Preps Talk

Catholic League, DuPage Valley featured on Friday's High School Lites

Catholic League, DuPage Valley featured on Friday's High School Lites

High School Lites has games all over the Chicagoland area this week as we feature some quality matchups. A ranked matchup in the Catholic League and a clash of top teams in the DuPage Valley and Upstate Eight - River headline the games to watch for on the show this week. 

Catch a new edition of High School Lites at 11 p.m. Friday night on NBC Sports Chicago.

No. 13 DePaul Prep at No. 10 St. Rita, 6:00 p.m. -- A rematch of the Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic quarterfinals that saw St. Rita win big, this one is an important Catholic League Blue contest this time around. DePaul Prep (11-3, 1-0) finished fourth at Hinsdale Central as they look to bounce back on the road. Junior Perry Cowan has played well in stretches but she'll look to get back on track after a sluggish tournament. The Mustangs (9-7, 1-0) made a huge run to win the tournament at Hinsdale Central as they took down Westinghouse, Maine South, DePaul Prep and Bolingbrook. Jordan Matthews has played well this season and the big men for St. Rita are starting to get better. 

Lincoln-Way Central at Thornton, 6:00 p.m. -- An interesting battle in the South Suburban Red in this one. Lincoln-Way Central (8-6, 1-1) was the winner of the Maine East Holiday Tournament with an impressive four-win week. Thornton (6-6, 2-1) is coming off of a solid showing at the Big Dipper as they took third place with a win over previously-ranked Romeoville. 

Larkin at St. Charles North, 7:00 p.m. -- Two unbeatens in the Upstate Eight River clash in this one. Larkin (8-4, 4-0) has been ranked most of this season until some losses at the loaded Proviso West Holiday Tournament. Senior big man Jalen Shaw is a player to watch in this one. St. Charles North (9-5, 3-0) had a solid showing at Pontiac with wins over Bloom and Benet and losses to Simeon and Bloomington. 

St. Charles East at No. 25 Batavia, 6:00 p.m. --  Staying in the Upstate Eight River, Batavia hosts St. Charles East. The Bulldogs (11-3, 3-1) placed third at the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic, winning four games and making their debut in the Preps Power Rankings. St. Charles East (9-5, 2-2) is a tough opponent with a talented senior in forward Justin Hardy, an All-Area candidate. 
Plainfield North at Oswego East, 6:30 p.m. -- These two teams are trying to make a move in the Southwest Prairie. Plainfield North (7-6, 2-2) is coming off of the consolation title at Pontiac after knocking off Peoria Manuel, Bloom and Warren. Oswego East (8-5, 1-3) won the East Aurora Holiday Tournament as they've won five straight games. 

Wheaton Academy at Riverside-Brookfield, 7:00 p.m. -- Important game in the Metro Suburban Blue as the top two teams face off. Wheaton Academy (8-3, 4-1) has won two straight games as the team has played balanced ball lately. Riverside-Brookfield (7-7, 4-1) closed out the Jack Tosh Holiday Tournament with two straight wins after dropping their first two games. 

No. 14 Conant at Barrington, 7:00 p.m. -- Good game in the Mid-Suburban West as Conant travels to Barrington. The Cougars (11-4, 2-1) are coming off of a big win in the Jack Tosh Holiday Tournament as senior center Ryan Davis is a huge Player of the Year candidate. Barrington (10-3, 2-1) placed second at the Hinkle Holiday Classic at Jacobs as they picked up four wins in the process. This could wind up being a key game in a crowded Mid-Suburban West that includes Palatine and Fremd.

No. 23 Wheaton Warrenville South at Naperville Central, 7:30 p.m. -- The DuPage Valley features a few teams at the top with these two being among a group fighting for first place. The Tigers (10-2, 4-0) are currently in first place as they dropped some tough games at the State Farm Holiday Classic to Normal and a triple overtime loss to Joliet Central. Wheaton Warrenville South will grind out games as they look to keep opponents in the 30s. Naperville Central (10-2, 3-1) has already matched last season's win total after winning a holiday tournament at DeKalb. Senior center Ben Wolf is a player to watch as he's among the area's best big men. 

Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week

Shepard @ Oak Forest, 7 p.m. -- Our Viewers' Choice heads to the South Suburban as these two teams matchup in a crossover. Shepard (8-4, 3-1) is atop the Red division and went 2-1 at the Kankakee Holiday Tournament, closing out with a win over Reavis. Oak Forest (8-5, 2-2) is trying to stay in the mix in the Blue Division along with teams like Hillcrest, T.F. North and Lemont. 

Recruiting news and notes: Nazareth Academy's Devin Blakley verbally commits to Miami of Ohio


Recruiting news and notes: Nazareth Academy's Devin Blakley verbally commits to Miami of Ohio

Nazareth Academy junior three star ranked defensive back Devin Blakley (5-foot-10, 190 pounds) decided to give Miami of Ohio his verbal commitment earlier this week.

"Miami of Ohio is just a great fit for me so I decided to commit," Blakley said. "I've known for a while now that Miami was the place for me. I just didn't see any reason to keep waiting so I called up the coaches and committed."

