White Sox

High School Lites: Week 3 preview

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High School Lites: Week 3 preview

Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011Posted: 9:05 p.m.

By Joe Collins
CSNChicago.com

Week three of High School Lites is upon us! Comcast SportsNet is your home for prep football coverage in Chicagoland. We will bring you highlights of as many as 15 games across the area, including a duel in the northwest suburbs as Cary-Grove takes on Crystal Lake South. Also, Lyons Township has played one of the toughest schedules in the state, winning vs. Stevenson and falling against Downers Grove South. Will they have enough in the tank with No. 2 Glenbard West coming into town? Well also have highlights of top-ranked Maine South battling Deerfield. Here is a sneak-peak of each game we will cover during Friday nights show:

Thursday games

Steinmetz 20, Clemente 16

The Silver Streaks pick up their second win of the year as they held on to defeat Clemente in the opening game of the Big Shoulders conference. Steinmetz has already topped their win total from last season. They look to improve to 3-1 next Friday against Taft. Clemente (0-3) will look for their first win as they take on Mather.

Manley 14, South Shore 6

The Wildcats improve to 2-1 on the season and get their first conference win in Chicagos Windy City conference. Terrance Bass found the end zone twice. Manley will take on Hyde Park next Thursday at Gately Stadium while South Shore (0-3) battles Gage Park.
Friday games

Foreman (1-1) vs. Taft (1-1), 3:30 p.m. at Lane Tech

The conference opener in the Big Shoulders conference features two teams that could be neck-and-neck in the conference race. Foreman has proven they can score. They put 67 points on Farragut in the opener. One of their strengths is their offensive line, which is built around 6-5, 250 tackle Johnny Daniels. Taft, 42-0 winners last week over Gage Park, is led by Paul Masnica on defense. Hell try to key in on one of the better quarterbacks in the conference, Foremans Sergio Serrano.

De La Salle (2-0) at No. 3 Mount Carmel (2-0), 7:00 p.m. at Gately Stadium

Caravan head coach Frank Lenti is inching closer to becoming the all-time winningest high school football coach in Illinois. He currently has 305 wins, one shy of legendary Richards head coach Gary Korhonens total. If his running back Brandon Greer is on, No. 306 could be lurking. Greer scored on runs of 24 and 54 yards in last weeks 31-0 win over Morgan Park. Standing in their way is a Meteors team that has a fine running back of their own in Mikale Wilbon. He tallied 30 carries for 247 yards and 3 TDs to carry De La Salle over Gordon Tech.

T.F. South (1-1) @ Oak Forest (2-0), 7:00 p.m.

Speaking of long-time respected high school football coaches, T.F. South has one of their own in Tom Padjen. The 35-year Rebels head coach has 202 career victories, including last weeks 37-6 win over Collins Academy. Padjen has a fine running back in Giovanni Canty, who scored a trio of touchdowns on Friday. Oak Forest features deep threat Tevin Coleman, who has received offers to multiple Big Ten schools. The Bengals will be looking for revenge after T.F. Souths 53-21 mauling in Lansing last year.

Richards (1-1) @ Lemont (2-0), 7:00 p.m.

The 2-0 Indians are one of only eight teams in the state of Illinois that has not given up a point yet on the season. They have yet to be tested, in blowout wins over Little Village (54-0) and Riverside-Brookfield (49-0). Running back Eric Kirkman has three touchdowns so far on the season. Richards should give them more of a battle. The Bulldogs were on the short end of a 28-16 decision to Morris last week, but they feature wide receiver Davonta Corner who could, at the very least, threaten Lemonts shutout streak.

Glenbrook South (1-1) @ Glenbrook North (1-1), 7:00 p.m.

Central Suburban crossover pits North versus South (both by school and conference names) and it will also feature a pair of solid offensive lines. 6-foot-4, 248-pound Matt Demos is the anchor up front for the visiting Titans while 6-foot-4, 275-pound lineman Mike Ermel does the same for the Spartans. South QB Mac Zibriskie has passed for five TDs on the year, while the aptly-named Grant Rushing threatens in the backfield for North. The last time these two teams hooked up was in 2008, with Glenbrook South taking a 35-7 decision.

Crystal Lake South (2-0) @ No. 15 Cary-Grove (2-0), 7:15 p.m.

Fox Valleys Valley conference could have two, perhaps three teams go fairly deep into the playoffs come October. Two of them butt heads in Cary Friday night. The 15th-ranked Trojans turned some heads last week, going to Lake Zurich and walking away with a 10-7 victory. They are loaded on defense under their new coach, Brad Seaburg. Crystal Lake South, who has only given up one touchdown on the year, is getting results from the likes of linebacker Joe Coriaci. He had two sacks against Crystal Lake Central in week two.

No. 12 Prairie Ridge (2-0) @ Huntley (0-2), 7:15 p.m.

