Catholic Athletes for Christ
The First Name in Catholic Sports Ministry

    CAC Mourns Passing of Vin Scully…

    August 3, 2022, 9:47 am

    On August 2, 2022, Brooklyn/L.A. Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully passed away at the age of 94.

    “CAC has been blessed to be associated with legendary hall of fame broadcaster Vin Scully since its founding in 2006,” said Ray McKenna, CAC President and Founder. “Vin was an ardent supporter of CAC and a regular attendee at our CAC Masses at Dodger Stadium over the last 10 years of his career. As he did often with any charitable organization, Vin never said ‘no.’ His response was always, ‘Whatever you need.’ He supported our efforts to increase a Catholic presence in professional sports, including his willingness to record a Rosary CD in 2016 that has helped bring so many people to the Rosary and advance CAC’s mission. We will miss him greatly and always treasure our friendship with him. He was the GOAT at is craft but even a better Catholic gentleman. Our prayers go out for the repose of his soul and for the Scully family.”

    CAC Announces Results of Voting for All-Time Catholic Baseball All-Star Team!

    August 1, 2022, 7:18 pm

    Nearly 2,000 Catholic baseball fans across the country cast their votes for an all-time Catholic baseball all-star team ballot hosted by Catholic Athletes for Christ (CAC), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created to develop, foster, and cultivate Catholic athletes who are committed and dedicated to spreading the Gospel in their sports environments, and to create a global community of Catholic athletes.

    CAC hosted the online voting platform during June and July and 1,969 fans selected their top choice at each baseball position, including three selections for outfielder and pitcher, as well as for manager, general manager, and broadcaster.  CAC provided links to background information for all 92 candidates on the ballot and identified players as members of the Baseball Hall of Fame and if they were members of the Knights of Columbus.

    The top vote getters (and runner ups) in each category were (hall of famers in bold):

    Catcher – Yogi Berra (1,173 votes) [Runner-Up: Mike Piazza (391 votes)]

    First Baseman – Gil Hodges (1,162 votes) [Runner-Up: Nap Lajoie (246 votes)]

    Second Baseman – Craig Biggio (627 votes) [Runner-Up: Johnny Evers (496 votes)]

    Shortstop – Derek Jeter (1,014 votes) [Runner-Up: Phil Rizzuto (326 votes)]

    Third Baseman – Brooks Robinson (1,607 votes) [Runner-Up: Ron Santo (276 votes)]

    Outfielders – Babe Ruth (1,346 votes), Henry Aaron (1,235 votes), Joe DiMaggio (1,194 votes) [Runner-Ups: Roberto Clemente (782 votes), Stan Musial (599 votes)]

    Designated Hitter – Jim Thome (1,182 votes) [Runner-Up: Mike Sweeney (726 votes)]

    Pitchers – Whitey Ford (1,460 votes), Tom Glavine (1,140 votes), Ron Guidry (956 votes) [Runner-Ups: Jim Bunning (731 votes), Trevor Hoffman (422 votes)]

    Manager – Connie Mack (498 votes) [Runner-Up: Tommy Lasorda (402 votes)]

    General Manager – Mike Rizzo (1,009 votes) [Runner-Up: Al Avila (390 votes)]

    Broadcaster – Vin Scully (1,568 votes) [Runner-Up: Joe Garagiola (262 votes)]

    “The all-time Catholic baseball all-star team campaign created a buzz on social media and highlighted just how many great players were practicing Catholics,” noted Ray McKenna, CAC president and founder. “The winners in each category represent the very best players in baseball history and Catholic gentlemen both on and off the baseball diamond.”

    To view all results from the ballot, click here.

    Voting Open for CAC’s All-Time Catholic Baseball All-Star Team!

    June 8, 2022, 4:17 pm

    Catholic Athletes for Christ (CAC) has launched a new ballot for fans to select the all-time Catholic all-star team!

    Click here to view the ballot and select Catholic ballplayers at each position, as well as manager, general manager, and broadcaster.

    Voting closes on July 17 and the all-time Catholic all-star team will be announced by CAC on July 19.

    CAC’s Gil Hodges Film Highlighted In National Catholic Register

    June 8, 2022, 9:20 am

    Catholic Athletes for Christ (CAC), and its 2021 sports documentary “Soul of a Champion: The Gil Hodges Story” was recently featured in the National Catholic Register. Click here to read the article.

    Mater Dei HS (Santa Ana, Calif.) Wins CAC National Champions; Top 25 High School Football Final Rankings (December 22, 2021)

    December 21, 2021, 2:04 pm

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — It’s fitting the nation’s consensus top-ranked high school football team is nicknamed Monarchs.

    That’s a moniker befitting the Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 High School football rankings presented by Global Football, No. 1 team. The Monarchs of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, California are officially the CAC Top 25 National Champions for the second time in four seasons.

    All hail, the kings!

    There isn’t even a doubt the CAC Top 25 final rankings would feature the undefeated and rarely tested Monarchs (12-0) would rest atop the rest of the heap.

    There is one addition to the CAC 25 and that’s No. 25 Cathedral Catholic (San Diego, Calif.), which won the CIF Division 1-AA on Dec. 10, defeating Folsom, 33-21, in the final. The Dons re-enter the CAC 25 in a nick of time. They were in the preseason rankings back in August.

    Otherwise, the top-24 teams did not shift positions.

    Before we reveal the updated CAC Top 25, we’ll revisit the weekly feature called the Triple Option, which identifies two student-athletes, a coach and four wide-ranging games, including a state title tilt from Hawaii, worth noting over the holidays.

    The players are state champions from California and Florida. This week’s coach completed championship run in Florida on Saturday night. As for the top games, we’ll visit Honolulu, Glendale, Ariz., Annapolis, Md., and San Antonio.

    Triple Option

    Player of the Week: Quarterback Luke Knight of No. 6 Jesuit (Tampa, Fla.) and running back Lucky Sutton of No. 25 Cathedral Catholic (San Diego, Calif.). First, we’ll talk about Knight and his last-minute heroics.

    Last weekend, the Jesuit Tigers were all but done and time was ticking away. They trailed Pine Forest (Pensacola, Fla.) by 15 points (29-14) late in the third quarter of the Florida High School Athletic Association Class 6A final in Fort Lauderdale. That’s when Knight peeled off his jersey to reveal an “S” on his chest (think Superman) and a cape. The man of steel emerged and so did the sleepy Tigers.

    Over the final 13-plus minutes, Knight tossed three touchdown passes to rally Jesuit to a thrilling 35-29 victory to claim the school’s first state title in more than a generation (actually 1968). Knight engineered the decisive drive late in their own 9-yard line. Five plays later, Knight’s 7-yard pass to wide receiver Jadyn Girard won it.

    For the game, Knight completed 18-of-26 passes for 352 yards and three scores of 50, 28 and 7 yards. The Tigers scored the game’s final 21 points, beginning with Knight’s 50-yard strike to Junior Vandeross with 1:57 left in the third. Only 52 seconds into the fourth, Knight connected with Vandeross from 28 yards to reduce the deficit to 29-27. Knight and Girard won with 37 seconds left and senior RB Joquez tacked on the two-point conversion to close out the scoring.

    In Mission Viejo, Calif., Sutton had a two-game stretch to remember in the CIF playoffs. Sutton capped his senior year, running for 232 yards and a TD on 30 carries (10 yards a pop!) when the No. 25 Dons stopped Folsom, 33-21, on Dec. 10 in the CIF Division 1-AA final at Saddleback College.

    The Dons (12-2) captured their third state title in four attempts.

    But in the CIF Southern Region final, Sutton rushed for a San Diego Section record 435 yards and scored seven TDs on 27 carries (16.1 yards a try) in a crazy 71-62 victory over Orange Lutheran on Dec. 3. Sutton’s team did all the scoring in the final three quarters. His rushing TDs came from 62, 45, 63, 75, 80 and 2 yards and he caught a six-yarder from QB Charlie Mirer, whose dad quarterbacked for several years in the NFL and at Notre Dame.

    At 6-feet-1-inch, 205 pounds, Sutton committed over the summer to hometown San Diego State over West Point Army, San Jose State, Colorado State and Nevada. Sutton finished with 41 TDs and rushed for 2,612 yards in 14 games.

    Coach of the Week: Matt Thompson of No. 3 Jesuit (Tampa, Fla.). Thompson, who completed his ninth season at the helm of the Jesuit Tigers (15-0), authored one of the greatest prep football stories in Hillsborough County history last Saturday.

    Jesuit, which trailed by 15 points in the third quarter, never did panic and Thompson’s guiding hand led them to a come-from-behind 35-29 win over Pine Forest (Pensacola) in the Class 6A state championship game. It was the Tigers’ first state title since 1968.

    Recently, Thompson led to the Tigers to region championships in 2015, ’16, ’18, ’19 and ’20 but never could advance out of the state semifinals. That all changed forever on a warm night in Fort Lauderdale. Thanks to the heroics of his sophomore signal-caller Luke Knight, who fired three TDs including the game-winner with 37 seconds left, the Tigers are ordering state championship rings.

    Yet the game wasn’t over until senior LB A.J. Cottrill intercepted a pass with 27 seconds left to ice it.

    This wasn’t Thompson’s first rodeo in the state final. He served at the Armwood (Seffner) defensive coordinator during the glory years and national rankings but this was the first time he prepared for a final as the head coach. Essentially, Thompson was a man with a plan and his team executed it.

    Thompson’s team play with discipline and pride and that’s because he served in the United States Marine Corps. He was a sharp shooter and went to Panama and the Persian Gulf.

    It took nearly six decades but the Tigers are champions. If the Catholic Athletes for Christ named a national coach of the year, Thompson would be the choice. He had that kind of year.

    Games of the Week (All times are local and subject to change): The menu features one high school state championship game from the south Pacific, one All-America Game and two college bowl games.

    Saint Louis School (Honolulu, Hawaii) vs. Kahuku (Hawaii), Thursday, 7 p.m.: The Hawaii Open Division will be decided this week at Skippa Diaz Stadium in Honolulu. Coach Ron Lee’s team is 6-3 after beating Mililani, 27-25, in last weekend’s semifinals. The Crusaders are back in the final for the fifth consecutive season, having won the last four. Kahuku is 8-0.

    Boston College vs. East Carolina, Military Bowl, Dec. 27, 2:30 p.m.: The BC Eagles (6-6) squeak into a bowl game and one of two Catholic colleges that play football on the FBS level. The game will be played at the Naval-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis, Md., and watch it on ESPN.

    Notre Dame vs. Oklahoma State, Fiesta Bowl, Jan. 1, 1 p.m.: The Fighting Irish (11-1) carry a seven-game win streak into New Year’s Day in Glendale, Ariz., and it’s the first game under recently hired head coach Marcus Freeman. The Oklahoma State Cowboys are 11-2. Watch it on ESPN.

    All-American Bowl, Jan. 8, 12 p.m.: The nation’s most prestigious high school senior all-star game will be played at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Here’s the final time the future stars play on the high school level before heading off to college. Watch it on NBC or stream it on Peacock Sports.

    2021 CAC HONOR ROLL

    The Catholic Athletes for Christ Honor Roll continues to tabulate the winners.

    As the state/conference champions were crowned, the CAC Top Fall 25 will recognized as many of the schools that qualify for our rankings in this section. To qualify a Roman Catholic operated school with an 11-man football must have won a state sanctioned championship or a postseason tournament that would equate to winning a championship. States are listed alphabetically. Please email us if we missed your school. [Note: We list small-player football state champions, too.]

    We checked in with champions from 27 states and the District of Columbia with 24 teams adding hardware to their trophy cases. The final tote board rests at 61 trophies:

    California: Cathedral Catholic (San Diego), Division 1-AA; Mater Dei Catholic (Chula Vista), Division 2-AA; Marin Catholic (Kentfield), Division 4-AA; Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton), Division 5-A; Salesian College Prep (Richmond), Division 6-A; Serra (Gardena), Division 1-A; Mater Dei (Santa Ana), Open Division Bowl; Sacred Heart Cathedral (San Francisco), Division 4-A.

    Delaware: Archmere Academy (Claymont), Class 2A.

    District of Columbia: Archbishop Carroll (Washington), Class AA.

    Florida: Chaminade-Madonna College Prep (Hollywood), Class 3A and GEICO State Champions Bowl Series title; Santa Fe Catholic (Lakeland), Sunshine State Class AAA; Donahue Catholic (Ave Maria), Sunshine State 8-man Class AAA; Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale, Class 4A; St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale), Class 7A; Jesuit (Tampa), Class 6A.

    Georgia: Benedictine Military School (Savannah), Class AAAA.

    Hawaii: Saint Louis (Honolulu), Interscholastic League of Honolulu Open Division.

    Indiana: Cathedral (Indianapolis), Class 5A; Andrean (Merrillville), Class 2A.

    Illinois: Joliet Catholic Academy, Class 4A; Fenwick (Oak Park), Class 5A

    Kansas: St. James Academy (Lenexa), Class 4A.

    Kentucky: St. Xavier (Louisville), Class 6A.

    Louisiana: Catholic (Baton Rouge), Division I; St. Charles Catholic (Laplace), Division III.

    Maine: Cheverus (Portland), 8-man Large.

    Maryland: Calvert Hall College (Towson), MIAA A Conference.

    Massachusetts: Catholic Memorial (West Roxbury), Division 2.

    Michigan: De La Salle Collegiate (Warren, Mich.), Division 2; Grand Rapids Catholic Central, Division 5; Lansing Catholic, Division 6.

    Missouri: Christian Brothers College (St. Louis), Class 6; St. Mary’s (St. Louis), Class 3.

    Nebraska: Archbishop Bergan (Fremont), Class C2.

    Nevada: Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), Class 5A.

    New Jersey: Red Bank Catholic, Non-Public B; Bergen Catholic (Oradell), Non-Public A.

    New York: St Francis, Athol Springs, Monsignor Martin Association Class A; St. Mary’s (Lancaster), MMA Class B.; Iona Prep (New Rochelle), NYCHSFL Class AAA,  NYCHSAA Class AAA; Chaminade (Mineola), Class AA-1; Holy Trinity (Hicksville), AA-2; Christian Brothers Academy (Syracuse), Class A.

    North Carolina: Cardinal Gibbons (Raleigh), Class 4A.

    Ohio: St. Edward (Lakewood), Division I.

    Oregon: Central Catholic (Portland), Class 6A.

    Pennsylvania: St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia), PCL Class 6A; West Catholic (Philadelphia), PCL Class 2A; Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia), PCL Class 3A; Bishop Guilfoyle (Altoona), PIAA Class 1A.

    Rhode Island: Bishop Hendricken (Warwick), State Championship Bracket.

    South Dakota: St. Mary (Dell Rapids), Class 9B.

    Texas: St. Paul (Shriner), TAPPS Division IV.

    Washington Catholic Athletic Conference: St. Mary Ryken (Leonardtown, Md.), WCAC Metro; St. John’s College (Washington, D.C.), WCAC Capital.

    Wisconsin: Catholic Memorial (Waukesha), Division 4; Aquinas (La Crosse), Division 5.

    Again, if we dropped the ball and did not mention your school in the 2021 CAC Honor Roll, give us a nudge. We can make an online edit and that’s the case if Saint Louis (Honolulu) wins the Hawaii Open Division championship on Thursday night. Hawaii put the season on hold due to pandemic issues.

