on another trip. The first thing is I would remind them about what they can and can't do and assign an adult to every kid."
No explanation has ever been offered for why coaches and chaperones, whose rooms were on the same two floors as the players, were not aware of the party. A night security guard and the hotel night auditor have told the paper that "many" complaints were received from guests about the noise.
Pariante told the Star-Bulletin that its unlikely he'll ever allow another St. Louis team to visit Las Vegas. A school varsity wrestling team trip was recently cancelled for the holidays.
Against Pac-Five, St. Louis faces a formidable quarterback. Paulo Futi, who has thrown for 1,256 yards and 10 touchdowns. He has the top three receivers in the ILH in terms of yardage.
St. Louis' Timmy Chang has thrown for 12 touchdowns in the three games he has played and has 715 passing yards.
In tomorrow's ILH doubleheader at Aloha Stadium, Iolani running back Joe Igber, in pursuit of the state career rushing record, will face the defense of Damien at 5 p.m.
Igber needs 189 yards to tie former Kahuku High star Mark Atuaia's record of 3,404 yards.
Kamehameha, with a chance to take the league's first-round title, plays Punahou at 7:45.
RANKED RED RAIDERS PLAY: The nationally ranked Kahuku football team (5-0) will try to wrap up an undefeated season in the Oahu Interscholastic Association Red Conference as it takes on Waipahu tomorrow at home.
Kahuku head coach Siuaki Livai said he's glad that his team's accession to USA Today's "Super 25" came during homecoming week.
"That means the kids have other things to think about," said Livai, who didn't want the Red Raiders to dwell on the ranking.
Kahuku became the first Hawaii public school ever to be nationally ranked in football.
"We're emphasizing to them that they have to play differently because they're under a microscope," he said. "We have to cut down on the penalties, watch our behavior and win the game in the classroom."
Livai said that against Waipahu (1-3), he expects "anything and everything."
But because the Marauders have only 158 rushing yards this year, compared with 636 passing yards (114 more than Kahuku), Livai said he expects to face an aerial assault.
"That's good though, because we need to face some passing," he said.
Kahuku's ground attack has 1,593 yards in five games.
ILHW L T PF PA Kamehameha 3 1 0 122 54 St. Louis 3 1 0 184 39 Iolani 2 2 0 128 145 Punahou 2 2 0 92 129 Damien 1 3 0 38 143 Pac-Five 1 3 0 82 136Tomorrow's games
Damien vs. Iolani, 5 p.m.; Punahou vs. Kamehameha, 7:45 p.m., Aloha Stadium.
Pac-Five vs. St. Louis at Iolani, 3 p.m.
OIA RedW L T PF PA Kahuku 5 0 0 239 32 Waianae 3 1 0 116 95 Farrington 2 2 1 31 84 McKinley 2 2 0 121 87 Waipahu 1 3 0 53 116 Leilehua 1 3 0 18 96 Campbell 0 3 1 19 87
OIA WhiteW L T PF PA Kailua 5 0 0 172 46 Castle 3 1 0 94 91 Mililani 3 2 0 111 73 Roosevelt 2 2 0 74 85 Moanalua 2 2 0 60 82 Kaiser 0 4 0 26 112 Nanakuli 0 4 0 57 105
OIA BlueW L T PF PA Kaimuki 5 0 0 143 45 Kalaheo 3 1 0 117 35 Radford 3 1 0 90 39 Aiea 2 2 0 72 61 Pearl City 1 3 0 46 57 Kalani 1 4 0 27 117 Waialua 0 4 0 6 147Tomorrow's games
Waipahu at Kahuku, Waianae at Campbell. Kaiser at Nanakuli, Roosevelt at Castle, Kaimuki vs. Pearl City at Roosevelt, Kalaheo at Waialua, Radford at Aiea, 7:30 p.m..
McKinley vs. Leilehua, 7:30 p.m., Aloha Stadium