Prairie Ridge is the third of the three-headed monster in the Fox Valley. Theyve earned their No. 12 ranking by sprinting past Glenbard South and Mundelein by a combined score of 97-12. Their offense, led by quarterback Nick Nissen, fullback Connor Greenwald, running back Jordan Getzelman and wide receiver Sean Valentine, is one of the best in the area. Huntley is still looking for their first win on the season after falling to Crystal Lake Central and Kaneland.

No. 2 Glenbard West (2-0) @ Lyons (1-1), 7:30 p.m.

Has anybody in Illinois played a tougher schedule than Lyons? They split their first two games, defeating Stevenson (24-19) while falling to Downers Grove South (28-0). Both of LTs opponents were ranked at the time, and they now have the No. 2 Hilltoppers staring them in the face. Glenbard West shut down Wheaton Warrenville South in the opener and then took it to Willowbrook last week, 49-0. Future Penn State tackle Tommy Schutt leads the GBW attack. RB Jaime Jones leads the Lions. LT upset Glenbard West 31-13 last season in Glen Ellyn.

No. 1 Maine South (2-0) @ Deerfield (0-2), 7:30 p.m.

The Warriors have produced winning seasons every year since 2005. But with an 0-2 start and top-ranked Maine South knocking on the door, that streak could be in jeopardy. The Hawks come to Deerfield riding high from a 13-9 victory over Wheaton Warrenville South. They contained Northwestern-bound RB Dan Vitale and had just enough from QB Matt Alviti to get the win. Deerfield counters with running back Jeremy Kritt leading the attack.

Fenwick (1-1) @ No. 11 St. Rita (1-1), 7:30 p.m

Week three is usually when high school teams start focusing on conference opponents. For the 11th-ranked Mustangs, theyre just happy to play a team from their own state. St. Rita beat Portage (IN) in week one and lost to Whitehaven (TN) last week. Linebacker Will McNamara and DB Charles Elmore look to set the tone. They might have their hands full with Friars quarterback Pat Hart, who is listed at 6-foot-2, 220 pounds.

No. 6 Homewood-Flossmoor (2-0) @ Lincoln-Way Central (1-1), 7:30 p.m.

The 6th-ranked Vikings havent been tested at all in wins over Senn (76-6) and Deerfield (47-0). Maybe a road conference game can keep them honest? H-F has a potent offense, run by QB Tim Williams, RB Sheldon Jones and WR Gerald Butler. Their defense has been solid too. They held Deerfield to less than 100 yards of total offense. The Knights have a marquee running back in Brett Ditchman. He carried the ball 41 times for 271 and three touchdowns last week against Thornridge.

Lockport (2-0) @ No. 4 Lincoln-Way East (2-0), 7:30 p.m

Like the Fox Valley, the Southwest Suburban Blue might be closing ground on the DuPage Valley and Catholic Blue for the "toughest Chicagoland conference" title for high school football. The SWSB boasts five 2-0 teams, three of them ranked. The No. 4 Griffins feature QB Blake Winkler, who has already torched Edwardsvilles and Dunbars defenses to the tune of 414 yards and seven touchdowns. Lockports defense, guided by LB Brad Johnson, will hope to slow the LWE attack. Could the x-factor be Lockport QB Billy Reed, who hopes to come back from a knee injury?

Marmion (1-1) @ No. 19 Montini (1-1), 7:30 p.m.

Not only is it a nice rivalry game, but its also quite a matchup of two teams with plenty of playoff experience. The 19th-ranked Broncos are two-time defending 5A state champions. The Cadets were the state runner-ups in 6A last season. Montini is paced by their real-deal wide receiver, Nebraska recruit Jordan Westerkamp. Marmion bounced back nicely after an opening week loss to Batavia with a 6-0 win over Fenwick. They held the Friars to 59 total yards. NOTE: Game highlights shown exclusively on CSNChicago.com.

Also, tune in to check out our debut of our Muscle Milk Team of the Week! We head to the south suburbs and check in with Calvin Lindsey and T.F. North. The Meteors' quarterback accounted for eight touchdowns last week against North Lawndale. Well also catch up with Faith Ekakitie, Lake Forest Academys imposing defensive lineman. Our Flashback segment has a South Bend twist, and well also preview Saturdays games. And we invite you to share your story ideas as well. Check us out at csnchicagowebsite@comcastsportsnet.com

White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo sidelined with elbow injuries

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USA TODAY

White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo sidelined with elbow injuries

PHOENIX, Ariz. — One of the White Sox prized prospects will be on the shelf for a little while.

Outfielder Micker Adolfo has a sprained UCL in his right elbow and a strained flexor tendon that could require surgery. He could avoid surgery, though he could be sidelined for at least six weeks.

