SBLive’s Southern Section Top 25 Football Rankings: St. John Bosco preseason No. 1 with Mater Dei close behind

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

MORE: PRESEASON ALL-STATE TEAM | TOP 50 TEAM PREVIEWS | TOP 25 STATEWIDE RANKINGS

SBLIVE’S SOUTHERN SECTION TOP 25 FOOTBALL RANKINGS

August 16, 2021

1. St. John Bosco (0-0)

Last week: N/A

St. John Bosco returns 10 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 since 2016.

3. Servite (0-0)

Last week: N/A

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).

4. Sierra Canyon (0-0)

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

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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, senior Dylan Gebbia or sophomore Anthony Wolter?

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. Norco (0-0)

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After going undefeated in the spring Norco should have another strong season with senior QB Kyle Crum coming back.

14. Apple Valley (0-0)

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Apple Valley will have one of their best teams in years. 2022 quarterback Jayden Denegal is committed to Michigan.

15. Inglewood (0-0)

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Inglewood head coach Mil’Von James thinks he has the deepest Sentinel team in the school’s history. 2022 Cal QB Justyn Martin is one of five Division 1 committed players on the Inglewood squad.

16. Chaminade (0-0)

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Star running back Paul Holyfield returns for the Eagles. He had seven TDs in the spring.

17. Edison (0-0)

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Defenses will need to know where senior receiver Nico Brown is at all times.

18. Serra Gardena (0-0)

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Serra Gardena will go as far as 2022 Texas QB commit Maalik Murphy takes them.

19.  Vista Murrieta (0-0)

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After transferring to IMG Academy in Florida, UCLA tight end commit Jack Pedersen is back.

20. Ayala (0-0)

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2024 QB Bryan Wilson should emerge as one of the elite QBs in the region.

21. Etiwanda (0-0)

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Receiver Jordan Williams and defensive tackle Dejon Roney will lead the Eagles this season.

22. Oaks Christian (0-0)

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Lions head coach Charlie Collins has high expectations for 2022 quarterback Cole Tannenbaum.

23. Damien (0-0)

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On paper, Damien is the top team in the San Gabriel Valley to start the season.

24. Bishop Amat (0-0)

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Head coach Steve Hagerty wants to “reestablish our culture” after a 1-4 spring season. Senior QB Tobin O’Dell will play a big role.

25. St. Francis (0-0)

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Max Garrison is one of the top two way players in the state at running back and corner.

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