Preps Talk

Big week of matchups ahead for the latest Preps Power Rankings

Big week of matchups ahead for the latest Preps Power Rankings

The Power Rankings don't see many changes this week as only four teams from last week's list lost games. Since the snow postponed many of Friday night's games, the schedule was limited for a few of the teams. The quarterfinals of the Public League Playoffs should see action pick up this week while big matchups in the Catholic League and CSL South also loom. 

1. Simeon (22-3, 9-0) (1) -- The Wolverines have moved on to the Public League Playoff quarterfinals after two big wins the first two rounds. Simeon has to face Uplift and could face either Whitney Young or Morgan Park in the semifinals. 

2. Orr (21-3, 9-0) (2) -- Orr cruised to two double-digit wins in the Public League Playoffs as they advanced to face Bogan in the quarterfinals. If the Spartans advance, they could get a rematch with Curie in the semifinals. 

3. Curie (22-3, 8-1) (3) -- The Condors moved on the the quarterfinals in the Public League Playoffs with wins over Hubbard and UP-Englewood. Things get much tougher for Curie in the next one when they take on Kenwood. 

4. Whitney Young (21-6, 7-2) (4) -- Whitney Young beat Clark and Vocational in the Public League Playoffs this week. Next comes a huge quarterfinal matchup against Morgan Park on Tuesday. 

5. Morgan Park (18-8, 7-2) (5) -- Ayo Dosunmu returned in a major way for the Mustangs in wins over King and Prosser. Now Morgan Park gets a huge showdown with Whitney Young in the quarterfinals on Tuesday. 

6. Evanston (19-4, 7-1) (6) -- Arguably the hottest team in the area, Evanston took down Loyola during the week for another huge win. The Wildkits will try to stay atop the crowded CSL South race with games against Niles West and New Trier this week. 

7. Niles North (21-3, 5-3) (8) -- Good win for Niles North as they ran past red-hot Prospect for a quality non-conference win. The Vikings will face Maine South and travel to Wisconsin for a game against St. Catherine's this week. 

8. Fenwick (16-7, 7-0) (10) -- The Friars had the week off with a game getting snowed out against Marmion. Fenwick will make that game up this week while also battling Loyola in an important Catholic League battle. 

9. New Trier (19-3, 6-1) (11) -- New Trier had the week off since its game against Niles North got delayed by the snow. The Trevians have an important week in the CSL South when they play Maine South and Evanston. 

10. Loyola (21-4, 5-1) (7) -- Loyola dropped a non-conference game to Evanston during the week as the Ramblers lost a close one to a hot team. The Ramblers have another important week ahead when they battle St. Joseph and Fenwick in Catholic League play. 

11. Oak Park-River Forest (18-5, 9-0) (13) -- The Huskies earned a West Suburban Silver win over Downers North. OPRF has three games to deal with this week when they play Hinsdale Central, York and Proviso West. 

12. Benet (19-4, 5-1) (14) -- A good double-digit win for Benet as they beat St. Charles North during the week. The Redwings will try to stay in the ESCC race when they face Joliet Catholic this week and they also have a non-conference game with Stevenson. 

13. West Aurora (18-4, 7-0) (15) -- West Aurora had the week off as they prepare to face South Elgin in an Upstate Eight Valley game. The Blackhawks have won 10 straight games.  

14. Wheaton-Warrenville South (22-4, 13-1) (16) -- Two DuPage Valley wins for the Tigers during the week as they beat Naperville Central and Waubonsie Valley. Wheaton Warrenville South tries to stay ahead in the conference race when they play Metea Valley. 

15. Marist (22-4, 5-2) (12) -- Marist dropped an ESCC game on the road at St. Viator over the weekend after picking up an easy win over Ag. Science. The RedHawks battle St. Patrick in another ESCC game this week. 

16. Marian Catholic (17-4, 3-3) (17) -- Marian Catholic had two wins during the week as they defeated Providence and Mount Carmel in a pair of non-conference games. The Spartans have three more games this week when they play Nazareth, Rich Central and Marian Central. 

17. Naperville North (21-2, 12-1) (18) -- The Huskies are over the 20-win mark on the season as they defeated Glenbard North and Neuqua Valley. Naperville North is trying to stay in the DuPage Valley race when they play Naperville Central and Waubonsie Valley. 

18. Bolingbrook (17-5, 5-2) (19) -- Bolingbrook got back on track with a double-digit win over Sandburg. The Raiders have an important SouthWest Suburban Blue conference clash this week when they battle Homewood-Flossmoor. 

19. DePaul Prep (19-6, 4-3) (9) -- The Rams fell in Catholic League play to Brother Rice. DePaul Prep will try to bounce back when they face Mount Carmel this week. 

20. Joliet Central (18-4, 10-0) (20) -- Joliet Central had its game postponed so they didn't play during the week. The Steelmen play Plainfield Central and Oswego East in Southwest Prairie play during the week. 

21. Hillcrest (19-5, 11-0) (21) -- The Hawks earned a double-digit win over Bremen as they stayed unbeaten in South Suburban play. Hillcrest will try to stay that way when they play T.F. North and Oak Forest this week. 

22. Leo (18-5, 7-0) (23) -- The Lions hold a two-game lead in the Catholic League White as they knocked off Montini. Leo will play Marmion in their regular season finale Friday before starting 2A regional play next week. 

23. Homewood-Flossmoor (15-6, 6-1) (24) -- Homewood-Flossmoor won two more games this week as they took down Stagg and Marshall. The Vikings will attempt to hold on to the SouthWest Suburban Blue lead when they battle Bolingbrook this week. 

24. Hinsdale South (18-5, 6-2) (25) -- The Hornets continued their recent strong stretch with victories over Downers South and Leyden. Hinsdale South will play Addison Trail and Proviso East this week as they try to stay on top of the West Suburban Gold. 

25. St. Viator (20-5, 7-0) (NR) -- Still unbeaten in the ESCC, the Lions took down Marist for another big league win. St. Viator will face Bartlett and Carmel this week. 

De La Salle's Joe Bonds ready and excited for the next chapter of his football career


De La Salle's Joe Bonds ready and excited for the next chapter of his football career

Chicago De La Salle senior linebacker Joe Bonds (6-foot-3, 210 pounds) and soon-to-be NIU Huskie will have zero problems fitting into the "The Hard Way" mantra once he reports to DeKalb this summer.

I had a chance to catch up with Bonds and his teammates 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.

Bonds, a three-star inside linebacker is one of several Chicagoland headline names who comprised of a very strong NIU recruiting 2018 class.

Bonds, who signed with the Huskies over offers from multiple FBS level schools, looks ahead and discusses his soon to be transition from De La Salle to college football and more.

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

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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.