Though he hasn’t received the same high rankings and media attention as fellow outfield prospects Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert, Adolfo is considered a part of the White Sox promising future. He’s said to have the best outfield arm in the White Sox system.

Adolfo had a breakout season in 2017, slashing .264/.331/.453 with 16 homers and 68 RBIs in 112 games with Class A Kannapolis.

Adolfo, along with Jimenez and Robert, has been generating buzz at White Sox camp in Glendale, with a crowd forming whenever the trio takes batting practice. Earlier this week, the three described their conversation dreaming about playing together in the same outfield for a contending White Sox team in the future.

Javy Baez can do anything defensively, but what's next for him at the plate?

Javy Baez can do anything defensively, but what's next for him at the plate?

MESA, Ariz. — You don’t need to spend long searching the highlight reels to figure out why Javy Baez goes by “El Mago.”

Spanish for “The Magician,” that moniker is a fitting one considering what Baez can do with his glove and his arm up the middle of the infield. The king of tags, Baez also dazzles with his throwing arm and his range. He looks like a Gold Glove kind of player when you watch him do these amazing things. And it’s no surprise that in his first media session of the spring, he was talking about winning that award.

“Just to play hard and see what I can do. Obviously, try to be healthy the whole year again. And try to get that Gold Glove that I want because a lot of people know me for my defense,” he said Friday at Cubs camp. “Just try to get a Gold Glove and stay healthy the whole year.”

Those high expectations — in this case, being the best defensive second baseman in the National League — fall in line with everything the rest of the team is saying about their own high expectations. It’s been “World Series or bust” from pretty much everyone over the past couple weeks in Mesa.

Baez might not be all the way there just yet. Joe Maddon talked earlier this week about his reminders that Baez needs to keep focusing on making the easy plays while staying a master of the magnificent.

“What I talked to him about was, when he had to play shortstop, please make the routine play routinely and permit your athleticism to play. Because when the play requires crazinesss, you’re there, you can do that,” Maddon said. “But this straight up ground ball three-hopper to shortstop, come get the ball, play it through and make an accurate throw in a routine manner. Apparently that stuck. Because he told me once he thought in those terms, it really did slow it down for him. And he did do a better job at doing that.”

But the biggest question for Cubs fans when it comes to Baez is when the offense will catch up to his defense. Baez hit a game-winning homer run in his first major league game and smacked 23 of them last season, good for fifth on a team full of power bats. But arguably just as famous as Baez’s defensive magic is his tendency to chase pitches outside of the strike zone. He had 144 strikeouts last season and reached base at a .317 clip. Seven Cubs — including notable struggling hitters Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist — had higher on-base percentages in 2017.

Baez, for one, is staying focused on what he does best, saying he doesn’t really have any specific offensive goals for the upcoming season.

“I’m not worrying about too much about it,” he said. “I’m just trying to play defense, and just let the offense — see what happens.”

Maddon, unsurprisingly, talked much more about what Baez needs to do to become a better all-around player, and unsurprisingly that included being more selective at the plate.

“One of the best base runners in the game, one of the finest arms, most acrobatic, greatest range on defense, power. The biggest thing for me for him is to organize the strike zone,” Maddon said. “Once he does that, heads up. He’s at that point now, at-bat wise, if you want to get those 500, 600 plate appearances, part of that is to organize your zone, accept your walks, utilize the whole field, that kind of stuff. So that would be the level that I think’s the next level for him.”

Will Baez have a season’s worth of at-bats to get that done? The versatile Cubs roster includes a couple guys who split time between the infield and outfield in Zobrist and Ian Happ. Getting their more consistent bats in the lineup might mean sacrificing Baez’s defense on certain days. Baez, of course, also has the ability to slide over to shortstop to spell Addison Russell, like he did when Russell was on the disabled list last season.

Until Baez learns how to navigate that strike zone a bit better, it might make Maddon more likely to mix and match other options, rather than considering him an everyday lock like Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant.

But like Russell, Albert Almora Jr. and Willson Contreras, Baez is one of the young players who despite key roles on a championship contender the last few years still have big league growth to come. And Maddon thinks that growth is right around the corner.

“I want to believe you’re going to see that this year,” Maddon said. “They’ve had enough major league at-bats now, they should start making some significant improvements that are easy to recognize. The biggest thing normally is pitch selection, I think that’s where it really shows up. When you have talented players like that, that are very strong, quick, all that other stuff, if they’re swinging at strikes and taking balls, they’re going to do really well. And so it’s no secret with Javy. It’s no secret with Addy. Addy’s been more swing mode as opposed to accepting his walks. That’s part of the maturation process with those two guys. Albert I thought did a great job the last month, two months of getting better against righties. I thought Jason looked really good in the cage today. And Willson’s Willson.

“The natural assumption is these guys have played enough major league at-bats that you should see something different this year in a positive way.”