Preseason State TOP 50 Ranks (11-30)

Returning wide receiver Mahki Gray comes up with a big catch for Lincoln of San Diego during CIF D1-AA state final last December vs Concord De La Salle. Photo: Scott Kurtz.

We’re slotting the top two teams to start from San Diego as the leaders for this next group of teams. The top three teams from the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section also are in this group plus the top two from the CIF Central Section, including 2022 CIF D1-A state champ Liberty of Bakersfield. This is the 45th year of Cal-Hi Sports doing state football rankings. Some of the others doing this work are in their first or second year.


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2022 Record & Final TOP 50 Rank: 13-1, No. 8
First Game: Thursday, Aug. 17 at Wai’anae (Hawaii)

It could easily be Carlsbad at the top of the CIF San Diego Section to start the season, but the local sources we use for the section had it Lincoln first and Carlsbad second so we just put the two right next to each other. The Hornets are the defending SDS Open Division champion and have a chance to repeat as the CIF D1-AA state champion.

There are holes to fill for head coach David Dunn, especially with all of the secondary gone to major colleges and Mr. Football State Player of the Year Roderick Robinson now at Georgia. The Hornets, who defeated Carlsbad 28-24 to win the section title, also however have two transfers that should make them just as potent on offense.

Junior QB Akili Smith Jr. has arrived from Vista Murrieta and had a breakout summer that ended with him being called the No. 1 dual threat QB for the Class of 2025 by ESPN. Akili’s dad, of course, also is from Lincoln and was a top five pick in the NFL Draft out of Oregon so him going to Lincoln makes sense. One of the weapons he’ll use on offense will be Dreyden Garner, who played last season at University City. He has a bunch of D1 offers, he’s a junior as well, and can make plays at RB or WR. Mahki Gray and Ayden Billups are other speedsters back for the receiver position.

On defense, Lincoln’s leading returnees are linebacker Jerome Roberts, junior defensive tackle Journey Tala (6-3, 340) and defensive end Jamarion Herbert. Tala also starts on the offensive line, which was mostly all underclass last season blocking for Robinson.

2022 Record & Final TOP 50 Rank: 10-2, No. 16
First Game: Friday, Aug. 18 at Inglewood

The Lancers will be looking to avenge one of their two losses from last season when they head up to Inglewood for their season opener. They stand a good chance of making that happen due to grad and transfer losses for Inglewood plus their own stable of returning standouts.

The path is there for Julian Sayin of Carlsbad to lead his team to 2023 CIF D1-AA state title and then head off to college (he’s committed to Alabama). Photo: Prep Pigskin Report.

Leading the pack for head coach Thadd MacNeal’s crew of course is QB Julian Sayin. He simply continues to work hard to perfect his craft and capped a great summer by being named MVP at the prestigious Elite 11 quarterback camp (which we helped start 25 years ago). Sayin, who has committed to Alabama, has passed for more than 5,400 yards and 61 touchdowns so far in his career. He probably isn’t going to get to 10,000 yards but 100 TDs certainly is in reach.

Carlsbad also has other players back on offense. Mason Walsh rushed for 1,319 yards and scored 18 TDs as a junior and was Offensive Player of the Year in the Avocado League (Sayin was player of the year). Griffin Rosenbloom and Josh Ball will be back to catch passes.

The Lancers’ defense also has its top player returning. Senior linebacker Luke Ferrelli is headed to Stanford after flipping on a commitment to Arizona. He had 73 tackles with five deflections and three fumble recoveries last season (including one that was run back for a score).

For special teams, Carlsbad’s Tyler Prasuhn is one of the top-ranked Class of 2025 kickers in the country. Teammate Danny Valencia not only does the punting he’s one of the best in the state at putting kickoffs into the end zone.

2022 Record & Final TOP 50 Rank: 6-6, No. 11
First Game: Friday, Aug. 18 at Sierra Canyon

Despite stepping up into a three-way tie with Santa Margarita and Orange Lutheran for third-place in the Trinity League last season, the school parted ways with head coach Scott McKnight and hired longtime local small college coach Victor Santa Cruz (19 seasons at Azusa Pacific) who more recently was a defensive coordinator at Hawaii.

