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    CAC’s New Top 25 Catholic High School Football Poll, Presented by Siena Heights University and Global Football

    August 23, 2017, 9:40 pm

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    2017 Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25
    High School Football Preseason Rankings
    Presented by Siena Heights University and Global Football
    Aug.  23, 2017

    By Christopher Lawlor
    Catholic Athletes For Christ
    National Correspondent

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. – So, are you ready for some football?

    Welcome to the inaugural Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 High School Football Rankings, presented by Siena Heights University and Global Football.  What started as an idea a year ago is now a reality.  That means Catholic high school programs nationwide will have a chance to earn a place in the CAC Top 25 and gain national recognition.  Traditionally, Catholic schools boast some of the top teams in their respective states and in some cases, belong to leagues that are composed of Catholic schools.

    Rivalries have been forged over the years and the CAC Top 25 will mirror that passion for the sport.  We’ll preview the top games each week and present the exploits of top individual and team performances.  With high schools traveling more in recent years, it allows the CAC Top 25 to get a true flavor of intersectional games that will shake up the rankings especially in the first month.  Once the calendar reaches late September, teams will concentrate on local games and build their resume for the state playoffs, which start as early as mid-October in some states.

    Top Four In Action

    The most important game of the early season is Sept. 1 when it’s a mouthwatering 1 vs. 2 match between Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) in California.  To keep you on the edge of your seats, this weekend No. 4 St. John Bosco travels to No. 3 St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) in a nationally televised game on ESPN at 7pm ET.

    Here’s the rankings breakdown.  The preseason CAC Top 25 features five schools from New Jersey and three from California, Pennsylvania and Ohio.  The CAC Top 25 is represented by 12 states and the District of Columbia.  Eleven schools captured state or conference championships in 2016.

    Fans everywhere are encouraged to follow the CAC Top 25 through social media at and on Twitter @CACTop25.

    The CAC Top 25 rankings will return on Sept. 6 and then on Wednesdays throughout the regular season and until the conclusion of the postseason in December.  In January, we will declare our National Champion.  It’s a long season but it moves quickly when you are having a blast.

    Enjoy the season and attend a game near you this weekend. – Christopher Lawlor

    2017 Catholic Athletes for Christ Preseason Top 25, Aug. 23, 2017
    Presented by Siena Heights University & Global Football

    All players are seniors unless denoted. Records and statistics are from the 2016 season.

