The Central Catholic High School football team, which last year captured the state’s Division 4 championship, will start this season as the No. 6 small-school team in the nation, as ranked by MaxPreps.com.
The Raiders are coming off a 14-2 season that culminated with a 66-7 drubbing of Santa Fe Christian (Solana Beach) in the state title game Dec. 14 in Carson.
“Preseason rankings are based on what you did the year before so we still have a lot to prove,” said Central Catholic coach Roger Canepa. “I don’t want to downplay it, because it is an honor and it brings recognition to the program, but we haven’t won anything yet.”
MaxPreps points out that CC plays one of the more ambitious nonleague schedules in all of California.
The Raiders travel to take on perennial powerful Placer on Aug. 30 and St. Mary’s (Stockton) on Sept. 6, then host McClymonds (Oakland) on Sept. 13 — the Raiders beat McClymonds 42-12 in the NorCal final last year — and reigning Modesto Metro Conference champion Downey on Sept. 20.
Also ranked by MaxPreps is Paraclete High (Lancaster), at 19th in the nation. Defending Sac-Joaquin Section Division 3 champion Oakdale will face Paraclete Sept. 20 at The Corral.
East Bernard (Texas) is the top-ranked school.