SBLive’s California Top 25: St. John Bosco tops Mater Dei in 2021 preseason statewide football rankings

Just a few months after wrapping up the shortened spring 2021 season, high school football is back in California.

The fall 2021 season kicks off this week with several big games, including St. John Bosco vs. Florida powerhouse Miami Central. Ahead of the first games, here are SBLive’s preseason Top 25 California high school football rankings. The statewide rankings span all 10 sections and are compiled by reporter Connor Morrissette. They will be released every Monday throughout the fall 2021 season.



August 16, 2021

1. St. John Bosco (0-0)

Matayo Uiagalelei

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St. John Bosco returns ten starters on defense and eight on offense. The Braves not only have incredible talent, they also have great depth, which is why they start the year at No. 1. The Braves’ top ranked recruit on offense is four star lineman Earnest Greene. On defense, it’s 2023 defensive end Matayo Uiagalelei, who also plays tight end.

“We want to win our league, our Section championship and a state championship to be in that conversation for a mythical national championship,” Braves’ head coach Jason Negro told SBLive. “That’s what we’re expecting and want to be a part of.”

2. Mater Dei (0-0)

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Mater Dei will be loaded once again this fall. The Monarchs have a California-best six players on SBLive’s Preseason All-State team. St. John Bosco got the edge over Mater Dei for our No. 1 spot due to having better depth, but both teams are stacked. The Monarchs top recruit is 2022 five star cornerback Domani Jackson, a USC commit. Mater Dei meets St. John Bosco in the regular season on October 1st. The two teams have met in the CIF Southern Section championship game every year the game has taken place since 2016.

3. De La Salle (0-0)

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De La Salle’s win streak against Northern California opponents is now up to 316 games. The top player for the Spartans this season is 2022 defensive back Zeke Berry, an Arizona commit.

4. Cathedral Catholic (0-0)

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Cathedral Catholic brings back virtually everyone from a team that outscored opponents 223-14 during the spring season. The Dons’ top player is 2022 defensive lineman Jaxson Moi, a Cal commit.

5. Servite (0-0)

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Servite will be one of the top teams in the state thanks to their three-headed monster on offense made up of QB Noah Fifita (Arizona commit), WR Tetairoa McMillan and TE Keyan Burnett (Arizona commit).

6. Sierra Canyon (0-0)

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Sierra Canyon has the potential to play with the big boys this season because they have great offensive and defensive lines. 2022 OL Michael Wooten, an Oregon commit, is a player to watch along with 2022 running back Jason Jones.

7. Folsom (0-0)

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2022 QB Tyler Tremain had a great spring and he should lead the Bulldogs to a championship push in the Sac-Joaquin Section.

8. Los Alamitos (0-0)

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No team in the state has a better combination of quarterback and wide receivers than Los Alamitos. 2023 QB Malachi Nelson and 2023 WR Makai Lemon are both committed to Oklahoma. Transfer Deandre Moore Jr. is another dynamic pass catcher.

9. Corona Centennial (0-0)

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Head coach Matt Logan is high on his team. The Huskies have a strong defense led by star cornerback Jaden Mickey, a Notre Dame commit.

10. Long Beach Poly (0-0)

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This year’s Long Beach Poly team should be head coach Stephen Barbee’s best so far. Senior Shea Kuykendall and sophomore Darius Curry, a transfer from St. Bernard, will both play at QB.

11. Serra (San Mateo, Calif.) (0-0)

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The sky is the limit for a Serra offense that brings back QB Dominique Lampkin and do-it-all playmaker Hassan Mahasin.

12. Pittsburg (0-0)

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Pittsburg has a very challenging schedule, but they have a blue chip QB in 2023 gunslinger Jaden Rashada.

13. Carlsbad (0-0)

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Carlsbad is the No. 2 team in San Diego to begin the season. 2024 QB Julian Sayin has had a big offseason recruitment wise.

14. Alemany (0-0)

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Alemany head coach Casey Clausen thinks he has what it takes in the trenches and at the skill positions to win the Mission League. But who will start at QB for the Warriors, senior Dylan Gebbia or sophomore Anthony Wolter?

15. Mission Viejo (0-0)

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Nine starters return on offense for Mission Viejo led by QB Kadin Semonza and WR Mikey Matthews, but only one starter is back on defense, senior safety Ruben Lopez.

16. Santa Margarita (0-0)

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The Eagles have one of the best defensive lineman in the country in senior Hero Kanu. Junior QB Jaxon Potter will be the Eagles’ X-factor.

17. Rocklin (0-0)

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2022 QB Kenny Lueth and 2022 WR Nathan Kent have a great connection thanks to Bobby Piland, Brad Baur and the rest of the Rocklin offensive line giving the Thunder plenty of time on offense.

18. Buchanan (0-0)

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Quarterback Ian Kirby returns for his third year starting for Buchanan.

19. Loyola (0-0)

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Running back Tahj Owens will be one of the best tailbacks in the state this season. 2022 OL Sam Yoon will be his lead blocker.

20. San Clemente (0-0)

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2022 QB Lachlan Rosmalen is ready to lead San Clemente on their South Coast League title defense.

21. Valley Christian (San Jose, Calif.) (0-0)

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2023 WR Jurrion Dickey is up there with the best receivers in the state.

22. Clovis (0-0)

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Beware of 2022 Utah commit Nate Johnson’s legs. He’s one of the top dual threat QB’s in the state.

23. Central (Fresno, Calif.) (0-0)

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Linebacker Jeremiah Shelton is a top returner for Central. The senior made 31 tackles with 5.5 coming for loss in the spring. He also forced two fumbles.

24. Mission Hills (San Marcos, Calif.) (0-0)

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Mission Hills’ senior quarterback Gunnar Hensley and senior receiver Matt Martin both return for the Grizzlies.

25. Lincoln (San Diego, Calif.) (0-0)

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Seniors Jalil Tucker and Jahlil Florence, an Oregon commit, make up one of the top secondaries in the state.

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