    1. Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas, Nev. (15-0)
      Preseason Audibles: The Gaels roll out LB Palaie Gaoteote (USC), TE Brevin Jordan (Miami), OL Jacob Isala (6-foot-3, 275 pounds), DE Adam Plant (Arizona), LB Brandon Kaho (BYU), WR Jaden Mitchell (Arizona) and WR Jalen Nailor (Arizona State). Junior RB Amod Cianelli will see the majority of the carries but the development of dual threat QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson (UCLA commit) is crucial to his team’s success. A big road matchup with No. 2 Mater Dei is a massive test, so is the opening game.
      Opens: Aug. 25 vs. No. 5 DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.).
    1. Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif. (13-1)
      Preseason Audibles: The return 10 starters on offense. Highly-touted QB JT Daniels (4,849 yards, 67 TDs passes, USC commit) has productive receivers in Amon-Ra St. Brown (21 TD receptions), CJ Parks (9 TDs, USC commit) and Nikko Remigio (7 TDs, California recruit). Jack Genova and Solomon Tuliaupupu lead the linebacking corps. A treacherous schedule includes a home game on Sept. 1 against top-ranked Bishop Gorman.
      Opens: Aug. 25 vs. Bishop Amat (La Puente, Calif.).
    1. St. Thomas Aquinas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (13-2)
      Preseason Audibles: The secondary is one of the best in the nation, featuring Al Blades Jr. (Miami), Asante Samuel (Florida State) and Trenell Troutman (Louisville). WRs Tavares Kelly (Virginia) and Elijah Moore and junior RB Daniel Carter are the main threats on offense.
      Opens: Aug. 25 vs. No. 4 St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.).
    1. St. John Bosco, Bellflower, Calif. (14-1)
      Preseason Audibles: The defending CIF Open Division state champions have roster that could pull it off again, including S Jaiden Woodbey (Ohio State), QB Re-al Mitchell (Iowa State) and DB Stephan Blaylock (UCLA). The high-powered offense features sophomore backup QB DJ Uiagalelei, who will see reps, and RB Demetrious Flowers. The opener is tough and so is a date with No. 2 Mater Dei on Oct. 13. The two will likely meet in the CIF Southern Section final in December.
      Opens: Aug. 25 at No. 3 St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) on ESPN.
    1. DeMatha Catholic, Hyattsville, Md. (12-0)
      Preseason Audibles: OT Evan Gregory and DT Austin Fontaine are both committed to nearby Maryland and DE John Morgan (6-2, 250) is headed to Pittsburgh. The Washington Catholic Athletic Conference is rugged with the likes of Gonzaga, St. John’s College and Good Counsel. A fifth straight WCAC won’t come easy to the Stags.
      Opens: Aug. 25 vs. No. 1 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.).
    1. St. Joseph Regional, Montvale, N.J. (9-2)
      Preseason Audibles: The Green Knights are in line to win a 19th state title with QB Nick Patti (Pittsburgh) at the controls and TE Matt Alaimo (6-4, 240) as a big target. Coach Augie Hoffman’s team will play an unreal schedule against ranked teams Bergen Catholic, Don Bosco Prep, St. Peter’s Prep and St. John’s College (D.C.). Expect SJR to face De Paul Catholic in the Non-Public Group 3 state final in December.
      Opens: Sept. 2 vs. Deerfield Beach (Fla.).
    1. Bergen Catholic, Oradell, N.J. (7-4)
      Preseason Audibles: Besides a loaded schedule, the Crusaders are flush with talent on both sides of the ball. QB Johnny Langan (Boston College commit) and junior RBs Josh McKenzie and Rahmir Johnson pace the offense and LB Javontae Jean-Baptiste is a monster defender.
      Opens: Sept. 2 vs. DePaul Catholic (Wayne, N.J.).
    1. St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia, Pa. (14-0)
      Preseason Audibles: The Hawks have won three of the four large-school state titles, including last year’s in first-ever Class AAAAAA. The passing combination of QB Marquez McCray and WR Darryle Simmons (Virginia Tech) is one of the best on the East Coast.
      Opens: Sept. 1 vs. Tampa (Fla.) Jesuit.
    1. De La Salle, Concord, Calif. (11-2)
      Preseason Audibles: If the Spartans return to the CIF Open Division Bowl final, USC-bound DT Tuli Letuligasenoa (6-2, 290) and RB Kairee Robinson (2,012 yards, 25 TDs) will lead the way.
      Opens: Aug. 25 at Amador Valley (Pleasanton, Calif.).
    1. St. Xavier, Cincinnati, Ohio (10-5)
      Preseason Audibles: The Bombers are fresh off winning the Division I state title in double overtime and will be among the favorite this season. Wisconsin-bound QB Chase Wolf threw for 1,291 yards and 15 scores and will eye receivers Cameron Specht, Matthew Fox and Andrew Wittrock.
      Opens: Aug. 26 vs. Hinsdale (Ill.) Central in the Skyline Chili Crosstown Showdown in Cincinnati.
    1. St. Peter’s Prep, Jersey City, N.J. (8-4)
      Preseason Audibles: Notre Dame-bound twins Jayson and Justin Ademilola combined for 23 sacks a year ago and will be joined in South Bend by S Shayne Simon. S Zamir Mickens is committed to Rutgers.
      Opens: Sept. 1 vs. Union City (N.J.).
    1. Loyola Academy, Wilmette, Ill. (13-1)
      Preseason Audibles: The Ramblers advanced to the Class 8A championship game but came up short. Coach John Holecek will have his team ready again with stiff competition from the Chicago Catholic League Blue against Brother Rice, Mount Carmel, St. Rita and Providence Catholic. There’s an intriguing home game with Bishop Amat (La Puente, Calif.) on Sept. 1.
      Opens: Aug. 26 at Phillips (Chicago, Ill.).
    1. Archbishop Wood, Warminster, Pa. (11-2)
      Preseason Audibles: The defending Class AAAAA champions have LB Matt Palmer highlighting the defense and TE Kyle Pitts (6 TDs) will sign with Florida and S Nasir Peeples to Virginia Tech. The Vikings have a rugged opening to the season with three ranked teams but the local rivalry with No. 8 St. Joseph Prep is must-see on Sept. 15.
      Opens: Aug. 25 at Oxbridge Academy (West Palm Beach, Fla.).
    1. Central Catholic, Pittsburgh, Pa. (14-2)
      Preseason Audibles: Though graduation claimed a chunk of players who helped the Vikings win the WPIAL Class AAAAAA title and reach the state final, the Pittsburgh school reloads with DE David Green.
      Opens: Aug. 25 at Cathedral Prep (Erie, Pa.).
    1. Don Bosco Prep, Ramsey, N.J. (6-5)
      Preseason Audibles: Even though the Ironmen had a down season, the pieces are in place for recently hired coach Mike Teel. DT Tyler Friday (6-3, 270), DE Marcellus Earlington (6-5, 260) and S Kevin Brennan will kick-start the defense.
      Opens: Sept. 1 at Byrnes (Duncan, S.C.).
    1. St. Ignatius, Cleveland, Ohio (13-2)
      Preseason Audibles: The Wildcats advanced to the Division I final but fell in double overtime. Expect OT Darian Kinnard (6-6, 315) and Jack Jamieson (6-2, 275) to dominate the O-line. RB Mark Bobinski and WRs Connor Kennedy and Michael Drobnick are returning starters.
      Opens: Aug. 24 at Archbishop Hoban (Akron, Ohio).
    1. Christian Brothers College, St. Louis, Mo. (11-2)
      Preseason Audibles: QB Brett Gabbert passed for 2,965 yards and 31 TDs; WR/DB Kamryn Babb scored 14 TDs and WR Cameron Brown is committed to Nebraska. The Cadets opened last weekend against locals Miller Career Academy.
      Next: Aug. 25 at Christian Brothers (Memphis, Tenn.).
    1. St. John’s College, Washington, D.C. (8-4)
      Preseason Audibles: A pair of defenders, DT Cameron Goode (Virginia Tech) and CB DJ Brown (Virginia) are off to ACC schools and pro-style QB Kevin Doyle is an impact transfer from the Philadelphia area. The Cadets welcome back five key offensive weapons, including Joachim Bangda, Keilan Robinson and Kwincy Hall.