    There’s more for our final week and it’s really good news.

    Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, an alumnus of Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, Calif., recently won the Heisman Trophy.

    During his acceptance speech on Dec. 11 in New York, Young said, “I’ve always been ruled out and kind of doubted. People a lot of times have told me that I wasn’t going to be able to make it. And for me, it’s always been about not really proving them wrong, but proving to myself what I can accomplish.”

    Young became the third Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback from Mater Dei, joining John Huarte (in 1964) and Matt Leinart (2004). The school has a designated Heisman Lane on campus that will now feature the three winners.

    Young started his prep career at Cathedral (Los Angeles) before transferring to the nation’s premier program and this year’s CAC National Champions. He and the Crimson Tide are back in action on Dec. 31 against Cincinnati at the Cotton Bowl. The winner advances to the national title game on Dec. 10.

    Congratulations, Bryce!

    Here’s the final reminder of the season from our friends at Global Football.

    Now that another holiday season is here, reward your school and think about this offer from Global Football.

    So, you don’t have to have Irish ancestry to enjoy a trip to Emerald Island … with American football as a bonus next summer.

    If you like traveling and high school and college football here’s your opportunity.

    In conjunction with the 2022 Big Ten Conference opening game is the fifth High School Football Showcase organized by Global Football. The showcase game features Northwestern and Nebraska as part of the Aer Lingus College Football Series on Aug. 27, 2022, at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland.  

    So, here are the details.

    High school football athletic directors and coaches are invited to travel overseas with their teams for a competitive game against an American opponent. Schools are encouraged to bring their high school bands, cheerleaders and teams from other sports such as field hockey, rugby and lacrosse.

    It will be a memorable trip and cultural experience!

    For more information contact Patrick Steenberge (817) 219-7274 or email him Patrick@globalfootball.com. Also visit this site for additional details, 2022 Kildare High School Showcase PPT.

    Plan ahead, the Emerald Island trip will be here quicker than before!

    We encourage fans, players, parents and coaches to follow the CAC Top 25 through social media at www.Facebook.com/CACTop25 and on Twitter @CACTop25. If there is a team, coach, player or story idea that we may have overlooked, we need to hear from you. Our readers are our greatest resource. We can’t thank you enough and can’t do it without you.

    The CAC Top 25 preseason rankings will be revealed in August 2022.

    We had a blast this season and look ahead to another one in the next calendar year. We cannot thank all the fans and readers who make the CAC Top 25 rankings a weekly must-read. This was our fifth year at it and the sixth will be bigger and better.

    Our best to all the players, coaches, parents, supporters, school administrators, cheerleaders, band members, game day volunteers, police officers, medical personnel and prep sports writers for making the 2021 season another walk-off touchdown.

    Thank you, again!

    And a special thank-you and recognition to Patrick Steenberge of Global Football, who is the brains and creator of the CAC Top 25. Your devotion to the sport of football is unmatched. I look forward to working with you for another season in 2022.

    Finally, stay safe and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We’re less than eight months from the start of another high school football season and we’ll gladly bring it to you from a prospective of Catholic schools nationwide.

    Until next season, God’s Blessings. — Christopher Lawlor, National Correspondent, Catholic Athletes for Christ

    CAC TOP 25 HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL FINAL RANKINGS, DECEMBER 22, 2021 

    1. Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif. (12-0)*!

    Previous rank: 1.

    In the Huddle: The Monarchs are the CAC Top 25 National Champions after completing a perfect season and winning the CIF Open Division Bowl Game, defeating Serra (San Mateo), 44-7, in the final. The Monarchs led 21-0 after the first quarter and cruised. Sophomore QB Elijah Brown completed 18-of-25 passes for 243 yards and two TDs, Raleek Brown rushed for three TDs and both Quincy Craig and Cooper Barkate caught scoring passes. Indeed, it was a dominant season for the Monarchs.

    2. Bergen Catholic, Oradell, N.J. (12-0)*

    Previous rank: 2.

    In the Huddle: Won Non-Public A championship.

    3. Jesuit, Tampa, Fla. (15-0)*

    Previous rank: 3.

    In the Huddle: Won the Florida Class 6A state championship, defeating Pine Forest (Pensacola), 35-29, in the final. The Tigers rallied from a 29-14 hole in the third quarter. QB Luke Knight engineered a 5-play, 91-yard drive in the final minute capped by a 7-yard TD toss to WR Jadyn Girard with 37 seconds left and RB Joquez Smith (88 yards rushing, two TDs) added the two-point conversion. Knight completed 18 of 26 passes for 352 yards and three TDs. WR Junior Vandeross had six receptions for 121 yards and two scores.

    4. St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (14-1)*

    Previous rank: 4.

    In the Huddle: Won a third straight Florida Class 7A state championship, defeating Tampa Bay Tech (Tampa), 42-14, in the final. It was a Florida record 13th championship for the Raiders. RB Anthony Hankerson carried 11 times for 117 yards and three TDs from 30, 4 and 16 yards. QB Zion Turner threw for 117 yards and two scores from 21 yards apiece and rushed for another one. The Raiders were up 21-0 after one quarter and never looked back.

    5. Servite, Anaheim, Calif. (10-3)

    Previous rank: 5.

    In the Huddle: The Friars advanced to the CIF-Southern Section Division I final and all three losses to were to Trinity League members and CAC 25 teams Mater Dei and St. John Bosco.

    6. St. John Bosco, Bellflower, Calif. (10-2)

    Previous rank: 6.

    In the Huddle: The Braves had two losses to CAC 25 teams Mater Dei and Servite.

    7. St. Frances Academy, Baltimore, Md. (8-1)

    Previous rank: 7.

    In the Huddle: The Panthers do not compete for a postseason championship but played a national schedule with a signature win over powerhouse IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) but lost to No. 4 St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.).

    8. St. John’s College, Washington, D.C. (11-0)*

    Previous rank: 8.

    In the Huddle: Won the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Capital championship.

    9. Catholic, Baton Rouge, La. (12-1)*

    Previous rank: 9.

    In the Huddle: Won a second straight LHSAA Division I state championship.

    10. Chaminade-Madonna College Prep, Hollywood, Fla. (12-1)*^

    Previous rank: 10.

    In the Huddle: Won the Florida Class 3A state championship, shutting out previously unbeaten Berkeley Prep (Tampa), 21-0, in the final. The Lions have won fourth state titles in the last five years. RB Davion Gause, a Miami recruit, carried 26 times for 199 yards and two scores. QB Cedrick Bailey hit on 12-of-17 passes for 154 yards and a 33-yard TD strike to WR Jeremiah Smith in the third quarter. Gause gave the Lions the lead for good at 7-0 from 2 yards on the final play of the opening period. He added a second rushing score from 22 yards in the fourth to ice it. The Lions also rallied to beat Highland (Gilbert, Ariz.), 35-24, on Dec. 17 to capture the GEICO State Champions Bowl Series title in Las Vegas, Nev.

    11. Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas, Nevada (12-1)*

    Previous rank: 11.

    In the Huddle: Won NIAA Class 5A state championship.

    12. St. Edward, Lakewood, Ohio (15-1)*

    Previous rank: 12.

    In the Huddle: Won Division I state championship. It was the program’s fifth state title since 2010 and the first since 2018.

    13. Cathedral, Indianapolis, Ind. (14-1)*

    Previous rank: 13.

    In the Huddle: Won a second consecutive Class 5A state championship.

    14. De La Salle Collegiate, Warren, Mich. (13-0)*

    Previous rank: 14.

    In the Huddle: Won the Division 2 state championship.

    15. St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia (11-3)*

    Previous rank: 15.

    In the Huddle: The Philadelphia Catholic League Red Division champions lost in the PIAA Class 6A final to undefeated and nationally ranked Mount Lebanon (Pittsburgh), 35-17, in the final.

    16. Joliet (Ill.) Catholic Academy (14-0)*

    Previous rank: 16.

    In the Huddle: Won the Class 4A state championship. It was the Hilltoppers’ state record 15th Illinois state championship.

    17. Central Catholic, Portland, Ore. (15-0)*

    Previous rank: 17.

    In the Huddle: Won the Class 6A state championship. The Rams dominated Oregon’s largest classification.

    18. Christian Brothers College, St. Louis, Mo. (13-1)*

    Previous rank: 18.

    In the Huddle: Won Class 6 state championship.

    19. Iona Prep, New Rochelle, N.Y. (11-1)**

    Previous rank: 19.

    In the Huddle: Won the Catholic High School Athletic Association state championship and

    New York City Catholic High School Football League Class AAA title.

    20. Serra, San Mateo, Calif. (12-2)

    Previous rank: 22.

    In the Huddle: Advanced to CIF Open Division Bowl Game final, losing to No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana), 44-7. Won the CIF-Central Coast Section Division 1 title.

    21. De La Salle, Concord, Calif. (10-3)

    Previous rank: 21.

    In the Huddle: The Spartans won their 29th consecutive CIF-North Coast Section title but were upset in the CIF-Northern Region Division 1-AA final.

    22. St. Xavier, Louisville, Ky. (14-1)*

    Previous rank: 22.

    In the Huddle: Won KHSAA Class 6A state championship.

    23. Archbishop Moeller, Cincinnati, Ohio (11-4)

    Previous rank: 23.

    In the Huddle: Advanced to the OHSAA Division I semifinals after winning the ultra-competitive Region 4 championship.

    24. St. Xavier, Cincinnati, Ohio (10-3)

    Previous rank: 24.

    In the Huddle: The Bombers won the Greater Catholic League (of Cincinnati) South title, one of the nation’s toughest leagues, but fell short in the OHSAA Division I, Region 4 playoffs.

    25. Cathedral Catholic, San Diego, Calif. (12-2)*

    Previous rank: Not ranked.

    In the Huddle: The Dons slide back into the CAC Top 25 rankings after annexing the CIF Division 1-AA championship, beating Folsom, 33-21, in the final. It was the program’s third state title. QB Charlie Mirer, the son of former NFL QB Rick Mirer, accounted for three TDs, including a 28-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter to ice it. RB Lucky Sutton, who set a CIF-San Diego Section record with 435 rushing yards and seven TDs in the regional final, for the second straight week lit up the defense with 232 rushing yards and a score on 30 carries. Season complete.

    Dropped out: No. 25 Central Catholic (Pittsburgh, Pa.).

    Special Consideration: Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)*; Central Catholic (Pittsburgh, Pa.); Jesuit (New Orleans, La.); Columbus (Miami, Fla.); Central Catholic (Grand Rapids, Mich.)*; Benedictine Military School (Savannah, Ga.)*; Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.); Catholic Memorial (West Roxbury, Mass.)*; Red Bank (N.J.) Catholic*; Archbishop Hoban (Akron, Ohio); Catholic Memorial (Waukesha, Wis.)*; McQuaid Jesuit (Rochester, N.Y.); Loyola Academy (Wilmette, Ill.); Loyola Blakefield (Towson, Md.); St Francis (Athol Springs, N.Y.)*; Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, Wash.); Brebeuf Jesuit (Indianapolis, Ind.); La Salle College (Wyndmoor, Pa.); Benedictine (Cleveland, Ohio); Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.); St. Thomas Academy (Mendota, Minn.); St. Francis (Mountain View, Calif); Good Counsel (Olney, Md.); DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.); Jesuit (Portland, Ore.); Marist (Atlanta, Ga.); St. Rita (Chicago, Ill.); Archbishop Spalding (Severn, Md.); St. Mary Ryken (Leonardtown, Md.)*; Aquinas (La Crosse, Wis.)*; Lansing (Mich.) Catholic*; Cathedral Prep (Erie, Pa.);Fenwick (Oak Park, Ill.)*;St. Joseph Regional (Montvale, N.J.); Serra (Gardena, Calif.); Bishop Alemany (Mission Hills, Calif.); .); Fairfield (Conn.) Prep; Blessed Trinity Catholic (Roswell, Ga.); Saint Louis (Honolulu, Hawaii)* and Roncalli (Indianapolis, Ind.).

    *Won state or conference postseason tournament championship [Teams in some states won more than one postseason title]

    ! Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 National Champions

    ^ Won a GEICO State Champions Bowl Series game

    About: The Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 High School Football Rankings, presented by Global Football are released on Wednesdays from late August until the conclusion of the high school season in December. Criteria include the quality of the team and its players, strength of schedule, tradition, and quality of the team’s league, conference, region or district. The rankings are compiled by Christopher Lawlor, who consults with Patrick Steenberge of Global Football in Granbury, Texas to coordinate the CAC Top 25. All Catholic high schools from the United States that feature only four-year players on 11-man teams are eligible for consideration. Fans are encouraged to follow the CAC Top 25 at www.Facebook.com/CACTop25 and on Twitter @CACTop25.

    CAC Top 25 High School Football Rankings (December 8, 2021)

    December 9, 2021, 7:46 am

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The high school football season is down to two weekends.

    That’s it.

    Teams from the Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 High School football rankings presented by Global Football, will be putting it all on the line. This weekend, championships will be played in Connecticut, Florida, California, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona and Delaware.

    The top-13 teams remained the same and a total of 16 teams stayed put from the previous ranking. Six teams moved up two spots and one advanced one. No. 21 De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) fell seven slots after an upset loss. So far, 12 teams from the CAC Top 25 have won state or conference postseason titles.

    No. 22 St. Xavier (Louisville, Ky.) joins the CAC Top 25 after annexing the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Class 6A state championship.

    We’re also hearing two teams from the CAC Top 25 rankings will be selected to play in the GEICO High School Bowl Series to be played on Dec. 17 and 18 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Games will be televised by ESPN. The only hint is one is from the Middle Atlantic and another from the Nevada will host the two games.

    Before we reveal the updated CAC Top 25, we’ll revisit the weekly feature called the Triple Option, which identifies a student-athlete, two coaches and state playoff games worth noting.

    The player is from the East Coast. This week’s coaches completed championship seasons in Louisiana and Oregon. As for the top games, it’s championship games from California, North Carolina and Connecticut.

    Triple Option

    Player of the Week: Quarterback Samaj Jones of No. 15 St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia, Pa.). When the Hawks started preseason training in the August heat, it was supposed to be a rebuilding year. Some call these type seasons starting over but in the City of Brotherly Love, it’s known as reloading.

    The Hawks (11-2) are headed back to the PIAA Class 6A state championship game after pummeling Garnett Valley (Glen Mills), 49-13, last weekend in the semifinals.

    The sophomore signal caller accounted for all seven touchdowns as the Hawks are within touching distance of a fourth straight state crown. Last week, Semaj ran for scores from 5, 4, 4 and 1 yards and threw for TDs from 37, 30 and 16 yards.

    The Hawks face unbeaten Mount Lebanon (Pittsburgh) Saturday in the Class 6A final Saturday night in Hershey.

    Coaches of the Week: David Simoneaux Jr. of No. 9 Catholic (Baton Rouge, La.) and Steve Pyne of No. 17 Central Catholic (Portland, Ore.).

    In Louisiana, Simoneaux was again a big-game coach as the Bears (12-1) won the Louisiana High School Athletic Association Division I state championship after holding off then-No. 16 Jesuit (New Orleans), 14-10, in the final. There was no scoring in the second half but the Bears unleashed two time-consuming drives of 28 plays in the final quarter to keep the ball away from the Blue Jays.

