Every year, Niche ranks the best high schools for athletes in America, based on data from the Department of Education, key statistics, and millions of reviews. Let's take a look at who cracked the list this year.
30. Detroit Catholic Central High School - Novi, MI
Detroit Catholic Central High School was founded in 1928 and has been winning state titles since the 1960s. With over 60 state championships across different sports, it's no wonder they're a Division 1 school.
The high school's baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer, tennis, and wrestling teams have all snagged state titles. The wrestling team won 15 championships, the most out of all the sports. Close behind is the football team, with 10 titles and even a few graduates in the NFL.
29. Blessed Trinity Catholic High School - Roswell, GA
Number 29 on Niche's list of best high schools for athletes is Blessed Trinity Catholic High. Founded in 2000, the institution already has 47 state champions under its belt. Their record has won them two Georgia Athletic Director's Association Director's Cup for the best all-around sports program.
With such a quick rise to success, it's hardly surprising that they're considered one of the top high schools for sports. As the academy's website says, "Athletic success has become a way of life at Blessed Trinity Catholic High School." Being an athlete at this school is no joke.
28. Mount Carmel Academy - New Orleans, LA
Mount Carmel Academy is an all-girls private high school in New Orleans. With only 11 athletic teams, some may be surprised to learn how many titles they hold. The sporty students have brought home 45 state championships, with their volleyball team taking the lead at 14 state titles.
But the volleyball players aren't only state icons; they're recognized on a national level, too. In 2018, team member Ellie Holzman was named the National Gatorade Player of the Year after holding the Louisiana Player of the Year title for three years in a row. Not bad!
27. Delbarton School - Morristown, NJ
Delbarton School is an all-boys Catholic college preparatory school with a gorgeous campus and an even more beautiful sports record. But with a $40,900 annual tuition, as reported by the school's website, students will need a big check to get in. So what exactly does all that money buy?
Aside from an exemplary education, Delbarton has 26 sports varsity and junior teams. Alumni have gone on to play professional football, hockey, baseball, soccer, lacrosse, and basketball. Anthony Volpe is arguably their most impressive graduate, as he was a 1st round MLB draft pick by the renowned New York Yankees.
26. Saint Ignatius High School - Cleveland, OH
Niche uses extensive polling to gather data and statistics on the schools they rate, and 92% of students and parents agreed that students at this school are athletic. But the proof is in the pudding, as Saint Ignatius High School has brought home plenty of trophies.
In 2020, the Saint Ignatius's soccer team finished off an undefeated season by winning its tenth state title. Other groups, including the ice hockey team, have also won many state championships. But in a school where about two-thirds of the student body competes in a sport, what else could we expect!
25. Charlotte Catholic High School - Charlotte, NC
This North Carolina private school moved its way up to the top thirty most athletic colleges of 2021 after not making Niche's cut in 2019. With a little over 1,200 students and a 92% college attendance rate post-graduation, Charlotte Catholic High has an impressive transcript.
Students at this school can choose from about 19 teams to play in, including some less common sports like rugby and mountain biking. Some notable alumni include Elijah Hood, an NFL running back, and Donnie Smith, a former major league soccer player. Not bad!
24. Hereford High School - Parkton, MD
You won't want to hold your breath for this one because Hereford's list of state championships is quite extensive. The high school has won over 50 state championships, beating every other school in Baltimore County. It's no wonder 100% of students and parents agreed students here are athletic, as reported by Niche.
Hereford's men's cross country team have won 15 state titles. Following in close second is men's lacrosse, with 12 state championships. The public high school also hosts one of the largest east coast cross country running events, the Bull Run Invitational Cross Country Meet, which usually attracts over 100 schools.
23. Central Catholic High School - Lawrence, MA
Central Catholic in Lawrence, Massachusetts, is a college preparatory high school founded in 1935. The school has an impressive 100% average graduation rate, with students going on to top universities. The students here are undoubtedly dedicated to athletics, as well.
