School Ranking

2009 - RivalsHigh 100 | Rivals High | last sorted on 12/22/2009

Compiled by Dallas Jackson (email)
Senior Analyst for

The RivalsHigh 100 is compiled with the help of the network of high school site publishers, recruiting analysts and AMP team.

Don Bosco wins National Title

The question needs to be asked: If New Jersey only had one team in the RivalsHigh Top 100 rankings for most of the season, how could a team from the state - Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco Prep - ascend to the top of the rankings and win the 2009 national championship?

The answer actually is easy.

In a season filled with upsets and parity in all of the traditional football power states, Don Bosco Prep stood out:

Video of Don Bosco's win in the state title game.
  • It dominated its in-state competition;
  • It defeated two top out-of-state competitors;
  • It was overpowering from start to finish.

    “This is a special experience for the kids,” Don Bosco athletic director and assistant coach Nunzio Campanile said. “We thought this was a special season but you never know how the polls will play out.”

    For Bosco, seeing how the polls would turn out was actually its most stressful ‘game’ of the season.

    The school jumped to No. 2 nationally when the calendar turned to November and remained there after capturing its fourth straight New Jersey state title on Dec. 5.

    Then it had to sit and wait and see how the season played out in Florida, California and Texas.

    First, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) St. Thomas Aquinas – the undisputed top team going for its second straight national title – was stunned in the Florida 5A semifinals by Manatee on Dec. 11.

    The next day, the No. 3 team - powerful Huntington Beach (Calif.) Edison – lost in the California state playoffs to Servite.

    All that was left was Texas.

    Austin (Texas) Lake Travis rose to No. 2 and went on to capture its third straight Texas 4A, Division 1 title last Saturday but it did not do enough to pass Don Bosco.

    “Everything we’ve done just paid off,” senior lineman James Kittredge told “All those grueling days, getting after each other in the heat.

    “It turned out just the way the coaches promised. They said it could happen. They weren’t lying.”

    Campanile credits tough scheduling for the team’s success.

    “We try to challenge our kids,” he said. “We try to find out what they are all about. Those games against De La Salle and Prattville keep our kids motivated to work hard.”

    Those games helped Don Bosco get the nod as national champions as well.

    New Jersey had such a dramatically ‘down’ year this fall that it wasn’t worthy of inclusion in RivalsHigh’s 12-state tournament to determine where the best football is played.

    But Bosco showed two teams what Jersey football is about.

    On Sept. 12, Don Bosco dominated Concord (Calif.) De La Salle, 30-6, holding the eventual CIF Open Bowl champion to under 100 yards of offense. De La Salle finished the year ranked No. 39.

    Two weekends later, on Sept. 25, Don Bosco had its defining moment against Prattville (Ala.) High.

    Bosco roared to a 25-0 lead before Prattville came back to get within one at 25-24. Bosco responded with the next ten points to close out the game.

    “The Prattville game was big for us,” Campanile said. “Traveling 1,000 miles and having our backs against the wall and a hostile crowd, told us a lot about this team.”

    Prattville eventually advanced to the final of the Alabama Class 6A and finished the year ranked No. 96.

    Two out-of-state wins aside, Bosco also beat the best in their state, rolling over Montvale (N.J.) St. Joseph’s, Oradell (N.J.) Bergen Catholic, Jersey City (N.J) St. Peter’s Prep and West Orange (N.J.) Seton Hall Prep were all needed to push the Ironmen to the title.

    Those schools, which have challenged – and beaten – Don Bosco in the past, were no match this season.

    As it turns out, no school was.

    Each Monday throughout the high school football season, will release the RivalsHigh 100. Click here to post a question for Dallas Jackson, and he will make sure to answer your questions about our rankings.

