High school football is incredibly popular across the United States. For many communities, Friday night football games are a time-honored tradition and bring people together to cheer on their local teams.
If you’re looking for the best high schools for football that consistently field top teams and send players to the college ranks, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve done the research to determine the top 10 high school football programs in 2023.
What Makes a Great High School Football Program
Success and Championships
One of the key factors that contribute to a great high school football program is its success and championships. A successful program is one that consistently performs well on the field and achieves positive results.
This can be measured by the number of games won, the number of championships won, and the overall winning percentage. A great high school football program has a track record of success and is known for its ability to compete at a high level.
College Recruitment and Alumni in College/NFL
Another important aspect of a great high school football program is its ability to produce college recruits and alumni who go on to play at the collegiate or professional level. A program that consistently produces players who are recruited by colleges and universities demonstrates its ability to develop talent and prepare players for the next level.
Additionally, having alumni who have gone on to play in the NFL is a testament to the program’s success in developing players and preparing them for the highest level of competition.
Community Support and School Spirit
A great high school football program is not only about what happens on the field but also about the support it receives from the community and the school. Community support is essential for the success of a program as it provides the necessary resources and funding.
This support can be seen in the form of attendance at games, donations, and volunteer work. Additionally, a program that fosters a strong sense of school spirit and pride among its players, coaches, and fans creates a positive and supportive environment that contributes to the overall success of the team.
Factors Considered in the Rankings
Win-Loss Records Over the Past 5 Years
One of the key factors considered in ranking the top high schools for football is their win-loss records over the past five years. This provides a clear indication of the team’s performance and consistency.
Schools with a high number of wins and a low number of losses demonstrate their ability to consistently compete at a high level. These schools have developed strong football programs and have shown their dedication to success on the field.
State Championship Wins
Another important factor in the rankings is the number of state championship wins a high school football team has achieved. Winning a state championship is a significant accomplishment and indicates that the school has a strong football program.
Schools that consistently compete for and win state championships demonstrate their ability to develop talented players and execute successful game plans. These schools are known for their excellence in football within their respective states.
National Rankings and Attention
In addition to state championships, the national rankings and attention received by a high school football team are considered in the rankings. Schools that consistently rank highly in national polls and receive attention from national media outlets are recognized for their exceptional talent and success.
These schools often have a strong tradition of football excellence and attract top-level recruits. The national recognition serves as a testament to the program’s quality and competitiveness.
Number of Alumni Playing College and Professional Football
The number of alumni from a high school football program who go on to play college and professional football is another factor taken into account. Schools that produce a high number of players who continue their football careers at the collegiate or professional level demonstrate their ability to develop talent and prepare athletes for the next level.
These schools attract talented players who seek opportunities to further their football careers.
According to NCAA, only a small fraction of high school football players go on to play at the college level. Therefore, the presence of alumni in college and professional football is a strong indicator of a high school’s ability to develop players and provide them with the necessary skills and opportunities to succeed at higher levels.
The Top 10 High School Football Programs for 2023
10. Allen High School – Allen, TX
Allen High School, located in Allen, Texas, has established itself as one of the top high school football programs in the country. Known for its impressive facilities and dedicated coaching staff, Allen High School consistently produces talented athletes who go on to play at the collegiate and even professional level.
With a strong emphasis on teamwork and discipline, it’s no wonder that Allen High School continues to be a powerhouse in high school football.
9. St. Thomas Aquinas High School – Fort Lauderdale, FL
St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has a rich history of success in high school football. The program is known for its strong coaching staff, top-notch facilities, and talented players.
With a focus on developing well-rounded student-athletes, St. Thomas Aquinas High School instills values such as hard work, perseverance, and sportsmanship in its players. It’s no surprise that the school consistently ranks among the best high school football programs in the country.
8. St. John Bosco High School – Bellflower, CA
St. John Bosco High School, located in Bellflower, California, is renowned for its exceptional football program. The school has a long-standing tradition of success, with a number of state championships to its name.
With a dedicated coaching staff and a commitment to developing players both on and off the field, St. John Bosco High School has earned its reputation as one of the top high school football programs in the nation.
7. IMG Academy – Bradenton, FL
IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, is not your traditional high school football program. As a sports-focused boarding school, IMG Academy attracts some of the most talented athletes from around the world.
With state-of-the-art facilities and a rigorous training program, IMG Academy provides its football players with the resources they need to succeed at the highest level. It’s no wonder that IMG Academy consistently produces top-tier college recruits.
6. Bishop Gorman High School – Las Vegas, NV
Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Nevada, is synonymous with high school football excellence. With a record-breaking winning streak and multiple national championships, Bishop Gorman has solidified its place as one of the best high school football programs in the country.
The school’s commitment to fostering a competitive and supportive environment has helped produce numerous Division I athletes over the years.
5. Mater Dei High School – Santa Ana, CA
Mater Dei High School, located in Santa Ana, California, has a storied history in high school football. With a dedicated coaching staff and a focus on developing athletes both athletically and academically, Mater Dei consistently produces top-tier talent.
The school’s impressive facilities and competitive schedule have helped establish it as one of the premier high school football programs in the nation.
4. St. Joseph’s Prep – Philadelphia, PA
St. Joseph’s Prep, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has emerged as a powerhouse in high school football. With a strong emphasis on discipline and character development, St. Joseph’s Prep prepares its players for success both on and off the field.
The program’s commitment to excellence has led to multiple state championships and a reputation as one of the top high school football programs in the country.
3. St. John’s College High School – Washington, D.C.
St. John’s College High School, located in Washington, D.C., boasts a long history of success in high school football. With a tradition of producing top-tier talent and a coaching staff dedicated to player development, St. John’s College High School consistently ranks among the best high school football programs in the nation.
The school’s commitment to excellence and academic achievement sets it apart from the competition.
2. St. Frances Academy – Baltimore, MD
St. Frances Academy, located in Baltimore, Maryland, has quickly established itself as one of the top high school football programs in the country. With a strong emphasis on academics and character development, St. Frances Academy prepares its players for success at the collegiate level and beyond.
The program’s commitment to excellence has led to multiple state championships and a reputation for producing top-tier athletes.
1. Westlake High School – Austin, TX
Westlake High School, located in Austin, Texas, takes the top spot as the best high school football program for 2023. With a rich tradition of success and a dedicated coaching staff, Westlake consistently produces top-tier talent.
The program’s commitment to excellence both on and off the field has led to numerous state championships and a reputation as one of the premier high school football programs in the nation.
The high schools that made our list have consistently dominated their respective states and regions while also developing top talent for the college and professional ranks. Their continued excellence on the field combined with devoted fanbases demonstrate why they are among the premier destinations for high school football.
While winning championships is a priority, these programs aim to build character, leadership skills, and a strong work ethic in their players as well. The life lessons taught at the best high school football programs last long after the Friday night lights have gone out.