The toughest high school football districts/conference/leagues in America in 2021

Mission Viejo High School in Southern California.
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Southern California’s Trinity League is the toughest high school football league in America, according to High School Football America’s proprietary algorithm. Five of the six teams were ranked in our Top 200 national rankings, powered by NFL Play Football.

Santa Ana’s Mater Dei closed-out the 2021 season with the school’s third national championship in the last five years. Falling-in behind the top-ranked Monarchs was Servite at No. 6 and St. John Bosco at No. 8.

In addition to Mater Dei’s Open Division championship, No. 91 Orange Lutheran finished runner-up in Division I-AA.

Related: 2021 High School Football America national rankings

The Washington Catholic Athletic Conference finishes a close second to the Trinity League. The Baltimore/Washington, DC-area conference had three teams finish in the Top 100, led by conference champ St. John’s College High School (Washington, DC) at No. 19.

Good Counsel (Maryland) finished the season ranked No. 79 with arch-rival DeMatha at No. 84.

The United Red League in the North Jersey Super Conference was the third toughest league in America last year with four teams ranked in our Top 200. Non-Public A champ Bergen Catholic led the way with a No. 3 overall ranking.

The first public league in our rankings is Alabama’s Region 3 in Class 7A. Three-time defending champ Thompson finished No. 14 in America last season, followed by Hoover at No. 31 and Hewitt-Trussville at No. 100.

Rounding-out the Top 5 is Cincinnati’s Greater Catholic League South. Three of the league’s four teams were in our national rankings. Archbishop Moeller led the way at No. 78.

In the bottom half of the Top 10, Texas has three districts. Georgia and North Carolina have one region each.

Surprisingly, Florida doesn’t have a district in the Top 10. Florida led the 2021 High School Football America 100 with seventeen teams in the Top 100.

No. 1 Trinity League (Southern California)

  • No. 1 Mater Dei
  • No. 6 Servite
  • No. 8 St. John Bosco
  • No. 91 Orange Lutheran
  • No. 144 Santa Margarita

No. 2 Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (Maryland & DC)

  • No. 19 St. John’s College HS (Washington, DC)
  • No. 79 Good Counsel (Maryland)
  • No. 84 DeMatha (Maryland)

No. 3 North Jersey Super Conference, United Red League (New Jersey)

  • No. 3 Bergen Catholic
  • No. 99 Don Bosco Prep
  • No. 138 St. Peter’s Prep
  • No. 141 Seton Hall Prep

No. 4 Alabama Region 3-7A

  • No. 14 Thompson
  • No. 31 Hoover
  • No. 100 Hewitt-Trussville

No. 5 Greater Catholic League South (Cincinnati, Ohio)

  • No. 78 Archbishop Moeller
  • No. 142 St. Xavier
  • No. 173 La Salle

No. 6 Texas Region 3, District 21-6A

  • No. 4 North Shore
  • No. 56 Atascocita
  • No. 160 C.E. King

No. 7 Texas Region 2, District 11-6A

  • No. 9 Duncanville
  • No. 73 DeSoto
  • No. 171 Cedar Hill

No. 8 Texas Region 4, District 26-6A

  • No. 2 Westlake
  • No. 53 Lake Travis

No. 9 I-MECK 4A Conference

  • No. 40 Chambers
  • No. 42 Hough

No. 10 Georgia Region 8-7A

  • No. 26 Collins Hill
  • No. 117 Mill Creek

Honorable Mention: Big VII (Southern California), Catholic High School League (Michigan), Chicago Catholic League, Blue Division (Illinois), East Bay Athletic League-Mountain (Northern California), Florida District 2-8A, Florida District 6-8A, Florida District 12-8A, Florida District 10-6A, Georgia Region 3-7A, Georgia Region 5-7A, Greater Miami Conference (Ohio), Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference (Indiana), Mission League (California), North Jersey Super Conference, United White League (New Jersey), Philadelphia Catholic League, Red Division (Pennsylvania), 6A Premier League (Arizona), Quad County Conference (Pennsylvania), Serra League (Southern California), Sunset League (California) Texas Region 1, District 4-6A, Utah Region 4-6A, West Catholic Athletic Association (Northern California)

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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.