Preps Talk

High School Lites Week 7 football capsules and picks

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High School Lites Week 7 football capsules and picks

NBC Sports Chicago will have cameras covering the biggest high school football games across Chicagoland on the Week 7 edition of High School Lites, Friday at 11:00 p.m. Who wins the annual Battle of Naperville when Central's Redhawks take on thier rivals from North? Can Raby find a way to upset Phillips? Who wins the ESCC showdown when Nazareth Academy plays at Marist? Antioch and Lakes also have a ton on the line in a fantastic Northern Lake County conference battle. Watch the show on NBC Sports Chicago or live stream at nbcsportschicago.com/watchlive

Raby at (6) Phillips, 7 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Raby (6-0, 3-0), coached by Deangelo Dereef, has been locking down teams all season. The Raiders' defense has allowed a mere 18 points on the season. The key names on the roster include senior RB Danquis Smith and LB Donovan Baldwin. Phillips (6-0, 3-0) has just rolled along in the CPL Illini Land of Lincoln conference play behind a strong running game and a tough-as-nails defense. Senior QB J'Bore Gibbs (South Dakota State) and senior RB/LB Craig Elmore lead the Wildcats offense. Can Raby's defense slow down the Phillips offense? 

EDGY's Pick: Phillips 37, Raby 12

Woodstock at Johnsburg, 7 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Johnsburg (6-0, 3-0), under head coach Dan DeBoeuf,  has been able to reload this season after advancing to the 4A state title game in 2016. Senior QB Adam Jayko, who was one of the lone Skyhawk holdovers this fall, has been electric. He has thrown for nearly 1,500 yards passing and 21 touchdowns. Woodstock (4-2, 2-1) is coached by Tommy Thompson. He lost starting QB Tanner Heidtke to an injury in last week's 55-16 loss to Burlington Central. Can the Streaks slow down the Skyhawks' passing attack? 

EDGY's Pick: Johnsburg 42, Woodstock 14

Antioch at Lakes, 7:15 p.m.

EDGY's Take:  This is a huge rivalry game in the Northern Lake County conference. Antioch (6-0, 4-0) and head coach Brian Glashagel will feature senior QB Brandon Gallimore and RB Hunter Price. On defense, keep an eye on junior DL Xavier Sanchez. Lakes (6-0, 4-0) and first year head coach Jordan Elder will counter with QB Jake Johnson, RB Ethan Greenfield and senior LB Ryan Selig (Western Michigan). Last possession wins?

EDGY's Pick: Lakes 28, Antioch 27

(2) Prairie Ridge at Hampshire, 7:15 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Prairie Ridge (6-0, 5-0) has been rolling in Fox Valley Conference play behind Iowa verbal commit QB Samson Evans, senior RB Zach Gulbransen and a quick, stingy defense. Hampshire (1-5/1-4) will rely on the arm of QB Drew Dalby. The Whip-Purs will look to stun the Wolves on Friday.

EDGY's Pick: Prairie Ridge 46, Hampshire 12

(10) Naperville Central vs. Naperville North, 7:30 p.m. at North Central College

EDGY's Take: Naperville Central (5-1, 5-0) is looking to maintain its hold on the DuPage Valley conference as they take on rival Naperville North (4-2, 3-2) at North Central College. Naperville Central is led by junior QB Payton Thorne, senior WR Jayden Reed (Western Michigan), senior RB AJ Deinhart and a steady defense. Naperville North will look towards senior QB Drake Davis to lead the way. He has been pacing the resurgent Huskies' passing attack. Keep an eye on senior WR Nick Calcagno for North as well. Can Naperville North turn this game into a shootout? Can the Naperville Central defense slow down North's passing attack?

EDGY's Pick: Naperville Central 36, Naperville North 35

(15) Nazareth at (4) Marist, 7:30 p.m. **#SendEdgy**

EDGY's Take: Nazareth Academy (6-0, 4-0), coached by Tim Racki, has a very young and talented roster this fall. The Roadrunners feature junior RB/DB Devin Blakely and a deep group in the offensive skills department. The defense is led by senior DL Isaiah Lee (Iowa State). Marist has a first-year head coach in Ron Dawczak. The Redhawks always can score points with junior QB Mike Markett and senior RB Delonte Harrell. The Marist defense is no joke. Keep an eye on senior DE Gavin McCabe (Indiana) and DT Elijah Teague (Minnesota). What's the key match up to watch? The Roadrunners' offensive line against the Redhawks' defensive line. 

EDGY's Pick: Marist 32, Nazareth 17

(5) Lake Zurich at (12) Stevenson, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: First-year head coach Luke Mertens has kept his Lake Zurich Bears at the top of the North Suburban conference behind a strong defense, a powerful running game and a steady dose of effective play-action passing game. Keep an eye on senior RB/LB Joey Stutzman, senior LB Jack Sanborn (Wisconsin) and senior QB Evan Lewansdowski. Stevenson (5-1, 4-0) and first year head coach Josh Hjorth also haven't skipped a beat in 2017. Their offense is led by QB Grayson Kubow and RB Jean-Marc Etienne. Their defense has allowed just 31 total points against teams from Illinois so far this season. Can both teams stop the opponents running game? Will the passing game be forced to take center stage?

EDGY's Pick: Lake Zurich 28, Stevenson 21

VIEWERS' CHOICE: Hyde Park vs Washington, Thursday 4:15 p.m. at Gately

EDGY's Take:  Hyde Park (3-3, 3-1) is still very much in the CPL Chicago Windy City conference title picture but the Thunderbirds need a win on Thursday against Washington (3-3, 1-3). Washington has lost three of its last four games.

EDGY's Pick: Hyde Park 28, Washington 16
 

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.