Preps Talk

2017 AP preps football rankings: Preseason


2017 AP preps football rankings: Preseason

The high school football season kicks off this weekend, meaning the Associated Press has revealed its preseason poll for all eight classes.

Here are the latest rankings of Illinois high school football teams in each class, according to an Associated Press panel of sportswriters:

Class 8A

Others receiving votes: Huntley 17, Brother Rice 13, Hinsdale Central 10, St. Charles East 10, New Trier 9, Oswego 6, Naperville North 2, Barrington 2, Aurora West 1, Naperville Neuqua Valley 1.

Class 7A

Others receiving votes: Bradley-Bourbonnais 16, Plainfield North 13, Batavia 12, Simeon 11, Rolling Meadows 10, St. Charles North 6, Pekin 5, Rockford Auburn 5, Libertyville 4, Glenbrook North 3, Hoffman Estates 3, Wheaton Warrenville South 3, Belleville West 1, Geneva 1, Prospect 1.

Class 6A

Others receiving votes: Providence 13, Lake Forest 12, St. Laurence 11, Crete-Monee 10, Normal West 7, Rockford Boylan 7, Oak Lawn Richards 6, Grayslake North 5, Vernon Hills 5, Crystal Lake South 1, Riverside-Brookfield 1.

Class 5A

Others receiving votes: Mahomet-Seymour 19, Peoria Notre Dame 15, Antioch 14, Joliet Catholic 8, Chicago (Solorio Academy)  8, Marion 5, Rich Central 3, Normal University 2, Hillcrest 2, Cahokia 2, Woodstock North 2, Glenbard South 1, Decatur MacArthur 1.

Class 4A

Others receiving votes: Genoa-Kingston 24, Breese Mater Dei 22, Geneseo 16, Richmond-Burton 13, Rockford Lutheran 9, Mt. Zion 9, Manteno 4, Coal City 3, Herrin 2, Quincy Notre Dame 1.

Class 3A

Others receiving votes: Decatur St. Teresa 21, Elmwood-Brimfield 15, Mt. Carmel 13, Paxton-Buckley-Loda 11, Newton 9, Bishop McNamara 4, Champaign St. Thomas More 4, St. Joseph-Ogden 4, Breese Central 4, Marshall 4, Greenville 3, St. Bede 3, Beardstown 2.

Class 2A

Others receiving votes: Mercer County 20, Momence 17, Rockridge 11, Chicago (Hope) Academy 9, Aurora Christian 5, Eldorado 4, Pana 4, Illini West (Carthage) 3, Red Bud 2, Orion 2, Auburn 2.

Class 1A

Others receiving votes: Camp Point Central 23, Aquin 21, LeRoy 14, Shelbyville 13, Hardin (Calhoun) 13, Dakota 9, Warrensburg-Latham 7, Carrollton 7, Kirkland Hiawatha 7, Stockton 2, Greenfield-Northwestern 2, Sidell (Jamaica)-Salt Fork 2, Fithian Oakwood 1.

What to watch for in this weekend's state-title hockey game between Loyola Academy and Stevenson

@RamblerHockey Twitter account

What to watch for in this weekend's state-title hockey game between Loyola Academy and Stevenson

A state champion will be crowned Saturday at the United Center, when Loyola Academy Gold plays Stevenson for the Boys Red Division State Championship.

Here are some of the storylines we’re watching ahead of the game.

1. Coaching connection: These two coaches have known each other for more than 20 years. Loyola head coach D.J. LaVarre coached against Stevenson head coach Tom Wood when Wood played youth hockey. LaVarre also knows Tom’s dad, Jim, who is the former head coach at Stevenson. Currently the coach Stevenson’s JV 2 team, Jim won the AHAI high school coach of the year in 2007.

2. Fun rewards for players of the game: At Stevenson, the player of the game is awarded a hard hat. At Loyola, it’s a championship belt.

3. International influence: Stevenson’s goalie, Elias Sandholm, is a transfer student from Sweden and has the highest save percentage in school history, .951. He made the all-state team and the Chicago Showcase team.

4. Next man up: In net for Loyola will most likely be Hugh Brady, a senior who stepped up when Thomas Moran went down with a hip injury. Brady has played 47 games and has a .945 save percentage.

5. A drought will be snapped: Stevenson has never won a state championship. Loyola is looking for its first since 1996.

Puck drop is at 3 p.m., with the girls’ state championship game, Glenbrook vs. New Trier, starting at 11:30 a.m.

One more fun note: Team USA gold medalist and Palos Heights native Kendall Coyne will drop the ceremonial puck prior to both games.

St. Charles North's Peyton Brown, Tyler Nubin ready for their time in the spotlight

St. Charles North's Peyton Brown, Tyler Nubin ready for their time in the spotlight

St. Charles North has been one of the more impressive on the rise IHSA football programs over the past four seasons, and the North Stars feature some big time names along with names to watch for the 2018 season. 

North Stars junior QB Peyton Brown (6-foot-3, 180 pounds) needed to sit and wait his turn last season, but Brown is already drawing serious recruiting attention and traction this early spring from several FBS and FCS schools. Brown is expected to draw plenty of college coaches at his upcoming spring workouts once the spring recruiting evaluation begins in mid April. 

While Peyton Brown is trying to gain more recruiting attention this spring, St. Charles North junior defensive back Tyler Nubin (6-foot-2, 188 pounds) is approaching 20 scholarship offers this early spring with his latest offer coming from Michigan. Nubin has also started to draw national recruiting attention and Nubin will also see his share of Power 5 college coaches in school this spring.

I had a chance to catch up with Peyton Brown and Tyler Nubin at the sixth annual Franklin Middle School Dodgeball Tournament in Wheaton. Proceeds from the event benefited the Northern Illinois Food Bank, Cammy Can, Jack’s Army and Franklin Middle School.