Catholic High School football teams across the United States will feature in a prominent new Top 25 ranking system when the 2017 season kicks off in August.
The Catholic Athletes For Christ Top 25, Presented by Siena Heights University and Global Football, will be published weekly, every Wednesday after Labor Day through the conclusion of the season, at http://www.globalfootball.com/cac-top-25 following the release of a preseason ranking on Wednesday, August 23.
The CAC Top 25 ranking criteria include the quality of the team and its players, strength of schedule, tradition, and quality of the team’s league, conference, region or district. All Catholic high schools from the United States that feature only four-year players playing 11-man football are eligible for consideration.
The ranking will be compiled by Christopher Lawlor, an award-winning writer, who is a voting committee member and advisor for several major national high school events, including the McDonald’s All-American Games and Gatorade Player of the Year. Catholic Athletes for Christ chapters and the CAC Top 25 presenting sponsors will provide input into the weekly rankings. Lawlor previously worked for USA TODAY and ESPN.com, where he was the national preps writer, while compiling the national rankings in several sports.
“I believe this weekly ranking, to be shared among media and featured on websites nationwide, will be a highly anticipated and discussed feature in schools and locker rooms everywhere,” said Patrick Steenberge, Founder and President of Global Football, the joint-organizers of the CAC Top 25 Ranking. “I was blessed to have 16 years of Catholic education myself, and positively recall the athletic and academic experiences. Now I am proud to be able to help showcase many of the top Catholic high school football programs across America through the alliance with Catholic Athletes for Christ and Siena Heights University.”
Ray McKenna, President of Catholic Athletes for Christ, said: “We believe the poll will serve to highlight the excellent football performance of Catholic high schools throughout the nation. In addition to underlining the football prowess on display at these programs, we hope and expect our poll to allow us to point out the superior academic, spiritual and community contributions of the coaches and student athletes at these schools. I know I speak for Siena Heights University and Global Football when I say we believe that sports, properly understood, develop the whole person – body, mind and soul.”
Catholic Athletes for Christ serves Catholic athletes in the practice of their faith and shares the Gospel in and through sports. CAC’s goal is to provide an integrated network of sports oriented clergy and lay people to serve Catholic athletes, coaches, and staff in the practice of their faith.
Siena Heights University President Sister Peg Albert, OP, Ph.D., said: “We are pleased to partner with the Catholic Athletes for Christ High School Football Top 25. As a Dominican Catholic university with a vibrant football program, we see the valuable role athletics plays in the formation of our student-athletes. We stand with CAC in its mission to develop and promote solid Catholic role models, as well as the Siena Heights mission of being competent, purposeful and ethical and respecting the dignity of all.”
Athletic Director of Siena Heights University Fred Smith added: “Siena Heights University is very proud to be one of the initial sponsors of the CAC Top 25 and we look forward to connecting with all of the Catholic High Schools across the United States with this initiative.”
Siena Heights University is a Catholic university founded in 1919 and sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters. Enrolling a diverse community of traditional-age and working adult students, Siena Heights is a coeducational North Central accredited institution founded in the liberal arts tradition, offering associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The University is headquartered in Adrian, Mich., with degree completion centers in Dearborn, Southfield, Benton Harbor, Monroe, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Jackson and Online. http://sienaheights.edu/