    In Oregon, the Central Catholic Rams (14-0) ran the table and capped off the historic season with a 44-14 victory over Tualatin in the Class 6A state final. The Rams were clearly the best in Oregon and separated themselves from the pack with speed, size and an unmatched football IQ. The playoffs were a cakewalk winning by 49, 31, 42 and 30 points.

    Central Catholic has won six titles, the last coming in 2019. Pyne is 172-52 since 2003 and 108-13 (.892 winning percentage) in the Mount Hood Conference.

    Games of the Week (All times are local and subject to change): The menu features three state championship games to be contested on Saturday.

    Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Class LL, Saturday 3 p.m.: In the Nutmeg State, it’s top-seeded Fairfield Prep (11-1) facing Darien (11-1) at McDougall Stadium in Trumbull for the state’s largest classification title.

    North Carolina High School Athletic Association Class 4A, Saturday, 7 p.m.: The large-school championship is on the line when Cardinal Gibbons (Raleigh) faces Chambers (Charlotte) at North Carolina State’s Carter Finley Stadium in Raleigh. The Cardinal Gibbons Crusaders are 13-2.

    California Interscholastic Federation Open Division, Saturday, 8 p.m.: The state final pits No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana) against No. 20 Serra (San Mateo) at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo. The Monarchs (11-0) are going for another perfect season.

    One final thought and it’s a weekly reminder from our friends at Global Football.

    Now that another holiday season is here, reward school and think about this offer from Global Football.

    So, you don’t have to have Irish ancestry to enjoy a trip to Emerald Island … with American football as a bonus next summer.

    If you like traveling and high school and college football here’s your opportunity.

    In conjunction with the 2022 Big Ten Conference opening game is the fifth High School Football Showcase organized by Global Football. The showcase game features Northwestern and Nebraska as part of the Aer Lingus College Football Series on Aug. 27, 2022, at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland.  

    So, here are the details.

    High school football athletic directors and coaches are invited to travel overseas with their teams for a competitive game against an American opponent. Schools are encouraged to bring their high school bands, cheerleaders and teams from other sports such as field hockey, rugby and lacrosse.

    It will be a memorable trip and cultural experience!

    For more information contact Patrick Steenberge (817) 219-7274 or email him Patrick@globalfootball.com. Also visit this site for additional details, 2022 Kildare High School Showcase PPT.

    Plan ahead, the Emerald Island trip will be here quicker than before!

    We encourage fans, players, parents and coaches to follow the CAC Top 25 through social media at www.Facebook.com/CACTop25 and on Twitter @CACTop25. If there is a team, coach, player or story idea that we may have overlooked, we need to hear from you. Our readers are our greatest resource. We can’t thank you enough and can’t do it without you.

    The CAC Top 25 rankings will return on December 22 for the final time this season. Consider the CAC Top 25 final rankings an early Christmas present.

    Stay safe and get out and attend a high school game in your state. There’s full complement of title games in the aforementioned states for the next two weekends.

    Until then, God Bless. — Christopher Lawlor, National Correspondent, Catholic Athletes for Christ

    Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 High School Football Rankings, Dec. 8, 2021

    1. Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif. (11-0)

    Previous rank: 1.

    In the Huddle: Idle. The Monarchs play No. 20 Serra (San Mateo) Saturday in the CIF Open Division Bowl Game at Saddleback College in nearby Mission Viejo.

    2. Bergen Catholic, Oradell, N.J. (12-0)*

    Previous rank: 2.

    In the Huddle: Won Non-Public A championship. Season complete

    3. Jesuit, Tampa, Fla. (14-0)

    Previous rank: 3.

    In the Huddle: The Tigers made history last weekend in trouncing state powerhouse Northwestern (Miami), 37-12, in the Class 6A semifinals. The Tigers are in the championship game and seek a first title since 1968. They’ll have to wait until next week when they play Pine Forest (Pensacola) on Dec. 18 in the Class 6A final to be played at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.

    4. St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (13-1)

    Previous rank: 4.

    In the Huddle: The Raiders defeated Buchholz (Gainesville), 45-7, in Class 7A semifinals. They will have this weekend off in preparation for the Class 7A final against Tampa Bay Tech (Tampa) on Dec. 17 in the Class 7A final to be played at nearby DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale.

    5. Servite, Anaheim, Calif. (10-3)

    Previous rank: 5.

    In the Huddle: Season complete.

    6. St. John Bosco, Bellflower, Calif. (10-2)

    Previous rank: 6.

    In the Huddle: Season complete.

    7. St. Frances Academy, Baltimore, Md. (8-1)

    Previous rank: 7.

    In the Huddle: Season complete.

    8. St. John’s College, Washington, D.C. (11-0)*

    Previous rank: 8.

    In the Huddle: Won the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Capital championship. Season complete but the Cadets will be playing in the GEICO High School Bowl Series next weekend in Nevada.

    9. Catholic, Baton Rouge, La. (12-1)*

    Previous rank: 9.

    In the Huddle: Won a second straight LHSAA Division I state championship, edging then-No. 16 Jesuit (New Orleans), 14-10, I the final. Joshua Robertson recovered a high snap on a punt in the end zone to give the Bears a 7-0 lead. RB Taelon Nicholas was named team’s MVP, carrying 25 times carries for 109 yards and QB Daniel Beale threw for 90 yards and a score to WR Daniel Harden. Season complete.

    10. Chaminade-Madonna College Prep, Hollywood, Fla. (10-1)

    Previous rank: 10.

    In the Huddle: The Lions crushed Florida State University High (Tallahassee), 38-3, in the Class 3A state semifinals. C-M advanced to the 3A final for the fifth straight year and go for their fourth during the stretch. Next is Berkeley Prep (Tampa) in the Class 3A final Thursday at Gene Cox Stadium in Tallahassee.

    11. Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas (12-1)*

    Previous rank: 11.

    In the Huddle: Won Class 5A state championship. Season is complete but an appearance in the GEICO Bowl Series appears to be alive.

    12. St. Edward, Lakewood, Ohio (15-1)*

    Previous rank: 12.

    In the Huddle: Won Division I state championship, defeating Springfield, 23-13, in the final. It was the program’s fifth state title since 2010 and the first since 2018. RB Danny Enovitch ran for a 17-yard TD for a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. Enovitch rushed for a game-high 210 yards and two scores and the Eagles were clutch when it mattered most converting on 9 of 13 attempts on third down. Season complete.

    13. Cathedral, Indianapolis, Ind. (14-1)*

    Previous rank: 13.

    In the Huddle: Won a second consecutive Class 5A state championship. Season complete.

    14. De La Salle Collegiate, Warren, Mich. (13-0)*

    Previous rank: 15.

    In the Huddle: Won the Division 2 state championship. Season complete.

    15. St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia (11-2)*

    Previous rank: 17.

    In the Huddle: Sophomore Samaj Jones accounted for seven TDs, running for four and throwing for three more, when the Hawks routed Garnett Valley (Glen Mills), 49-13, in the PIAA Class 6A state semifinals. Jones ran for scores from 5, 4, 4 and 1 yards and tossed for TD from 37, 30 and 16 yards. The Hawks were up 35-7 at halftime and they go for a fourth consecutive 6A title on Saturday against WPIAL powerhouse Mount Lebanon (Pittsburgh) at Hersheypark Stadium in Hershey.

    16. Joliet (Ill.) Catholic Academy (14-0)*

    Previous rank: 18.

    In the Huddle: Won the Class 4A state championship. Season complete.

    17. Central Catholic, Portland, Ore. (15-0)*

    Previous rank: 19.

    In the Huddle: Won the Class 6A state championship, defeating Tualatin, 44-14, in the final.

    The Rams took a 14-7 when RB Elli Bynum scored on a 13-yard run and Timmy Mitchell added a 2-yard scoop-and-score off a fumble to make it 21-7. Sophomore QB Cru Newman, completed 12 of 24 passes for 243 yards and a score and Bynum rushed for 88 yards and two TDs on 13 carries. Season complete.

    18. Christian Brothers College, St. Louis, Mo. (13-1)*

    Previous rank: 20.

    In the Huddle: Won Class 6 state championship. Season complete.

    19. Iona Prep, New Rochelle, N.Y. (11-1)**

    Previous rank: 21.

    In the Huddle: Won the Catholic High School Athletic Association state championship and

    Won New York City Catholic High School Football League Class AAA title. Season complete.

    20. Serra, San Mateo, Calif. (12-1)

    Previous rank: 22.

    In the Huddle: Idle. The Padres face top-ranked Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) for the CIF Open Division Bowl Game Saturday in Mission Viejo.

    21. De La Salle, Concord, Calif. (10-3)

    Previous rank: 14.

    In the Huddle: Upset by Folsom, 28-27, in the CIF-Northern Region Division 1-AA final. Season complete.

    22. St. Xavier, Louisville, Ky. (14-1)*

    Previous rank: Not ranked.

    In the Huddle: Won Class 6A state championship, defeating Male (Louisville), 31-21. The Tigers avenged their lone regular season setback. Season complete.

    23. Archbishop Moeller, Cincinnati, Ohio (11-4)

    Previous rank: 23.

    In the Huddle: Season complete.

    24. St. Xavier, Cincinnati, Ohio (10-3)

    Previous rank: 24.

    In the Huddle: Season complete.

    25. Central Catholic, Pittsburgh, Pa. (9-3)

    Previous rank: 25.

    In the Huddle: Season complete.

    Dropped out: No. 16. Jesuit (New Orleans, La.).

    Special Consideration: Jesuit (New Orleans, La.);  Cathedral Catholic (San Diego, Calif.); Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.); Columbus (Miami, Fla.); Central Catholic (Grand Rapids, Mich.)*; Benedictine Military School (Savannah, Ga.); Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.); Catholic Memorial (West Roxbury, Mass.); Red Bank (N.J.) Catholic*; Archbishop Hoban (Akron, Ohio); Catholic Memorial (Waukesha, Wis.)*; McQuaid Jesuit (Rochester, N.Y.); Loyola Academy (Wilmette, Ill.); Loyola Blakefield (Towson, Md.); St Francis (Athol Springs, N.Y.)*; Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, Wash.); St. Augustine Prep (Richland, N.J.); Brebeuf Jesuit (Indianapolis, Ind.); La Salle College (Wyndmoor, Pa.); Benedictine (Cleveland, Ohio); Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.); St. Thomas Academy (Mendota, Minn.); St. Francis (Mountain View, Calif); Good Counsel (Olney, Md.); DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.); Jesuit (Portland, Ore.); Marist (Atlanta, Ga.); St. Rita (Chicago, Ill.); Archbishop Spalding (Severn, Md.); St. Mary Ryken (Leonardtown, Md.)*; Aquinas (La Crosse, Wis.)*; Lansing (Mich.) Catholic*; Cathedral Prep (Erie, Pa.);Fenwick (Oak Park, Ill.)*;St. Joseph Regional (Montvale, N.J.); Brother Martin (New Orleans, La.), Serra (Gardena, Calif.); Bishop Alemany (Mission Hills, Calif.); .); Fairfield (Conn.) Prep;  Blessed Trinity Catholic (Roswell, Ga.);  and Roncalli (Indianapolis, Ind.).

    *Won state or conference postseason championship [Teams in some states won more than one postseason title]

    About: The Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 High School Football Rankings, presented by Global Football are released on Wednesdays from late August until the conclusion of the high school season in January. Criteria include the quality of the team and its players, strength of schedule, tradition, and quality of the team’s league, conference, region or district. The rankings are compiled by Christopher Lawlor, who consults with Patrick Steenberge of Global Football in Granbury, Texas to coordinate the CAC Top 25. All Catholic high schools from the United States that feature only four-year players on 11-man teams are eligible for consideration. Fans are encouraged to follow the CAC Top 25 at www.Facebook.com/CACTop25 and on Twitter @CACTop25.

    CAC Top 25 High School Football Rankings (December 1, 2021)

    December 2, 2021, 3:08 pm

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The countdown to the end has started for the teams from the Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 High School football rankings presented by Global Football. It’s the first week in December that means state championship games.

    If aren’t playing for a title this weekend, and many states will be, then it’s the state semifinals and two games remain.

    When teams finished the 2020 season, the goal for the next season (2021) was to win your last game. That means hardware for the athletic department’s trophy case and all the hours spent in the weight room, attending combines, watching tape, going to speed and agility tutors and 7-v-7 tournaments paid dividends. Only the strong survive.

    This week is the busiest for state championships as 16 states and the District of Columbia are among those crowning champions. The list of states includes Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey (public schools only), New York, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia.

    We’ve highlighted the CAC related teams in the Triple Option section that are involved in state championship contests this weekend.

    With nearly four months of games in the books, the CAC Top 25 rankings, 14 teams have completed their season, four more added state or conference championship titles this week, bring the total to eight ranked teams. Four teams moved up four spots and four ascended one. One team dropped a rung and there were three additions.

    No. 16 Jesuit (New Orleans), No. 20 Christian Brothers College (St. Louis, Mo.) and No. 22 Serra (San Mateo, Calif.) were added. Only Serra re-enters after winning a California Interscholastic Federation-Central Coast Section Division 1 title. The Padres will play No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) next weekend in the state final.

    CBC won the Missouri Class 6 state crown and Jesuit is one win from a perfect season and Louisiana Division I state title.

    We’re also hearing two teams from the CAC Top 25 rankings will be selected to play in the GEICO High School Bowl Series to be played on Dec. 17 and 18. Games will be televised by ESPN. The only hint is one is from the Middle Atlantic and another from the West will host the two games. We’ll have more on bowl games as it develops.

    Before we reveal the updated CAC Top 25, we’ll revisit the weekly feature called the Triple Option, which identifies two student-athletes, two coaches and state playoff games worth noting.

    The players are from midwestern states and committed to major programs from their home states. This week’s coaches completed perfection seasons, capped by state championships in Illinois and New Jersey. As for the top games, it’s a potpourri of crowning moments from Massachusetts to Washington (D.C.) to Ohio to Oregon.

    Triple Option

    Players of the Week: Running back Jordan Anderson of No. 18 Joliet (Ill.) Catholic Academy and linebacker/running back Drayk Bowen of Andrean (Merrillville, Ind.). Both players are neighboring midwestern states, who played on championship teams.

    Anderson becomes the first player to earn a rare second CAC Player of the Week honor for the 2021 season. He earned this one after an Illinois Class 4A final rushing record with 306 yards when the Hilltoppers trounced Sacred Heart-Griffin (Springfield), 56-27, in the 4A final at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb.

    It was JCA’s state record 15th state championship.

    JCA (14-0) trailed 7-0 early but Anderson got cooking with the first of his five touchdowns from 2 yards to tie it. JCA took the lead for good at 14-7 after one quarter. Anderson’s 35-yard TD run and 32-yard scoring reception from QB Aidan Voss for a 35-13 edge at the break.

    Anderson, an Illinois recruit, closed out his prep career with TD runs from 26 and 6 yards in the fourth quarter. For the game, he ran for 306 yards and four scores on 30 carries (10.2 yards a pop!). He also caught two passes for 67 yards and a score.

