An Amazing May For Saint Louis
When the Saint Louis Crusaders beat Mililani to win the Hawaii High School Athletic Association Division I baseball championship, it was the end of a long drought. Not since 1974 had the ILH athletic powerhouse in so many sports earned a state high school baseball crown.
“Forty years is a long time,” says Saint Louis School head baseball coach George “Gus” Gusman.
The Crusaders, who started the tournament unseeded, beat their four opponents by a combined score of 28-1, including 10-0 in the title game.
“Everyone associated with the school is so excited, and our alumni are ecstatic,” Gusman adds. “We can talk about the old days again.”
The Crusaders’ baseball victory earned the school a great deal of positive accolades, especially since it was witnessed by a huge crowd at Les Murakami Stadium and a statewide television audience.
“For us to play well and peak at the right time meant so much. It’s exciting for our school,” Gusman says.
But Gusman and many others associated with Saint Louis are just as proud of what happened next for three members of the state championship team. You see, another state title was also on the line the day after the Friday night baseball championship.
On Saturday, it was time for the annual Malia Craven Hula Kahiko Competition at Kekuhaupi’o Gymnasium on the campus of Kamehameha Schools. Pitchers Jacob Mori and Chase Meilleur and catcher Korrey Sircusa were part of the Saint Louis team that competed in the high school Kane Division under the guidance of Kumu Keli’i Puchalski.
“It was a very demanding time for them,” Gusman says. “Not only were we in the state tournament, but it also was the week of finals. (During this time period), they would be in finals until about noon, then go to hula practice until about 3 or 4, and then go the state tournament. It was very, very challenging.”
But the Crusader kane were up to that challenge. Dancing and chanting strongly and expressively, the Saint Louis halau impressed the judges so much that they not only won first place in the High School Kane Division, but also the First Place Overall trophy.
For Mori, Meilleur and Sircusa, it meant huge celebrations on back-to-back days.
For the Saint Louis community, it meant even more.
“We really celebrate the uniqueness of our young men and their ability to come together to showcase the many talents we have here at Saint Louis,” says principal Martha Evans.
And for Gusman, a former Crusader outfielder who graduated from the school in 1969, the diverse achievement made him smile.
“Not all of these boys are necessarily of Hawaiian background, so for them to embrace that culture is just fantastic,” he says. “It proves that we are not just about athletics or academics, but we also can be champions on the cultural side.”
For the young men of Saint Louis School, as well as for their parents, teachers and coaches, May 2014 will live in their memories for all time.