    Opens: Aug. 26 vs. Jones (Orlando, Fla.).

    1. Bishop Sullivan Catholic, Virginia Beach, Va. (7-3)
      Preseason Audibles: Maryland-bound QB Tyler Desue is a dual threat who rushed for 243 yards and threw for 1,600 yards and 15 scores. LB Teradji Mitchell (6-2, 245) is the top defender and will sign with Ohio State.
      Opens: Aug. 26 at American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.).
    1. Jesuit, Portland, Ore. (12-1)
      Preseason Audibles: The Crusaders advanced to the Class 6A quarterfinals but will need a healthy RB Trey Lowe, who rushed for 1,765 yards and 34 TDs in eight games, before a rib injury ended his season. TE/LB Isaiah Henderson-Brazie and OL Travis Spreen are returning all-state selections.
      Opens: Sept. 1 vs. Tigard (Ore.).
    1. Archbishop Rummel, Metairie, La. (7-4)
      Preseason Audibles: After a down year, the Raiders are poised to regain the top spot in the New Orleans Catholic League (District 9-5A) with a high-powered receiving corps paced by Florida-bound Ja’Marr Chase.
      Opens: Sept. 1 at Gulfport (Miss.)
    1. St. Edward, Lakewood, Ohio (9-3)
      Preseason Audibles: The Eagles compete in the one of the nation’s toughest region’s (Ohio Division I, Region 1) and feature S Michael Dowell (6-0, 195), a Michigan State commit.
      Opens: Aug. 25 at McDowell (Erie, Pa.).
    1. Trinity, Louisville, Ky. (15-0)
      Preseason Audibles: Coach Bob Beatty’s team carries a 50-game win streak into the season after winning the program’s 24th state title last December. Texas-bound WR Rondale Moore is a candidate for Kentucky’s Mr. Football. The Shamrocks opened last week against Carmel (Ind.).
      Next: Aug. 25 at Warren Central (Indianapolis, Ind.).
    1. St. Frances Academy, Baltimore, Md. (10-2)
      Preseason Audibles: Two of the MIAA A Conference’s top recruits—DE Eyabi Anoma and OT Jaelyn Duncan (6-5, 300)—bolster the Panthers.
      Opens: Sept. 1 vs. No. 19 Bishop Sullivan Catholic (Virginia Beach, Va.).
    1. Paramus Catholic, Paramus, N.J. (10-2)
      Preseason Audibles: DE Dorian Hardy (6-5, 250) has verballed to Penn State and the Paladins play a loaded schedule, prepping them for a Non-Public Group 4 state title defense.
      Opens: Sept. 2 at No. 13 Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.).