    In Lucas Oil Stadium, Bowen showed why he is “Mr. Versatile” and has a high-end recruiting pedigree. The junior did a little of everything or you may say a lot of anything during Andrean’s 21-9 victory over Mater Dei (Evansville) for the Class 2A championship in Indianapolis.

    At 6 feet 2 inches, 215 pounds, Bowen is the nation’s 44th ranked recruit from the Class of 2023 and Indiana’s top junior prospect. There’s a reason why he committed to Notre Dame on Nov. 3 over the likes of Michigan, Arkansas, Missouri, Penn State, Michigan State, Clemson, Kentucky and Auburn.

    Last weekend, Bowen made six tackles (2.5 for loss) with and forced a key fumble deep in Andrean territory with the game in the balance. He also carried 24 times for a career-high 171 yards (7.1 yards a carry) and three TDs. He also punted three times for an average of 35.3 yards–all inside the 20-yard line.

    Bowen is also a pro-prospect baseball player, where he hits for power and above average, and plans to play both sports at Notre Dame.

    Coaches of the Week: Vito Campanile of No. 2 Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.) and Dan Rohn of No. 15 De La Salle Collegiate (Warren, Mich.). Whenever your team runs the table or goes unbeaten with a state championship to boot, it’s clearly the Holy Grail.

    In New Jersey, Campanile guided the Crusaders to a 28-7 victory over archrivals Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey) in the Non-Public A championship at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. Finishing 12-0 and playing in one of the nation’s top leagues, BC recorded its first undefeated season since 1998 and eighth overall.

    The Crusaders claimed their 15th postseason championship, sectional or state, and the first one since 2017. That last BC championship squad was headed by Nunzio Campanile, Vito’s brother. Nunzio left following that season to be become an assistant coach at Rutgers University.

    In four seasons, Vito Campanile is 32-7 (.821 winning percentage).

    Last weekend, the Crusaders trailed 7-0 early but peeled off the next 28 points and lifted the New Jersey hardware and will be crowned the state’s top-ranked team. BC still has a chance to rise in the CAC Top 25 rankings with No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) needing one win to win the California Open Bowl Game next weekend.

    Vito Campanile told The Record: “”I think it says a lot about who they are, because in my experience, the people that I revere the most and the people who have had the greatest effect on me, in the hardest of times, they become the best version of themselves. And they’ve done that over and over again.” 

    BC will be one of New Jersey’s top teams in 2022 and are one of four teams favored in Non-Public A.

    In Michigan, it was another banner weekend for the Pilots of De La Salle Collegiate and Rohn following a 41-14 blowout of Traverse City Central in the Division 2 final last Friday at Ford Field in Detroit.

    Rohn has won five Michigan state championships, the first four were with West Catholic (Grand Rapids) and are clearly the state’s top squad. The Pilots (13-0) scored on their first five possessions for a comfortable 34-0 lead at the intermission.

    A year ago, the Pilots lost in the Division 2 final but not this time. Junior QB Brady Drogosh made sure of it, concluding with 174 yards rushing and a TD on 19 carries and passed for 142 yards and three scores.

    It was De La Salle’s first championship since 2018, and fourth overall.

    Games of the Week (All times are local and subject to change): The menu features championship games from seven states and the District of Columbia. These games are what is referred to as “playing for keeps.”

    Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 2, Thursday, 8 p.m.: Undefeated Catholic Memorial (12-0) goes up against King Philip (Wrentham), which enters at 10-1 for a state championship at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. Last week, CM saw six players spread the wealth, scoring TDs, as the Knights beat rivals Boston College High, 57-34, in the regular season on Thanksgiving. The Knights beat Marshfield, 41-0, in the semifinals advancing to their third straight final (2018, ’19) on Nov. 20.

    New York State Public High School Athletic Association, Class A, Friday, 3 p.m.: The hometown Brothers of Christian Brothers Academy make the short trip to the Carrier Dome to play Somers in the Class A final. It’s five title games in two days under the Dome.

    Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools, Division IV, Friday, 7:30 p.m.: The Waco ISD Athletic Complex is the site for the Division IV championship between St. Paul Catholic (Shiner) and Sacred Heart Catholic (Muenster).

    Ohio High School Athletic Association, Division I, Friday, 7:30 p.m.: The seven state title games are spread over three days at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton. The Division I final pits No. 12 St. Edward (Lakewood) and Springfield. Earlier in the day, Ursuline (Youngstown) plays Clinton-Massie (Clarksville) in the Division IV at 10:30 a.m.; and Badin (Hamilton) meets Chardon in Division III at 3 p.m. On Thursday, it’ll be Archbishop Hoban (Akron) and Winton Woods (Cincinnati) in Division II at 7 p.m. Saturday’s menu features Newark Catholic and Maria Stein (Marion) at 10:30 a.m.

    District of Columbia State Athletic Association Class AA, Saturday, 4 p.m.: It’s Archbishop Carroll of the Washington Catholic Athletic Association playing Theodore Roosevelt Rough Riders for the Class AA title on the campus of Georgetown University.

    Kentucky High School Athletic Association Class 6A, Saturday, 8 p.m.: The St. Xavier Tigers (13-1) hook up with crosstown rivals Male (Louisville) in the 6A final at University of Kentucky’s Kroger Field in Lexington. The Bulldogs (13-0) won first matchup, 28-21, in the regular season on Sept. 3.

    Louisiana High School Athletic Association Division I and III, Saturday: The nightcap is a heavyweight bout for the Division I title between defending champions No. 9 Catholic (Baton Rouge) and unbeaten No. 16 Jesuit (New Orleans) at Tulane University’s Yulman Stadium, 7 p.m. In the Division III final, St. Charles Catholic (Laplace) faces top-seeded Lafayette Christian Academy. The St. Charles Comets are 10-0.

    Oregon Schools Activities Association, Class 6A, Saturday, 12 p.m.: The Class 6A title game will be contested at Hillsboro High School in suburban Portland as the No. 19 Central Catholic (Portland) Rams play Tualatin.

    NBC will present live coverage of the 2022 All-American Bowl from the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas.

    This week three players from No. 1 Mater Dei will be honored:

    Four-star LB, David Bailey

    Four-star RB, Oklahoma commit, Raleek Brown

    Four-star WR, Notre Dame commit, C.J. Williams

    Now that another holiday season is upon us, reward school and think about this offer from Global Football.

    So, you don’t have to have Irish ancestry to enjoy a trip to Emerald Island … with American football as a bonus next summer.

    If you like traveling and high school and college football here’s your opportunity.

    In conjunction with the 2022 Big Ten Conference opening game is the fifth High School Football Showcase organized by Global Football. The showcase game features Northwestern and Nebraska as part of the Aer Lingus College Football Series on Aug. 27, 2022, at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland.  

    So, here are the details.

    High school football athletic directors and coaches are invited to travel overseas with their teams for a competitive game against an American opponent. Schools are encouraged to bring their high school bands, cheerleaders and teams from other sports such as field hockey, rugby and lacrosse.

    It will be a memorable trip and cultural experience!

    For more information contact Patrick Steenberge (817) 219-7274 or email him Patrick@globalfootball.com. Also visit this site for additional details, 2022 Kildare High School Showcase PPT.

    Plan ahead, the Emerald Island trip will be here quicker than before!

    We encourage fans, players, parents and coaches to follow the CAC Top 25 through social media at www.Facebook.com/CACTop25 and on Twitter @CACTop25. If there is a team, coach, player or story idea that we may have overlooked, we need to hear from you. Our readers are our greatest resource. We can’t thank you enough and can’t do it without you.

    The CAC Top 25 rankings will return on December 8. After that we’re counting down to the end. The final rankings drop prior to Christmas.

    Now that we’ve reached December, it’s Advent and St. Nicholas Day is Monday December 6. When purchasing your Christmas presents, please travel safe and support the local businesses in your town. They’ve need a boost after 2020 pandemic. The loyalty of neighbors goes a long way this time of year.

    Stay safe and get out and attend a high school game in your state. There’s full complement of title games in the aforementioned states this weekend.

    Until next week, God Bless. — Christopher Lawlor, National Correspondent, Catholic Athletes for Christ

    Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 High School Football Rankings, Dec. 1, 2021

    1. Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif. (11-0)

    Previous rank: 1.

    In the Huddle: The Monarchs defeated No. 5 Servite (Anaheim), 27-7, in the CIF-Southern Section, Division 1 championship. The game was knotted at 7 after one quarter when RB Ajon Bryant scored on 27-yard run with 7:28 left in the half. RB Raleek Brown scored from the 1 late in the third quarter for a 21-7 edge. WR C.J. Wiliams wrapped up The Monarchs eighth Southern Section title with a TD reception with 2:21 left. The Monarchs are off this weekend and play again on Dec. 11 against No. 22 Serra (San Mateo) in the CIF Open Division Bowl Game at Saddleback College in nearby Mission Viejo.

    2. Bergen Catholic, Oradell, N.J. (12-0)*

    Previous rank: 2.

    In the Huddle: Won Non-Public A championship, defeating archrivals Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey), 28-7, in the final. It was BC’s first state title since 2017 and first unbeaten season since 1998. Princeton-bound RB Ryan Butler scored from 1 and 46 yards. Leading 14-7 at halftime, the Crusaders took a 21-7 edge when junior D.J. Samuels scored from 6 yards. Notre Dame-commit QB Steve Angeli tossed a TD pass to Jayden Bellamy to tie it at 7 in the first quarter. Season complete.

    3. Jesuit, Tampa, Fla. (13-0)

    Previous rank: 3.

    In the Huddle: Defeated Hillsborough (Tampa), 42-0, in the Class 6A, Region 3 final. The Tigers recorded their second shutout of the playoffs and advance to the state semifinals for the sixth time in seven seasons. This weekend’s game will be toughest since the Tigers beat No. 4 St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale) on Sept. 3. This Friday it is powerhouse Northwestern (Miami) who visits for a Class 6A semifinal date.

    4. St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (12-1)

    Previous rank: 4.

    In the Huddle: The Raiders crushed Homestead, 56-7, in Class 7A, Region 4 final. The Raiders raced to a 28-7 lead at the break and cruised into the state semifinals. Up next is Buchholz (Gainesville) Friday in Class 7A semifinals at home.

    5. Servite, Anaheim, Calif. (10-3)

    Previous rank: 5.

    In the Huddle: The Friars lost to No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana), 27-7, in the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 final. The Friars kept it closed early but two costly turnovers inside the Mater Dei 20-yard line dented the upset bid. Season complete.

    6. St. John Bosco, Bellflower, Calif. (10-2)

    Previous rank: 6.

    In the Huddle: Season complete.

    7. St. Frances Academy, Baltimore, Md. (8-1)

    Previous rank: 7.

    In the Huddle: Season complete.

    8. St. John’s College, Washington, D.C. (11-0)*

    Previous rank: 8.

    In the Huddle: Won the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Capital championship. Season complete.

    9. Catholic, Baton Rouge, La. (11-1)

    Previous rank: 9.

    In the Huddle: The Bears are bound for LHSAA Division I championship game after dispatching St. Paul’s (Covington), 29-28, in a thrilling semifinal matchup. RB Tae Nicholas rushed for 217 yards and three TDs on 22 carries. Trailing 28-22 late in the fourth quarter, Nicholas scored from 7 yards and Landon Carter’s extra-point was the difference. The Bears play No. 16 Jesuit (New Orleans) Saturday in the Division I final.

    10. Chaminade-Madonna College Prep, Hollywood, Fla. (9-1)

    Previous rank: 10.

    In the Huddle: The Lions overwhelmed Cardinal Newman (West Palm Beach), 48-0 in the Class 3A, Region 4 final. Next is Florida State University High (Tallahassee) in the 3A semifinals at home.

    11. Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas (12-1)*

    Previous rank: 12.

    In the Huddle: Won Class 5A state championship. Season complete.

    12. St. Edward, Lakewood, Ohio (14-1)

    Previous rank: 13.

    In the Huddle: Stopped Upper Arlington, 16-10, in n the Division I semifinals. Danny Enovitch’s 25-yard TD run in the third quarter rallied the Eagles from a 10-7 deficit. WR Rayshawn Manning gave the Eagles a 7-0 lead in the first quarter on a 52-yard scoring reception.

    The Eagles meet Springfield in the Division I final to be played at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.

    13. Cathedral, Indianapolis, Ind. (14-1)*

    Previous rank: 15.

    In the Huddle: Won a second consecutive Class 5A state championship, beating Zionsville, 34-14, in the final. For the Fighting Irish it was the program’s 14th state title. Junior WR Jaron Tibbs caught 10 passes for 225 yards and TDs of 7 and 10 yards from sophomore QB Danny O’Neill. The signal caller was clutch, throwing for 355 yards and three TDs on 25-of-35 accuracy. The game was tied at 7 through one quarter but the Irish made it 14-7 by halftime and 24-7 heading into the final quarter. Season complete.

    14. De La Salle, Concord, Calif. (10-2)

    Previous rank: 16.

    In the Huddle: Idle. The Spartans meet Folsom on Friday in the CIF-Northern Region Division 1-AA final. The winner gets Orange Lutheran or Cathedral Catholic (San Diego) from the Southern Region on Dec. 10.

    15. De La Salle Collegiate, Warren, Mich. (13-0)*

    Previous rank: 17.

    In the Huddle: Won the Division 2 state championship, defeating Traverse City Central, 41-14, in the final. The Pilots rolled to a 34-0 lead at the intermission. Junior QB Brady Drogosh hit on 14-of-19 passes for 142 yards and three TD and rushed for 174 yards and a score on 19 carries. He accounted for 318 yards from scrimmage and four TDs. Season complete.

    16. Jesuit, New Orleans, La. (10-0) #

    Previous rank: Not ranked.

    In the Huddle: The Blue Jays are a win away from the LHSAA Division I championship after beating then-No. 14 Brother Martin (New Orleans), 28-10, in the semifinals. QB Jack Larriviere, the District 9-5A Offensive Most Valuable Player, accounted for all four scores, tossing for a trio and running in another. He hit on 6-of-11 passes for 155 yards and the three TDs and carried 18 times for 96 yards and a 3-yard score in the third quarter to close out their district rivals. Remember, the Jays lost to Brother Martin in the regular season but that loss was overturned for Martin’s use of ineligible players. Next is No. 9 Catholic (Baton Rouge) Saturday for the Division I and Jesuit’s ninth overall state title.

    17. St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia (10-2)*

    Previous rank: 18.

    In the Huddle: The Hawks are two wins from the Class 6A state championship following a 24-21 victory over Freedom (Bethlehem) in the quarterfinals. Samaj Jones ran for scores of 29, 73 and 11 yards for the six-time state champions. The Hawks are back at it this weekend against Garnett Valley (Glen Mills) Saturday in the 6A semifinals.

    18. Joliet (Ill.) Catholic Academy (14-0)*

    Previous rank: 19.

    In the Huddle: Won the Class 4A state championship, beating Sacred Heart-Griffin (Springfield), 56-27, in the final. It was the Hilltoppers’ state record 15th Illinois state championship. Illinois-bound RB Jordan Anderson was a one-man wrecking machine, establishing a Class 4A record with 306 rushing yards and scored five TDs (five rushing, one reception) on 30 carries. He caught two passes for 69 yards and a score. RB Vinny Iannantone added 123 rushing yards and two scores on 23 carries. Season complete.

