When the 2018 high school football season opens in a few weeks, fans will have a chance to see several players from local Catholic schools rated among the best in the U.S., according to Maxpreps, the country’s leading tracker of high school sports.

Maxpreps’ Preseason All-American team includes three local Catholic school selections:

Chris Steele, St. John Bosco (Bellflower) senior defensive back. “The 2019 USC commit is the complete package at cornerback and the leader on defense for the No. 1 team in the Top 25,” said Maxpreps. “Expect a monster senior year for Steele.”

Horace “Bru” McCoy, Mater Dei (Santa Ana) senior all-purpose player, who made both Maxpreps’ Top 10 lists for offensive and defensive players. “He is one of the rare dudes who would be a five-star wide receiver or five-star linebacker,” said Maxpreps. “McCoy will be one of the most important players for defending national champion Mater Dei in 2018.”

Max Williams, Serra (Gardena) senior defensive back. “Serra has produced some of the best talent from California and the next great one from the 310 will be Williams,” said Maxpreps. “He has the same type of skills as former Serra star Adoree Jackson (now in the NFL after an All-America career at USC).”

Maxpreps’ Preseason Junior All-Americans includes three local Catholic school players on its first team offense: DJ Uigalelei, St. John Bosco junior quarterback, MaxPreps’ Sophomore Player of the Year in 2017; Bryce Young, Mater Dei junior quarterback, a transfer from Cathedral (Los Angeles), like Uigalelei, a “five-star rated” signal caller; and Myles Murao, Mater Dei junior guard, part of the best offensive line in the country in 2017.

The first team defense features two Mater Dei junior defensive backs, Elias Ricks and Darion Green-Warren, while the second team defense includes Serra junior linebacker Justin Houston.

Season openers

The 2018 season opens Aug. 16-17 for most schools and includes the following games:

Aug. 16: Glendora at Damien; Servite at Bakersfield; St. Monica at Capistrano Valley Christian; Chaminade at Oaks Christian.

Aug. 17: St. Joseph at Central Valley Christian; Corona del Mar at J.Serra; La Salle at Arcadia; Timpview (Provo, Utah) at St. John Bosco; St. Bonaventure at El Camino Real; Bishop Amat at Mater Dei; San Fernando at Alemany; Nogales at Cantwell-Sacred Heart; Downey at Santa Margarita; St. Genevieve at Poly; Sylmar at Crespi; Cathedral at Banning; St. Anthony at Valencia; Mendez at Don Bosco Tech; Santa Clarita Christian at Santa Clara; Paraclete at Higley; Cabrillo at Bishop Diego; Firebaugh at Verbum Dei; St. Bernard at Salesian.

Other schools do not begin until the following week (Aug. 23-25), including Loyola, Serra/Gardena, Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks, St. Paul, Mary Star of the Sea, St. Pius X-St. Matthias and Bishop Montgomery.

Start your day with Always Forward, our award-winning e-newsletter. Get this smart, handpicked selection of the day’s top news, analysis and opinion, delivered to your inbox. Sign up absolutely free today!