For the second straight year, the Catholic Athletes for Christ (CAC) Top 25 Catholic High School Football Poll, presented by Siena Heights University and Global Football, crowns top-ranked Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) as the CAC Top 25 National Champions for 2018. The Monarchs reigned supreme throughout the season and bounced back from their one on-field loss to No. 2 St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) to win the sectional title enroute to the CIF Open Division Bowl Game championship.
Overall, CAC Top 25 teams accounted for 18 state or postseason conference championships and two wins in the GEICO Bowl Series.
Additionally, Blessed Trinity (Roswell, Ga.) head coach Tim McFarlin has been named the 2018 CAC Top 25 Catholic High School Football Coach of the Year.
McFarlin and his Titans completed a remarkable season after defeating Cartersville, 23-9, for the program’s second straight Georgia Class AAAA state championship on December 12. The victory upped Blessed Trinity’s season record to a perfect 15-0 and 90-18-1 in nine seasons since McFarlin was hired.
McFarlin was chosen from among all Catholic high school football coaches across the nation by a panel that includes representatives of CAC Top 25 presenting sponsors Siena Heights University and Global Football, and ranking coordinator Christopher Lawlor.
“This award is for our entire football program and it is such an honor to be recognized,” said McFarlin. “Blessed Trinity is a wonderful place to coach. I came here after thirty years in public schools and it’s been an awesome experience. I’ve really enjoyed following the CAC Top 25 rankings this year and the football is at this level is competitive, so we consider ourselves very proud to be included in the ranking.”
Global Football president Patrick Steenberge said, “I want to congratulate Tim McFarlin on his recognition as the CAC Top 25 coach of the year for 2018. Tim has done an amazing job building Blessed Trinity into a statewide and national powerhouse in a few short years. I got to know Tim ahead of the Titans’ Ireland trip in 2016 and found him to be a dedicated, highly-motivated, student-athlete focused mentor, who always has the best intentions for his kids. He is a great example of the positive high school coaching across America.”
In the last six seasons, McFarlin shepherded the move from Class AA to AAA to AAAA. In that stretch, the veteran coach is 65-6-1 with the two state crowns.
“There was a lot more pressure on us this year,” added McFarlin. “Last year we were under the radar and there were two or three programs expected to win and we were ranked fifth or six. This year, it was Blessed Trinity who were the favorites to win and we were ranked number one in the state from week one. I’m fortunate to have a veteran staff and we talked about how we would deal with that expectation. As much as possible, we tried to ignore it, but that’s easier said than done.”
McFarlin’s team was at a disadvantage in the state final when he decided to sit Notre Dame-bound defensive ace JD Bertrand, who injured his knee in the state semifinals.
“We had to deal with injuries and that threw a lot of uncertainty into the game, but the kids who stepped up responded especially well and took responsibility,” McFarlin explained.
Cartersville entered the game beaten in 14 games and averaging over 38 points. McFarlin’s defense held the Hurricanes to a season-low point total and flustered their offense with an array of looks and fronts as Cartersville failed to score a TD for the first time in four seasons.
2018 Catholic Athletes for Christ (CAC) Top 25 Final Rankings / January 2, 2019
- Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif. (13-2) ! # *
- St. John Bosco, Bellflower, Calif. (13-1)2
- St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia, Pa. (13-0)*
- Archbishop Hoban, Akron, Ohio (15-0)*
- De La Salle, Concord, Calif. (12-1)
- Saint Louis School, Honolulu, Hawaii (11-0)*
- St. Frances Academy, Baltimore, Md. (10-0)
- Blessed Trinity, Roswell, Ga. (15-0)*
- St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (13-2)
- Christian Brothers College, St. Louis, Mo. (12-1)*
- Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas, Nev. (11-3)*
- Charlotte (N.C.), Catholic (15-1)*
- Gonzaga, Washington, D.C. (9-3)*
- St. Joseph Regional, Montvale, N.J. (10-2)*
- St. John’s College, Washington, D.C. (9-1)
- Bergen Catholic, Oradell, N.J. (10-2)
- Chaminade-Madonna College Prep, Hollywood, Fla. (12-2)*
- Eastside Catholic, Sammamish, Wash. (13-1)*
- Cardinal Gibbons, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (13-2)*
- Xavier, Cedar Rapids, Iowa (13-0)*
- Columbus, Miami, Fla. (14-1) @
- St. Edward, Lakewood, Ohio (11-3)*
- Nazareth Academy, LaGrange Park, Ill. (13-1)*
- Dowling Catholic, West Des Moines, Iowa (11-2)*
- Cathedral Prep, Erie, Pa. (13-3)*
! Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 National Champions
* Won a state or conference postseason championship
# Includes a forfeit loss
@ Includes a forfeit win
Special Consideration: Bishop Dunne (Dallas, Texas)*; Archbishop Stepinac (White Plains, N.Y.)*; Catholic Memorial (Waukesha, Wis.)*; Skutt Catholic (Omaha, Neb.)*; Calvert Hall College (Baltimore, Md.)*; St. John’s Prep (Danvers, Mass.)*; St. Thomas Aquinas (Overland Park, Kan.)*; De La Salle Collegiate (Warren, Mich.)*; Loyola Academy (Wilmette, Ill.)*; JSerra Catholic (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.); McGill-Toolen (Mobile, Ala.); DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Md.); Memorial (Evansville, Ind.); Salpointe Catholic (Tucson, Ariz.); Trinity Catholic (St. Louis, Mo.)*; Bishop Dwenger (Fort Wayne, Ind.)*; Marist (Atlanta, Ga.); St. Joseph (Trumbull, Conn.)*; Jesuit (Tampa, Fla.); Malvern (Pa.) Prep; Strake Jesuit (Houston, Texas); Red Bank (N.J.) Catholic*; Cathedral Catholic (San Diego, Calif.); Marist (Chicago, Ill.); St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, N.J.); Conwell-Egan (Fairless Hills, Pa.); St. John Vianney (St. Louis, Mo.)*; Aquinas Institute (Rochester, N.Y.)*; San Joaquin Memorial (Fresno, Calif.); Bishop Amat (La Puente, Calif.); Mount Carmel (Chicago, Ill.); Bishop Chatard (Indianapolis, Ind.); St. Anthony’s (South Huntington, N.Y.); Clearwater (Fla.); Catholic (Baton Rouge, La.); Brother Rice (Chicago, Ill.); Covington Catholic (Park Hills, Ky.) and St. Pius X Catholic (Atlanta, Ga.).