HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – The final 2017 Blue Star Media Elite 25 high school football rankings.
For the third consecutive straight season, the Blue Star Media Elite 25 National Champions are from the Far West and the honor goes to Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.). The Monarchs played one of the toughest schedules in the country, played in powerhouse league and sectional and won the program’s first-ever CIF Open Division championship.
No. 15 Cy-Fair (Cypress, Texas) joins the Elite 25 after winning the program’s first-ever state title in Class 6A, Division II.
The season officially came to a close on Saturday night here at Grand Canyon University Stadium in Phoenix when the GEICO State Champions Bowl Series was staged. It was a great event with four teams from the Elite 25 competing for national pride.
St. Frances Academy (Baltimore) and Chandler (Ariz.) won the bowl games. Chandler participated in the event for the second year and won it convincing fashion. These are pioneering games with the prep football world watching on ESPNU and wondering if their state association or league will give them the OK to participate in the near future.
The Blue Star Media Elite 25 return in August 2018 with the preseason rankings. In the meantime, hope your holidays are going well and Happy New Year. Don’t forget to check out the Elite 25 the boys and girls’ basketball rankings that run weekly until the conclusion of their seasons in early April. We’ll be out with them starting with the boys on Jan. 2, 2018.
We hope to see you at a game soon. — Christopher Lawlor
Blue Star Media Elite 25 Final Football Rankings, Dec. 26, 2017
1. Mater Dei, Santa Ana, Calif. (15-0) * !
Previous rank: 1.
Recap: The Monarchs jumped to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter en route to a 52-21 victory over then-No. 11 De La Salle (Concord) in the CIF Open Division final. USC-bound QB J.T. Daniels hit on 20 of 20 passes for 233 yards and three touchdowns and ran for two more scores. WR Amon-Ra St. Brown had eight receptions for 137 yards and two TDs.
2. Allen, Texas (16-0)*
Recap: Won Class 6A, Division I state championship, defeating No. 23 Lake Travis (Austin), 35-33. The Eagles blew a 21-0 lead in the first quarter but recovered to win the program’s fifth title since 2008.
3. IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla. (8-0)
Recap: The Ascenders do not compete for a state championship. Season complete.
4. American Heritage, Plantation, Fla. (13-0)*
Recap: Won Class 5A state championship. The Patriots carry a 27-game win streak into next season and become Broward County’s first team to capture back-to-back titles while going unbeaten.
5. Bishop Gorman, Las Vegas (13-2)*
Recap: Won Class 4A state championship. It was the Gaels’ ninth straight state title. That’s an amazing feat. Season complete.
6. Ben Davis, Indianapolis (14-0)*
Recap: Won Class 6A state championship and ninth overall state crown.
7. Trinity, Louisville, Ky. (15-0)*
Recap: Won Class 6A state championship, recording a second straight 15-0 mark. Texas-bound WR Rondale Moore was named the recipient of the Paul Hornung Award, presented by the Louisville Quarterback Club and given to Kentucky’s top player.
8. South Pointe, Rock Hill, S.C. (15-0)*
Recap: Won fourth consecutive Class 4A state championship. The Stallions carry a 26-game win streak into next season.
9. St. Frances Academy, Baltimore (12-0)*
Recap: Won second straight MIAA A Conference championship. Also defeated then-No. 9 Bingham (South Jordan, Utah), 41-3, in the GEICO State Champions Bowl Series on Dec. 23 in Phoenix.
10. Pine-Richland, Gibsonia, Pa. (16-0)*
Recap: Defeated then-No. 7 St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia), 41-21, in the Class AAAAAA final. QB Phil Jurkovec, a Notre Dame recruit, helped beat the defending state champions completing 15 of 27 passes for 200 yards and a TD but rushed for 88 yards and four scores. The Rams took a 41-14 lead and cruised to the title. Season complete.
11. Chandler, Ariz. (13-2)*
Recap: Won 6A state championship. Also defeated then-No. 13 Northwestern (Miami), 55-20, in the GEICO State Champions Bowl Series Jacob Conover showed why he is one of the nation’s top quarterbacks from the Class of 2019. For the second straight year he was named the game’s Most Valuable Player after completing 22 of 38 passes for 341 yards and five scores and rushed three times for 22 yards and his second running score of the season.
