High school football is not just a sport that offers a physical activity to students. Rather, it provides them with an opportunity to create legacies and gridiron greatness that can have the potential to be unparalleled. The best states for high school football are traditioned in the sport and look at it as an integral part of their culture. A culture that serves as a rollercoaster ride of emotions.
Some of the football programs have produced plenty of NFL legends. High school football not only helps enhance their skills and offers them on-field experience but nourishes their passion to the levels that are required to perform on the national and international stages. Here are the best states for high school football – ranked:
California has some of the best high school football programs in the United States. A private school in the city of Concord, De La Salle High School, has a win percentage of 92.8%, having won 143 out of the 154 matches they have played since 2009. They hold the record of winning 7 state championships and have produced some highly notable players, including RB Maurice Jones Drew, QB Matt Gutierrez, LB DJ Williams, WR Amani Toomer, and OL Aaron Taylor.
The team has also won seven national championships, out of which they won six of them in consecutive years from 1998 to 2003. The best coaches the team has had are Justin Alumbaugh and Bob Ladoucer. The team’s winning streak of 151 games (1992 – 2005) is a national record that might not ever be broken. “When the Game Stands Tall” is a 2014 movie that stars Jim Caviezel, made about the team. Some other top teams from the state include:
- St. John Bosco Braves
- Mater Dei Monarchs
- Corona Centennial Huskies
- Mission Viejo Diablos
Some of the NFL icons that the state has produced are Tony Gonzalez, Aaron Rodgers, Marshawn Lynch, and Jared Goff.
Texas ranks second on our list of the best states for high school football as it has some of the best football programs that deliver. In Southlake city, Southlake Carroll High School has the best high school football team in the state with respect to performance. It is a public school that has won 131 out of the 155 games it has played since 2009, maintaining a win percentage of 85.6%. It has won 8 state championships between the years 1988 to 2011.
The team also won three consecutive national football championships, from 2003 to 2005. The iconic Dragon Stadium, with its 11,000-seat capacity, is the home stadium for the team. Looking at the standard of the high school football played in the state over the previous 30 years, one cannot help but wonder how it cannot be ranked no. 1. It is just the level of play in the last ten years that has dragged the state down a little.
The Southlake Carroll High School’s 2004 team had six players in it that went on to play the NFL. That team went 16-0 in the championship. Some of the most notable players the state team has produced include QB Riley Dodge, QB Greg McElroy, QB Chase Daniel, K Garrett Hartley, TE Scott Chandler, and TE Max Boydston. Some inspirational coaches they have had are Riley Dodge (he is the current coach as well), Hal Wasson, Todd Dodge, and Bob Ledbetter. Some other noteworthy high school football teams in Texas include:
- Lake Travis
- Highland Park
The best Texian NFL players include Tommy Nobis, Earl Campbell, LaDainian Tomlinson, and Yales Lary.
With a few of the best football programs in the country, the state of Florida’s best school football is St. Thomas Aquinas High School, located in the city of Fort Lauderdale. It has played 150 games since 2009 and has won 132 of them, holding a win percentage of 88.0%. They have 10 state championships to their name from 1992 to 2016. The school perceives football in its deepest of meanings and has a tradition that almost revolves around it. The talent that the state has also plays a crucial role in fueling the state’s interest in the game.
The man who won the USA Today Coach of the Year award in 2008, George Smith, is no less than a legend for the whole state. He coached the team through six state championship wins and two national titles. From Michael Irvin (1982) to Nick Bosa (2019), the state has produced NFL icons that the whole country is proud of. Some of the most notable players having represented the team include DE Nick Bosa, DE Joey Bosa, RB Giovani Bernard, DT Geno Atkins, WR Michael Irvin. Exemplary coaches of the team include Roger Harriott, Rocky Casullo, and George Smith.
Here are some other high-performing teams in Florida:
- IMG Academy
- St. Thomas Aquinas High School
- Cardinal Gibbons High School
- Miami Central High School
NFL icons like Jevon Kearse, Dante Fowler Jr., Derrick Brooks, and Wilber Marshall have all risen from Florida.
Nevada’s Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas plays a significant role in pushing the state up on this list. It was a state power for many years before climbing up to become a national powerhouse. Both the national and the state championship titles of 2014, 2015, and 2016 went their way. The team has won 19 state championships, producing players like QB Tate Martell, RB Demarco Murray, LB Ryan Reynolds, OL Gray Ruegamer, and RB Blake Ezor.