    1Don Bosco PrepRamseyNJ12-01
    National Champions. New Jersey Non-Public Group 4 State Champions. The Ironmen downed CIF Open Bowl winner Concord (CA) De La Salle, Alabama 6A finalist Prattville, and the best four teams in the state. The most impressive resume of any in the top ten.
    2Lake TravisAustinTX16-02
    Texas Class 4A Division I State Champions. The Cavaliers take home the top spot in Texas for 2009. The Cavaliers defeated Longview for the title and boasts a resume with wins over three 5A opponenets that were playoff teams in the regular season - including 5A Division I finalist Austin Westlake.
    3West MonroeWest MonroeLA15-03
    Louisiana Class 5A State Champions. West Monroe was by far the best team in Louisiana. The Rebels will be in the discussion for preseason No. 1 in 2010. Aside from winning 5A, West Monroe also beat Class 4A state title winner Neville.
    4Memphis University SchoolMemphisTN13-04
    Tennessee Division II Class AA State Champions. The Owls beat two other state title winners this season - Mississippi 6A winner South Panola and Tennessee 6A winner White Station to earn a Top Five finish.
    Texas 5A Division II State Champions. The Eagles won their first state title in 53 years. Going through Cedar Hill, Arlington Bowie, and powerhouse Katy earns this Abilene team a top five finish.
    California CIF Division II Champions. The Friars avenged their only loss to Edison to win the Pac-5. They then beat Rockline in the CIF Bowl. The season also saw wins over Long Beach Poly, Crespi, Mater Dei, and Mission Viejo - one of the best resumes nationally.
    7DwyerWest Palm BeachFL14-117
    Florida Class 4A State Champions. A trio of Florida commits, led by Matt Elam, lead Dwyer to wins over Pahokee, Delray Beach Atlantic, Armwood and Niceville and won a state title.
    8HighlandsFort ThomasKY15-05
    Kentucky Class 5A State Champions. Ft. Thomas downed every team on their schedule in convincing fashion. The victory over St. Xavier from Ohio was an indication that this team could compete with the big boys.
    9Detroit Catholic CentralNoviMI14-07
    Michigan Division I State Champions. Catholic Central may have an arguement for a higher ranking beating Hudsonville, St. Mary's Prep (twice), Warren De La Salle, and Sterling Heights Stevenson to win the state title.
    10Hilliard DavidsonHilliardOH13-18
    Ohio Division I State Champions. Davidson defeated Coffman, Elder, and Glennville to win states.
    11South PanolaBatesvilleMS14-19
    Mississippi 6A State Champions. Another streak could be starting at South Panola. This was a very young team that only got better as the season came to a close.
    North Carolina Division 4A State Champions. Butler dominated Independence and Jack Britt to win the state title.
    Alabama 6A State Champions. Hoover greatly benefits with its win over Prattville in the state finals and over Georiga 5A winner Camden County.
    14Camden CountyKingslandGA13-216
    Georgia AAAAA State Champions. Camden made an amazing run through the playoffs knocking off Lowndes, North Gwinnett, Colquitt County and Northside Warner Robins.
    Texas Class 5A Division I State Champions. The Trojans did not look they would make this run after starting the season 2-2. This was very much a season of destiny as the Trojans won the title in overtime over Austin Westlake. Also, Trinity owns a win over Utah 5A champs, Bingham.
    Arizona 5A Division I State Champions. Aside from a 24-21 win against Brophy in a National Game of the Week, Hamilton was not challenged this season.
    Florida Class 5A State Champions. Plant was led by RB James Wilder to a second straight state title. Last season it was in 4A, this year the Panthers conquered 5A.
    Kansas Division 5A State Champions. Mighty Hutch was not challenged in 2009 - dominating everyone put in front of them.
    Virginia Division AAA State Champions. The Phantoms were not expected to be this good coming into the season and proved everyone wrong being one of the best in the region and country.
    20Cardinal MooneyYoungstownOH15-027
    Ohio Division III State Champions. Mooney fans could argue this was the best team in state. A 45-7 win over Steubenville in the state semi finals was an exclamation point to their dominance this season.
