In this first stab at doing these state rankings, we go 15 teams deep for the medium schools plus 12 for small schools. No. 1 teams are listed as Oak Hills of Hesperia for medium and Sacred Heart Prep of Atherton for small. Recent upset of Escalon by Hughson helps push Sac-Joaquin Section schools into No. 3 through No. 6 slots for small.
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(All based on section by section playoff formats plus combination of enrollment and traditional placement into state rankings that we have done for 40 plus years)
(After games of Saturday, Sept. 24)
MEDIUM SCHOOLS TOP 15
1. Oak Hills (Hesperia) 5-0
The Bulldogs match their overall state ranking by being on top of medium schools. They would be highest not just by us for medium but also by the computer. It’s all based on having a win over Citrus Valley and then Citrus Valley beating Norco.
2. Citrus Valley (Redlands) 4-1
The Blackhawks have a huge Citrus Belt League game coming up against Cajon of San Bernardino. Hunter Herrera’s play at QB has been superb.
3. Apple Valley 4-1
This also continues to match the order we have in our overall State TOP 50. Plus, the Sun Devils are in the same league as Oak Hills and will play the Bulldogs soon. Their only loss is to Rancho Cucamonga and they have a win over Murrieta Valley.
4. McClymonds (Oakland) 3-0
It’s been a good fall so far for head coach Michael Peters as his team is looking good entering matchup this Friday at large school NCS powerhouse Pittsburg. Plus, his son, Marcus, is back to making plays in the NFL after he was out last season.
5. Cypress 5-0
This is the last of five teams we have as medium that also are in our State TOP 50. The Centurions just got a big test from Capistrano Valley of Mission Viejo and were able to get a 41-38 victory.
6. Yorba Linda 5-0
Yes, we know that the Mustangs could be higher than Cypress, especially with wins over Damien and Simi Valley. We just moved up Cypress after its 35-10 win in week 2 over San Juan Hills after San Juan Hills only lost to Santa Margarita 18-8 and haven’t yet been able to get Yorba Linda up in there based on other results.
7. Campolindo (Moraga) 5-0
It’s a tough call for the top medium from the NCS between the Cougars and Marin Catholic. Campo is simply from a higher division, has a big win over Aptos and has a big game coming up with unbeaten Acalanes (both probably will be unbeaten).
8. Marin Catholic (Kentfield) 5-0
It’s another typically tough group of linemen for the Wildcats combined with skill players who can move the chains. They just beat large school Antioch 34-11.
9. Vanden (Fairfield) 5-0
Last year’s CIF D3-AA state champs have a one-point win over Rancho Cotate but that’s a good team. We don’t know whether the Vikings will be D4 or D3 in the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs, but they’ll be a threat in either one. Note that Manteca of SJS is now listed as D2 by the section and therefore would now be large school and not medium schools for these rankings.
10. Cajon (San Bernardino) 4-1
It’s hard to rank the Cowboys with a 13-12 loss to Williams Field of Gilbert, Ariz., but that is a 6A school in that state. The best win has been against Aquinas. Citrus Valley is coming up on Oct. 7.
11. Pacifica (Oxnard) 5-1
USC-bound DB Maliki Crawford leads the Tritons, who have only loss to St. Bonaventure (considered large school like all other teams in the new Marmonte League lineup).
12. Central Valley Christian (Visalia) 5-0
Our No. 1 medium schools team from the CIF Central Section may have to go and play D1 in the section playoffs, which would be too bad. Even in D2 will be tough, but in that group the Cavaliers would at least have a shot.
13. Granite Hills (El Cajon) 4-2
Losses are to CIF San Diego Section D1 schools Madison and Poway. The Eagles (like everyone else in SD D2) are considered medium by us. They were leading Madison 12-0 entering fourth quarter before falling 15-12.
14. Aptos 4-1
Head coach Randy Blankenship’s squad has a 30-22 loss to Campolindo and will have a tough game coming up with Palma of Salinas. The Mariners outlasted Palma last year, 49-42.
15. La Serna (Whittier) 5-1
The only loss for the Lancers was to State TOP 50 team Warren of Downey. Key wins against Pasadena and Damien (La Verne).