A solid core of returning players at JSerra will be joined by two impact transfers. One is on defense where one of the top sophomores from last season in the state, Madden Faraimo, has come up from Cathedral Catholic in San Diego. Madden is a growing 6-3, 210-pounder who started as a freshman when we saw him and is now looking more like a linebacker. The other is one is on offense as quarterback Michael Tollefson, also a junior, is coming from nearby San Juan Hills. Tollefson passed for 1,567 yards and eight TDs last season and he rushed for 644 yards and nine scores. He has committed to Arizona State.

JSerra also returns one of its top tacklers, linebacker Clarence Chaney, one of its top offensive linemen, junior Jake Flores (6-4, 280), and its leading rusher, junior George Perez. Defensive end Luke Webb (6-4, 220) not only led in tackles for loss with 15, but also was a standout wrestler at the CIF state level. He was just named as one of our athletes of distinction for the Class of 2024 in our final state athlete of the year honors.

2022 Record & Final TOP 50 Rank: 12-2, No. 10.
First Game: Friday, Aug. 18 at Monterey Trail (Elk Grove)

As the back-to-back CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D1 champions and still with just two years (not counting pandemic season) since 2010 when they did not win the section title, keeping the Bulldogs first in the SJS to start a season just has to keep happening.

Folsom’s great tradition of QBs goes back to 2010 Mr. Football State Player of the Year Dano Graves. The latest is sophomore Ryder Lyons. Photo: Doug Guler / Gold Country Media.

At the end of last season, it was thought that listed junior Austin Mack would be back for 2023 to play quarterback. He reclassified two months after the season ended, however, and is now at the University of Washington. Folsom should still be fine at the position as upcoming sophomore Ryder Lyons (younger brother of graduated tight end Walker Lyons) has everything it takes to keep up the school’s amazing quarterback tradition. Lyons will have Brian Ray (had 25 catches in two playoff games) and sophomore Jameson Powell (already getting D1 offers) among his top targets.

Defensively, head coach Paul Doherty has some anchors to build around. One of them is junior LB Theo Greule (6-2, 245), who was third on the team in tackles last season and was first in sacks with 5.5. Greule also was All-Metro, All-Section and All-State Sophomores. Another is senior DB R.J. Whitten. He has offers from BYU, Cal, Colorado and others.

After the first game against Monterey Trail, the Bulldogs will play Serra of San Mateo and they also will again be playing NorCal heavyweight De La Salle of Concord, this time at home one week before the start of Sierra Foothill League games.

2022 Record & Final TOP 50 Rank: 8-4*, No. 15
First Game: Friday, Aug. 18 at Orange Lutheran

Newly named State Athlete of the Year Rodrick Pleasant put himself into the pantheon of great Serra players in football and track, but he’s now at Oregon. Still, even without Pleasant, the Cavaliers have a great cast of returning players. They could climb the rankings quickly early in the season with matchups against both Orange Lutheran and Long Beach Poly. They clearly look like the No. 2 team to start out of the Mission League in the CIFSS behind Sierra Canyon.

On offense, junior QB Jimmy Butler will look to improve after he started as a sophomore and passed for more than 1,600 yards. The running game should thrive with returning senior Cincere Rhaney. The 215-pounder piled up 1,666 yards and eight TDs last season. Andrew Nieves (6-5, 290) is another honors candidate to watch on offense.

Defensively, Tanu Sosa doesn’t get many offers at 5-foot-9, but he’s all over the field and is back after collecting 138 tackles last season. One who does get offers and just switched from USC to Oregon is senior DB Dakoda Fields. Both sophomore LB Daylawn Reed and junior DB Tre Harrison also have been among the top players in their classes for Southern California since they were freshmen.

2022 Record & Final TOP 50 Rank: 9-3, No. 27
First Game: Friday, August 18 at Murrieta Valley (Murrieta)

We are starting head coach Brian Hildebrand’s team at No. 2 in the Inland Empire behind Corona Centennial. That also puts the Cougars well inside the preseason top 20 in our pecking order. The list of returning standouts is long, but there also has been the arrival of three transfers from Bishop Amat of La Puente.

Sophomore QB Jacob Chambers stepped in as a starter as a freshman due to injury last season and showed what he can do. He did at least one workout this summer with alum C.J. Stroud, the No. 2 pick of the NFL Draft and starting this season with the Houston Texans. Leading receiver Jonah Dawson has D1 offers after collecting 101 receptions for 1,814 yards and 19 TDs the past two seasons. RB Trey Wilson also is back after rushing for over 500 yards.