    Colorado Class 5A State Champions. A very good season for Mullen with wins over Cherry Creek, Pomona and Rockhurst (MO). Mullen allowed fewer than six points per game.
    22EdisonHuntington BeachCA13-134
    Edison came out of nowhere to make a run to the Pac-5 finals. A great 2009 season despite the season ending 16-6 loss to Servite. Wins over Servite, Mater Dei, Los Alamitos and Lakewood are an impressive collection.
    The Tigers made it to the Texas 5A Division II finals for the third consecutive year but lost to Abilene. The Tigers also boasted a win over Washington state title winner, Bellevue.
    Louisiana Class 4A State Champions. For much of the year there was a belief the best in 4A would be the best in the state - except Neville lost to West Monroe earlier in the season.
    Oklahoma Class 6A State Champions. Union ended the season right where they started, No. 1 in Oklahoma. A convincing win over Jenks in the finals was a big boost.
    Manatee came very close to capping an amazing season but fell in the Florida 5A state finals to Plant. A win over St. Thomas Aquinas stole national headlines in the state semi finals.
    27St. Thomas AquinasFt LauderdaleFL13-124
    Despite a very good year for Aquinas two disappointing games to end the season drop them from invincible to vulnerable, scrambling to beat Ely and then losing to Manatee in the state semi final round.
    28Northside SchoolWarner RobinsGA13-228
    Northside made it to the Georgia state finals but ran into a buzzsaw in Camden County.
    South Carolina Class 4 Division I State Champions. The final ranking for Dorman was hurt a bit with Aquinas (FL) losing. The big win for Dorman was the revenge game over Byrnes in the state finals.
    30BinghamSouth JordanUT13-138
    Utah 5A State Champions. Bingham looked great in state and only suffered a loss to Texas 5A Division I champion Euless Trinity.
    31Maine SouthPark RidgeIL14-033
    Illinois 8A State Champions. Maine South established themselves as the team to beat in Illinois very early in the season and no one could come close.
    32Good CounselOlneyMD11-139
    Won Washington Catholic League. Not being eligible for playoffs hurts the ranking of Good Counsel. It ended the season avenging the loss to DeMatha.
    Florida Class 6A State Champions. Miramar knocked off Miami Central and DeLand to win the 6A title. The only set back was to St. Thomas Aquinas.
    Maryland 3A State Champions. Linganore earned the No. 1 spot in Maryland this season. The best win was over Gaithersburg Quince Orchard in the playoffs.
    Lowndes only two losses of the year were to both Georgia AAAAA finalists, Northside Warner Robins and Camden County. Both were 10-7 setbacks.
    Byrnes lost to Aquinas (FL) and Dorman to end the season.
    37East Grand RapidsGrand RapidsMI14-041
    Michigan Division 3 State Champions. The Pioneers beat Lowell and Orchard Lake St. Mary en route to an undefeated season.
    Longview lost in the Texas 4A state finals to Lake Travis. The Lobos had a big win over 2008 5A title winner, Allen. They also beat Denton Guyer and Waxahachie in the 4A playoffs.
    39De La SalleConcordCA13-246
    California CIF Open Division Champions. De La Salle making a run to a state title boosted the resume for Don Bosco. The Spartans beat Crenshaw to win the title.
    40Glenville Academic CampusClevelandOH13-236
    Lost Ohio Division I state finals by one point to Davidson. The Tarblooders were the first Cleveland public school to play for the Division I state title.
    41Madison CentralMadisonMS13-153
    Madison lost in the state semis to South Panola after ranking as high as No. 8 nationally.
    42CrenshawLos AngelesCA14-118
    A fantastic season from the L.A. City Section school. The Cougars owned the city as well as beat a very good Lakewood team en route to a CIF Open Bowl game.
    43Shiloh ChristianSpringdaleAR14-144
    Arkansas Class 4A State Chmpions. Shiloh beat two other state champs this season - Evangel Christian (LA) and Lincoln Christian (OK). The only loss was to Greenwood without their best defensive players.
    44Evangel ChristianShreveportLA14-145
    Louisiana 2A State Champions. Evangel's lone loss was to Shiloh Christian (AR) where they had the ball on the five as time expired on them.
