The spring 2021 California high school football season kicked off last week with several high profile matchups, including Folsom’s 23-18 win over Oak Ridge in the Sac-Joaquin Section.
In the San Diego Section, Cathedral Catholic was impressive in its 41-0 shutout of Torrey Pines, and St. Augustine turned some heads with a 21-13 upset of Helix.
All of those games had an impact on this week’s statewide Top 25 rankings, which you can view below. The rankings were compiled by SBLive California reporter Connor Morrissette and will be released every Monday throughout the season.
SBLive California is shining a spotlight on the top football teams and players in the state throughout the 2021 spring high school football season. You can find all of our high school football coverage here. And you can download the new SBLive Sports iPhone app here, and you can download the new SBLive Sports Android app here.
SBLIVE CALIFORNIA TOP 25 FOOTBALL RANKINGS
March 15, 2021
1. St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) (1-0)
Last week: 1
Juniors Katin Houser and Rayshon Luke impressed in St. John Bosco’s season opening 42-21 win over No. 7 Sierra Canyon on Saturday night.
2. Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) (0-0)
Last week: 2
Mater Dei is in a similar position to St. John Bosco heading into their 2021 spring opener against No. 20 JSerra: they have to replace their legendary quarterback from 2019 as well now that Bryce Young is at Alabama. Junior Emmett Brown, sophomore Parker Awad and freshman Elijah Brown are all competing at the QB spot. The Monarchs will run the ball more this spring with Marceese Yetts and stud junior Raleek Brown. Head coach Bruce Rollinson is very excited about Brown, an Oklahoma commit.
Mater Dei has the best secondary and receiving corps in California led by 2021 wideout Kyron Ware-Hudson and 2022 cornerback Domani Jackson, both USC commits (Ware-Hudson is signed). If the Monarchs get solid quarterback play, they will find themselves in familiar territory once again, atop the Trinity League.
3. De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) (1-0)
Last week: 3
De La Salle survived somewhat of a scare to beat No. 24 St. Mary’s 35-27 and extend their Northern California winning streak to 311 games.
4. Servite (Anaheim, Calif.) (1-0)
Last week: 4
Servite dominated Damien in their season opener, winning 42-6. The Friars have the best passing attack in California led by 2022 QB Noah Fifita.
5. Mission Viejo (0-0)
Last week: 6
Mission Viejo was supposed to play La Habra last week but the game was canceled due to a positive COVID-19 test in the Diablo program. Below is last week’s ranking rationale for Mission Viejo who has been cleared to play this week against Trabuco Hills:
The bad news for the Diablos is last year’s quarterback Peter Costelli and star offensive lineman JT Hand have enrolled early at Utah and Arizona respectively this spring and won’t play. Head coach Chad Johnson managed to hang on to defensive end Easton Mascarenas (Oregon State signee) and wide receiver Mavin Anderson (Cal signee) though. Sophomore quarterback Kadin Semonza will replace Costelli under center and should excel. He’s part of a special sophomore class at Mission Viejo.
6. Serra (San Mateo, Calif.)
Last week: 7
After starting six games under center a year ago due to Daylin McLemore (now at Arizona State) picking up an injury, junior Dominique Lampkin is ready for the spotlight this spring.
“Our identity is a tough, hardworking and dedicated team,” he told SBLive. “The thing that makes Serra football special is the brotherhood at our school. We work together as a team and go hard in everything we do.”
Serra opens its season this week on the road against No. 21 Valley Christian.
7. Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) (0-1)
Last week: 8
Sierra Canyon fell to No. 1 St. John Bosco 42-21 in their opener, but showed enough promise to move to No. 7. DJ Harvey caught a TD in the game and made plays on defense as well as special teams.
8. Corona Centennial (Corona, Calif.) (0-0)
Last week: 5
Senior Jake Retzlaff will start at quarterback when he’s healthy after splitting time under center a year ago and should have a huge season for Cen10, who begins its season Thursday against King. Retzlaff picked up an injury in club football and won’t be cleared to play in the Huskies opener, so sophomore QB’s Isreal Carter and Carson Conklin will play.
Jaden Mickey and Calvin Pitcher will lead the Huskies’ secondary. Head coach Matt Logan will have another great team this spring following last season’s Division 1 semifinal appearance. Corona Centennial will only play league games, so expect some ugly scores.
9. Alemany (Mission Hills, Calif.) (0-0)
Last week: 10
Quarterback Miller Moss transferred to Mater Dei and then came back to Alemany – then enrolled early at USC. So junior Dylan Gebbia will lead the Warriors at QB this spring. He’ll have plenty of talent around him in 2022 receiver Kevin Green and 2022 running back Floyd Chalk. Alemany is the preseason favorite in the Mission League.
10. Cathedral Catholic (San Diego, Calif.) (1-0)
Last week: 16
The Dons return six starters on offense and seven on defense. Those returners had a major impact in Cathedral Catholic’s 41-0 demolition of Torrey Pines over the weekend.
Last week: 25
Just as Folsom head coach Paul Doherty predicted, Folsom was ready to play in their season opening 23-18 win over No. 25 Oak Ridge.