Rancho Cucamonga has been known for its secondary over the years and there’s another spectacular one in the works. Elyjah Gordon is long with a capital L at 6-foot-4 at safety and the senior has offers from USC, Oregon, Auburn and Georgia Tech. Amaurey Brooks is a corner who is also getting offers. LB Lavaka Latu also is back as one of the leading tacklers.

Preseason All-Inland Empire linebacker Stacy Bey is one of the transfers from Amat. He had 75 tackles for the Lancers and recently committed to San Diego State. Cameron Sermons and Rodney Sermons Jr. are the other two. Rodney was one of the top freshmen in the state who played a lot of varsity snaps last season.

2022 Record & Final TOP 50 Rank: 10-1, No. 29.
First Game: Friday, Aug. 18 vs. Clovis West (Fresno) at home

It was a breakout season for the Rams one year ago as they not only won in a rout over their rivals from Central Catholic of Modesto but they notched a 45-35 victory over De La Salle, their first ever victory over the storied Spartans. Fourteen starters are back for head coach Tony Franks. If the defense can play much better than it did in the wild-and-wacky 50-49 upset loss to Turlock in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D1 playoffs, then this looks like a real threat to Folsom atop the SJS.

St. Mary’s QBs Samson Hunkin (left) and Devin Rasmussen could inspire a lot of creative opportunities for the Rams on offense this season. Photo: Mark Tennis.

St. Mary’s has not one but two returning quarterbacks. Samson Hunkin was the starter last season and can flash a lot of speed when he gets away from pass rushers. Upcoming sophomore Devin Rasmussen has D1 offers from San Jose State and UNLV and he camped this summer at places like Tennessee. It makes sense if Franks comes up with packages for both. Three-year starter Asante Carter also is back on offense. He rushed for 20 touchdowns last season and had more than 1,200 yards rushing two seasons ago as a sophomore. Track sprinter and breakaway kick returner Kenneth Moore will be another huge weapon. He’s just a sophomore, but already has D1 offers.

On defense, the top returnee for the Rams is senior DB Omari Gayles, who had four interceptions and five fumble recoveries last season. He has committed to Harvard. Junior Manalii Danielson (6-0, 225) also is back after several breakout outings last year.

In addition to playing at De La Salle this season, the Rams are opening up at home against a Clovis West of Fresno squad projected to be No. 1 in the CIF Central Section. They also have a trip to Southern California to face Bishop Amat of La Puente.

2022 Record & Final TOP 50 Rank: 10-2, No. 37.
First Game: Friday, Aug. 18 at St. Mary’s (Stockton)

Starting out right behind the St. Mary’s of Stockton team they are facing on the road to open the season is a Golden Eagles’ team that has all the ingredients to take over the top spot from Liberty of Bakersfield in the CIF Central Section.

In just his second season, head coach Eric Brown directed Clovis West to the title of the rugged Tri-River Athletic Conference. The season ended with a loss in the D1 semifinals to San Joaquin Memorial, but at the time it was mentioned by many in the Fresno media how many top players will be returning.

Central Section teams usually don’t have four D1 committed players on the roster, but Clovis West has that many so far. Marshel Sanders, the all-state Grid-Hoop pick and all-state juniors receiver, has committed to Fresno State. The local Bulldogs also have verbals from linebacker Tytus Khajavi (6-2, 225), and two-way star Jordan Pierro. Receiver Landon Wright has committed to Washington State.

The quarterback from last year, Ryan Markarian, has graduated, but senior Tyler Patrick has played the position before and should be more than fine getting the ball into the hands of Sanders, Wright and the others.

Santa Margarita edge rusher LeVar Talley has committed to Nevada. Photo: Cannon Sports /

2022 Record & Final TOP 50 Rank: 5-5, No. 18.
First Game: Friday, Aug. 18 vs West (Salt Lake City, Utah) at home

One school that has been almost impossible to follow for players coming and going via transfer has been Santa Margarita. In just the last few days, the three brothers who were supposed to be coming to SM from Long Beach Poly, Jason Robinson, Jadyn Robinson and Skylar Robinson, have instead checked in to San Juan Hills. There’s also been expected QB starter after last year, junior Bekkem Kritza, leaving for another state. More bad news is a knee injury to returning all-Orange County WR Emmett Mosley that will knock him out for the season.

