Mater Dei State Football Team of Year

These are the seniors from the 2021 Mater Dei team who stuck it out to have a season. They will now go into the state records as the best of their season. Photo: @MDFootball / Twitter.com.


The strange, spring season concluded for the Monarchs with a win over St. John Bosco last Saturday as those two schools have now shared top honors in the state for five straight seasons. It’s Mater Dei, though, now on top for three of the last four. The Monarchs will likely continue their dominance for years to come until more schools copy the way they and the Braves have been doing it.

TO CHECK OUT OUR OTHER STATE FOOTBALL TEAMS OF THE YEAR FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND FOR FIVE DIVISIONS, CLICK HERE.

We hope you enjoy this free post on CalHiSports.com. To join our Gold Club to get the final state rankings, state record updates and all of the all-state team announcements, CLICK HERE.

There might not have been CIF state championships for the 2021 spring season, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be a Cal-Hi Sports State Team of the Year. Those selections had been going on for many years prior to the CIF re-starting its state football championships in 2006. And in actuality, based on all of the research done for many years prior to that, there are State Teams of the Year even before the CIF started football playoffs in 1915.

Once the schedules for the short, COVID-induced spring season were announced, it of course became easy to see which team would be No. 1 in the state at the end. It would be the winner of the game between Trinity League rivals St. John Bosco of Bellflower and Mater Dei of Santa Ana. Sure, there were rumblings that Servite of Anaheim was getting close to the other two, but once both teams got past the Friars the showdown for last Saturday was set up.

Head coach Bruce Rollinson raises Mater Dei’s first of two straight CIF state titles after 2017 Open Division final at Sacramento State. Photo: Willie Eashman.


Mater Dei got the upper hand this time, reversing a 39-34 defeat to the Braves the last time the two played in the 2019 CIF Southern Section Division I championship. The Monarchs won 34-17, holding the Braves to just three points in the second half.

All that’s left is for it to be official and that has come today: Mater Dei is the 2021 Spring State Team of the Year. It is the fourth time that the school will finish on top of the final state rankings (the FINAL STATE TOP 50 will be released later this week). Its previous No. 1 years are for 1991, 2017 and 2018.

Head coach Bruce Rollinson has been on the job since 1989 and has been able to enjoy all of those top teams (as well as his teams in 1994 and 1996 that were USA Today No. 1 teams but weren’t State Team of the Year in favor of Concord De La Salle).

“Probably the biggest thing I’ll remember about this group is the 21 seniors,” said Rollinson on Tuesday before he headed to an All-Trinity League meeting. “That they stayed together through all they did was so impressive.”

There were two seniors who would have played if there had been a fall season — defensive back Jaylin Davies and receiver Cristian Dixon — but both of those players already had made plans that they were graduating early.

“Not one of the others left,” Rollinson said. “I’m so grateful to be part of this season we had, especially with those seniors.”

Three-year starting offensive lineman George Miki-Han perhaps best illustrated the attitude of the Mater Dei seniors. As Rollinson was talking to them several weeks before the first game he told them he was going to continue the tradition of everyone getting a buzz-cut of their hair.

“Coach, don’t worry about it,” Miki-Han said. “It’s only hair. Who cares?”

Two of Mater Dei’s seniors who played who also were ranked among the top 20 college recruits in the state were linebacker Raesjon Davis and receiver Kyron Ware-Hudson. Many others ranked as recruits that high chose not to play this spring.

“Kyron could have said, ‘Sorry, coach, but I’m going to work with a trainer the next few months to get ready for college,’ and that would have been okay,” Rollinson said. “I looked at those guys and said whatever decision you make, I’m good with.”

The way things are going at Mater Dei these days, though, it’s not just about the experienced seniors. The Monarchs (and Bosco as well) are like the Los Angeles Dodgers in baseball: the next stars are groomed and ready to roll when the lights come on.

Mater Dei players get pumped up as they run onto the field prior to their game last week against St. John Bosco. Photo: Mark Bausman / For OCSportsZone.com.


For Mater Dei, that would be freshman quarterback Elijah Brown. He had won the starting job after many months of practicing with several others who also were hoping to earn the role plus there was an expected incoming transfer (Alemany’s Miller Moss) who didn’t stay. And in the biggest game of the season against Bosco, he completed 14 of 23 passes for 203 yards and four touchdowns (with no interceptions).

“The X-factor for this team was that young kid,” Rollinson said. “We didn’t have the 7-on-7 evaluations against other teams that we usually have, but the flip side is that he had to go against the best secondary in the state every day in practice. The balls better be tight because the windows aren’t going to be open for long.”

With Brown and others, including, receiver C.J. Williams (two TD catches vs. Bosco) running back Raleek Brown and defensive back Domani Jackson, all returning for the fall, the prospects of another MD-Bosco two-team rule atop the state seems to be likely.

Rollinson already is making plans on how quickly to get his players back to it this spring, but he also still wants to celebrate what just happened for a few more days at least.

“I never thought at all that this spring season was going to be glorified practices,” he said. “We were trying to go five-for-five. Once we got into the stadium last Saturday, it didn’t feel any different. It was a traditional Bosco-Mater Dei game.”

And to the winner goes the spoils.

CAL-HI SPORTS STATE
TEAMS OF THE YEAR
ALL-TIME HONOR ROLL

(Last 120 years listed, but it goes back further than that to 1891 in our files, as compiled from 1891 to 2003 by the late Nelson Tennis)
(*Forfeits not included; **Spring season due to worldwide pandemic in fall 2020)

Matthew Jordan of St. John Bosco scored on a 96-yard fumble return vs. De La Salle in 2019 CIF Open Division state final. Photo: Mark Tennis.