12. Bingham, South Jordan, Utah (13-1)*
Recap: Won inaugural Class 6A state championship. Lost to No. 9 St. Frances Academy (Baltimore), 41-3, in the GEICO High School Bowl Championship Series on Dec. 23 in Phoenix.
13. Pearl, Miss. (16-0)*
Recap: Won Class 6A state championship.
14. North Gwinnett, Suwanee, Ga. (14-1)*
Recap: Won Class AAAAAAA state championship, defeating Colquitt County (Moultrie), 19-17.
15. Cy-Fair, Cypress, Texas (15-0)*
Previous: Not ranked.
Recap: Won the Class 6A, Division II state championship, defeating Midway (Waco), 51-35. It was the Bobcats’ first state title. RB Trenton Kennedy carried 23 times for 110 yards and three TDs.
16. De La Salle, Concord, Calif. (11-2)
Recap: Advanced to CIF Open Division final, losing to No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana), 52-21. The Spartans captured their 26th straight sectional title.
17. St. Joseph’s Prep, Philadelphia (13-1)
Recap: Advanced to the Class AAAAAA final. The Hawks won the Philadelphia Catholic League title.
18. Katy, Texas (12-1)
Recap: Advanced to Class 6A, Division I semifinals.
19. Northwestern, Miami (12-3)*
Recap: Won Class 6A state championship. Lost to No. 11 Chandler (Ariz.), 55-20, in the GEICO High School Bowl Championship Series in Phoenix. QB Tutu Atwell, a Louisville recruit, rushed for 284 yards and three TDs.
20. St. John Bosco, Bellflower, Calif. (11-3)
Recap: Advanced to CIF-Southern Section Division I final. Two losses were to top-ranked Mater Dei (Santa Ana).
21. Bergen Catholic, Oradell, N.J. (10-2)*
Recap: Won Non-Public Group 4 championship.
22. Hoover, Ala. (11-3)*
Recap: Won Class 7A state championship. It is the program’s 13th overall state title and the seventh for coach Josh Niblett at two schools.
23. Lake Travis, Austin, Texas (13-3)
Recap: Lost in Class 6A, Division I final to No. 2 Allen, 35-33. Ohio State-bound QB Matthew Baldwin reinjured his knee on the first play and did not return. The Cavaliers trailed 21-0 in the first quarter but rallied and nearly won it. In the semifinals, the Baldwin hit on 21 of 31 passes for 213 yards and a score in a 28-14 victory over then-No. 4 Katy.
24. Mission Viejo, Calif. (12-1)
Recap: Advanced to CIF-Southern Section Division I semifinals.
25. Corona (Calif.) Centennial (10-2)
Recap: Advanced to CIF-Southern Section Division I semifinals.
Dropped: No. 14 Westlake, Austin, Texas.
High-Fives by Region
- Cathedral Prep, Erie, Pa. (14-0)*
- Wise, Upper Marlboro, Md. (14-0)*
- St. John’s College, Washington, D.C. (9-2)*
- Westfield, Chantilly, Va. (15-0)*
- Troy, N.Y. (13-0)*
Geography: Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia.
- Kimberly, Wis. (14-0)*
- Lincoln-Way East, Frankfort, Ill. (13-0)*
- Eden Prairie, Minn. (13-0)*
- Dowling Catholic, West Des Moines, Iowa (12-1)*
- Pickerington (Ohio) Central (14-1)*
Geography: Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, North Dakota, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
- Covington Catholic, Park Hills, Ky. (15-0)*
- Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy (12-0)*
- Wake Forest, N.C. (15-0)*
- Venice, Fla. (14-1)*
- Owasso, Okla. (12-1)*
Geography: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.
- Saint Louis, Honolulu (10-0)*
- Folsom, Calif. (16-0)*
- Saguaro, Scottsdale, Ariz. (12-2)*
- Richland, Wash. (14-0)*
- Clackamas, Ore. (14-0)*
Geography: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.
* Won state, sectional or conference/league postseason championship
! Blue Star Media Elite 25 National Champions
About: The Blue Star Media Elite 25 High School Football Rankings are released weekly from September until the conclusion of the high school season. Criteria considered are 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 Blue Star Media’s Christopher Lawlor, who consults with a national network of coaches, talent evaluators and prep sports writers. The final rankings will be released in late December. Follow him on Twitter at #clawlor.