All of that uncertainty does put the Eagles clearly in a position behind Orange Lutheran and JSerra in the Trinity League pecking order, but still ahead of Anaheim Servite (2-8 last season). Head coach Anthony Rouzier also has generally made good strides since he took over in 2020 and there are some quality players sprinkled in throughout the roster. The top returnee is DE LeVar Talley, a senior edge rusher who has committed to Nevada. Sophomore Trent Mosley, younger brother of Emmett, also already has a lot of D1 attention. TE Kyle Brody and WR Kyle Embree are both top-notch pass-catchers and Brody has committed to Air Force. Junior OL Jacob Maiva (6-3, 280) also has transferred in from Liberty High of Henderson, Nev.

2022 Record & Final TOP 50 Rank: 7-5, No. 43
First Game: Friday, Aug. 18 vs Chaminade (West Hills) at home

There’s a lot to like about the Lions and all of the returning players that they have. They’d be our pick to be No. 2 behind Sierra Canyon for schools in the San Fernando Valley/Ventura County region and we’d have to start them in front of Marmonte League rival St. Bonaventure.

Sophomore RB Deshonne Redeaux was just picked as our State Freshman Athlete of the Year (he’s also run 10.42 wind-aided in the 100) and has an offer in football from Alabama among others. The offense also features Baylor-committed QB Nate Bennett but another QB who will get snaps will be Devin Tate (6-3, 205). Stanford commit Chase Farrell at receiver, Justice Williams (6-4, 205) also at receiver, TE Stevie Amar (6-4, 215), OL Enzo Hall (offer from Arizona State) and junior OL Will Simic (6-2, 280) also are all back.

On defense, head coach Charles Collins can start with one of the top recruited junior edge rushers in the state, Hayden Lowe (6-5, 240), plus junior LB Christian Knoos (6-0, 215) and one of the top incoming sophomore DBs in the state, Devon Benjamin (6-0, 175).

Dylan Delgado is one of the top returning players at 2022 CIF D1-A state champ Liberty of Bakersfield. Photo:

2022 Record & Final TOP 50 Rank: 13-2, No. 17
First Game: Friday, Aug. 18 at Highland (Palmdale)

If Clovis West were to win in its first game at St. Mary’s of Stockton, then it would then be a more deserving No. 1 team for the CIF Central Section. With a loss, then it would be no problem to move the Patriots back to the place they’ve been for the last two seasons. Last year’s run to the CIF D1-A state title also pushed head coach Bryan Nixon to 196 career wins, which means just four more for him to reach 200 and then he’ll go onto the all-time state list. Nixon’s program isn’t just going for a repeat of the D1 section title, either. The Patriots also won it for 2021 so this would be a three-peat.

Most of the offensive firepower and most of the interior line strength from last season’s team has departed so for Liberty to get back to where it has been likely will require the defense to be lights out early on until the offense comes around. Leading returnees include top tackler Drew Underwood at linebacker (98 tackles) and defensive back Tre Fulton (D1 offers with six interceptions as a junior). Dylan Delgado, who had four sacks in Liberty’s CIF state title game win over Pittsburg, and Jace Nixon, the coach’s son who can play TE and QB, are two other players to watch.

2022 Record & Final TOP 50 Rank: 9-2, No. 20
First Game: Friday, Aug. 18 vs Point Loma at home

Both of the losses for the Warhawks last season were to Western League rival Lincoln. The second one came in the CIF San Diego Section Open Division semifinals. They are projected again to get at least that far so we are going with them No. 3 in the section behind Lincoln and Carlsbad and inside the first 25 of these rankings.

Head coach Rick Jackson begins his 20th season probably very happy with all that he’s got back on the defensive side of the ball. And that’s a good thing since Madison didn’t give up more than two TDs in any game before the two losses to Lincoln and the Hornets only went for three in each. LB James Tivao has plenty of offers and has already been all-section twice. DB Martell Hughes had four interceptions last season and has committed to Arizona State. DL Makai Viavia, DL David Faatoalia and DB Titus Toilolo also are all very impressive returnees. The offense at Madison should also be able to create some excitement with RB Jaylon Brown. He had two scoring runs against Cathedral Catholic and he had 213 yards in a win against St. Augustine.

2022 Record & Final TOP 50 Rank: 7-4, No. 36
First Game: Friday, Aug. 18 vs. Chaparral (Temecula) at home

In the Orange County football heirarchy, there’s Mater Dei, then the two public schools Mission Viejo and Los Alamitos and then the rest of the Trinity League. Servite of Anaheim used to be there, but was only 2-8 last season. What about after that? It’s been a group of teams that includes Edison of Huntington Beach, San Clemente and Corona del Mar. It’s a close call, but we’re going with the Tritons next.

