Preps Talk

32 Days to Kickoff: Joliet Catholic Academy

32 Days to Kickoff: Joliet Catholic Academy preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 31, we’ll unveil the @CSNPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.

School: Joliet Catholic Academy

Head coach: Jake Jaworski

Assistant Coaches: Dave Douglas, Jimmy Sharp, Jake Ziesmer, Mark Mettille, Josh Greenback, Tim Swanson, Chris Kinsella, Cory McLaughlin

How they fared in 2016: 1-8 (1-6 East Suburban Catholic Conference), missed the 2016 IHSA state playoff field

2017 Regular Season Schedule:

August 25th @ Geneva

September 1st vs Wheaton North

September 8th vs St. Patrick

September 15th @ Niles Notre Dame

September 22nd vs Marian Central Catholic

September 29th @ Nazareth Academy

October 6th vs Benet Academy

October 13th vs Marian Catholic

October 20th @ Marist

Biggest storyline: Can Joliet Catholic rebound from it's disappointing 2016 season?

Names to watch this season: Senior RB Ke'von Johnson, Senior OL/DL Shane Raber

Biggest holes to fill: The Hillmen will need to reload on the defensive line and at linebacker this summer.

EDGY's Early Take: So how historically bad was the JCA 2016 football season? You need to go back to the late 1940s before you find another one win season in the Joliet Catholic football history books. First year head coach and JCA alum Jake Jaworski replaces Hall of Fame head coach Dan Sharp this fall. If anything positive came from the 2016 season it's that the Hilltoppers got playing time for a very young team and welcomes back 13 starters (9 offense, 4 defense) this season. This program has the potential to become one of the top turnaround stories for the 2017 season.

Preps recruiting: Illinois adds first 2019 in-state commitment

247 Sports

Preps recruiting: Illinois adds first 2019 in-state commitment

Bloomington two star ranked tight end Griffin Moore (6-foot-4, 225 pounds) decided to give Illinois and head coach Lovie Smith his early verbal commitment. 

"The coaching staff (at Illinois) has been great to me," Moore said. "I haven't met a coach at Illinois that I don't like yet, plus I've always wanted to play at Illinois. Other recruits are really buying in so I'm trying to help get the football program back to the top."

Illinois has been very aggressive so far in recruiting the 2019 in-state class, having extended 18 verbal scholarship. The Fighting Illini have been very active in attracting the attention of several top names and have drawn positive feedback from several of those offered in-state names so far this winter. 

Moore is the first known in-state commitment and the second known overall in the Fighting Illini Class of 2019. Moore joins Dallas Bishop Dunne four star ranked Marquez Beason (5-foot-11, 175 pounds) in the Illinois 2019 recruiting class. Beason is ranked as the 79th best recruit in the nation according to the latest Rivals 100 Nation Recruit Rankings for the Class of 2019. 

High School Lites finishes the season with Class 3A/4A boys basketball state finals

High School Lites finishes the season with Class 3A/4A boys basketball state finals

This weekend will see a busy final stretch of the IHSA boys basketball calendar as the Class 3A and 4A state semifinals and finals are on NBC Sports Chicago.

Friday sees the Class 3A and 4A state semifinals with four games on NBC Sports Chicago and NBC Sports Chicago+ with the coverage beginning at 11 a.m.

Saturday, state championships in Class 3A and 4A will be decided as NBC Sports Chicago and NBC Sports Chicago+ will continue its live coverage starting once again at 11 a.m.

After the Class 4A state championship game and the Bulls vs. Cavaliers coverage ends, the season finale of High School Lites will also air around 10 p.m. on NBC Sports Chicago.

Whitney Young (4A) and Morgan Park (3A) are both trying to win back-to-back state titles after winning in Peoria last season. And can anyone stop Belleville West in Class 4A? The Maroons have yet to lose to an Illinois opponent this season.

Here's a rundown of the weekend's action.


Class 3A

Morgan Park (23-9) vs. Marian Catholic (25-5), 11:00 a.m., NBCSCH

Southeast (28-3) vs. North Chicago (22-8), 12:45 p.m., NBCSCH+

Class 4A

Belleville West (30-2) vs. Larkin (24-8), 5:30 p.m., NBCSCH+

Whitney Young (27-7) vs. Evanston (26-5), 7:15 p.m., NBCSCH


Class 3A

Third Place Game, 11:00 a.m., NBCSCH

State Title Game, 12:45 p.m., NBCSCH

Class 4A

Third Place Game, 5:30 p.m., NBCSCH+

State Title Game, 7:15 p.m., NBCSCH+