    Others to Consider: De Paul Catholic (Wayne, N.J.); Dowling Catholic (West Des Moines, Iowa); McGill-Toolen Catholic (Mobile, Ala.); St. Paul’s School (Covington, La.); Chaminade (West Hills, Calif.); La Salle (Cincinnati, Ohio); St. Xavier (Louisville, Ky.) and Totino-Grace (Fridley, Minn.); Cathedral Prep (Erie, Pa.).

    Global Football has also formed an alliance with Catholic Athletes For Christ to take high school-aged players to Italy, to participate in the inaugural 7-on-7 Roma Bowl tournament from June 10-17, 2018.  Click here for more information for how to take your school on the visit of a lifetime:

    About: The Catholic Athletes for Christ Top 25 High School Football Rankings, presented by Siena Heights University and Global Football are released on Wednesdays from September 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, an award-winning writer, who is a voting committee member and advisor for several major national high school events, including the McDonald’s All-American Games and Gatorade Player of the Year.  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 and on Twitter @CACTop25.

    CAC Honors Aurora Griffin and Arlington Diocese Student-Athletes at Courage Awards Ceremony

    May 4, 2017, 2:29 pm

    Catholic Athletes for Christ (CAC) honored Ms. Aurora Griffin, former U-18 national champion in equestrian show jumping, with its annual Courage Award at an awards ceremony held at Marymount University in Arlington, Va., on April 23.  Ms. Griffin was honored for her courageous efforts in leading the protest of the Satanic “Black Mass” on the campus at Harvard University during his senior year at the school. The event was initially taken off campus but ultimately canceled.  She also recently published a book titled, “How I Stayed Catholic at Harvard: Forty Tips for Faithful College Students“.

    In addition to honoring Ms. Griffin, CAC also recognized a senior male and female student-athlete from each of the five Catholic high schools and two Catholic colleges located within the Arlington Diocese for their academic, athletic, and Catholic service activities.

    Highlighting the event was the participation of the newly installed bishop of the Arlington Diocese, the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, who has been a long-time supporter of CAC and is a member of the organization’s Episcopal Board.

    CAC Launches New Cathletes Chapter Web Site

    December 1, 2016, 8:33 am

    Check out CAC’s new Cathletes chapter program web site!

    Check Out CAC Apparel for Christmas Gifts!

    December 1, 2016, 8:22 am

    Please visit the CAC apparel shop for CAC and Cathletes chapter gifts.  Visit or click on the red button on the right side of the CAC site!

    CAC Featured in National Media for New Rosary CD

    October 13, 2016, 8:58 am

    Since the launch of its new Vin Scully Rosary audio CD on September 26, Catholic Athletes for Christ (CAC) has been highlighted in several major national U.S. and Catholic news media sites.  Click links below to read!

    Vin Scully is back on the air, this time calling the Rosary

    Why Vin Scully wants to be known as ‘a man who lived up to his own beliefs’

    Dodger Stadium’s big tent bursting on Vin Scully’s final day

    CAC Honors Vin Scully at Final Dodgers Mass of the Season

    September 25, 2016, 7:40 pm

    Earlier today, the final Los Angeles Dodgers Mass of the season included a presentation to legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully, who was a regular attendee of the Mass.  CAC organizes MLB Masses across the country for 26 of the 30 teams on homestand weekends.

    CAC MLB Ministry Coordinator Kevin O’Malley presented Scully with a framed print of Pope Francis and thanked him for his support for CAC over the years and for his recent work on a new audio recording of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary to help raise funds for CAC operations (click here to order).

    The Mass, concelebrated by Rev. Tim Klosterman and Rev. Steve Davoren, was attended by more than 40 players, coaches, stadium workers, broadcasters, and media officials.  This weekend also marks the first time in history that all 15 MLB home stadiums were hosting a Catholic Mass.

    Vin Scully (right) with Rev. Steve Davoren (left) and Rev. Tim Klosterman (center) following the Dodgers Mass on September 25, 2016.  Scully holds a framed image of Pope Francis presented to him by Catholic Athletes for Christ.