    19. Central Catholic, Portland, Ore. (14-0)

    Previous rank: 20.

    In the Huddle: The Rams are headed to the Class 6A state final after knocking off rivals Jesuit (Portland), 35-28, in the semifinals. It is their fifth trip to the finals in the last nine years. Next up is Tualatin Saturday afternoon in the 6A final in Hillsboro.

    20. Christian Brothers College, St. Louis, Mo. (13-1)*

    Previous rank: Not ranked.

    In the Huddle: Won Class 6 state championship, beating Liberty North, 48-21, in the final. The Cadets closed the season on a 13-game win streak after an opening day loss to East St. Louis (Ill.). It was the program’s fourth title and first since a second straight in 2018. CBC cashed in on the six forced turnover for 31 points. DB Justus Johnson had a 55-yard, pick-six and junior LB Michael Teason added a 37-yard scoop-and-score to bump the lead to 38-7 in the third quarter. RB Jeremiyah Love rushed for 127 yards and scored from 2 and 62 yards while QB Patrick Heitert threw for 97 yards and two TDs, including an 8-yard aerial to Ayden Robinson-Wayne for a 14-0 lead. Season complete.

    21. Iona Prep, New Rochelle, N.Y. (11-1)**

    Previous rank: 21.

    In the Huddle: The Gaels made history last weekend capturing the program’s first-ever Catholic High School Athletic Association state championship, toppling St. Francis (Athol Springs), 38-22, in the final. The Gaels were up 17-3 at halftime and closed the campaign with 11 consecutive victories. Junior QB Ajani Sheppard threw for 124 yards and two scores and ran for 70 yards and a TD while becoming the first Westchester County player to throw for 2,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards in a single season. Season complete.

    22. Serra, San Mateo, Calif. (12-1)

    Previous rank: Not ranked.

    In the Huddle: The Padres are back in the CAC Top 25 after eliminating league rivals and then-No. 11 St. Francis (Mountain View, Calif.), 16-12, in the CIF-Central Coast Section Division 1 final. QB Dominique Lampkin tallied the game-winner from 3 yards to erase a 12-10 deficit with 2:18 remaining in the contest. The Padres are off this weekend and will need it in preparation for top-seeded Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) for the CIF Open Division Bowl Game on Dec. 11 in Mission Viejo.

    23. Archbishop Moeller, Cincinnati, Ohio (11-4)

    Previous rank: 22.

    In the Huddle: The Crusaders lost in the Division I semifinals to Springfield, 22-21. RB Jordan Marshall gave the Crusaders a 21-16 lead on a 63-yard run with 7:44 remaining in the game. Springfield came right back with a TD four minutes later. Marshall finished with 154 yards rushing and three scores on 16 carries. Season complete.

    24. St. Xavier, Cincinnati, Ohio (10-3)

    Previous rank: 24.

    In the Huddle: Season complete.

    25. Central Catholic, Pittsburgh, Pa. (9-3)

    Previous rank: 25.

    In the Huddle: Season complete.

    Dropped out: No. 11. St. Francis (Mountain View, Calif.), No. 14 Brother Martin (New Orleans, La.) and No. 25 Calvert Hall College (Towson, Md.).

    Special Consideration: St. Xavier (Louisville, Ky.); Cathedral Catholic (San Diego, Calif.); Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.); Columbus (Miami, Fla.); Central Catholic (Grand Rapids, Mich.)*; Benedictine Military School (Savannah, Ga.); Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.); Catholic Memorial (West Roxbury, Mass.);Red Bank (N.J.) Catholic*; Archbishop Hoban (Akron, Ohio); Catholic Memorial (Waukesha, Wis.)*; McQuaid Jesuit (Rochester, N.Y.); Loyola Academy (Wilmette, Ill.); Loyola Blakefield (Towson, Md.); St Francis (Athol Springs, N.Y.)*; Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, Wash.); St. Augustine Prep (Richland, N.J.); Brebeuf Jesuit (Indianapolis, Ind.); La Salle College (Wyndmoor, Pa.); Benedictine (Cleveland, Ohio); Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.); St. Thomas Academy (Mendota, Minn.); St. Francis (Mountain View, Calif.); Blessed Trinity Catholic (Roswell, Ga.); Good Counsel (Olney, Md.); DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.); Jesuit (Portland, Ore.); Marist (Atlanta, Ga.); St. Rita (Chicago, Ill.); Archbishop Spalding (Severn, Md.); St. Mary Ryken (Leonardtown, Md.)*; Aquinas (La Crosse, Wis.)*; Lansing (Mich.) Catholic*; Cathedral Prep (Erie, Pa.);St. Joseph (Trumbull, Conn.); Fenwick (Oak Park, Ill.)*;St. Joseph Regional (Montvale, N.J.); Brother Martin (New Orleans, La.), Serra (Gardena, Calif.); Bishop Alemany (Mission Hills, Calif.) and Roncalli (Indianapolis, Ind.).

    # Record includes one forfeit win

    *Won state or conference postseason championship [Teams in some states won more than one postseason title]

    About: The Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 High School Football Rankings, presented by Global Football are released on Wednesdays from late August until the conclusion of the high school season in January. Criteria include the quality of the team and its players, strength of schedule, tradition, and quality of the team’s league, conference, region or district. The rankings are compiled by Christopher Lawlor, who consults with Patrick Steenberge of Global Football in Granbury, Texas to coordinate the CAC Top 25. All Catholic high schools from the United States that feature only four-year players on 11-man teams are eligible for consideration. Fans are encouraged to follow the CAC Top 25 at www.Facebook.com/CACTop25 and on Twitter @CACTop25.

    CAC Top 25 High School Football Rankings (November 24, 2021)

    November 25, 2021, 4:15 pm

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — There was finally a shift in the Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 High School football rankings presented by Global Football. Four teams were dropped and 20 teams saw movement as everyone has a taste of playoff football.

    Last week, the CAC Top 25 took a late season bye week but that means there’s more to catchup for the third week in November.

    Let’s start with what’s new, meaning the four newbies (actually two) to the CAC Top 25.

    No. 20 Central Catholic (Portland, Ore.) is undefeated and two wins away from the Class 6A state championship. Standing in the Rams’ way is Oregon powerhouse Jesuit in the semifinals on Friday.

    No. 21 Iona Prep (New Rochelle, N.Y.) re-enters after nearly three months. The Gaels (10-1) won New York City Catholic High School Football League Class AAA championship for the first time since 2008. The Gaels host St. Francis (Athol Springs) Saturday for the Catholic state AAA crown.

    No. 22 Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati, Ohio) is back after capturing the Ohio Division I, Region 4 championship. That’s considered one of the top area titles (outside of a state title) in the nation. No. 24 St. Xavier (Cincinnati) is in that region and even in the same league as the Crusaders (11-3), who face Springfield Friday in the semifinals.

    No. 23 Calvert Hall College (Towson, Md.) enter on the heels of a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship.

    Besides the four additions, the CAC 25 features four champions and three teams who are done for the term. Only top-ranked Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) remained in the same position from last time. There were 20 teams that moved, including 17 that elevated. The biggest mover was No. 16 De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) that climbed nine spots after winning its 29th straight sectional title in the North Coast Section. No. 18 St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia, Pa.) is up six.

    Taking the biggest hit was No. 25 Central Catholic (Pittsburgh, Pa.) dipping seven and No. 24 St. Xavier (Cincinnati, Ohio) fell five slots.

    That wraps up the latest from the CAC Top 25. So, we mentioned it’s a thankful time and here’s what is shaking.

    Before we reveal the updated CAC Top 25, we’ll revisit the weekly feature called the Triple Option, however this week there’s an added twist.

    The Triple Option identifies five student-athletes, two coaches and state playoff games worthy noting this week. This week we’ve highlighted five more Thanksgiving games from Boston to Baltimore. More is better!

    The players range from an edge rusher on the nation’s No. 1 team to wide receiver from Washington (D.C.) and Baltimore to a running back from Indianapolis to a special defensive unit from Long Island.

    The coaches are from California and Maryland. One is chasing a championship and the other won one and has a Thanksgiving Day game to boot.

    Additionally, we’ve also selected state finals (two each) from Illinois to Indiana to New Jersey.

    Triple Option

    Players of the Week: Linebacker David Bailey of No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.); wide receiver D.J. Linkins of No. St. John’s College (Washington, D.C.); wide receiver Donnie Lewis of No. 23 Calvert Hall College (Towson, Md.); running back Carson Johnson of No. 15 Cathedral (Indianapolis) and the Holy Trinity (Hicksville, N.Y.) defense.

    *It’s rare when a defense player is a CAC player of the week candidate but he earned it in Mater Dei’s thrilling 21-16 win at nationally ranked Corona Centennial in the California Interscholastic League-Southern Section Division 1 semifinals. At 6-feet-3, 220 pounds, Bailey is a highly-rated edge rusher (or OLB). He’s quick on his feet and can deliver in the clutch. Mater Dei’s is rarely involved in five-point games (average margin of victory is 34 points). Bailey had a sack, forced a fumble that was recovered by his team and helped key a goal-line stand that jumped-started the offense that scored two touchdowns for a 21-9 lead.

    “David Bailey took it over in the second half and did what a great player should do,” coach Bruce Rollinson told the Los Angeles Times. Bailey has interest from USC, California, Stanford, UCLA and Oregon–all from the Pac-12.

    *Linkins helped spearhead St. John’s Cadets (11-0) to 30-14 victory over Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) in the Washington Catholic Athletic Association Capital championship on Sunday night in Landover, Md. It was their first WCAC chip since 2017. Linkins played a huge role in SJC’s first four possessions, grabbing two touchdowns from quarterback Wyatt Hagan and the Cadets raced to a 16-point lead at halftime Linkins finished with four receptions for 113 yards (28.3 yards per catch). According to a recruiting website, the 6-feet-3-inch Linkins has interest from Florida International, Pittsburgh, Marshall and Illinois,

    *At 5-feet-8, 160 pounds, Lewis is the “big man” on the Calvert Hall campus this week. Lewis scored both TDs when the Cardinals bounced McDonogh School (Owings Mills), 14-8 in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference final. When the title was on the line, Lewis gave The Hall a 7-0 with an 83-yard scoring catch-and-run in the second quarter. The junior receiver added another one minutes later from 34 yards for a 14-0 lead at the break.

    *Johnson was a revelation when Cathedral Fighting Irish (13-1) returned to the Indiana Class 5A final during a 52-13 thrashing of New Albany in the semistates in Indianapolis. Johnson, who for the first time this season became the team’s feature runner due to injury, had a career-high 232 yards and an 11-yard TD in the first quarter on 23 carries, as the Irish jumped to a 28-7 lead. It’s Cathedral’s 16th appearance at states and a chance to repeat for the first since a 2010-14 stretch that produced five titles.

    *On Long Island, apparently Holy Trinity (10-0) embraces the sporting adage that defense wins championships. The Titans’ stingy defense was on display last Saturday during 21-10 victory over St. John the Baptist (West Islip) in the New York City High School Football League Class AA-1 final. In 10 games, the Titans unit allowed only 43 points with six shutouts, including one in the semifinals. Against SJB the turning points might have been in the second quarter with a goal-line stand that saw the defense deny three shots to cross the line from feet away. It was the team’s first NYCHSFL title since 2008. Junior Dylan Braithwaite (five tackles and an interception) earned Defensive MVP honors.

    Coaches of the Week: Josh Ward of No. 23 Calvert Hall College (Towson, Md.) and Troy Thomas of No. 5 Servite (Anaheim, Calif.).

    In Maryland, Ward delivered a championship a year after he was hired as head coach at his alma mater (CHC Class of 2004) when the Calvert Hall Cardinals (9-2) defeated McDonogh School (Owings Mills), 14-8, winning the MIAA A Conference championship for the first time since 2010 and the second in the MIAA era.

    Since 1899, the Cardinals have captured 10 league titles but Ward leaned on his defense in the second half after building a 14-0 lead at halftime.

    Ward stressed a family-like atmosphere and never give up. His team easily could have a few weeks ago in a 23-point loss to then-unbeaten Archbishop Spalding (Severn) in the regular season but refocused and eventually won the prize.

    In southern California, Thomas has Servite (10-2) on the precipice of the program’s first CIF-Southern Section title since 2010. Last Friday, the Friars ran away from then-No. 2 St. John Bosco, 40-21, the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 semifinals. It was Thomas’ 100th coaching victory.

    The Friars have a second crack at blood rivals and top-ranked Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) Friday in the Division 1 final. Thomas coached the Friars to a pair of sectionals titles. He left for Crespi (Encino) and was fired after the 2017 season and returned to Servite, where he has built the program into a state contender and nationally recognized again.

    Games of the Week (All times are local and subject to change): Since it’s Thanksgiving, we’re feeling bountiful and will add five games that are slated for Thursday morning and one on Wednesday evening with all kicking off in the Northeast.

    Thanksgiving Specials

    Catholic Memorial (West Roxbury, Mass.) at Boston College High (Boston, Mass.), 10:30 a.m.: CM (11-0) is the Boston area’s top-ranked team and have a Division II Super Bowl (or championship game) the following week. BC is 1-9 and playing for pride.

    Fairfield (Conn.) Prep vs. West Haven (Conn.), Wednesday, 7 p.m.: The Nutmeg State matchup of 8-1 teams gets a jump on the rest of the slate of Thursday games. The schools are 25 miles apart up I-95.

    Fordham Prep (Bronx, N.Y.) vs. Xavier (Manhattan, N.Y.), 10 a.m.: It’s the New York City Jesuit Bowl on Thursday morning at Coffey Field from the campus of Fordham University.

    Cardinal Hayes (Bronx, N.Y.) at Mount St. Michael (Bronx, N.Y.), 10:30 p.m.: Just over five miles up the Bronx River Parkway is another Bronx Tale unfolding. Hayes is 4-6 and the Mount is 2-7. Throw away the records because this closing time for the schedule.

    No. 23 Calvert Hall College (Towson, Md.) vs. Loyola Blakefield (Towson, Md.), 10 a.m.: It known as the Turkey Bowl and it’s a Baltimore tradition. Even more of a tradition is the venue of Johnny Unitas Stadium on the campus of Towson University. This will be the 101st edition of the game. Calvert won the MIAA A Conference championship over the weekend.

    Okay, here are six championship games from three states that are must-see.

    Indiana High School Athletic Association championships, Friday and Saturday: Two days of football (three each day) will be played inside Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indianapolis. First, No. 15 Cathedral (Indianapolis) meets Zionsville Friday at 7 p.m. for the Class 5A title. The Fighting Irish (13-1) is going for the repeat. Zionsville is 9-5. On Saturday, the noon kickoff has Andrean (East Chicago) and Mater Dei Memorial (Evansville) tangling for the Class 2A title.

    New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association championships, Friday and Saturday: The Garden State Non-Public (or Catholic championships) feature brothers Vito and Nick Campanile going for separate titles on both days at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. On Friday, DePaul Catholic (Wayne) plays Red Bank Catholic at 7 p.m., with the Non-Public B crown on the line. Nick is the Spartans’ first-year head coach and has a 9-2 record in the state’s best league.

    Saturday’s main event kicks off at 2 p.m., with Vito’s No. 2 Bergen Catholic Crusaders (11-0) of Oradell facing archrivals Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey). Both are all-male schools from Bergen County. BC won the regular-season matchup, 17-0. That means nothing this weekend.