MEDIUM SCHOOLS BUBBLE
Acalanes (Lafayette) 4-0
Ayala (Chino Hills) 5-1
Canyon (Anaheim) 5-0
Charter Oak (Covina) 5-0
El Cerrito 5-0
Foothill (Palo Cedro) 3-1
Mira Mesa (San Diego) 3-1
Mt. Carmel (San Diego) 4-1
Palma (Salinas) 4-1
Placer (Auburn) 4-0
Rancho Cotate (Rohnert Park) 3-1
San Pedro 6-0
St. Joseph (Santa Maria) 4-1
Thousand Oaks 5-0
SMALL SCHOOLS TOP 12
1. Sacred Heart Prep (Atherton) 4-1
A loss to Sacred Heart Cathedral in the first game is overcome by a 10-7 win that the Gators just got over a Los Gatos team that started out in State TOP 50. They will be in the top division of the Peninsula Athletic League and will play Menlo-Atherton as well.
2. St. Pius X-St. Matthias (Downey) 4-1
We love the D1 talent on this squad (which is clearly small school by our standards), led by WR/DB Jordan Shaw (numerous Pac-12 offers). The Warriors’ only loss is to Bishop Diego of Santa Barbara (large school Marmonte League) with wins over St. Francis of La Canada and St. Paul of Santa Fe Springs.
3. Sonora 4-1
The next four teams in a row are all from the Sac-Joaquin Section. Sonora’s only loss came in overtime to Oakdale (medium) and the team is ranked higher than league rival Summerville. Those two will end the regular season playing against each other.
4. Summerville (Tuolumne) 5-0
This could be the best Bears’ team in many years. They snag this high of a reason for owning a victory against Hughson.
5. Hughson 4-1
It was a shocker of a win by the Huskies two weeks ago (23-14) over Escalon so they deserve now to be in front of the Cougars until that’s proven incorrect.
6. Escalon 3-2
RB Ryker Peters has been one of the state leaders in rushing and scoring and nearly led the Cougars to a win over the No. 1 team in the CIF Central Section. They lost in that game to Buchanan of Clovis, 41-40 in overtime, which is why they had to be ranked as high as possible but also behind those three others from their section to due other results.
7. Ontario Christian 5-0
Junior QB Hayden Slegers has been electric running the Knights’ offense. It began in the first game, a 35-10 win over St. Margaret’s of SJ Capistrano, has has continued. The team has a big game this week vs 4-1 Big Bear.
8. Menlo School (Atherton) 3-1
Last year’s No. 1 ranked small schools team hasn’t fallen that far off due to graduation losses. The Knights’ only loss has been to large school Freedom of Oakley.
9. Liberty (Madera Ranchos) 5-0
The Hawks beat Dos Palos by one more score than Summerville and just got past Caruthers in a big Central Section small schools contest.
10. Campbell Hall (North Hollywood) 6-0
A 23-6 win over St. Genevieve of Panorama City from just last week stands out for the Huskies. Their Gold Coast League is going to be a barn-burner for small schools with them, Rio Hondo Prep and Brentwood.
11. Sutter 6-0
Moving over from the CIF Northern Section into the Sac-Joaquin is a huge step up for the Huskies (especially this year), but anyone discounting them doesn’t know their pedigree.
12. St. Vincent de Paul (Petaluma) 3-0
RB Kai Hall has already become the school’s career leader in scoring and rushing and just had 272 yards and 4 TDs in a big win over Montgomery (Santa Rosa).
SMALL SCHOOLS BUBBLE
Big Bear (Big Bear Lake) 4-1
Bradshaw Christian (Elk Grove) 4-0
Brentwood (Los Angeles) 5-1
Del Norte (Crescent City) 4-1
Escondido Charter (Escondido) 4-1
Harvard-Westlake (Studio City) 3-2
La Jolla Country Day (La Jolla) 4-1
Mission Prep (San Luis Obispo) 3-2
Rio Hondo Prep (Arcadia) 5-0
St. Patrick/St. Vincent (Vallejo) 4-0
Village Christian (Sun Valley) 4-1
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