SoCal’s St. John Bosco and Mater Dei ranked No. 1 & No. 4 nationally

Mater Dei

Southern California football fans, circle October 21st on your calendars.  That’s when four-time defending Trinity League champ St. John Bosco will square-off with Mater Dei in what could not only settle the 2016 league championship, but also the national championship.

After an incredible four year run in Southern California’s Trinity League, one of the toughest high school football leagues in the nation, Bosco is looking for one for the thumb heading into the 2016 season, which begins with the four-time Trinity League champs sitting atop the High School Football America Preseason Top 25, presented by Krossover Intelligence.  Three spots back at #4 is Mater Dei.

Now you get the point, October 21st could be pretty special!

For those of you unfamiliar with our rankings, this is the fourth straight year that High School Football America will be using its proprietary algorithm to rank teams nationally, regionally and locally.  What that means is, our computer does all the work, there’s no opinion involved.  Over the past three seasons, our preseason poll included some opinion, but this year marks the first time that our algorithm is completely in-charge of determining our “mythical” national champ from start to finish.

St. John Bosco, which finished #9 in last year’s national rankings, climbed as high as #2 in 2015, before losing to then ranked #3 Corona Centennial in the CIF-Southern Section PAC-5 championship game, begins the season as our #1 team.  Aside from its ultra-tough Trinity League schedule, the Braves, once again, have the type of non-league national schedule that could propel the school to a national title, if they run the table.

Related: 2016 St. John Bosco schedule

Head coach Jason Negro‘s squad, which returns about a half-dozen starters on both sides of the ball from last year’s 13-1 team, opens on the road in a nationally-televised game against St. Xavier from Cincinnati, Ohio.  The Braves then play defending California Division III-AA state champ La Mirada and Nevada’s Bishop Gorman, which is ranked #5 in our preseason poll.  Bishop Gorman is coming-off back-to-back USA TODAY Super 25 “mythical” national championships.

“It’s an honor to be considered as the top teams in the nation,” said Negro.  “It’s our goal to be part of the national discussion every year and luckily we’ve been able to hold-on to our high national rankings into December over the last several years.  It’s a real testament to our program and each and every kid that plays for us.”

St. John Bosco’s Southern California supremacy will be challenged by Mater Dei (Santa Ana, CA), which enters the season ranked #4.  Legendary head coach Bruce Rollinson returns a ton of talent from a team that finished 10-3 and was ranked #37 by High School Football America last season.  Rollinson started sophomores in 2015 and a freshman quarterback named J.T. Daniels, who broke all of Matt Barkley‘s Mater Dei freshman records.

Related: 2016 Mater Dei schedule

Last year, Bosco beat the Monarchs 42-21.

Now, some may be wondering where Corona Centennial is in our preseason rankings?  You’ll find-out on Tuesday when we release our The Other 25, which are the teams ranked from #26 through #50 nationally.  The Huskies aren’t that far out of the Top 25, and a win in their opener against Arizona-power Chandler could propel the Huskies, who climbed as high as #2 last year before losing to De La Salle in the CIF Open Division state championship game, began into very familiar territory.  The Huskies finished #5 in the nation last year.

On Thursday we’ll be releasing our Preseason Southern California Top 25, followed on Friday by our California Preseason Top 25.

High School Football America 2016 Preseason Top 25

#1 St. John Bosco Braves (Bellflower, California)

2015: 13-1

Final Ranking: #9

#2 IMG Academy Ascenders (Bradenton, Florida)

2015: 9-0

Final Ranking: #7

#3 Cedar Hill Longhorns (Texas)

2015: 9-2

Final Ranking: Not Ranked

#4 Mater Dei Monarchs (Santa Ana, California)

2015: 10-3

Final Ranking: #37

#5 Bishop Gorman Gaels (Las Vegas, Nevada)

2015: 15-0

Final Ranking: #4

#6 Katy Tigers (Texas)

2015: 16-0

Final Ranking: #3

#7 St. Thomas Aquinas Raiders (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)

2015: 13-1

Final Ranking: #12

#8 Grayson Rams (Loganville, Georgia)

2015: 13-1

Final Ranking: Not Ranked

#9 Cibolo Steele Knights (Texas)

2015: 14-1

Final Ranking: #31

#10 DeMatha Stags (Hyattsville, Maryland)

2015: 11-1

Final Ranking: #13

#11 Pittsburgh Central Catholic Vikings (Pennsylvania)

2015: 15-1

Final Ranking: #24

#12 Miami Central Rockets (Florida)

2015: 12-2

Final Ranking: #22

#13 St. Joseph Regional Green Knights (Montvale, NJ)

2015: 7-4

Final Ranking: #35

#14 Allen Eagles (Texas)

2015: 14-1

Final Ranking: #9

#15 Roswell Hornets (Georgia)

2015: 14-1

Final Ranking: #40

#16 Don Bosco Prep Ironmen (Ramsey, New Jersey)

2015: 9-3

Final Ranking: #20

#17 Westlake Chaparrals (Austin, Texas)

2015: 12-2

Final Ranking: #30

#18 Mallard Creek (Charlotte, North Carolina)

2015: 14-2

Final Ranking: #26

#19 Northwestern Trojans (Rock Hill, South Carolina)

2015: 14-1

Final Ranking: #50

#20 Colerain Cardinals (Cincinnati, Ohio)

2015: 12-2

Final Ranking: #18

#21 Lake Travis Cavaliers (Austin, Texas)

2015: 15-1

Final Ranking: #29

#22 Center Grove Trojans (Greenwood, Indiana)

2015: 14-0

Final Ranking: #10

#23 Good Counsel Falcons (Olney, Maryland)

2015: 7-4

Final Ranking: Not Ranked

#24 McGill-Toolen Yellowjackets (Mobile, Alabama)

2015: 13-1

Final Ranking: Not Ranked

#25 Trinity Christian Academy Conquerors (Jacksonville, Florida)

2015: 14-0

Final Ranking: #49

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About the Author

Jeff Fisher
Jeff is an award-winning journalist and expert in the field of high school sports, underscored with his appearance on CNBC in 2010 to talk about the big business of high school football in America. Jeff turned to his passion for high school football into an entrepreneurial venture called High School Football America, a digital media company focused on producing original high school sports content for radio, television and the internet. Jeff is co-founder and editor-in-chief of High School Football America, which is a media partner with USA TODAY High School Sports.