Preps Talk

Top 25 games in Catholic League, Public League headline High School Lites

Top 25 games in Catholic League, Public League headline High School Lites

High School Lites has a loaded lineup for this week's show as we feature a number of top 25 teams. 

The highlights include major matchups in the Public League Red South/Central and the Catholic League Blue as well as a clash of unbeatens in the Southwest Prairie and the four top teams in the MSL West facing each other.

High School Lites airs this Friday at 11 p.m. on NBC Sports Chicago.


No. 3 Curie at No. 1 Simeon, 5:00 p.m. -- A huge matchup in the Public League Red South/Central as the league's two unbeatens collide. While the Wolverines won the first matchup between these two teams to win the Pontiac Holiday Tournament, both of these teams remain 8-0 in the conference standings. Simeon (18-3, 8-0) still hasn't lost to a team from Illinois this season while the Condors have only fallen to the Wolverines among Illinois opponents. 


Fremd at Conant, 6:00 p.m. -- An important night in the Mid-Suburban League West starts here as Conant goes for the season sweep of Fremd to stay in the conference race. The Cougars (14-6, 3-3) won at Fremd, 48-41, on Dec. 15 as they're currently fourth in the league and one game behind three teams ahead of them. The Vikings (12-7, 4-2) have won three straight games as they're starting to pick it up for the stretch run.

Palatine at Barrington, 6:00 p.m. -- Another important game in the Mid-Suburban League West puts two of the top teams against each other. Barrington (15-4, 4-2) has won three straight games as they try to avenge a road loss to the Pirates on Dec. 15. Palatine (14-9, 4-2) already has the win over Barrington and they also earned a key overtime road win at Conant in conference play last week.

Romeoville at No. 20 Joliet Central, 6:30 p.m. -- The two best teams in the Southwest Prairie meet in this one. The Steelmen (15-3, 8-0) is unbeaten in league play as they took down rival Joliet West after losing a non-conference clash with Bolingbrook. Romeoville (16-4, 8-0) is also unbeaten in the Southwest Prairie as they lost to West Aurora last week. 

No. 8 Fenwick at No. 11 DePaul Prep, 7:00 p.m. -- This is a crucial game in the Catholic League Blue as the Friars maintain the conference lead. DePaul Prep (18-4, 3-1) has played one of the tougher schedules in the area as junior Perry Cowan has had a big season. Fenwick (14-6, 5-0) has played an even tougher schedule as they remain unbeaten in the Catholic League. Before the game, DePaul Prep coach Tom Kleinschmidt will have his jersey number retired by the school.

Lincoln-Way East at No. 5 Bolingbrook, 7:00 p.m. -- Red-hot Bolingbrook hosts Lincoln-Way East as the SouthWest Suburban Blue is showcased here. The Raiders (16-2, 4-0) have won five straight since falling to St. Rita in the Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic title game as they've recently defeated Morgan Park and Joliet Central. Lincoln-Way East (14-3, 3-1) was able to take down Bolingbrook last season as they're led by Southern Illinois commit Sam Shafer. 

Proviso East at Willowbrook, 7:30 p.m. -- The West Suburban Gold race has been a close one this season as this will be a key game for this race. Willowbrook (17-3, 4-2) has won seven straight games, including a quality win over Larkin earlier this week. Proviso East (12-4, 5-1) already has an overtime home win over the Warriors back on Dec. 1 as they try to avoid another loss after falling to Hinsdale South in conference play last week. 

Lisle vs. Streator, 7 p.m. -- The Interstate Eight Tournament title game features two surprising teams. Streator (14-6, 4-2) had a blowout win over a talented Westmont team earlier this week to get to the title game. Lisle (12-9, 4-2) also managed a win over Herscher as they've been playing significantly better since 2018 started. 

Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week

Crystal Lake South at McHenry, 7 p.m. -- Clawing back to win the vote, we head to the Fox Valley for our Viewers Choice Game of the Week. The Warriors (14-6, 6-2) are still trying to compete with Jacobs for the top spot in the crowd. Crystal Lake South (8-11, 4-4) beat McHenry at home on Dec. 2 earlier this season as they try to earn another win over the Warriors.

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.