The team has a win percentage of an impressive 92.6%, having won 151 out of their 163 games. Tony Sanchez became the head coach at UNLV straight after retiring from the team. The FBS rosters of 2019 had 32 players that had previously played with the team. Some other exceptional teams in the state include:
- Desert Pines
- Arbor View
- Damonte Ranch
Thanks to Nevada, NFL has seen the likes of Harvey Dahl, DeMarco Murray, Kyle Van Noy, and Steven Jackson.
Taking on football in a systematic manner, the state of Ohio is home to several great high school football teams. The best among them, however, is Saint Ignatius High School, with one of the best football programs. It is a private school in the city of Cleveland that has won 11 state championships between 1988 and 2011. Having won 96 out of the 133 games they have played from 2009 up until now, they have a win percentage of 72.1%.
Interestingly, all the 11 state championships for the team have come under the same head coach, Chuck Kyle, who is a grad from the same school. Mind you, Massillon High is the leader in the state, having won 24 state championships, but its last came in 1972. It was the same year when the state of Ohio decided to discontinue vote for the championship and started its playoff era.
Qb Brian Hoyer, OL LeCharles Bentley, DT Chris Hovan, QB Oliver Luck, and QB Brian Dowling are some of the most notable players that have played important roles in the success of the team. Some other noteworthy teams from the state are:
- St. Edward
- St. Xavier
- Pickerington Central
- Lakota West
It is the state of Ohio that produced the NFL legends, like Orlando Pace, Paul Warfield, Cris Carter, and Charles Woodson.
Home to some highly effective football programs, Georgia is also the hometown of the likes of Thomas Davis Sr., Justin Houston, and Herschel Walker. Valdosta High School has one of the best football programs in the country and the best in the state. It has won 6 national high school football championships and 24 state championships. It is a public school whose football team is loved and cherished by the whole population of Valdosta.
The contest of “Titletown USA,” held in 2008, went to them, representing the team as being the most liked by its hometown in the country. DB Willie Gary, QB Dusty Bonner, LB Dexter Daniels, WR Dana Brinson, and RB Henry Bell are some of the great players the team has produced. The best coaches the team has had are Adam Rodemaker, Nick Hyder, and Wright Bazemore. This season, though, has been pretty rough for the team. Some other good Georgia teams are:
- Collins Hill
- North Cobb
- Mill Creek
- Colquitt County
With a winning percentage of 83.4%, Jenks is currently the best high school football team in Oklahoma. It has had 16 state championships to its name, and the current performance of the team is going quite well as well. It is a public school and has a 121 to 24 win to loss record. Having represented players like OL Chase Beeler, LB Phillip Dillard, TE Garrett Mills, OL Sean Mahan, and LB Rocky Calmus and coaches like Keith Riggs, Allan Trimble, and R. Perry Beaver, the team enjoys a massive fan following.
The team’s home games take place at the Allan Trimble Stadium, which is named after one of the greatest coaches in the history of American high school football. Allan Trimble was the assistant coach from 1990 to 1995 and became the head coach in 1996. From that year till 2001, the team won all the state titles. The school is located at Allan Trimble Way as well. Some other teams in Oklahoma worthy of mentioning are:
- Tulsa Union
- Tulsa Booker T. Washington
What has Oklahoma offered to NFL? The likes of Adrian Peterson, Lee Roy Selmon, Tommy McDonald, and Greg Pruitt.
The best states for high school football follow in the following order:
- District of Columbia
- South Carolina
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- West Virginia
- North Dakota
- New Mexico
- South Dakota
- Rhode Island
- New York
- New Hampshire
The days when only local news captured and broadcasted high school football games are long gone. Fox Sports and ESPN, along with many other national-level networks, invest in their resources to them, just as they would for college-level games. If you are a fan of playing football, some of our top picks for football gear and accessories might interest you.
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We also prepared a list of the top 40 high schools to have produced the most number of players who went on to play in the NFL. The states to feature the most number of those schools are ranked as follows:
- Ohio (5)
Our Final Thoughts
The performances of different high school football teams keep on changing, making the best states for high school football a component that is always subject to change. There are a number of factors that determine the strength of different football programs, such as their selection process, training schedule, and the passion and value they offer to the sport. As high school football gets more and more coverage and notice, the standard of the sports at such a junior level has gone up formidably. The NFL’s popularity has been experiencing an overwhelming rise as well. Huge strides have also been made in the sphere of safety equipment, making the game safer. All this shows signs of a promising future for the game.