Central Catholic's website reports that over half of their student body competes in at least one athletic team. With over 27 varsity sports to choose from, it looks like there is something for everyone. But students will need nearly $15,000 to pay for the school's annual tuition, as reported by Niche.
22. Ramapo High School - Franklin Lakes, NJ
Number 22 on Niche's list is Ramapo High School, which was rated the top high school for athletes in New Jersey. So for students living in the Garden State and looking for a top-notch sports program, this might be the best option. Let's take a look at their athletic record.
Ramapo's football team won the NJSIAA Noth I Group III State sectional championships 12 times, and the girls' soccer team has 13 state titles on their record. Players have a spirited (and talented) group supporting them, as the school's cheerleading squad won the Contest of Champions Nationals two years in a row.
21. St. Joseph High School - Trumbull, CT
With just over 800 students, this Catholic College Preparatory guarantees personalized attention for each student body member. The school's website has a whole section dedicated to listing alumni who play in collegiate athletics, showing their graduates are good with the books and on the field.
Along with an extensive record of college athletes, St. Joseph's graduates have also gone on to pro or semi-pro teams. Take Tyler Matakevich, who graduated in 2011, and is a linebacker for the Buffalo Bills of the NFL. Or the three alumni who play Major League Baseball. We're pretty impressed.
20. Salesianum School - Wilmington, DE
Rated the best high school for athletes in Delaware, this all-boys school is number twenty on Niche's 2021 list. Salesianum has a little over 1,000 students, and 100% of the pupils and parents who reported their thoughts to Niche believe that students at this school are extremely athletic.
Salesianum School has won a whopping 153 Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association approved boys' state championships. Fun fact, staff, and students refer to the football team's fall meeting as "The Holy War," a fun play of words referencing its competitive nature and faith-based education.
19. Bedford High School - Bedford, NH
Bedford High School is a public institution located in New Hampshire. They offer over thirty sports for students to participate in and an impressive record to lure athletes. Bedford's boys' tennis team won eight consecutive state titles, a record in the state's boys' tennis history.
But the racket boys aren't the only ones bringing home the gold. Another ten of the school's teams have won state championships, including soccer, football, swimming, ice hockey, track, wrestling, basketball, cheerleading, and golf teams. Go bulldogs!
18. Bishop Hendricken High School - Warwick, RI
Bishop Hendricken is an all-boys Catholic school in Rhode Island with breathtaking athletic history. The high school's website reports they have won 224 Rhode Island State Championships, 4 Massachusetts State Championships, and 1 Regatta Championship.
"Bishop Hendricken High School has won more Rhode Island state titles in boy's athletics than any other public or private school in the state during the past thirty years," the institution proudly announced. Their cross country team has won 24 state championships, with football following at 15.
17. St. Xavier High School - Cincinnati, OH
This all-boys college preparatory is one of the oldest in the U.S., which might explain its extensive championship wins. Aside from consistently making it onto Niche's list of top athletic educational institutions, St. Xavier High School has also been named one of the best sports high schools by the likes of Sports Illustrated.
Notable graduates include Alex Albright, professional linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys, Bryson Albright, linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals, and Rocky Boiman, Super Bowl XLI champion with the Tennessee Titans. Students can choose from 15 sports to partake in, including football, ice hockey, and cross country, to name a few.
16. Trinity High School - Louisville, KY
Trinity High School's football team boasts what is arguably the most successful high school program in the state. The Rocks are 26-time football state champions and hold a state-record 50-game win streak. So far, eight of the institution's alumni went on to play in the NFL.
Trinity high also takes great pride in their cross country program, which is repeatedly ranked as one of Kentucky's best cross country teams. The running Shamrocks, as is their school symbol, have 20 state titles. Alumni have gone on to play professional baseball, basketball, and soccer.