Head coach Jaime Ortiz has two players back who were QBs last season and it’s worked out well for this year. One of them, Dylan Mills, has not only gained an edge but also has a commitment to Villanova. The other one, Broderick Redden, moves to tight end where he has the size (6-5, 225) to get some college offers with a big season. Another plus is senior DL Connor Bachhuber (6-5, 245), who is a Hot 100 state recruit who has committed to Stanford. The Tritons also have picked up an impact transfer in the last two weeks as safety Matai Tagoa’i has arrived from Nevada. He is a junior with offers from Georgia, Alabama and more. Two-way lineman Ben Baker (6-2, 275) also is one to watch. He also is a standout in rugby.

Charlie Ramirez is the new head coach at his alma mater of Pittsburg. Photo: Ben Enos / SportStars.

2022 Record & Final TOP 50 Rank: 11-3, No. 25
First Game: Saturday, Aug. 26 at Sacred Heart Cathedral (SF)

It’s a new era at Pitt as longtime assistant Charlie Ramirez takes over as head coach after Vic Galli retired from a 21-year run. Charlie goes so back at Pitt that he was a sophomore linebacker on the 1991 team that upset De La Salle of Concord in the CIF North Coast Section championship. It was the last time that DLS has not won at least a section title.

Ramirez has been the defensive coordinator and this team coming back for him sure has some defensive gems to build around. The three main ones — DE Jewelous Walls, LB Etene Pritchard Jr. and DB Jadyn Hudson — also are all juniors. Walls had 99 tackles last season (25 for loss), Pritchard had 101 tackles (plus three interceptions), and Hudson was first team all-state for sophomores. Pitt also returns RB Elijah Blow, who rushed for 1,195 yards and 16 TDs as a sophomore. The QB to replace graduated big-time recruit Jaden Rashada may be junior Marley Alcantara. Soph DB Truly Bell also is already getting D1 offers.

The Pirates have been much higher in the preseason rankings in recent years, but have tended to under-perform. They still have been the second best team in the NCS behind De La Salle and while we thought about San Ramon Valley being higher there just isn’t enough evidence to do that yet.

2022 Record & Final TOP 50 Rank: 9-2*, No. 26
First Game: Friday, Aug. 18 vs Tufana (American Samoa) at home

It’s easy for the Bears to get lost in the shadow of nearby St. John Bosco plus they also aren’t that far from Long Beach Poly. Who knows how last season would have ended had a last-second field goal attempt vs Sierra Canyon had been good instead of no good in a loss to the Trailblazers in the first round of the CIFSS D2 playoffs? Sierra Canyon went on to win the divisional title.

Warren QB Nicholas Iamaleava was in the shadow of no one during his time at the school and is now playing at Tennessee. His younger brother, Madden, got lots of experience as a sophomore last year and is ready to take over as the main threat for head coach Kevin Pearson’s offense. Madden has offers from Auburn, Georgia Tech, Miami and Liberty.

The Bears have additional returnees who have enjoyed much success, including DE J.T. Houston (10 sacks the last two years), WR Jordan Ross (committed to Colorado State), and OL Rogelio Baca (6-2, 280).

The first game against Tufana of American Samoa at first glance appears to be the first-ever game by a California high school against a team from American Samoa.

Blake Lowe of Chaparral goes up high to deflect pass for the Pumas’ defense. Photo:

2022 Record & Final TOP 50 Rank: 7-5, NR
First Game: Friday, Aug. 18 at San Clemente

The Pumas seem to be the team that has the most back and makes the most sense for us to be considered second to start the season from the Big VIII Conference’s upper division behind Corona Centennial. They enjoyed a late season surge last year that included wins over Vista Murrieta, Norco and Murrieta Valley. Plus, they have a great first game at San Clemente that will show a lot.

Junior QB Dash Beierly had more than 2,000 yards of rushing and passing as a sophomore and is one of the top recruited junior QBs in California. The offense also will feature one of the top recruited junior TEs in the state in Jacob Alvarez. Both Beierly and Alvarez have P5 offers.

Head coach Andrew Ramer’s squad has even more back on defense. DE Aiden Alefosio (6-3, 210) had 24 tackles for loss last season and was first team All-CIFSS D3. DB Blake Lowe (6-3, 190) also is a hard-hitter and he has D1 offers. One of the other leading tacklers, junior LB Justin Salway, is another returnee.