    Illinois High School Association championships, Friday and Saturday: There are eight state title games to be played at Huskie Stadium on the campus of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb but we’re concerned with only two. Friday’s Class 4A clash pit No. 19 Joliet Catholic Academy against Sacred Heart-Griffin (Springfield) at 7 p.m. The next day it will be St. Rita (Chicago) playing Wheaton North for the Class 7A chip at 4 p.m.

    Now that another holiday season is upon us, reward school and think about this offer from Global Football.

    So, you don’t have to have Irish ancestry to enjoy a trip to Emerald Island … with American football as a bonus next summer.

    You ask might ask how? If you like high school and college football here’s your opportunity.

    In conjunction with the 2022 Big Ten Conference opening game is the fifth High School Football Showcase organized by Global Football. The showcase game features Northwestern and Nebraska as part of the Aer Lingus College Football Series on Aug. 27, 2022, at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland.  

    So, here’s what you need to know.

    High school football athletic directors and coaches are invited to travel overseas with their teams for a competitive game against an American opponent. Schools are encouraged to bring their high school bands, cheerleaders and teams from other sports such as field hockey, rugby and lacrosse. It will be a memorable trip and cultural experience.

    For more information contact Patrick Steenberge (817) 219-7274 or email him Patrick@globalfootball.com. Also visit this site for additional details, 2022 Kildare High School Showcase PPT.

    It’s never too early to plan for the future and some schools already have.

    We encourage fans, players, parents and coaches to follow the CAC Top 25 through social media at www.Facebook.com/CACTop25 and on Twitter @CACTop25. If there is a team, coach, player or story idea that we may have overlooked, we need to hear from you. Our readers are our greatest resource. We can’t thank you enough and can’t do it without you.

    The CAC Top 25 rankings will return on December 1.

    We wish you and your family a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving to you, your family and your friends. Travel safe and support the local small businesses in your area. They’ve been hit hard in the last year and need the business loyalty of neighbors.

    Speaking of neighbors, we’d like to extend Season’s Greetings to our friends celebrating Hanukkah. That starts Monday November 29. It’s eight days and commonly referred to as Festival of Lights. Say “Hanukkah Sameach!” (Happy Hanukkah) or simply “Chag Sameach!” (Happy Holiday) to your friends. All the best during that celebration.

    Stay safe and get out and attend a high school game in your state. After this weekend that number of states will dwindle to a few.

    Until next week, God Bless. — Christopher Lawlor, National Correspondent, Catholic Athletes for Christ

    Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 High School Football Rankings, Nov. 24, 2021

    1. Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif. (10-0)

    Previous rank: 1.

    In the Huddle: The Monarchs had their biggest challenge of the season and passed the test … barely. Last Friday, they topped nationally ranked and unbeaten Corona Centennial, 21-16 in CIF-Southern Section, Division 1 semifinals. The great teams find a way to win facing adversity. Centennial entered the game with a perfect record in 11 games. In the quarterfinals, coach Bruce Rollinson’s team bombed Norco, 49-14, on Nov. 12. Sophomore Elijah Brown’s six TD passes were more than enough to subdue an Inland Empire squad looking to spring an upset. The Monarchs have a huge challenge this weekend with a CAC Top 25 team when they meet archrivals No. 5 Servite (Anaheim) Friday in CIF-Southern Section, Division 1 final to be played at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach.

    2. Bergen Catholic, Oradell, N.J. (11-0)

    Previous rank: 3.

    In the Huddle: The Crusaders drilled St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City), 35-10, in the Non-Public A semifinals. Princeton-bound RB Ryan Butler helped seal the win with two rushing scores in the second half and became the school’s second player to surpass 3,000 career rushing yards. In the quarterfinals on Nov. 13, the Crusaders stopped Donovan Catholic (Toms River), 35-7. Butler scored three rushing TDs and caught one from Notre Dame-commit QB Steve Angeli, who ran for a 1-yard score in the opening quarter. The season finale is Saturday afternoon against archrivals Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey) in Non-Public A championship game to be played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford. BC has not won a state title since 2017.

    3. Jesuit, Tampa, Fla. (12-0)

    Previous rank: 5.

    In the Huddle: Defeated Braden River (Bradenton), 49-9, in the Class 6A, Region 3 semifinals. A week earlier, the Tigers bounced Boca Ciega (Gulfport), 50-0, in the Region 3 quarterfinals. Caleb Williams had a 99-yard, pick-six to make it 42-0 at halftime. QB Luke Knight threw four TD passes in the first half, including three to junior WR Jarriett Buie. Friday, they face local rivals Hillsborough (Tampa) for the Region 3 crown.

    4. St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (11-1)

    Previous rank: 6.

    In the Huddle: The Raiders swept their first two postseason assignments. Last Friday, they easily handled Miramar, 42-12, in Class 7A, Region 4 semifinals. On Nov. 12, the Raiders overwhelmed Atlantic (Delray Beach), 43-7, in the Region 4 quarterfinals. The Raiders rolled to a 29-0 lead at the intermission. RB Anthony Hankerson ran for 124 yards and three TDs and QB Zion Turner added two rushing scores to pace the offense. Next is Homestead Friday in the Region 4 final.

    5. Servite, Anaheim, Calif. (10-2)

    Previous rank: 7.

    In the Huddle: The Friars made history last weekend when they beat then-No. 2 St. John Bosco (Bellflower), 40-21, in the CIF-Southern Section, Division 1 semifinals. Arizona-bound QB Noah Fifita rushed for 139 yards and three TDs on 20 carries. RB/S Houston Thomas’ 71-yard TD late in the third quarter gave the Friars the lead for good at 27-21. Thomas picked off a pass on Bosco’s next possession that led to Ethan Scafidi’s 3-yard scoring run. Fifita’s 1-yard run closed out the scoring with 5:53 left. It was the Friars’ first win over their Trinity League rivals since October 2011. Coach Troy Thomas collected his 100th career win. On Nov. 19, the Friars

    defeated Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita), 34-3, in the CIF-Southern Section, Division 1 quarterfinals. Just when the Friars were getting a serious challenge in the fourth quarter, Oregon-bound WR Tetairoa McMillan stepped up three interceptions, including a pick-six to keep an arm’s length distance from their plucky Trinity League rivals. Fifita hit on 17-of-30 passes for 182 yards with a TD. It’s down to this: Friday vs. No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana) in the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 final to be played at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach. Must-see schoolboy football!

    6. St. John Bosco, Bellflower, Calif. (10-2)

    Previous rank: 2.

    In the Huddle: The Braves lost to then-No. 7 Servite (Anaheim), 40-21, in the CIF-Southern Section Division semifinals. The Braves had two costly turnovers in the fourth quarter that led to 13 points to break away from a 27-21 scoreline. Servite scored the game’s final 20 points. Season complete.

    7. St. Frances Academy, Baltimore, Md. (8-1)

    Previous rank: 8.

    In the Huddle: The Panthers closed out their season with an impressive 34-24 victory over nationally ranked IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) in a showdown meeting on the Florida Gulf Coast. The win halted IMG’s win streak at 19 games. IMG, which trailed 26-3 in the second half pulled with two points (26-24), but a late TD and two-point conversion put away the team’s eighth win. Season complete.

    8. St. John’s College, Washington, D.C. (11-0)*

    Previous rank: 9.

    In the Huddle: The Cadets won the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference Capital championship, defeating Good Counsel (Olney, Md.), 30-14, in the final. QB Wyatt Hagan fired TD passes to D.J. Linkins, Sean Williams and Asa Greg in the first half to propel the Cadets. It was the first WCAC title since 2017. Season is complete.

    9. Catholic, Baton Rouge, La. (10-1)

    Previous rank: 11.

    In the Huddle: They’re down to the final two weeks in the LHSAA Division I playoffs and the Bears survived a scare during a 42-35 shootout win over St. Augustine (New Orleans) in the quarterfinal. Now they Bears play St. Paul’s (Covington) Friday in the semifinals. The winner gets Jesuit (New Orleans) or No. 14 Brother Martin (New Orleans) on Dec. 4 in the Division I final in New Orleans.

    10. Chaminade-Madonna College Prep, Hollywood, Fla. (8-1)

    Previous rank: 12.

    In the Huddle: The Lions opened their Class 3A title defense, pummeling Edison (Miami) in the Region 4 semifinals. This Friday they host Cardinal Newman (West Palm Beach) in the Region 4 final.

    11. St. Francis, Mountain View, Calif. (11-0)

    Previous rank: 13.

    In the Huddle: The Lancers pulled away in the fourth quarter to eliminate Menlo-Atherton, 49-28, in the CIF-Central Coast Section Division I semifinals. The game was knotted up at 21 to begin the final quarter. The playoff run continues this weekend with league rivals Serra (San Mateo) in the CIF-Central Coast Section I final with the Lancers looking for a first-ever title in contest to be contested at Westmont High School in Campbell.

    12. Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas (12-1)*

    Previous rank: 14.

    In the Huddle: Won Class 5A state championship, defeating McQueen (Reno), 56-7. The Gaels scored TDs on all even possessions and added a defensive score to capture an 11th title in 13 years. Nevada did not conduct a season in 2020 for COVID-19 reasons. The Gaels piled up 549 yards of offense to 99 for the visiting Lancers. Sophomore QB Micah Alejado tossed scoring passes to Jonathan Brady, Zach Branch and Elija Maleik Pabon. LB Jamih Otis added a scoop-and-scored in the first half when the Gaels took a 42-0 lead. On Nov. 12, they defeated Liberty (Henderson), 35-14, in the Class 5A Southern Region final. Zachariah Branch found the end zone on a 93-yard punt return and 53-yard catch-and-run. Alejado passed for 238 yards and three TDs. The Gaels avenged an overtime loss to Liberty in the 2019 Desert Regional title game. Season is complete.

    13. St. Edward, Lakewood, Ohio (13-1)

    Previous rank: 15.

    In the Huddle: The Eagles moved two wins from a state championship crown. Last weekend, they defeated top-ranked Medina, 41-6, in the Division I, Region 1 final. The Eagles keep the run for a fifth state championship alive with a convincing win over a quality opponent. RB Danny Enovitch ran it in from 1 and 16 yards for a 14-6 lead in the first quarter. WR Ryan Miklich had three TD receptions of 26, 35 and 64 yards from QB Christian Ramos and Josh Gribble added a 25-yard TD run in the fourth quarter to close it out. On Nov. 12, the Eagles ran past Canton McKinley, 42-0, in the Division I, Region 1 semifinals. Enovitch scored three TDs in the second half. The Eagles were up 14 points through one quarter and never looked back. Coach Tom Lombardo recorded his 73rd victory to tie John Gibbons for the most football wins in program history. Up next is Columbus-area power Upper Arlington Friday in the Division I semifinals.

    14. Brother Martin, New Orleans, La. (5-5) #

    Previous rank: 16.

    In the Huddle: The Crusaders chalked up two impressive wins in the LHSAA Division I playoffs. In the first round, they stomped rival Archbishop Rummel (Metairie), 38-16, on Nov. 12. Last weekend, Crusaders bested second-seeded C.E. Byrd (Shreveport), 45-14, in the quarterfinals. Next is District 9-5A rival Jesuit (New Orleans) Friday in the semifinals.

    15. Cathedral, Indianapolis, Ind. (13-1)

    Previous rank: 17.

    In the Huddle: The Fighting Irish qualified for the Class 5A state championship, rolling New Albany, 52-13, in the Semistate last Friday. RB Carson Johnson ran for 233 yards and an 11-yard TD scamper on 23 carries. Sophomore QB Danny O’Neil accounted for four scores, throwing for two and running 1 and 2 yards for a pair. The Irish was up 28-7 after one quarter and cruised. In the 5A Regional final, they topped New Palestine, 23-7, on Nov. 19.Next stop is Lucas Oil  Stadium in Indianapolis on Friday night for the Class 5A final against Zionsville.

    16. De La Salle, Concord, Calif. (10-2)

    Previous rank: 25.

    In the Huddle: The Spartans won their 29th consecutive CIF-North Coast Section title, thumping Pittsburg, 42-14, in the Open/Division 1 championship game. De La Salle’s next opponent will be determined for Northern California Region play.

    17. De La Salle Collegiate, Warren, Mich. (12-0)

    Previous rank: 19.

    In the Huddle: The Pilots are back in the Division 2 state championship game, beating Franklin (Livonia), 49-14, in the state semifinals. In the quarterfinal, they stopped Roseville, 45-14. The road to the final will bring the Pilots to Detroit’s Ford Field on Friday afternoon versus Traverse City Central.

    18. St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia (9-2)*

    Previous rank: 24.

    In the Huddle: Crushed Northeast (Philadelphia), 41-6, in the PIAA District 12 final. On Oct. 13 , the Hawks bounced then-No. 23 La Salle College (Wyndmoor, Pa.), 35-7, in the Class 6A Philadelphia Catholic League Red Division championship or District 12 semifinals. The Hawks struck first when QB Dane Picariello fired a TD trike to sophomore WR David Washington and the rout was on. La Salle averted the shutout with a late TD. Next is Freedom (Bethlehem) Friday in the 6A quarterfinals to be played at Cardinal O’Hara High School in Springfield.

    19. Joliet (Ill.) Catholic Academy (13-0)

    Previous rank: 21.

    In the Huddle: The Hilltoppers are headed back to the state championship game after drubbing  Richmond (ll.)-Burton, 35-18, in the Class 4A semifinals. Last week, they stopped Genoa-Kingston, 42-7, in the quarterfinals. Next is Sacred Heart-Griffin (Springfield) Friday evening in the Class 4A title game at Northern Illinois University’s Huskie Stadium in DeKalb.

    20. Central Catholic, Portland, Ore. (13-0)

    Previous rank: Not ranked.

    In the Huddle: The Rams debut in the CAC Top 25 after a dominant regular season and three playoff wins in which they scorched opponents on the scoreboard, 160-38. On Nov. 19, they walloped Mountainside (Beaverton)), 48-17, in the Class 6A second round. Last weekend, it was a 63-21 clobbering of Sherwood in the Class 6A quarterfinals. Friday it’ll be home game with Jesuit (Portland) in the Class 6A semifinals.

    21. Iona Prep, New Rochelle, N.Y. (10-1)*

    Previous rank: Not ranked.

    In the Huddle: Won New York City Catholic High School Football League Class AAA championship, thrashing Monsignor Farrell (Staten Island), 49-15. It was the Gaels’ first AAA title since 2008 but they did win the AA crown in 2016. Junior QB Ajani Sheppard, who scored two TDs to set the early tone, was named the game’s Offensive MVP and junior LB Zyian Moultrie-Goddard was the Defensive MVP. In the semifinals, the Gaels recorded a 35-28 double-overtime victory over rival St. Anthony’s (Melville). The Gaels choked away a 21-7 lead in fourth but rallied to win it. Great game and effort from option signal-caller Sheppard. Next is St. Francis (Athol Springs) Saturday in the Catholic High School Athletic Association Class AAA state final at home.

    22. Archbishop Moeller, Cincinnati, Ohio (11-3)

    Previous rank: Not ranked.

