The 13th Annual MaxPreps Tour of Champions presented by the Army National Guard passed through California on Friday, Feb. 9 to recognize Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
High School and its perennial power football program for winning a state championship and earning a high national ranking.
Having upended De La Salle 52-21 in the CIF Open Division
state title game, the 15-0 Monarchs claimed their first mythical national championship since 1996 by earning the top spot in MaxPreps' National Rankings
. Mater Dei, one of 50 of the nation's top football programs being honored on the Tour of Champions, also grabbed the No. 1 spot in MaxPreps' Xcellent 25 Writer's Poll
As the TOC arrived on campus, on-site coordinator Parker Shoaff greeted MaxPreps and the California Army National Guard and directed them to the Grotto where the ceremony was to take place. A special day for Mater Dei, Monarch football players celebrated with their teammates, the coaching staff, community members and Mater Dei administration.
Mater Dei athletic director Tia Meza opened the ceremony at 10:25 a.m. by greeting the football team and students, who watched from the quad. At 10:30 a.m., a prayer was offered by Chaplain Kiet Ta before Meza turned the program over to MaxPreps national football editor, Zack Poff, who gave a detailed account of Mater Dei's football season. Poff also talked about key Monarch football players before turning the microphone over to MaxPreps representative Josh Canales. Canales touched on Mater Dei's fantastic football season before explaining MaxPreps' national rankings system that resulted in Mater Dei's No. 1 ranking.
Canales then introduced Staff Sergeant Soto of the California Army National Guard, who presented the Army National Guard national ranking trophy to head coach Bruce Rollinson and the Monarchs. The entire football team came front and center to be recognized for their accomplishments. Rollinson, who was extremely proud of his Monarch football team's effort and perseverance down the stretch, talked about MaxPreps' ability to objectively promote and disseminate information for all to follow. Congratulations to Mater Dei High School for your outstanding character, exemplary leadership and the diversity to which you embrace and foster. You are ranked No. 1 nationally out of 16,000 high schools! Click here
to view the Mater Dei TOC photo gallery and for more information about the Football TOC, please visit the MaxPreps Tour of Champions site