An Early Look at 2019: Who are the top four SoCal high school teams?
Californiapreps.com Football Analyst
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The 2018 football season in the state of California is over, now we turn our eyes to 2019. Our top three ranked teams in 2018 are ranked very high in 2019.
Here is our early 2019 Fab 4 in alphabetical order, headlined by the reigning back to back Open Division State Champion Mater Dei Monarchs.
Corona Centennial finished 2018 as our third ranked team and will enter 2019 in likely the top three. Matt Logan’s offense returns its junior quarterback duo of Carter Freedland and Ala Mikaele. They combined for 3,058 passing yards and 32 touchdowns with nine rushing touchdowns in 2018.
Nicholas Floyd is expected to be the full-time back after rushing for three scores as a junior. Gary Bryant is one of the most explosive players in Southern California. He returns at wide receiver along with Aaron Smith and Branden Alvarez on a talented unit on the outside.
Freshman AJ Vaipulu started on the offensive line and is expected to be a mainstay on the unit for the future. Centennial returns its second and fifth leading tacklers in the linebacker duo of Simon Hall and Josaiah Tanielu.
Korey Foreman emerged as as a standout sophomore on the defensive line and is loaded with potential and college interest. He led the team in sacks with six. Isaiah Young is a talented Division 1 defensive back and leads that unit.
Korey Foreman (Corona Centennial)Corona Del Mar
Dan O’Shea’s Sea Kings made the CIF Southern Section Division 4 section finals in 2018 and return most of their offense in 2019. Ethan Garbers is back after throwing for 4,137 passing yards as junior. Leading rusher Jason Vicencio is back with the team’s four leading pass catchers.
6’5 John Humphreys and 6’6 Mark Redman form a Division 1 duo at wide receiver and tight end with Simon Hall and Bradley Schlom also back at wide out.
The defense returns three of their top seven tacklers. Defensive lineman Carter Duss returns after a 46 tackle season in which he tied for the team lead in sacks with eight. Cole Rener leads the linebacker corp.
Tommy Griffin had 41 tackles as a sophomore from his defensive backfield position, a unit that returns Chandler Fincher who had a pair of interceptions last season.
Ethan Garbers (Corona Del Mar)Mater Dei
Coach Bruce Rollinson and the Monarchs finished number one in 2018 and the top ranked team in the country in multiple polls. The offense returns USC commit Bryce Young at quarterback. He ushers in a new crop of skill position players like sophomore Aaron McDonald at running back, sophomores Josiah Zamora and Kyron Ware-Hudson at wide receiver with junior Kody Epps on the outside.
The offensive line is headlined by the return of 4-star junior Myles Murao and sophomore George Miki-Han.
The defense is loaded with returners in the secondary and at linebacker. Elias Ricks is the fourth ranked junior in the country and Oklahoma commit Dorion Green-Warren returns with super sophomore Jaylin Davies and talented freshman Domani Jackson and Joshua Hunter in the secondary.
The team’s leading tackler Moses Sepulona returns at linebacker along with fellow juniors Dean Neeley and Jacobah Fuamatu and talented sophomore Raesjon Davis, who had seven tackles in the state final.
Junior Sefita Tupe and sophomore Tyler Narayan return on the defensive line.
Bryce Young (Mater Dei)St. John Bosco
Jason Negro’s Braves will be ranked highly by us and every national poll in 2019. A reason for that is the return of the nation’s top ranked junior in the country DJ Uiagalelei. The 5-star quarterback loses a crew of Division 1 players but returns a talented corp.
Keith Savage is back at running back after splitting time as a junior. Kris Hutson emerged as a junior and led the team in receiving touchdowns. He returns with super sophomore Beaux Collins and junior Tyus Poyer at wide receiver.
Drake Metcalf leads the offensive line in 2019. The defense has talent at each level. Kourt Williams II was the team’s third leading tackler as a junior from his linebacker position.
Jake Newman and Jon Jon Vaughns each made impacts as juniors in the secondary. Kobe Pepe leads the defensive line along with Matthew Jordan, who had eight sacks as a junior.
Drake Metcalf (St. John Bosco)
Photo by Dave Keefer
Also considered strongly, among others: Calabasas