Catholic high school football is again poised to dominate the top two divisions of the CIF-Southern Section in 2019.

As expected, Trinity League rivals Mater Dei and St. John Bosco, which have monopolized the local scene in recent years, are the top-ranked Division 1 schools, based on the CIF-SS ranking system utilizing team performances during the last two seasons, with a greater emphasis on 2018. 

The system — which takes into account overall won-lost records, playoff success and level of competition — gave Mater Dei a 97.78 rating and St. John  Bosco 91.69, the best among the 24 schools currently listed in Divisions 1 and 2. The divisions will be separated when playoffs begin in November.

Also among the top 24 are J.Serra, Bishop Amat, Chaminade, Serra/Gardena, Santa Margarita, Servite and Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks, all with ratings of 74.38 or higher. 

The next 18 rated schools comprise Division 3, including Cathedral, Paraclete, Alemany and St. Francis, while the 20 schools in D-4 include Bishop Diego, Damien and Loyola. Other divisions that include Catholic schools:

  • D-5 (21 total schools): St. Paul and St. Bonaventure.
  • D-6 (20): Crespi.
  • D-9 (25): St. Anthony and La Salle.
  • D-11 (35): St. Genevieve and Salesian.
  • D-13 (43): St. Bernard, Santa Clara, Cantwell-Sacred Heart and Bishop Montgomery.
  • D-14 (70): Mary Star, Verbum Dei, St. Pius X-St. Matthias, St. Monica and Don Bosco Tech.

Divisions that do not include Catholic schools are Divisions 7 and 8 (21 schools each), D-10 (23) and D-12 (46).

In each of the last three seasons, Mater Dei and St. John Bosco have faced one another for the CIF-SS D-1 title, with the Braves winning in 2016 and the Monarchs prevailing in 2017 and 2018. Other recent Catholic school champions include Paraclete (D-6) and St. Anthony (D-9) in 2016, and Paraclete (D-5) and Bishop Diego (D-6) in 2017.

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

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