2022 Record & Final TOP 50 Rank: 9-5, NR
First Game: Friday, Aug. 18 at Elk Grove

This is a team that reached the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section D2 championship game last season with a lineup that just screamed “one year away.” The Grizzlies can’t ever be in front of Folsom in a ranking that makes any sense unless they can beat them and we’re not starting them in front of St. Mary’s of Stockton, either. They can be third in the section and thus in this range for the state.

The star power for Granite Bay begins with junior RB Carter Jackson, who rushed for more than 1,500 yards as a sophomore and showed he was a special talent. He had a strong summer and already has committed to Cal. The defense should be led by LB Frank Cusano. He led the Grizzlies with 111 tackles and he’s also a major college commit, in his case to Washington State. The team also counts on its roster Isaiah Ene, one of the top freshmen in the state last season. He is a great tackler on defense but he also had more than 700 yards rushing and nine TDs on offense. Junior WR Joe Cattolico, the son of head coach Joe Cattolico, also is back as the leading receiver (36 catches) and another top returning tackler is senior LB Broc Daily.

Sophomore RB Kingston Keanaaina of St. Francis was one of the top RBs in the CCS by the end of the season. Photo: Willie Eashman.

2022 Record & Final TOP 50 Rank: 8-4, No. 34
First Game: Friday, Aug. 25 vs Helix of La Mesa at home

If the Lancers can block it up like they did two years ago, all of the rest of the pieces seem to be in place for them to be a strong challenger to preseason state No. 5 Serra of San Mateo in the CIF Central Coast Section.

The power running game that head coach Greg Calcagno loves to use seems to have a perfect lead ball carrier with junior Kingston Keanaaina, who came on strong later last season and ended with 780 yards and 10 TDs. The Lancers also have a QB who’s easy to root for as Aaron Knapp has had a battle with cancer. He started several games two years ago as a sophomore. More key returnees at St. Francis look like junior LB Jackson Cahoon (one of leading tacklers as a sophomore), senior WR-DB Mack Mroka and upcoming sophomore speedster WR-DB Perrion Williams (offer from Washington State).

2022 Record & Final TOP 50 Rank: 13-2, No. 31
First Game: Saturday, Aug. 19 vs Mission Hills (San Marcos)

After winning the CIF D2-A state title with an overtime touchdown over San Ramon Valley of Danville, the Eagles will be moving up into D1 for the CIF San Diego Section. They do have a bit more returning firepower than D2-AA state champion Mater Dei Catholic and therefore are going into these rankings as the fourth highest in the section.

Head coach Kellan Cobbs, who was the section Coach of the Year and also was the Cal-Hi Sports Medium Schools State Coach of the Year, has much to like about the defense. Returning DE Damarrion White (6-4, 230) is one of the top prospects in the section and is choosing between Arizona, Washington and Oregon State for college. There’s also a four-year starter on defense in DB Jordan Glaze, who rang up 122 tackles as a junior. DB Nokoi Maddox also returns with an average of six tackles per game and has Ivy League credentials. On offense, the hero of the state title game, junior RB Isaiah Jackson, also is back along with another of the leading ball carriers, junior Maxwell Turner. The team’s leading receiver based on catches with 31, Josh Zander, also is back.

2022 Record & Final TOP 50 Rank: 11-1, No. 30
First Game: Friday, Aug. 18 vs. Aquinas (San Bernardino) at home

There were a couple of drafts of these rankings in which the Bulldogs were in the 30 to 35 range, but then we noticed they were No. 30 last year at the end so we just decided to start them out in the same spot for this season. Their two wins over St. Bonaventure and one against Apple Valley highlighted the season, but the lopsided loss to Bishop Amat in the CIFSS D2 playoffs continued to hurt even in these preseason rankings.

Oak Hills has a likely first team all-state selection on offense with Paki Finau (6-4, 270), who has committed to Washington. He’s been all-state sophomores, then all-state juniors. The Bulldogs also have their No. 1 QB coming back, Diego Lopez, who passed for 29 touchdowns and 2,346 yards as a junior. A junior this year, RB Karson Cox, had a breakout season as well with more than 1,100 yards rushing as a sophomore. The other major player to follow is sophomore DB Jeffrey Johnson. He led the team with five interceptions as a freshman.


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

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