Cathedral Catholic ranked No. 1 in U-T preseason prep football poll

Cathedral Catholic High celebrates its state championship win last year over Folsom.
(Josh DaFoe)

Dons won a state title last year, as did Mater Dei Catholic, which is No. 3 starting the season


After watching 7-on-7 tournaments and polling coaches, it became apparent Cathedral Catholic, Mater Dei Catholic and Carlsbad were going to be the top three prep football teams in the Union-Tribune’s preseason Top 10.

The order was the only thing to be determined.

Cathedral Catholic finished the 2021 season 12-2, beating Folsom in the State 1-AA championship game.

Carlsbad was 11-1, with the only loss coming to Cathedral Catholic in the San Diego Section Open Division title game.

Mater Dei Catholic was 13-0, beating Modesto Central Catholic for the State 2-AA championship.

With all three teams loaded again this season, it was determined someone has to beat Cathedral Catholic before the Dons surrender the No. 1 spot.

Fans won’t have to wait long to see if the poll is accurate.

No. 3 Mater Dei Catholic hosts Cathedral Catholic at 6 p.m. Saturday.

Six days later, on Aug. 26, No. 2 Carlsbad travels to Mater Dei Catholic.

Madison, Lincoln and Helix — all Top 10 teams at the end of last season — start 2022 ranked 4-5-6.

Traditional powers Mission Hills and Torrey Pines are 7-8.

Scripps Ranch, which beat Santa Clara Wilcox for the San Diego Section’s third state championship (Division 2-A), lost several key players and opens this season No. 9.

Poway is No. 10 with Patrick Henry, Granite Hills and Ramona knocking on the door of the Top 10.

Preseason Top 10

1. Cathedral Catholic (12-2 last year) — State 1-AA champions are loaded on defense. Offense is work in progress; No. 10 in state

2. Carlsbad (11-1) — Lancers have 5-star QB and talent everywhere; No. 30 state

3. Mater Dei Catholic (13-0) — State 2-AA champions loaded on both sides of the ball; No. 9 state

4. Madison (9-3) — Warhawks have enough talent to challenge the big boys; No. 52 state

5. Lincoln (8-4) — As usual, Hornets have talent and speed all over the field; No. 41 state

6. Helix (9-3) — Highlanders have new coach, but a veteran QB and a strong squad; No. 40 state

7. Mission Hills (8-3) — As usual, Grizzlies are big, tough, athletic and well coached; No. 65 state

8. Torrey Pines (6-4) — Falcons shouldn’t miss a beat as veteran assistant Robby Collins takes control; No. 47 state

9. Scripps Ranch (11-1) — QB and more return from State 2-A Championship team; No. 63 state;

10. Poway (7-4) — Titans returned top RB and an emerging QB; No. 85 state

Others receiving votes:

Patrick Henry (10-3, No. 83 state), Granite Hills (5-7), Ramona (9-4), Steele Canyon (3-8), University City (8-5), Brawley (9-3), Eastlake (8-4), La Costa Canyon (5-6), El Camino (7-6), Christian (6-5), Oceanside (4-7), La Jolla Country Day (9-3).