15. Gonzaga College High School - Washington, DC
Forget the White House; if you're in the District of Columbia, Gonzaga College High School is where it's at! But unlike tours of the presidential home, this institution is not free. Students of the all-boys private high school pay hefty tuition of nearly $21,500, as reported by Niche.
Gonzaga states that more than 80% of its student body participates in at least one sport each year, and they have 17 sports to choose from. The school's soccer team won four consecutive WCAC championships from 2007 to 2010, plus another three state titles in 2012, 2016, and 2017.
14. Cardinal Gibbons High School - Raleigh, NC
Graduates of Cardinal Gibbons High School have gone on to attend the likes of North Carolina State University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Like many other institutions on this list, the high school has an impressive education and athletic record.
The Cardinal website states that their athletic program "is about more than winning championships." But won they have. The school has won 14 Wells Fargo Cups for overall excellence and 119 state championships. Their 900 student-athletes can choose from 49 teams in 27 different sports.
13. Valor Christian High School - Highlands Ranch, CO
Valor Christian High School lost a few rankings from last year when they made it into Niche's top 10 best high schools for sports. Nonetheless, the school has a lot to be proud of. Their website says, "Our students love to play hard and compete to win," and they have a track record to prove it.
Valor has 34 Colorado State Championships, 12 Gatorade Players of the Year, and 371 seniors committed to play in college just in 2020. Out of those, 166 of them play in Division 1 athletics. Not to mention their graduates accumulated over $5,000,000 in first-year athletic only scholarships. Cheers to that!
12. Bingham High School - South Jordan, UT
Bingham High School in South Jordan, Utah, offers students the opportunity to play a variety of sports, including baseball, basketball, football, ice hockey, and wrestling. According to Niche, 93% of students and parents consider students at the school to be athletic.
With a list of impressive alumni, we can understand why. Bingham has produced four National Football League players, including Kevin Curtis, Bruce Hardy, Harvey Langi, and Star Lotulelei. Other graduates play in the National Basketball Association, such as Fred Roberts and Gary Wilkinson. Wow!
11. Bishop Carroll Catholic High School - Wichita, KS
Bishop Carroll Catholic High School earns the number 11 spot on this list, but they got the number one spot for best high schools for athletes in Kansas. Go Eagles! Not surprisingly, 100% of students and parents reported to Niche that students at this school are very sporty.
The private high school has won 64 state championships, and their athletes have brought home numerous individual state titles. As Bishop's website says, their dedicated athletes "compete to the final whistle." Dallas Cowboys player Blake Bell is an alumnus of the school, along with NFL players Mark Bell and Mike Bell.
10. Arrowhead High School - Hartland, WI
Arrowhead High School is consistently in Niche's top 10 best high schools for athletes, and it's not difficult to see why. The school boasts an on-campus ice rink for their ice hockey teams and has alpine ski teams, impressive and uncommon qualities for a high school.
In 2005, Sports Illustrated named Arrowhead the best athletic high school in the state, and three volleyball players have won Gatorade State Player of the Year. The institution made headlines again when it spent over $660,000 in locker room renovations for its basketball teams. They're not afraid to invest in their students!
9. Lincoln-Way East High School - Frankfort, IL
Lincoln-Way East is a public high school in Illinois. Considering their football team won the Class 8A state championship in 2019, it's no wonder they've made it onto Niche's top 10. In case you're not impressed enough, the school is the alma mater of two NFL players.
Kansas City Chiefs guard Nick Allegretti and former Washington Redskins guard Adam Gettis both attended Lincoln-Way East. But the school's athletic program goes beyond football. With 28 sports over three seasons, there's something for most students to partake in.
8. St. Edward High School - Lakewood, OH
Alright, don't hold your breath for St. Edward's long list of victories. Taking the cake with the most titles is the school's wrestling team, which has won a grand total of 37 state championships. The basketball, baseball, football, volleyball, track, rugby, track and field, and hockey teams have also been named state champions.
