Preps Talk

CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings: No. 6 Marist

CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings: No. 6 Marist

CSNChicago.com 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 Jul. 31, we'll unveil the @CSNPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.

School: Marist

Head coach: Ron Dawczak

How they fared in 2016: 8-2 (7-0 East Suburban Catholic Conference), made the Class 8A state playoff field and lost to New Trier in opening-round action.

[MORE: CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings - No. 7 Lake Zurich]

2017 regular season schedule:

Aug. 25 vs. Brother Rice

Sept. 1 @ Mishawaka, Indiana

Sept. 8 vs. Carmel

Sept. 15 @ Marian Central Catholic

Sept. 22 @ Marian Catholic

Sept. 28 vs. St. Patrick

Oct. 6 vs. Nazareth Academy

Oct. 13 @ Benet Academy

Oct. 20 vs. Joliet Catholic

Biggest storyline: Can the Redhawks win big with a sudden head coaching change in 2017?

Names to watch this season: senior TE TJ Ivy (West Virginia), senior DL Gavin McCabe (Indiana), senior DT Elijah Teague (Minnesota)

Biggest holes to fill: The Redhawks will need to reload at a few key spots this summer, including quarterback.

EDGY's early take: While any sudden head coaching change can be an issue, having longtime assistant coach Dawczak take over for Pat Dunne should be a smooth transition. The Redhawks have a ton of talent back in 2017, and remain one of the better offenses in Chicagoland. The schedule is never easy for the Redhawks, including its annual rivalry game in Week 1 hosting Brother Rice, but this team looks to have the makings of being capable of a big run this fall. 

Evanston vs. Niles North headlines busy night on High School Lites

Evanston vs. Niles North headlines busy night on High School Lites

 

High School Lites has a loaded show on Friday night as we have games from all over the Chicagoland area. Besides for the highlights, we have some great features in store as Simeon's Messiah Jones is this week's Wintrust Athlete of the Week. 

Geneva at Batavia (girls & boys), 5:30 & 7:00 p.m. -- This rivalry doubleheader should be a fun one in the Upstate Eight River. 

For the girls, Batavia (6-4) fell to Bolingbrook but was riding a four-game winning streak before that. They get another tough test in Geneva (8-0) as the Vikings have been dominating competition so far this season.

With the boys, the Vikings (6-2, 1-1) are off to a solid start as junior guard Jack McDonald has been a big presence for Geneva. The Bulldogs (6-1, 2-0) only have a loss against unbeaten Wheaton-Warrenville South as all of their wins have come by double-digits this season. 

No. 11 West Aurora at Glenbard East, 7:00 p.m. -- Two of the top teams in the Upstate Eight Valley collide. The No. 11 Blackhawks (5-1, 1-0) are coming off of a strong comeback win over York. Senior Camron Donatlan is one of the area's top players as he's a four-year varsity player. Glenbard East (5-2, 1-0) had a comeback win of its own against South Elgin with an overtime win last week.

Carmel at Notre Dame, 7:00 p.m. -- After opening losses in conference play, these two teams will try to get back on track in the ESCC. The Corsairs (6-2, 0-1) have won three games this season by three points or less, including a quality win over Waukegan. Notre Dame (3-4, 0-1) has lost three straight games and four of five overall as they look to get back on track. 

No. 24 Hinsdale South at Willowbrook, 7:30 p.m. -- An intriguing battle in the West Suburban Gold in this one. Hinsdale South (7-1, 1-0) has won seven consecutive games after dropping its opener as senior Zion Griffin is having some big games to start the season. Willowbrook (5-1, 1-1) dropped an overtime thriller to Proviso East as they try to stay with the top of the conference. The Warriors cruised past Addison Trail last week. 