    New York Mets Neil Walker, Former MLBers, Headline CAC’s 2016 Catholic Baseball Camp

    June 28, 2016, 3:42 pm

    New York Mets second baseman Neil Walker, along with several former MLB players (Tom Carroll, Cincinnati Reds and Jim Hannan, Washington Senators), provided baseball instruction to nearly 50 boys and girls at Catholic Athletes for Christ’s 2016 Catholic Baseball Camp at Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, Va., on June 28.

    IMG_0695Following a morning Mass and brief testimonial provided by Walker, the baseball campers were led to the field for instructional stations on hitting, bunting, fielding, pitching, and catching.  At the end of the morning camp, a brief Catholic talk was provided by CAC Cathletes Chapter Coordinator Dan Duddy and the camp was closed with final words from Walker.  The camp was CAC’s second in the past two years, providing an opportunity to grow in the Catholic faith and improve baseball skills.

    CAC sponsors these camps in conjunction with Mike Sweeney’s Catholic Baseball Camps to provide top notch baseball instruction as a means to evangelize through sports.  As Mike Sweeney explains it is “using the greatest game ever created to tell the greatest story ever told.”  CAC Founder and President Ray McKenna said, “We see the camps as a practical way to follow the exhortation of St. John Paul to use sports to share the good news of the Gospel.  As John Paul told us ‘Jesus was God’s perfect athlete! So then we must be athlete for Christ.'”

    A gallery of photos from the camp can be found here.

    CAC 2016 Catholic Baseball Camp Registration Now Open!

    June 10, 2016, 2:02 pm

    Catholic Athletes for Christ (CAC) is hosting its second annual Catholic Baseball Camp on Tuesday, June 28 at Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, Va.

    The camp is open to ages 8-16 and will run from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.  The cost for the camp is $65 for the first child and $50 for each additional sibling.  The camp is limited to the first 80 campers so please sign up quickly!  All campers will receive a CAC t-shirt.

    walkerNew York Mets second baseman Neil Walker will appear, as well as former MLB players Tom Carroll (Cincinnati Reds) and Jim Hannan (Washington Senators). Other former MLB players are also expected (schedules permitting).  In addition, priests, deacons, and seminarians on the DC Padres baseball team will assist in the instruction.

    The camp will include Mass held at the start of camp with confessions available, talks highlighting the Catholic Faith and vocations, and instruction by current and former MLB players.

    For more information on the camp or to register, please call (703) 239-3070 or email Ray McKenna at

    Click here to view/download the camp flyer.

    Click here to complete camp registration form.

    To pre-pay for the camp (encouraged to streamline check-in), select option below and pay via PayPal.

    2016 CAC Catholic Baseball Camp

    Pregnancy Center Fundraiser Dinner Features Joe Lombardi

    April 6, 2016, 10:53 pm

    Attention Green Bay Cathletes! Join Joe Lombardi — CAC speaker, New Orleans Saints coach, and grandson of legendary Packers coach Vince Lombardi — at the 2016 Spring Gala of the A&A Alexandrina Center in Green Bay, Wis., on Friday, April 22 at the Tundra Lodge Resort in Green Bay.

    Doors open at 5 p.m. for Silent Auction and Raffles and Dinner will be served 6:30 p.m.

    Tickets are $30/person. The event is a fundraiser to support the pregnancy crisis center.

    For more information, visit



    CAC Hosts Spring Training Easter Masses in Arizona and Florida

    March 28, 2016, 4:58 pm

    In order to ensure that major and minor league baseball players, coaches, and team personnel at Spring Training sites in Arizona and Florida were able to attend Easter Mass, Catholic Athletes for Christ (CAC) hosted three sunrise Easter Masses for six teams — Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers in Surprise, Ariz., Cleveland Indians and Cincinnati Reds in Goodyear, Ariz., and Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals in Jupiter, Fla.  All three Easter Sunday Masses were well attended.  “One of the goals of CAC is to provide this service to the teams to ensure that they are able to receive the gift of the Catholic Mass and the Eucharist,” said CAC President and Founder Ray McKenna.  “We worked with team officials over the past week to find times for the Masses that did not interfere with their weekend schedules.  We look forward to continuing this important service throughout the 2016 regular season and postseason.”

    Royals Easter Mass 2016

    Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers attendees at the CAC Easter Sunday Mass in Surprise, Ariz.

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