To no one’s surprise, Mater Dei and St. John Bosco are the Nos. 1 and 2 ranked teams in  Division 1 of the CIF-Southern Section’s first weekly poll of the 2018 high school football season.

The Trinity League rivals, also tabbed among the best in the U.S. by Maxpreps (and who play each other Oct. 12 in Santa Ana), are among seven Catholic schools in the D-1 top 10, released Aug. 13 prior to this week’s start of the regular season. Also in the D-1 top 10 are Chaminade (5), Serra/Gardena (6), Santa Margarita (8), J. Serra (9) and Bishop Amat (10).

The Division 2 top 10 likewise includes a number of Catholic schools, including Alemany (5), Cathedral (6), Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks (7) and St. Francis (10). St. Francis has moved up to D-2 from D-3 in 2017.

Paraclete, last year’s Division 5 champion, is ranked second in Division 3, and Bishop Diego, the D-6 titlist in 2017, is ranked third in D-4 with Crespi tenth. In other 11-man football divisions, La Salle is fifth in D-7; St. Genevieve is ninth in D-10; and Santa Clara is third and Bishop Montgomery ninth in D-13.

This week’s openers include:


  • Aug. 16: St. Monica at Capistrano Valley, Downey at Santa Margarita, Glendora at Damien, Servite at Bakersfield, Chaminade at Oaks Christian.
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  • Aug. 17: Bishop Amat at Mater Dei, La Salle at Arcadia, Timpview (Utah) at St. John Bosco, Corona del Mar at J. Serra, Sylmar at Crespi, Paraclete at Higley, St. Bonaventure at El Camino Real, Cathedral at Banning, Cabrillo at Bishop Diego, Nogales at Cantwell-Sacred Heart, St. Genevieve at Poly, San Fernando at Alemany, Venice at St. Paul, Santa Clarita Christian at Santa Clara, Mendez at Don Bosco Tech, St. Anthony at Valencia, St. Joseph/Santa Maria at Central Valley Christian.
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  • Aug. 18: Arrowhead Christian at Verbum Dei, St. Bernard at Salesian.
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Girls’ volleyball

Marymount, Mater Dei and Santa Margarita are listed among the “Teams to Watch” in Divisions 1 and 2 of the first CIF-SS poll of 2018, issued Aug. 13. Mater Dei defeated Marymount for the CIF-SS D-1 and So Cal Regional Open Division titles in 2017, and Santa Margarita won the state Division I championship.

Other Catholic “Teams to Watch” include Notre Dame Academy (D-3), Bishop Montgomery and Chaminade (D-4), and St. Anthony (D-5). The girls’ volleyball regular season starts this week with non-league games and will end on or before Oct. 11, followed by the start of playoff action Oct. 16.

Boys’ water polo

“Teams to Watch” in boys’ water polo include perennial powers Loyola, Mater Dei and Santa Margarita in Divisions 1 and 2, which — as in girls’ volleyball — will be split come playoff time in October, with higher performing teams placed in D-1 and others in D-2.

Notre Dame/Sherman Oaks and Servite made the D-3 poll, as did Alemany (D-5), St. Francis (D-6) and Cathedral (D-7). The boys’ water polo regular season opens Aug. 20 and ends Oct. 25, with playoffs beginning Oct. 30.

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