    In the Huddle: The Crusaders have fought their way back into the CAC Top 25 after qualifying for the Ohio Division I, semifinals. QN Noah Geselbracht threw for 130 yards and two scores and RB Jordan Marshall rushed for 123 yards and a TD on 19 carries to put away Lakota West (West Chester), 21-17, to capture the Division I, Region 4 crown. Marshall’s 3-yard TD run with 11:04 left in the contest were the winning points. The Crusaders face Springfield Friday in the semifinals. The winner gets No. 13 St. Edward (Lakewood) or Upper Arlington in the state final.

    23. Calvert Hall College, Towson, Md. (9-2)*

    Previous rank: Not ranked.

    In the Huddle: Won the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship, beating McDonogh (Owings Mills), 14-8, in the final. It was CHC’s first MIAA title since 2010. WR Donnie Lewis caught TD passes of 83 and 36 yards from QB Noah Brannock in the second quarter for a 14-0 lead and the defense did the rest in the second half. Additionally, the Cardinals toppled Mount St. Joseph (Baltimore), 31-26, on Oct. 13 in the semifinals. The season finale is an annual Thanksgiving Day tradition against Loyola Blakefield (Towson) in the Turkey Bowl on Thursday morning at Towson State’s Johnny Unitas Stadium.

    24. St. Xavier, Cincinnati, Ohio (10-3)

    Previous rank: 20.

    In the Huddle: The GCL South champions didn’t have it when they fell to Lakota West (West Chester), 12-2, on Nov. 12 in the OHSAA Division I, Region 4 semifinal. Season complete.

    25. Central Catholic, Pittsburgh, Pa. (9-3)

    Previous rank: 18.

    In the Huddle: The Vikings fell to Mount Lebanon (Pittsburgh), 47-7,  in the WPIAL 6A final.

    In the semifinals, they beat Seneca Valley, 42-21, on Nov. 13. Season complete.

    Dropped out: No. 4 Loyola Academy (Wilmette, Ill.); No. 10 Archbishop Spalding (Severn, Md.), No. 22 DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) and No. 23 La Salle College (Wyndmoor, Pa.).

    Special Consideration: Cathedral Prep (Erie, Pa.); Bishop Alemany (Mission Hills, Calif.); Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.); Gonzaga Prep (Spokane, Wash.); Marist (Atlanta, Ga.); St. Rita (Chicago, Ill.); Central Catholic (Grand Rapids, Mich.); St. Xavier (Louisville, Ky.); Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.); St. Joseph Regional (Montvale, N.J.);Catholic Memorial (West Roxbury, Mass.); DePaul Catholic (Wayne, N.J.); Archbishop Hoban (Akron, Ohio); Catholic Memorial (Waukesha, Wis.)*; McQuaid Jesuit (Rochester, N.Y.);Serra (San Mateo, Calif.);St Francis (Athol Springs, N.Y.)*; Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, Wash.);St. Augustine Prep (Richland, N.J.); Brebeuf Jesuit (Indianapolis, Ind.); La Salle College (Wyndmoor, Pa.); Benedictine (Cleveland, Ohio); Seton Hall Prep (West Orange, N.J.); Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.); St. Thomas Academy (Mendota, Minn.); Good Counsel (Olney, Md.); DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.); O’Dea (Seattle); Jesuit (Portland, Ore.); Archbishop Spalding (Severn, Md.); St. Mary Ryken (Leonardtown, Md.)*; Aquinas (La Crosse, Wis.)*; St. Joseph (Trumbull, Conn.) and Roncalli (Indianapolis, Ind.).

    # Record includes five forfeits

    *Won state or conference postseason championship

    About: The Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 High School Football Rankings, presented by Global Football are released on Wednesdays from late August until the conclusion of the high school season in January. Criteria include the quality of the team and its players, strength of schedule, tradition, and quality of the team’s league, conference, region or district. The rankings are compiled by Christopher Lawlor, who consults with Patrick Steenberge of Global Football in Granbury, Texas to coordinate the CAC Top 25. All Catholic high schools from the United States that feature only four-year players on 11-man teams are eligible for consideration. Fans are encouraged to follow the CAC Top 25 at www.Facebook.com/CACTop25 and on Twitter @CACTop25.

    CAC Top 25 High School Football Rankings (November 10, 2021)

    November 10, 2021, 4:03 pm

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The top-four teams from the Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 High School football rankings presented by Global Football had rare byes in their respective postseason. In total, seven teams were off, including four teams from the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section Division 1.

    As we move deeper into November, 24 teams have already played or are about to enter the playoffs. No. 8 St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.) is the lone team that won’t participate in the postseason but do have one regular season game left on the schedule Coincidentally, the Panthers (7-1) won’t play until Nov. 19 at nationally ranked IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.).

    There is one familiar back in the fold. No. 25 De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) re-enters the CAC Top 25 after an 8-2 regular season mark. The Spartans received the top seed for the CIF-North Coast Section Open/Division I first round on Friday. Here’s a factoid that will blow you minds: De La Salle will go for a 30th consecutive section championship. We wouldn’t doubt the Spartans once the North Coast playoffs are played.

    The CAC 25 had nine teams that remained ranked the same as last week. There were 12 teams that moved up at least one spot. One ranked team advanced two slots.

    The biggest jump was No. 11 Catholic (Baton Rouge, La.), which earned the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Louisiana Division I playoffs. The Bears (9-1) have a first-round bye and will debut in the tournament’s quarterfinals on Nov. 19. Staying in the Bayou State, No. 16 Brother Martin (New Orleans) slipped seven positions. The Crusaders (3-5), who won all eight games on the field but forfeited five games, might have been the top seed in Division I. That didn’t happen and know the 11th-seeded Crusaders dipped and must play a first-round game.

    No. 10 Archbishop Spalding (Severn, Md.) moves into the top-10 after claiming the MIAA A Conference regular-season championship. The Cavaliers (10-0) need two playoff wins to annex the title.

    No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), No. 2 St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) and No. 7 Servite (Anaheim, Calif.) were idle last weekend and kick off the CIF-Southern Section playoffs this weekend.

    Nationally, CAC 25 teams from Maryland, New Jersey, California, Louisiana, Washington (D.C.) and Pennsylvania finally play in the postseason. The second season will go fast with the last possible date to settle state championships is Dec. 18.

    Buckle up, it’s go time!

    Before we reveal the updated CAC Top 25, we’ll revisit the weekly feature called the Triple Option.

    The Triple Option identifies two student-athletes, a coach and the upcoming weekend’s must-see games. The players of the week are running backs from a CAC Top 25 teams that makes a habit of playing a top-notch competition to prep for the playoffs.

    In Indianapolis, Ind., there is coach who saw his team trail a championship program by 10 points in the first quarter but stayed the course to record a postseason victory.

    We’ve also selected games from Cincinnati and Cleveland and another one from Indianapolis. Plus, there are two playoff games from Maryland and one apiece from New Jersey and Washington, D.C.

    Triple Option

    Players of the Week: Running backs Charles Kellom of No. 20 St. Xavier (Cincinnati, Ohio) and Viliami Teu of No. 13 St. Francis (Mountain View, Calif.).

    In playoff football, the team that plays defense and controls the clock, especially in tight games, advances to the next round. Last Friday, Kellom represented St. Xavier’s primary ball-carrier and controlled the ground game.

    With the Bombers facing Greater Catholic League South of Cincinnati rivals Elder (Cincinnati) in the Ohio Division I, Region 4 quarterfinals, Kellom wasn’t ready for his team’s state title defense to end. Kellom was front and center when the Bombers scored the game’s final 35 points in the middle two quarters in a shock 42-7 win over the Panthers. Shock because playoff games are normally tighter in the scoreline, but the Bombers did win the regular season meeting 52-14 on Sept. 24.

    Kellom, who rushed 15 times for 217 yards (14.5 yards a pop!) and two touchdowns, also caught his first of two scores early in the second quarter to break a 7-7 deadlock. Kellom then put away the Panthers with scoring runs from 4 and 97 yards, the latter six-pointer with 99 seconds left in the half made it 28-7. Game over.

    Kellom closed out the scoring with 5:53 left in the third quarter nabbing a 1-yard toss from senior QB Brogan McCaughey, who threw for 249 yards and three TDs.

    Kellom, a 5 feet 11 inch, 195-pound senior, has run for 1,322 yards and 23 TDs on 213 carries and has 30 receptions for 436 yards and six more scores. According to one recruiting website he has interest from FCS program such as Eastern Kentucky, Brown, Dartmouth and Lehigh.

    St. Xavier (10-2) plays in the Region 4 semifinals against Lakota West (West Chester) Friday at the Jake Sweeney Auto Group Stadium in Cincinnati.

    If the Bombers advance to the region final, they could face GCL rival Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati) the following weekend.

    In Northern California, Teu smashed the single-game school record with 344 yards and two TDs on 45 carries as St. Francis beat previously-undefeated and then-No. 13 Serra (San Mateo), 44-21.

    The victory clinched the West Catholic Athletic League for the Lancers (9-0). It also sealed the top seed in the upcoming CIF-Central Coast Section Division I playoffs.

    Coach of the Week: Matt Geske of Brebeuf Jesuit (Indianapolis, Ind.). The scoreboard read Western Boone 10, Brebeuf 0 in the first quarter. Western Boone (Thorntown, Ind.) was an underdog and had won the last three Indiana Class 2A state championships before getting elevated to Class 3A (due to their success).

    With Geske pushing the buttons and his unflappable play calling, the Braves gradually found their footing and stuck to the game plan during a 42-17 victory in the Class 3A Sectional 28 final. The Braves struck for the next 28 points to take a 28-10 lead. Brebeuf, No. 3 in Class 3A, improved to 10-2.

    Geske told the Indianapolis Star, “Western Boone is the type of program where there’s not a player on that team that has ever lost a playoff game. They were able to come in and do some good things. But our guys showed some really good resilience and believed in each other.”

    By the second half, Western Boone’s two-way players were spent. Brebeuf QB Nolan Buckman passed for 182 yards and three TDs. Brebeuf played local powers Roncalli, No. 19 Cathedral and Chatard and West Lafayette in the regular season to prepare for the playoffs.

    Brebeuf trusted the progress and will play Friday in the 3A sectional round against Norwell (Ossian). After that it will take two more wins for Brebeuf’s ultimate goal of 3A state champions.

    Games of the Week (All times are local and subject to change):

    This week it’s a half-dozen game with playoff implications. Lose and you go home. The games that we’ve handpicked feature a championship game from Philadelphia. The semifinals from a private league in the Baltimore area. There’s a game in Chicago that is sure to whet the appetite of any serious fan. In suburban Cleveland, the region semifinals are a rematch from a memorable game played a year ago. In Northern New Jersey and our Nation’s Capital two rivalries are renewed with the stakes raised.

    Medina (Ohio) vs. St. Ignatius (Cleveland, Ohio), Friday, 7 p.m.: The St. Ignatius Wildcats (8-4) take on second-seeded Medina (12-0) in the Ohio Division I, Region 1 semifinals in Brunswick Auto Mart Stadium in Brunswick. The Wildcats stopped Stow, 42-12, in the quarterfinals. Medina’s QB Drew Allar, a Penn State recruit, accounted for six TDs (four passing, two rushing). A year ago, the Wildcats lost to Medina, 32-26, in the semifinals. The winner gets No. St. Edward (Lakewood) or Canton McKinley in region final.

    Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference semifinals, Friday and Saturday: The semifinals are scheduled to be played over two days in the Baltimore area. On Friday, No. 10 Archbishop Spalding (Severn, Md.) hosts McDonough (Owings Mills) at 7 p.m. Then it’s Calvert Hall College (Baltimore) traveling to Mount St. Joseph (Baltimore) on Saturday afternoon. The winners meet for the A Conference championship.

    No. 24 St. Joseph Prep (Philadelphia, Pa.) vs. No. 23 La Salle College (Wyndmoor, Pa.), Saturday, 12 p.m.: It’s a high noon showdown between two Philadelphia Catholic League archrivals for the Red Division title (or PIAA District 12 semifinals) to be played at University of Pennsylvania’s Franklin Field in Philadelphia. La Salle won the regular-season crown and the meeting 28-21 on Oct. 2.

    Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) at No. 9 St. John’s College (Washington), Saturday, 1 p.m.: The Cadets (9-0) and Gonzaga play for the second consecutive weekend but this time in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference semifinals. Last week, Montay Weedon had an 85-yard scoop-and-score for the Cadets. The winner gets No. 22 DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.) or Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) in the WCAC final.

    Mount Carmel (Chicago, Ill.) at Brother Rice (Chicago), Saturday, 4 p.m.: The Chicago Catholic League/East Suburban Catholic Conference rivals are back at it in the Illinois Class 7A quarterfinals. Last weekend, Mount Carmel (8-3) took down top-seeded Batavia, 16-14, on the final play of the game in the second round. Ninth-seeded Rice (9-2) crushed Yorkville, 45-7, in the second round. The Crusaders won in the regular season tussle, 43-36, on Oct. 1.

    Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.) at St. Joseph Regional (Montvale, N.J.), Saturday, 1 p.m.: There are few North Jersey rivalries that can match the intensity of the two all-males schools in the Non-Public A quarterfinals. SJR (6-2) won 21-14 in the regular season on Oct. 23. The winner gets St. Augustine (Richland) or Delbarton (Morristown) in the semifinals the following weekend.

    We’re knee-deep into the playoffs with every state playing for keeps with the exception of Arizona. We’ll bring you all the results and state champions for the CAC eligible teams in our annual Honor Roll section. First, a chance to play internationally next season.

    Here’s that reminder for the worthwhile travel opportunity.

    So, you don’t have to have Irish ancestry to enjoy a trip to Emerald Island … with American football as a bonus next summer.

    You ask might ask how? If you like high school and college football here’s your opportunity.

    In conjunction with the 2022 Big Ten Conference opening game is the fifth High School Football Showcase organized by Global Football. The showcase game features Northwestern and Nebraska as part of the Aer Lingus College Football Series on Aug. 27, 2022, at Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland.  

    So, here’s what you need to know.

    High school football athletic directors and coaches are invited to travel overseas with their teams for a competitive game against an American opponent. Schools are encouraged to bring their high school bands, cheerleaders and teams from other sports such as field hockey, rugby and lacrosse. It will be a memorable trip and cultural experience.

    For more information contact Patrick Steenberge (817) 219-7274 or email him Patrick@globalfootball.com. Also visit this site for additional details, 2022 Kildare High School Showcase PPT.

    It’s never too early to plan for the future and some schools already have.

    We encourage fans, players, parents and coaches to follow the CAC Top 25 through social media at www.Facebook.com/CACTop25 and on Twitter @CACTop25. If there is a team, coach, player or story idea that we may have overlooked, we need to hear from you. Our readers are our greatest resource. Thank you.

    The CAC Top 25 rankings will return on November 17. The following week is Thanksgiving. The fall is really moving quickly and before you know it’s Advent.

    Stay safe and get out and attend a high school game in your town or area. The season is down to a few precious weeks and we’ll start highlighting the CAC eligible teams that annex state or conference championships in our Honor Roll section.

    Don’t forget Thursday is Veterans Day. That’s a day we recognize all the men and women who served our great land. If you know someone or meet a person that was a member of the armed forces, please thank them for their service to our nation. That’s the ultimate living gesture you can pay them. Remember, it doesn’t cost you a dime but just a few seconds of your time.