No. 19 Evanston at No. 6 Niles North, 7:30 p.m. -- A battle of top 25 teams that could be the best game of the week. The Central Suburban South is a tough league this season and this could be a key game in the standings. The Wildkits (6-1, 2-0) are coming off of strong wins over Maine South and Uplift as junior guard Lance Jones is playing well. The Vikings (7-0, 2-0) have been one of the area's best teams so far as they feature talented players like Damaria Franklin, Dravon Clayborn and Jamal Stephenson. 

Prospect at Buffalo Grove, 7:30 p.m. -- An important matchup in the Mid-Suburban East as two unbeaten teams in the conference face each other. The Bison (5-3, 2-0) feature some talented veterans on a balanced roster as they're coming off of a win over Wheeling. The Knights (5-2, 2-0) lost two games to ranked teams to start the season and then rattled off five straight wins as senior guard David Swedura is off to a good start. 

No. 18 Benet at No. 20 St. Viator, 7:30 p.m. -- The ESCC has another big game on Friday as Benet tries to prove themselves on the road. The Redwings (7-1, 1-0) have been one of the best teams in the area to start the season as they try to pick up a big conference road win. St. Viator (7-1, 1-0) is off to a solid start after a road win at Marian Catholic last week. Another win over a ranked team would be huge for the Lions in this one.

Westmont at Coal City, 6:45 p.m. -- Westmont tries to stay unbeaten in the Interstate Eight for this one. The Sentinels (8-0, 3-0) went undefeated at the Lisle Thanksgiving event before their strong start in conference play. Coal City (5-3, 1-2) has dropped three of its last four games.

Viewers' Choice Game of the Week 

North Lawndale at Prosser, 5 p.m. -- This week's game takes is to the Red North/West as the Phoenix take on Prosser. North Lawndale (6-1, 1-1) had an early slip-up in conference play against Marshall while Prosser (3-2, 1-1) has lost to Orr. 

 

Pass or fail? Mixed emotions surround NCAA's new early signing period

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Pass or fail? Mixed emotions surround NCAA's new early signing period

John Ivlow could easily add traffic patrol officer to his resume. Or a navigator, perhaps. The Bolingbrook head football coach is very popular and in demand with college recruiters --especially this time of year-- just as much as any other coach in Chicagoland. Ivlow is also never shy about sharing his opinion when it comes to various high school football topics, and that includes recruiting.

But in regards to the upcoming --and inaugural-- NCAA football early signing period, which begins on Dec. 20, Ivlow is taking more of a patient approach.

"I'm a bit indifferent about it," Ivlow said. "It's still too early to tell what the impact will be and like a lot of coaches I'm watching it all pretty closely."

Ivlow has two seniors expected to eventually sign FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) scholarships: DT Dashaun Mallory and WR I'Shawn Stewart. He also has a half-dozen other seniors who will play at the FCS/D-2/NAIA level. He expects to see some potentially serious fallout after the early signing period ends on Dec. 23.

"I know of several FBS schools who are taking the approach that if a kid is not going to sign in December, then they aren't really committed and they will pull that scholarship offer," according to Ivlow. "I think the large majority of kids who are now verbally committed will sign in December just because they don't want to lose out. If kids who are now committed don't sign, they are taking a big risk. Waiting could hurt."

Ivlow's concerns are more with kids who are fringe FBS-level recruits who could turn down scholarship monies from FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) or D-2 level schools in search of spots that could open up after the December signing period at the FBS level.

"Some kids and parents think that the bigger schools will have a lot of spots open up. But I just don't see a lot of kids not signing at the FBS level. I would be surprised to see several kids not sign early and those kids who waited for that spot to open up could end up being hurt. In some cases that's a very expensive gamble and those kids and parents would leave a lot of scholarship money on the table."

One thing seems to be certain starting on Dec. 20: expect the recruiting clock to, once again, be pushed ahead to an even earlier start. 

"I can see the FBS schools using the January recruiting period to focus strictly on the 2019 class even harder than ever."

So will January become the new May? 

Stay tuned.