St. Edwards students continue to excel long past graduation. Five alumni went on to play professional basketball, 5 are in the WWE and Ultimate Fighting, and two play professional football. The school's list of graduates who are currently college student-athletes has nearly 200 names. That doesn't even include former players!
7. Cathedral Catholic High School - San Diego, CA
Meet the Cathedral Catholic Dons, as this set of astounding high school athletes call themselves. Cathedral Catholic High in sunny San Diego may bring truth to the saying, "west coast, best coast." The school holds 161 state championship titles and 46 individual California championships.
The elite high school has 80 teams in 40 different sports, with amazing coaches who have trained many future pro athletes. Cathedral Catholic's alumni include NFL member Ray Smith, among a significant list of professional football, basketball, baseball, and water polo players.
6. La Salle Academy - Providence, RI
This year, La Salle Academy moved up from Niche's top 20 schools for sports to the number 6 spot on the list. Kudos to them! With 64 teams across 18 different sports, it's no secret this school takes pride in its student-athletes. In 2005, Sports Illustrated said the school had the best athletic program in Rhode Island.
While the football and hockey teams were the first programs that received recognition shortly after the school's founding, today, nearly all of La Salle's teams compete in Division 1 leagues. The football, soccer, cross country, and gymnastics groups have all brought home multiple state titles.
5. Christopher Columbus High School - Miami, FL
Christopher Columbus is the only private institution in the Sunshine State that competes at the 8A level. This means their students compete at tournaments filled with college scouts, upping their chances of playing at the college level. It's no wonder the school attracts some of South Florida's top athletes.
The school's list of notable alumni is extensive and includes current and former NFL players Joaquin Gonzalez, Brian Griese, Alonzo Highsmith, Carlos Huerta, Patrick Lee, Mike Whittington, C.J. Henderson, Deon Bush, and New England Patriots linebacker Josh Uche.
4. Boston College High School - Boston, MA
Boston College High School has one of the best athletic programs in the country. With students paying yearly tuition of over $22,000, as reported by Niche, they likely have plenty to invest in their more sporty students. The Massachusetts school is no stranger to being in the spotlight.
In 2007, Boston College was ranked number 10 on Sports Illustrated's list of Top High School Athletic Programs. NFL defensive lineman Tim Bulman and NHL defenseman Joe Callahan are just some of the graduates who have gone on to play professionally. Their spot on this list is well-earned!
3. Sacred Heart Academy - Louisville, KY
Sacred Heart Academy is a private all-girls school that first opened its doors in 1877. The school has exceptional on-campus athletic facilities "equipped with a gym, fitness center, turf field, two grass fields, softball field, regulation track, and field houses," as explained by their website.
All in all, the elite institution has won 80 team state titles. Sacred Heart offers 15 sports, including cross country, field hockey, soccer, volleyball, golf, archery, basketball, swimming and diving, lacrosse, softball, tennis, and track and field.
2. St. Thomas Aquinas High School - Fort Lauderdale, FL
St. Thomas Aquinas has kept their number 2 spot on Niche's list of best high schools for sports for two years in a row. It's no secret that future National Football League athletes can be seen on the elite high school's fields, as over 40 alumni have played in the NFL.
Among a long list of state titles, the school's football team won the national championships in 2008 and 2010. But they're not the only star group on campus. Their girls' and boys' soccer teams have won nine national championships, and the track team has won one national championship.
1. Mater Dei High School - Santa Ana, CA
This California high school worked hard to earn the number one spot on Niche's list. The private, Catholic institution is the alma mater of NFL quarterbacks Matt Barkley, Colt Brennan, John Huarte, Matt Leinart, and Todd Marinovich. Several other graduates play different positions in the NFL.
As reported by the school website, Mater Dei High has won 360 league championships, 111 CIF championships, 9 national championships, has 17 Gatorade State Players of the Year, 2 Heisman Trophy Winners, and 8 olympian athletes. It looks like all they do is win!