Preps Talk

Holiday Tournament action starts on Friday's High School Lites

Holiday Tournament action starts on Friday's High School Lites

High School Lites has a loaded show on Friday night as we have some holiday tournaments beginning as well as highlights of games all over the area. Highlights are a given, but we have some great features in store as Niles North's Damaria Franklin is this week's Wintrust Athlete of the Week. 

Hinkle Holiday Classic at Jacobs

Lakes vs. Cary-Grove, 3:00 p.m. -- Action begins at the Hinkle Holiday Classic as Lakes takes on Cary-Grove as both teams try to turn things around. The Eagles (3-5, 1-2) have dropped two straight as they try to build some early momentum in the tournament. Cary-Grove (4-4, 1-3) has lost three consecutive games after a promising 4-1 start.

Streamwood vs. Grant, 4:30 p.m. -- Another matchup of two teams off to sluggish start but both of these teams could be picking up steam. Streamwood (4-6, 0-4) picked up a win against Juarez on Monday. Grant (2-5, 2-1) has played a very tough schedule to start this season as they've already played North Lawndale, Waukegan and Boylan. After five losses in a row to open the season, the Bulldogs have won two straight. 

Barrington vs. Jefferson, 6:00 p.m. -- This should be an intriguing first game at Jacobs as the Broncos battle one of Rockford's best teams. Barrington (6-2, 2-1) is off to a solid start this season as they try to bounce back from a loss to Palatine. Jefferson (8-2, 5-1) is looking like one of the better programs in the state this season as they own early wins over local teams like Larkin and St. Rita.

Jacobs vs. Marian Central, 7:30 p.m. -- The host school takes on a nearby rival in this one. Jacobs (6-2, 3-0) once again looks like one of the best teams in the Fox Valley while Marian Central (4-4, 0-2) is off to at tough start in the very difficult ESCC. The Golden Eagles are trying to extend a three-game winning streak. The Hurricanes have lost four of five games as they try to figure things out at Jacobs. 

Other Matchups

Proviso West at Downers Grove North, 6:00 p.m. -- This one is an intriguing matchup in the West Suburban Silver. Downers North (7-2, 2-1) won seven consecutive games to start the season before recent losses to Glenbard West and Downers South. Junior guard Semaj Henderson has received some buzz early this season. Proviso West (2-1, 0-1) has a recent win over Brooks as they try to prepare for their own holiday tournament next week. 

No. 2 Whitney Young at Lincoln Park, 6:30 p.m. -- An interesting matchup in the Public League Red-North/West as the Dolphins travel to the North side. Whitney Young (10-1, 3-0) is coming off of a strong weekend in Texas as senior Javon Freeman has played like a Player of the Year candidate. Lincoln Park (5-3, 2-1) has won three straight games as they've played a competitive schedule that already includes games against Orr and Loyola.

St. Joseph at De La Salle, 7:00 p.m. -- The Catholic League Blue gets a good one on Friday night as the Chargers go on the road to play De La Salle. St. Joe's (7-2, 1-0) is coming off of a loss to Evanston but they are an experienced, senior-laden team that is off to a solid start. De La Salle (4-2, 1-0) has played well so far as they own a win over St. Patrick and Mount Carmel. 

No. 18 Marian Catholic at Waukegan, 7:00 p.m. -- A fun non-conference matchup before the holiday tournaments begin. The Spartans (6-1, 1-1) is young and talented as juniors Malik Tidwell and Chris White are notable players to watch while sophomore point guard Ahron Ulis has shown positive flashes as well. Waukegan (5-3, 2-1) has had some early slip ups but they have the talent to 

St. Edward at Timothy Christian, 7:30 p.m. -- The top two teams in the Metro Suburban Red collide in this one. Timothy Christian (7-1, 4-0) has rattled off seven consecutive wins since losing its opener to unbeaten Westmont as they're one of the hottest teams in the area. St. Edward (9-1, 3-0) is coming off of its own five-game winning streak, including recent road wins at Ridgewood and Elmwood Park.  

Viewers' Choice Game of the Week

Brother Rice at Loyola, 7 p.m. -- A really good one in the Catholic League Blue is our Viewers' Choice Game of the Week. Loyola (6-2, 0-1) has played a tough schedule to start the season as they try to pick up another quality win here. Brother Rice (6-4, 0-1) lost a tough one to Fenwick but will try to bounce back in this one. 

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."