Three Bay Area Teams Sit Atop Our First Set Of NorCal Football Rankings As We Prepare To Embark On A Fascinating Spring Football Experiment •
What do we really know about the long-awaited and frantically assembled high school football season that’s about to commence across the state? Not nearly as much as we’d like, but we love that we’ve got a chance to take some guesses. There will be football. Which means there will be SportStars NorCal Football Rankings.
Let’s embrace the chaos and enjoy the ride. It took a long time to get here.
NorCal Football Rankings
2019 Season-Ending Ranks Are In Parenthesis
1. (1) De La Salle-Concord (12-2 in 2019)
This ranking should surprise no one. Long season or short one, the Spartans will be prepared and feature plenty of talent.
2. (2) Serra-San Mateo. (13-2)
It’s doubtful this season is even happening without the efforts of Padres coach Patrick Walsh. He can now enjoy the fruits of his labor with a talented, experienced roster.
3. (4) Pittsburg (11-2)
The Pirates may have the most talented 2023 class in all of NorCal, making this five-game season just a warm up for a big Fall.
4. (5) Oak Ridge (10-3)
We considered bumping the Trojans down a bit after the early-grad departure of 3-star QB Justin Lamson. However, a stout defense should keep them among the Sac-Joaquin Section elite.
5. (14) Clayton Valley-Concord (10-5)
The Ugly Eagles are actually defending CIF State Bowl champions. Feels like that win was forever ago, but plenty of returning talent should remind us quickly.
6. (3) Valley Christian-San Jose (11-2)
Defense has been this program’s calling card for the past few seasons, but sophomore WR Jurrion Dickey is going to give the offense some juice too.
7. (16) San Ramon Valley-Danville (7-4)
Experienced QB play and stout two-way players are invaluable any season, but especially in this compacted format. The Wolves check those boxes with QB Jack Quigley and TE/DE J.P. Murphy.
8. (6) Monterey Trail-Elk Grove (12-2)
The Mustangs are scraping for games after the Metropolitan League opted out of this season. However, they’ll have arguably the most exciting player in the section (USC-bound RB/DB Prophet Brown) in the games they do suit up.
9. (15) Marin Catholic-Kentfield (11-2)
UC Davis-bound RB Matteo Perez (2,000+ rushing yards in 2019) will lead a squad that finished three points shy of a section title last season.
10. (NR) Rocklin (7-4)
The Sierra Foothill League team everyone forgets about. But … the Thunder beat a Justin Lamson-led Oak Ridge last year 28-22. Warrants mentioning.
11. (28) Cosumnes Oaks-Elk Grove (8-4)
Delays, and opt-outs cooled the hype around the Wolfpack. That said, we expect the remaining players to circle the wagons behind star QB Anthony Grigsby Jr.
12. (9) Cardinal Newman-Santa Rosa (14-1)
When in doubt, be sure to rank defending state bowl champions with returning standouts like Tsion Nunnally and Shane Moran. So, that’s what we’ve done.
13. (7) Folsom (10-2)
The Bulldogs will have their smallest roster in more than a decade. But it doesn’t mean that roster won’t have playmakers.
14. (NR) Half Moon Bay (10-1)
Two-way RB/LB Tristan Hoffman leads an experienced Cougars team that’s only 2019 loss was a playoff defeat at Serra.
15. (23) Placer-Auburn (10-3)
Coach Joey Montoya recently told SportStars’ Ike Dodson that the Hillmen “are pretty stinking talented.” That’s good enough for us.
16. (NR) Lincoln-Stockton (9-2)
Multiple young offensive starters, dual-threat sophomore QB Kenyon Nelson and standout junior RB Jonah Coleman, make the Trojans a team to watch.
17. (NR) St. Francis-Mountain View (4-7)
2019 was a building block year for a young core of Lancers that should be ready to fully break out this spring.
18. (NR) Davis (10-2)
The Blue Devils were among the surprise teams of 2019, and many of the players who fueled the rise are back.
19. (NR) Jesuit-Carmichael (6-6)
The Marauders are set to return their top rusher, both top pass catchers and three of their top four tacklers from 2019.
20. (NR) Vintage-Napa (10-2)
We had plenty of programs we liked for this last spot, but the Crushers’ returning nucleus appealed to us the most.