    Arizona Class 5A Division II State Champion. Chaparral would have ranked higher than this had it gone through Centennial or one of the other powers in Arizona.
    46Bishop GormanLas VegasNV15-068
    Nevada Division 4A State Champions. The Gaels are the highest scoring team in the country piling up 798 points.
    Newnan beat preseason favorite Grayson but was edged by runner-up Northside Warner Robins in the semis of Georgia AAAAA.
    48La Salle WyndmoorPA14-1NR
    Pennsylvania Quad A State Champions. La Salle entered the playoffs as the No. 6 team in state but proved to be the best team in the state.
    California Division I State Champions. Oceanside rallied to win its CIF Bowl against Bellarmine Prep. Oceanside also beat Long Beach Poly and Helix in 2009.
    DeMatha got as high as No. 9 nationally but lost a close game to Good Counsel after narrowly defeating them earlier in the season.
    51Cedar HillCedar HillTX11-155
    Lost to eventual Texas 5A Division II champion Abilene in the playoffs after flirting with disaster on defense multiple times.
    52St. IgnatiusClevelandOH11-149
    Iggy lost to Glennville in the regions after beating them earlier in the season.
    53Junipero SerraGardenaCA15-040
    California Division III Champions. Serra knocked off Oaks Christian to get to the CIF Bowl where the Cavaliers defeated Marin Catholic.
    54Oaks ChristianWestlake VillageCA13-147
    Oaks season was highlighted by a win over Washington power Skyline. The goal of a CIF Bowl berth was taken on the last week to J Serra.
    Washington 4A State Champions. Skyline avenged its only in-state loss to Bothel, but Oaks Christian (CA) not making a CIF Bowl game hurts their final strength of schedule. The nation's No. 1 ranked QB, Jake Heaps, goes out a three-time state winner.
    Niceville made it to Florida state 4A finals but lost to Dwyer. Roy Finch and Kody Williams took the Eagles to new heights.
    Florida Class 2A State Champions. Cocoa beat Bolles, Godby and Glades Central this season.
    58Marquette UniversityMilwaukeeWI14-056
    Wisconsin Division I State Champions. Defense was the staple for Marquette this season.
    59John CurtisRiver RidgeLA13-159
    Curtis flirted with disaster a few times this season but played well down the stretch only to fall to Evangel Christian in the title game.
    60Iowa CityIowa CityIA14-061
    Iowa 4A State Champions. AJ Derby and the Little Hawks cruised to the state title.
    Tennessee 3A State Champions. The best team from East Tennessee was a bully on the field.
    Michigan Division 2 State Champions. The only loss was to East Grand Rapids. The best win was in the state finals against a very good Inkster team.
    Oregon 6A State Champions. Sheldon had to win a shootout with the state's No. 2 team - Jesuit - to win the title.
    64Thomas DaleChesterVA12-267
    Virginia AAA State Champions. Thomas Dale made a very surprising run to a state title in Virginia beating nationally ranked Oscar Smith along the way.
    Grayson made it to as high as No. 5 nationally before falling to Newnan in the playoffs. The signature win was in the opening week of the season against eventual state champion Camden County.
    The Thunder knocked off Sacramento Grant on their way to the CIF Bowl against Servite - which they nearly won.
    DeLand was the talk of the Florida playoffs. Being just two years removed from an 0-10 season what DeLand was able to accomplish in 6A was fun to watch.
    Westlake made it to the Texas 5A Division I state finals. Two of the teams three losses were to state winners, 4A Lake Travis and Euless Trinity in the title game.
    69Stony PointRound RockTX13-260
    Stony Point was one game away from playing for a state title in Texas but fell to 5A Division I champ, Euless Trinity.
    Jenks got crushed by Union in the state finals of Oklahoma 6A. It was an up-and-down season that saw them lose their coach as well.
    71North GwinnettSuwaneeGA12-172
    Wins against Prattville and Peachtree Ridge were great. This was a year early for North Gwinnett who could be a force in 2010.
    72Glades CentralBelle GladeFL13-171
    Glades had an opporuntity to finish as the No. 1 team in Florida but could not close the deal, losing in the state finals to Cocoa.