Blakley, who had offers from the likes of Iowa State and Air Force long with multiple Mid American Conference schools is the second State of Illinois pledge for the Redhawks Class of 2019. Blakley joins Simeon QB Alante Brown who earlier this month gave Miami of Ohio his verbal commitment. 

New Trier junior three star ranked athlete recruit Duke Olges (6-foot-5, 240 pounds) has been looking harder at his multiple college offers and options. Olges, who has been playing baseball for the Trevians this spring will make two unofficial visits this weekend then will begin to narrow down his favorite schools.

"My plan is to go see Duke and Virginia this weekend and see how everything goes with those visits," according to Olges. "After that I'm either going to narrow things down to a top schools list or I might even make a decision. I just feel that I have some great offers right now and don't want to wait too long in making a decision. Playing the waiting game is a risk because kids are already starting to make decisions. I don't want to miss out and lose some great offers."

Stevenson junior inside linebacker recruit Maema Njongmeta (6-foot-1, 210 pounds) has continued to add scholarship offers this spring including recent offers from both NIU and Toledo. Njongmeta was also able to head out east over his recent spring break and made a handful of college visits.

"I was able to go out to visit Princeton, Army and Penn over my spring break then we headed up to Canada to visit with some family," Njongmeta said. "All three visits I felt went very well and overall it was a fun trip. I thought it was very beneficial to see all three schools in person. Army has the whole military stigma but it was good to see the academy in person. It was great to see what West Point and academy life is all about in person and it was super cool. Every school brings something different to the table. I was able to definitely get a better feel for each school I visited."

Njongmeta has reached also out to someone very familiar with the recruiting process in former Stevenson and current Northwestern super back Cameron Green.

"We have a wonderful lady who works at our school who was able to get me in touch with Cameron Green. I knew of Cameron since I was in eight grade but didn't know him at all. He's a great guy and has been a big help for me. He's given me some good advice and is someone who's been through the process and knows what I'm going through with the recruiting process."

Urban Prep Bronzeville junior defensive back Jeremiah Webb (6-foot-1, 187 pounds) was able to add his first scholarship offer earlier this week from Northern Illinois University. 

"I'm still really excited (about adding his first offer from NIU) and my phone has been blowing up," Webb said. "I've been working hard for a long time now and it just feels good to add my first offer from NIU."

Webb has been eyeing the NIU Huskies program for some time now.

"I've been looking into NIU for a long time. They have a great, winning program and have been to multiple bowl games over the years. NIU is also close to home and I've been to NIU for a camp last summer and I also went to the NIU spring game. It's great to get my first offer from such a good program like NIU."

Webb has also drawn recruiting attention from Northern Iowa, Iowa State, Cornell and Holy Cross so far this spring. 

Recruiting news and notes: Simeon's Alante Brown verbally commits to Miami of Ohio


Recruiting news and notes: Simeon's Alante Brown verbally commits to Miami of Ohio

Simeon junior quarterback Alante Brown (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) earlier this week decided to give Miami of Ohio his verbal commitment. Brown, who narrowed down his Top 4 schools to the Redhawks along with NIU, Western Michigan and Toledo pointed towards a few key reasons he gave Miami of Ohio his commitment.

"I was able to see everything that Miami has to offer," Brown said. "They offer a great education and very strong overall academics. The football program is heading in the right direction plus they already have a younger team. I'm hoping to help bring in even more kids in my class and I've already started to work on a few guys from here about Miami."

West Aurora sophomore defensive tackle Denver Warren (6-foot-3, 300 pounds) has been one of the top recruit names to watch in the Class of 202 in Illinois. Warren, who has scholarship offers from the likes of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan State and Iowa State made a recent visit to Illinois.

"I had a good visit to Illinois," according to Warren. "They have a great overall energy and I just liked it. Illinois also has a strong brotherhood between the players and the coaches. The coaching staff at Illinois is pretty amazing. It was my first time ever at Illinois and I liked the facilities and the stadium. Illinois is also pretty close to home. I just came away impressed with the bond between the players and the coaches at Illinois."

Warren is also planning to transfer at the end of the spring semester to IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. 

"It's a great opportunity and I want to go and get better and take my game to the highest level. My Mom and I have looked really hard at everything and I made my final decision and talked to my coaches about it. I'm going to visit IMG Academy on May 10th and 11th and I'll go back to register for school on July 14th."

St. Charles North junior three-star ranked defensive back Tyler Nubin (6-foot-2, 185 pounds) made a verbal commitment to Minnesota Thursday morning.

"I had a really good visit to Minnesota," Nubin said. "I spent the day with Coach (PJ) Fleck and the defensive backs coach Jahmile Addae. Their coaching staff is just unbelievable and the facilities are top notch."

Nubin held 16 scholarship offers this spring, including six offers from the Big Ten conference.  

Momence junior three-star ranked athlete Jason Bargy (6-foot-5, 240 pounds) has drawn nine Power 5 scholarship offers so far this spring and made a recent visit to Illinois.

"I wanted to see the tempo and how the coaches get after the players," Bargy told Orange and's Doug Buschon. "How the guys interact with each other. "

Bargy, who doesn't plan to announce any Top schools list is planning to make a college decision "over the next few months."