    Until next week, God Bless. — Christopher Lawlor

    By CHRISTOPHER LAWLOR, NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT, CATHOLIC ATHLETES FOR CHRIST

    Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 High School Football Rankings, Nov. 10, 2021

    1. Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif. (7-0)

    Previous rank: 1.

    In the Huddle: Idle. Three big weekends lie ahead for the nation’s No. 1 team. The run starts with Norco Friday Norco in CIF-Southern Section, Division 1 quarterfinals. There’s a potential rematch with No. 2 St. John Bosco in the sectional final on Nov. 26 in Long Beach.

    2. St. John Bosco, Bellflower, Calif. (9-1)

    Previous rank: 2.

    In the Huddle: The Braves were idle. They host  Los Alamitos Friday in the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 quarterfinals.

    3. Bergen Catholic, Oradell, N.J. (9-0)

    Previous rank: 3.

    In the Huddle: The Crusaders were idle. They host Donovan Catholic (Toms River) Saturday in the Non-Public A quarterfinals.

    4. Loyola Academy, Wilmette, Ill. (11-0)

    Previous rank: 4.

    In the Huddle: QB Jack Stearney hit on his first 12 passes and finished with 150 passing yards and two scores and ran for 57 yards as the Rambler stopped Naperville Central, 36-7, in the Class 8A second round. Backup QB/LB James Kreutz came in to scored two TDs on goal line situations in the first frame and RB Kyan Gibbins scored on an 8-yard jaunt in the second quarter. So, it will be a Class 8A quarterfinal date with Lincoln-Way East (Frankfort) Saturday afternoon.

    5. Jesuit, Tampa, Fla. (10-0)

    Previous rank: 5.

    In the Huddle: The Tigers blanked Tampa Catholic, 42-0. One of Florida’s top rivalries is officially one-sided with the Tigers capturing the latest edition for the 22nd consecutive time. Toledo-bound Junior Vandeross totaled two TDs and nearly 200 yards of offense in the rout. The defense allowed one first down and Caleb Williams added a 30-yard, pick-six in the third quarter. LB Troy Bowles recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for a special teams score. RB Joquez Smith ran for two TDs. The Tigers host Boca Ciega (Gulfport) in Class 6A, District 3 quarterfinals.

    6. St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (9-1)

    Previous rank: 6.

    In the Huddle: Idle. The Raiders had a week off to prepare for their Class 7A title defense. They will entertain Atlantic (Delray Beach) in the Class 7A, Region 4 quarterfinals on Friday.

    7. Servite, Anaheim, Calif. (8-2)

    Previous rank: 7.

    In the Huddle: Idle. Next is Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita) Friday in the CIF-Southern Section, Division 1 quarterfinals to be played at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa.

    8. St Frances Academy, Baltimore, Md. (7-1)

    Previous rank: 8.

    In the Huddle: The Panthers defeated St. Thomas More (Oakdale, Conn.), 24-7. They are off until Nov. 19 when they travel to nationally ranked IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) in showdown of independent programs.

    9. St. John’s College, Washington, D.C. (9-0)

    Previous rank: 10.

    In the Huddle: The Cadets completed a perfect regular season after edging league rival Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.), 20-17, in the 100th meeting between the two District of Columbia schools. The two rivals meet again in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference semifinals on Saturday.

    10. Archbishop Spalding, Severn, Md. (10-0)

    Previous rank: 11.

    In the Huddle: The Cavaliers walloped Mount St. Joseph (Baltimore), 41-0, for their third shutout of the term and clinched the MIAA A Conference regular-season title with a 5-0 mark. The focus now shifts to the postseason as the Cavaliers host McDonough (Owings Mills, Md.) Friday in the A Conference semifinals.

    11. Catholic, Baton Rouge, La. (9-1)

    Previous rank: 16.

    In the Huddle: A week after a shock loss, the Bears drilled Dutchtown (Geismar), 49-7, in the District 5-5A finale. The Bears received the top seed in the LHSAA Division I playoffs and have a bye until the quarterfinals on Nov. 19 and will meet St. Augustine (New Orleans) or Archbishop Shaw (Marrero).

    12. Chaminade-Madonna College Prep, Hollywood, Fla. (7-1)

    Previous rank: 12.

    In the Huddle: Idle. The Lions open their Class 3A title defense on Nov. 19 with Edison (Miami) or Somerset Academy (Pembroke Pines) in the Region 4 semifinals.

    13. St. Francis, Mountain View, Calif. (9-0)

    Previous rank: 14.

    In the Huddle: The Lancers are West Catholic Athletic League champions after pounding previously-unbeaten and No. 13 Serra (San Mateo), 44-21. RB Viliami Teu ran for two TDs and the pitch-and-catch combination of QB Josh Perry to junior WR Andrew Adkinson hooked up for two scores in the rout of Northern California’s top-ranked team. Next is Aptos Friday in the CIF-Central Coast Section Division I quarterfinals.

    14. Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas (10-1)

    Previous rank: 15.

    In the Huddle: The Gaels overwhelmed Foothill (Henderson), 63-6, in the Class 5A Southern Region semifinal. After six straight games against in-state competition, the Gaels finally surrendered points. Sophomore QB Micah Alejado was an efficient 9-of-11 for 208 yards and four TDs covering 39, 62, 23 and 12 and ran for a 21-yard score in the first quarter when the Gaels led 28-6. Garrett Pomerantz added a 25-yard, pick-six and WR Elija Lofton caught two TD passes. Friday it will be rival Liberty (Henderson) in the Class 5A Southern Region final.

    15. St. Edward, Lakewood, Ohio (11-1)

    Previous rank: 17.

    In the Huddle: Hammered Midpark (Berea), 56-14, in Division I, Region 1 quarterfinals. QB Christian Ramos accounted for three TDs, throwing for two and running for another, RB Danny Enovitch opened the scoring with a short TD run in the first quarter. Special teams contributed two kickoffs for scores with Kyan Mason and Carlton Landingham doing the honors. The Eagles have outscored two region opponents, 105-14. They meet Canton McKinley Friday in the Division I, Region 1 semifinals.

    16. Brother Martin, New Orleans, La. (3-5) #

    Previous rank: 9.

    In the Huddle: The Crusaders mean business after having to forfeit five wins for the use of an ineligible player earlier this season. Last weekend, the Crusaders churned out 511 yards of offense and junior RB Torey Lambert rushed 25 times for 206 yards and two TDs in a 41-12 victory over John Curtis Christian (River Ridge) in the regular-season finale. RB Jordan Thomas added 110 rushing yards and a score. The No. 11 Crusaders didn’t get a favorable seed in the Division I playoffs and face Archbishop Rummel (Metairie) in the first round. The winner gets C.E. Byrd (Shreveport) in the quarterfinals on Nov. 19 or 20.

    17. Cathedral, Indianapolis, Ind. (11-1)

    Previous rank: 18.

    In the Huddle: RB Seth Mencer jump-started the offense with 106 yards and scoring runs of 10, 4 and 1 yards on 10 carries and the Fighting Irish defeated Decatur Central (Indianapolis), 31-7, in the Class 5A, Sectional 13 final. Sophomore QB Danny O’Neil gave the Irish a 7-0 halftime lead with a 6-yard TD run in the first quarter. Mencer then scored once in third and two more in the fourth. Next is New Palestine Friday in the 5A Regional final.

    18. Central Catholic, Pittsburgh, Pa. (8-2)

    Previous rank: 19.

    In the Huddle: Idle. The Vikings will play Seneca Valley (Harmony) Friday in the WPIAL 6A semifinals at Baldwin High School in Pittsburgh. If the Viking advance, they will likely meet  Mount Lebanon (Pittsburgh) in the WPIAL 6A final.

    19. De La Salle Collegiate, Warren, Mich. (10-0)

    Previous rank: 20.

    In the Huddle: The Pilots keep marching in the Division 2 playoffs after dusting Grosse Pointe (Mich.) South, 35-20. They face Roseville Friday in the Division 2, Region 4 final.

    20. St. Xavier, Cincinnati, Ohio (10-2)

    Previous rank: 21.

    In the Huddle: QB Brogan McCaughey was an efficient 11-of-13 passing for 249 yards and three scores as the Bombers trounced GCL South rival Elder (Cincinnati), 42-7, in the Division I, Region 4 quarterfinals. The game was clinched in the second quarter as RB Charles Kellom (15 carries, 217 yards) scored all three TDs, rushing in from 4 and 97 yards and catching one from McCaughey from 2 yards. Kellom caught his second TD pass in the fourth quarter to close out the scoring. St. X faces Lakota West (West Chester) Friday in the Region 4 semifinals.

    21. Joliet (Ill.) Catholic Academy (11-0)

    Previous rank: 22.

    In the Huddle: The Hilltoppers bounced Wheaton (Ill.) Academy, 48-14, in the Class 4A second round. JCA moved into the quarterfinal round with 27 unanswered points in the second quarter. Illinois-bound RB Jordan Anderson tallied three TDs in the quarter and Vinny Iannantone scored the other. Anderson finished with 136 rushing yards and four scores as JCA rolled up more than 500 yards of offense. Four players paced the attack with at least 100 rushing yads apiece. Coach Jake Jaworski’s squad plays Genoa-Kingston Friday in the 4A quarterfinals.

    22. DeMatha Catholic, Hyattsville, Md. (7-2)

    Previous rank: 23.

    In the Huddle: The Stags churned out an impressive 28-0 victory over WCAC rival Good Counsel (Olney, Md.) in the regular-season finale. Now it’s time for a replay as the Stags and Falcons meet again Friday night in the WCAC semifinals. The WCAC championship is the following weekend.

    23. La Salle College, Wyndmoor, Pa. (9-1)

    Previous rank: 24.

    In the Huddle: The Explorers showed no mercy in crushing Roman Catholic (Philadelphia, Pa.), 45-0, in the Philadelphia Catholic League Red Division (or District 12 ) semifinals. Last month, Roman upended the Explorers, 27-20, in the regular season. Now for the rivalry matchup with No. 24 St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia) Saturday in the PCL Red final at historic Franklin Field.

    24. St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia (7-2)

    Previous rank: 25.

    In the Huddle: The Hawks trailed by eight points in fourth quarter but rallied to beat rival Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.), 17-14, in the Class 6A, District 12 (or Philadelphia Catholic League Red Division) semifinals. Senior Antonio Chadha was hero, booting a 34-yard field goal with 55 seconds remaining to win it. With 8:40 left, Dane Picariello’s TD run and a two-point conversion evened the score at 14. Next up is No. 23 La Salle College (Wyndmoor, Pa.) Saturday afternoon for PCL Red title and a berth in the 6A district final.

    25. De La Salle, Concord, Calif. (8-2)

    Previous rank: Not ranked.

    In the Huddle: The Spartans return to the CAC 25 after shellacking Clayton Valley (Concord), 42-21. RB Charles Greer scored three TDs for the Spartans, who are the No. 1 seed in the CIF-North Coast Section Open/Division 1 playoffs and face James Logan (Union City) Friday in the quarterfinals.

    Dropped: No. 13 Serra (San Mateo, Calif.).

    Special Consideration: Iona Prep (New Rochelle, N.Y.);Cathedral Prep (Erie, Pa.);Central Catholic (Portland, Ore.); Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.); Gonzaga Prep (Spokane, Wash.); Marist (Atlanta, Ga.);Central Catholic (Grand Rapids, Mich.); St. Joseph Regional (Montvale, N.J.); St. Xavier (Louisville, Ky.);Catholic Memorial (West Roxbury, Mass.); DePaul Catholic (Wayne, N.J.);Archbishop Hoban (Akron, Ohio);Roncalli (Indianapolis, Ind.);Catholic Memorial (Waukesha, Wis.); McQuaid Jesuit (Rochester, N.Y.); Serra (San Mateo, Calif.); St Francis (AtholSprings, N.Y.); Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, Wash.); Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati, Ohio); St. Augustine Prep (Richland, N.J.); Seton Hall Prep (West Orange, N.J.); Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.); St. Thomas Academy (Mendota, Minn.); St. Joseph (Trumbull, Conn.); and Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.).

    # Record includes five forfeits

    About: The Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 High School Football Rankings, presented by Global Football are released on Wednesdays from late August until the conclusion of the high school season in January. Criteria include the quality of the team and its players, strength of schedule, tradition, and quality of the team’s league, conference, region or district. The rankings are compiled by Christopher Lawlor, who consults with Patrick Steenberge of Global Football in Granbury, Texas to coordinate the CAC Top 25. All Catholic high schools from the United States that feature only four-year players on 11-man teams are eligible for consideration. Fans are encouraged to follow the CAC Top 25 at www.Facebook.com/CACTop25 and on Twitter @CACTop25.

    CAC, Spirit Juice Studios Release New Film on Legendary Dodgers Player and Mets Skipper Gil Hodges

    November 8, 2021, 10:44 am

    Why is Major League Baseball legend Gil Hodges not in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.? That is the question posed by “Soul of a Champion: The Gil Hodges Story,” a new documentary produced by Spirit Juice Studios in association with Catholic Athletes for Christ.

    With a deep dive into his career highlights including World Series victories with three teams as a player and manager, his impressive offensive and defensive statistics and awards, and his personal life as a husband, father, military veteran, and devout Catholic, the film makes the case that Gil Hodges is more than deserving of joining his peers in the Baseball Hall of Fame for both his on-field prowess and his off-field example of leadership, character, and integrity. Despite numerous articles, sportswriters, and baseball experts calling for his enshrinement, Hodges has been repeatedly overlooked.

    “Gil Hodges has another shot at the Hall of Fame in early December on the ‘Golden Days Era’ ballot,” said Kevin O’Malley, Catholic Athletes for Christ’s MLB coordinator and one of the film’s producers. “It is our hope that this documentary will give viewers the opportunity to reexamine his credentials, both on and off the field, so that he will finally take his rightful place among his contemporaries in Cooperstown.”

    Viewers and fans are invited to join a social media campaign associated with the documentary to bring attention to this important Hall of Fame vote by showing their support for Gil Hodges and tagging their posts with #GilHodgesHOF. Suggested text for social media posts, photos, and GIFs are available for download at www.gilhodgesfilm.com.

    “Gil was a tremendous baseball player who clearly deserves to be in the Hall of Fame,” said Ray McKenna, president of Catholic Athletes for Christ. “But he was also a phenomenal human being who served God, his family, and his country with a quiet humility that made an impression on everyone who knew him. Hodges is the kind of athlete who should be held up as a hero and example to our children for the way he played the game and lived his life.”

    Currently streaming online at www.gilhodgesfilm.com, the 30-minute film features interviews with baseball luminaries including longtime Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers announcer Vin Scully, Dodgers legendary manager Tommy Lasorda, and several members of the 1969 New York “Miracle Mets” including Art Shamsky, Ed Kranepool, Cleon Jones, and Ron Swoboda.

    The film is directed by Emmy Award winners David Naglieri and Rob Kaczmark.

    “It has been an honor to work with these legends of the baseball world to produce this compelling story,” said Rob Kaczmark, Spirit Juice Studios CEO. “Gil Hodges was loved and respected by so many people, and I hope viewers of this documentary will come away with a better understanding of his positive impact on both the history of baseball and the people he encountered throughout his life.”

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