“When we get the chance to play, we’ll be ready to roll,” he told SBLive in December. “Credit to the kids and coaches.”
Junior quarterback Tyler Tremain impressed in his debut. He’s a player to watch this spring.
12. Bishop Amat (La Puente, Calif.) (0-0)
Last week: 12
Last year’s starting quarterback Tobin O’Dell is back this spring for Bishop Amat. Returning the starting QB is a luxury not many of the top California high school football teams have in 2021. Amat is 10-0 in the Mission League in the last two seasons. They’ll be at or near the top of the league once again in 2021.
13. St. Augustine (San Diego, Calif.) (1-0)
Last week: NR
St. Augustine enters the rankings this week following their 21-13 upset win over Helix.
14. Oceanside (0-0)
Last week: 13
Oceanside will go as far as star running back Kavika Tua takes them. In 2019 as a junior, Tua finished the year with 2,832 all-purpose yards and 24 total touchdowns.
15. Grace Brethren (Simi Valley, Calif.) (0-0)
Last week: 14
In a surprising development, Grace announced that head coach Josh Henderson won’t return to the school following the spring season. Henderson and Grace Brethren agreed to mutually part ways.
On the field, the Lancers will be very talented this spring, led by senior starting quarterback Mikey Zele and a scary group of linebackers (Isaac Garcia, Carson Cook, Cooper Robertson and Dez Diles). Senior running back Julien Stokes (UC San Diego commit) is another name to know.
16. Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, Calif.) (1-0)
Last week: 19
Oaks Christian backed up head coach Charles Collins’ preseason thinking in their season opening 37-14 win over Paraclete: “I don’t want to jinx anything, but we’re going to be dangerous,” he told SBLive in December. “We’re definitely going to be explosive on offense in my opinion.”
Running back Semaj Freeman scored three TDs for the Lions on Saturday night.
17. Central (Fresno, Calif.) (0-0)
Last week: 15
Central has a lot of turnover following 2019’s undefeated state championship run, but that doesn’t mean the Grizzlies will take a major step back.
“We’re young almost everywhere across the board,” Central head coach Kyle Biggs told SBLive. “I think our offensive line might be one of the best ones we’ve had at Central … We’re young but we’ve got guys. I wouldn’t say one position stands out more than the rest because there’s really question marks everywhere but as a whole, I’m really excited.”
18. San Clemente (0-0)
Last week: 18
San Clemente has high expectations for junior quarterback Lachlan Rosmalen, a St. John Bosco transfer. Head coach Jaime Ortiz called senior linebacker Ryland Swarthout “the rock of his team.” The Tritons have serious talent on both sides of the ball.
19. St. Bernard (Playa Del Ray, Calif.) (0-0)
Last week: 20
It’s a new era at St. Bernard. The Vikings are ready to make some noise under first year head coach Manny Douglas, who was previously at Narbonne. The team is bringing in lots of new talent led by receiver/safety Larry Turner-Gooden, who transferred from Calabasas and is committed to Arizona State.
20. Buchanan (Clovis, Calif.) (0-0)
Last week: 21
Buchanan brings back six starters on each side of the ball. Expect senior wide receiver Darrien Gaines to have a big spring.
“Darrien is fast, versatile and can go up and high point the ball very well,” Buchanan head coach Matt Giordano told SBLive. “Once the ball is in his hands he is very dangerous. Everybody on defense will need to know where he is before the ball is snapped. He is arguably the best WR in our section.”
21. Valley Christian (San Jose, Calif.) (0-0)
Last week: 22
Veteren head coach Mike Machado wants to reward his seniors for their patience this spring.
“Things are going to be different than usual,” he told SBLive. “I think a big part of this season is about the seniors who worked in your program and put themselves in a position to maybe have been recruited by now. Get them some film. That’s what I’m concerned with.”
Senior running back Chase Laubach is a player to watch.
22. San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno, Calif.) (0-0)
Last week: 23
Expect San Joaquin Memorial to put up some points this spring.
“We have a very good offensive line,” San Joaquin Memorial head coach Anthony Goston told SBLive. “I think we probably average about 275 (pounds) across the front. We’ve got two stud running backs, we’ve got great receivers and a very good quarterback. I think offensively we’re going to be very physical and very big.”
23. Monterey Trail (Elk Grove, Calif.) (0-0)
Last week: 24
USC signee Prophet Brown, a running back and defensive back, is playing for Monterey Trail this spring. In 2019, he had 779 rushing yards, 11 rushing touchdowns, 343 receiving yards, five receiving touchdowns, and three interceptions.
24. St. Mary’s (Stockton, Calif.) (0-1)
Last week: NR
Despite losing to De La Salle in their opener 35-27, St. Mary’s showed that they are a Top 25 team. Junior receiver Jadyn Marshall is one of the top wideouts in California.
25. Oak Ridge (El Dorado Hills, Calif.) (0-1)
Last week: 11
Oak Ridge fell to No. 11 Folsom 23-18 in their season opener, which drops them to No. 25.