In testimony to Catholic school dominance of Division 1 football in 2018, 24 players from high schools in the Los Angeles Archdiocese and Orange Diocese were named to the All-CIF Southern Section Division 1 first team, announced Feb. 4.

Additionally, all-purpose star Horace “Bru” McCoy and Steele Dubar, senior stars from Mater Dei’s two-time Division 1 championship team, were named Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, respectively, and longtime Monarch mentor Bruce Rollinson earned Coach of the Year honors.

It was the second year in a row that Mater Dei swept the top awards. In 2017, J.T. Daniels (offense) and Solomon Tuliaupupu (defense) were Players of the Year, and Rollinson was Coach of the Year. Altogether, 14 Monarchs have earned Player of the Year honors from the CIF, including former Heisman Trophy winners John Huarte (1960) and Matt Leinart (2000).

Eight more Mater Dei players were named 2018 first-team choices: junior quarterback Bryce Young, senior back Shakobe Harper, junior lineman Myles Murao, senior receiver Michael Martinez and senior kicker Nicolas Lopez (on offense), and junior backs Moses Sepulona and Elias Ricks and senior lineman Keyon Ware-Hudson Mater Dei (on defense).

St. John Bosco, which won the Trinity League title over Mater Dei but lost to the Monarchs in the D-1 final, was also well-represented on the first team offense, led by junior quarterback DJ Uiagalelei, senior back George Holani, senior lineman Marist Talavou, junior lineman Drake Metcalf, and senior receivers Jake Bailey and Colby Bowman.

Defensively, the Braves placed five seniors on the first team: backs Chris Steele and Trent McDuffie, lineman Cole Aubrey and linebackers Ralen Goforth and Spencer Lytle.

Also on the D-1 first team offense were Bishop Amat senior lineman, Andrew Rowe, J.Serra junior back Chris Street, and Serra/Gardena junior receiver Lavon Bunkley. The first team defense included Bishop Amat senior back Deven Jarvis and Chaminade senior linebacker Blake Antzoulatos.

Holani, Rowe, Ricks, McCoy and Antzoulatos were first-team D-1 selections in 2017, while Young made the D-2 first team as a Cathedral sophomore last year.

Other divisions

Named All-CIF first-team offense in Division 2 were running back Christian Grubb and lineman Daniel Fitzmorris of Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks, and lineman Dohnovan West of Alemany. On defense, lineman Dylan Taylor of Cathedral and linebacker Jake Moore of Notre Dame made the first team.

The Division 3 first team included senior defensive lineman Travis Hansen of Paraclete, a D-5 first team choice in 2017. Junior offensive back Adrian Soracco of Bishop Diego and senior utility player Kai Rojas of St. Bonaventure were first-team offense choices in Division 4.

Division 5’s first team included three St. Paul Swordsmen: junior offensive back Trennel Ridgley, senior offensive lineman Hunter Mauk and senior Linebacker Joseph Trancoza (a D-6 first teamer in 2017).

In Division 12, three from Mary Star of the Sea were first-team choices: junior offensive lineman Jesse Tello, senior kicker Noah Guastella and senior linebacker Joe James.

The All-CIF Southern Section teams were Selected by the Football Coaches Association and presented by the LA84 Foundation.

Mike Nelson is the former editor of The Tidings (predecessor of Angelus News).

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