2021 — Santa Ana Mater Dei (5-0)**
2019 — Bellflower St. John Bosco (13-1)
2018 — Santa Ana Mater Dei (14-1)*
2017 — Santa Ana Mater Dei (15-0)
2016 — Bellflower St. John Bosco (13-2)
2015 — Concord De La Salle (13-1)
2014 — Concord De La Salle (15-0)
2013 — Bellflower St. John Bosco (16-0)
2012 — Concord De La Salle (15-0)
2011 — Concord De La Salle (13-1)
2010 — Concord De La Salle (14-0)
2009 — Concord De La Salle (13-2)
2008 — Corona Centennial (15-0)
2007 — Concord De La Salle (13-0)
2006 — Westlake Village Oaks Christian (15-0)
2005 — Ventura St. Bonaventure (14-0)
2004 — Mission Viejo (14-0)
2003 — Concord De La Salle (13-0)
2002 — Concord De La Salle (13-0)
2001 — Concord De La Salle (12-0)
2000 — Concord De La Salle (13-0)
1999 — Concord De La Salle (12-0)
1998 — Concord De La Salle (12-0)
1997 — Concord De La Salle (12-0)
1996 — Concord De La Salle (12-0)
1995 — Concord De La Salle (13-0)
1994 — Concord De La Salle (13-0)
1993 — Rialto Eisenhower (14-0)
1992 — Concord De La Salle (13-0)
1991 — Santa Ana Mater Dei (13-1)
1990 — Merced (14-0)
1989 — Fontana (14-0)
1988 — Carson (12-1)
1987 — Fontana (14-0)
1986 — El Toro (14-0)
1985 — Vista (13-0)
1984 — Riverside Poly (13-1)
1983 — Mountain View St. Francis (13-0)
1982 — Anaheim Servite (11-1)
1981 — San Jose Bellarmine (12-0)
1980 — Wilmington Banning (12-0)
1979 — Huntington Beach Edison (12-2)
1978 — Visalia Mt. Whitney (13-0)
1977 — Rancho Cordova (12-0)
1976 — Wilmington Banning (12-1)
1975 — Rancho Cordova (11-0)
1974 — Vista (13-0)
1973 — Hacienda Heights Los Altos (12-1)
1972 — Santa Fe Springs St. Paul (13-0)
1971 — Carson (12-0)
1970 — La Puente Bishop Amat (12-1)
1969 — Pasadena Blair (13-0)
1968 — Alameda (9-0)
1967 — Anaheim (12-1)
1966 — Pico Rivera El Rancho (13-0)
1965 — San Jose Bellarmine (9-0)
1964 — Stockton Stagg (10-0)
1963 — Los Angeles Loyola (12-0)
1962 — Los Angeles Loyola (12-0)
1961 — Monterey (8-0)
1960 — Redwood City Sequoia (9-0)
1959 — Long Beach Poly (11-0)
1958 — Long Beach Poly (11-0-1)
1957 — Berkeley (8-0)
1956 — Downey (12-0-1)
1955 — San Diego (11-0-1)
1954 — Vallejo (9-0)
1953 — Santa Monica (10-0-1)
1952 — Santa Monica (11-0-1)
1951 — Pomona (12-0)
1950 — Compton (11-1)
1949 — Compton (10-1)
1948 — Long Beach St. Anthony (11-1-1)
1947 — L.A. Washington (8-0)
1946 — Alhambra Keppel (8-0)
1945 — Santa Ana (11-1)
1944 — Alhambra Keppel (8-0)
1943 — Redondo Beach Redondo (6-0)
1942 — La Verne Bonita (11-0)
1941 — Piedmont (9-0)
1940 — Piedmont (8-0)
1939 — Alhambra (10-0)
1938 — Stockton (8-0)
1937 — L.A. Manual Arts (8-0)
1936 — L.A. Manual Arts (8-0-1)
1935 — Long Beach Poly (9-0)
1934 — Piedmont (8-0)
1933 — S.F. Galileo (8-2-1)
1932 — Inglewood (10-2)
1931 — Santa Ana (13-0)
1930 — Berkeley (11-0-1)
1929 — Berkeley (11-0-1)
1928 — Lodi (9-0)
1927 — Bakersfield (12-0)
1926 — San Mateo (9-1-1)
1925 — Los Angeles (10-0)
1924 — Berkeley (11-0)
1923 — Bakersfield (10-0-1)
1922 — Bakersfield (10-0-1)
1921 — Bakersfield (9-0-1)
1920 — Bakersfield (9-1)
1919 — Long Beach Poly (12-0)
1918 — L.A. Manual Arts (9-0)
1917 — L.A. Manual Arts (11-1)
1916 — San Diego (12-0)
1915 — Pasadena (7-1)
1914 — Pomona Rugby (12-0)
1913 — Pomona Rugby (11-0)
1912 — Berkeley Rugby (7-2-1)
1911 — Los Angeles Rugby (9-0)
1910 — Alameda (5-0)
1909 — Los Angeles Poly Rugby (8-0-2)
1908 — Belmont Academy (8-0-1)
1907 — Los Angeles (5-1)
1906 — Belmont Academy (5-0)
1905 — Berkeley (5-1-3)
1904 — Belmont Academy (1-0-1)
1903 — Belmont Academy (5-1)
1902 — Belmont Academy (4-0-2)
1901 — Belmont Academy (3-2)
1900 — San Francisco Lowell (5-1-2)

Mark Tennis is the co-founder and publisher of CalHiSports.com. He can be reached at markjtennis@gmail.com. Don’t forget to follow Mark on the Cal-Hi Sports Twitter handle:


Enjoy this article?

Find out how you can get access to more exclusive content, one-of-a-kind California high school sports content!

Learn More

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

    Latest News

    Insider Blog

    Cal-Hi Sports on Twitter

    Cal-Hi Sports on Facebook