    73Cretin-Derham HallSaint PaulMN12-173
    Minnesota 5A State Champions. The best prospect in the country - Seantrel Henderson - led C.D. Hall to the title.
    74Mission ViejoMission ViejoCA12-174
    Probably the best Viejo team since Mark Sanchez left. A win over Sherman Oaks Notre Dame may have been the best win however the Diablos nearly knocked off Servite (19-18) in the playoffs which could have sparked a top ten finish.
    Lakeland season was highlighted with a win over De La Salle (CA) but ended with a shutout loss to state champion, Plant.
    76Wheaton SouthWheatonIL13-176
    Illinois 7A State Champions. A lot of teams rotated in as the No. 2 team in Illinois before the Tigers settled in late in the year.
    77F.J. ReitzEvansvilleIN15-077
    Indiana 4A State Champions. Reitz crushed Indianapolis Cathedral and played very good defense all season.
    Arkansas 7A State Champions. Har-Ber has a solid arguement for No. 1 in Arkansas playing in the state's toughest classification.
    Elder made it as high as No. 2 during the regular season. The Panthers almost made another run to an Ohio state title but fell to eventual winner Davidson in the semis.
    80Canyon Del OroOro ValleyAZ14-080
    Arizona Class 4A Division I State Champions. Canyone del Oro ran all over their competition in 2009.
    81Xaverian BrothersWestwoodMA13-081
    Massachussets Division I Super Bowl Winner. Xaverian played one of the toughest schedules in the Northeast.
    The two losses were to CIF Bowl loser Crenshaw and Pac-5 finalist Edison.
    83Adlai StevensonSterling HeightsMI13-183
    Stevenson lost in the state finals to Catholic Central to end an otherwise spectacular season.
    A rain soaked field and a darn good Neville team ended the season for Lutcher who got as high as No. 16 nationally.
    A great season for a relatively unknown nationally squad.
    86Cinco RanchKatyTX13-287
    The two losses for Cinco Ranch were to both Texas finalists. Division II runner-up Katy and Division I runner-up Westlake.
    87Stone BridgeAshburnVA13-288
    Stone Bridge made it to the Virginia state finals before falling to Phoebus 15-10.
    88Oscar SmithChesapeakeVA13-189
    Smith was in the top fifteen much of the season despite a couple of close games. A win over Venice (FL) was the high point. Losing to Dale in the state semis was a tough way to end a career for Phillip Sims.
    89Cypress WoodsCypressTX11-390
    The season was made for Cy Woods by upending Dallas Skyline in the playoffs otherwise this national rankings was not in the cards.
    Skyline was as high as No. 3 nationally when the Raiders lost a stunner to Cy Woods.
    91St. XavierCincinnatiOH9-392
    St. Xavier played one of the most demanding schedules in the nation in 20009.
    92St. XavierLouisvilleKY14-193
    Kentucky 6A State Champions. The only loss was to St. X (OH) in the middle of the season.
    93Millard SouthOmahaNE13-094
    Nebraska Class A State Champions. South scored over 40-points in 10 games this season.
    A tough loss to Rocklin ended the season. A win over Bellevue (WA) is still the best win of the year.
    Washington 3A State Champions. Bellevue lost to Texas Division II runner-up Katy (TX) and Grant (CA) - neither of which are bad losses.
    Prattville lost to Hoover in the Alabama 6A state finals. The Lions also fell to No. 1 Don Bosco.
    Florida 2B State Champions. Bolles lone loss was to fellow state title winner Cocoa.
    98Hazelwood CentralFlorissantMO13-199
    Missori Division 6 State Champions. Central beat traditional power Blue Springs to earn the state title and No. 1 spot in Missouri.
    99Peach CountyFort ValleyGA15-0NR
    Georgia AAA State Champions. One of the best Peach Country teams in recent memory, and only Georgia undefeated state title winner, makes it good enough for a national ranking to end the season.
    100Kamehameha SchoolHonoluluHI15-1NR
    Hawaii Division I State Champions. Kamehameha won the state title in Hawaii by beating St. Louis, Punahou, Leiluhua, and Kahuku.

    The RivalsHigh 100 is compiled by Dallas Jackson with the help of the network of high school site publishers, recruiting analysts and AMP team. To view the site in your area click here.

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