Preps Talk

Two ranked matchups highlight High School Lites

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Two ranked matchups highlight High School Lites

High School Lites has a great show this week as we have two matchups between ranked matchups and a number of other enticing games involving top 25 teams. 

Be sure to catch an all new edition of High School Lites Friday at 11 p.m. on NBC Sports Chicago. 

Thursday

Kenwood at No. 3 Curie, 5:00 p.m. -- These former Red-Central rivals matchup for the only guaranteed time this season in a battle in the Public League Red South-Central. Curie (13-2, 4-0) is coming off of a good win over Bogan as they continue to fight for the conference title with Simeon. Junior Marquise Walker is playing very well lately for the Condors. Kenwood (7-5, 3-2) dropped a game to Simeon earlier this week as they have a tough week in conference play facing two top-three teams. The Broncos are also dangerous enough to make this a tight game.

No. 13 Marist at No. 11 Marian Catholic, 7:00 p.m. -- Key game in the East Suburban Catholic Conference as Marist heads to Marian Catholic. The No. 11 Spartans (12-2, 1-1) have won five consecutive games since losing to Lincoln Park in the Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic. The No. 13 RedHawks (16-1, 2-0) placed third at Centralia as they've won three straight games of their own. With the ESCC being such a tight race, this could wind up being a key game in deciding the winner of the league. 

Friday

Schaumburg at Palatine, 6:00 p.m. -- Palatine tries to stay with the top teams in the Mid-Suburban West as they host Schaumburg. The Pirates (11-6, 3-1) fell to Buffalo Grove in a crossover last week as they try to stick with Barrington atop the MSL West. Schaumburg (5-13, 1-3) hasn't had a great start but they did knock off Hersey for a double-digit win last week. 

Westinghouse at No. 10 Lincoln Park, 6:30 p.m. -- The Public League Red North/West is one of the toughest leagues in the area as Westinghouse heads to Lincoln Park. The Lions (12-4, 4-1) just picked up a big win against North Lawndale as they've recently knocked off some quality opponents. Westinghouse (4-12, 0-4) is trying to end a recent losing streak and earn a conference win as the Warriors have played a really tough schedule so far this season. 

No. 12 DePaul Prep at No. 17 Loyola, 7:00 p.m. -- An important game in the Catholic League Blue involving two of the top teams. Loyola Academy (14-2, 2-1) is hot lately after winning a holiday tournament in Naples and beating St. Viator earlier this week. DePaul Prep (14-3, 2-0) earned a win on the road at St. Rita last week while also taking down Lindblom earlier this week. 

West Aurora at South Elgin, 7:00 p.m. -- The top two teams in the Upstate Eight Valley matchup in this one as West Aurora travels to South Elgin. The Storm (10-3, 2-1) are coming off of a solid showing at DeKalb during Holiday Tournament time as they also held off East Aurora for a conference win last week. West Aurora (10-4, 3-0) has picked up wins over West Chicago and DeKalb since losing to some top teams like Curie and Bloomington at Pontiac. These teams will play again on Feb. 16.

No. 14 Evanston at  New Trier, 7:30 p.m. -- One of the area's best rivalries also doubles as an important Central Suburban South game. New Trier (10-2, 4-0) just knocked off previously-unbeaten conference leader Niles North earlier this week as the Trevians are playing with a ton of confidence. Evanston (12-3, 3-1) rallied to win its final two games at Centralia before beating Niles West last week. 

No. 24 Naperville Central at Naperville North, 7:30 p.m. -- This crosstown rivalry has huge DuPage Valley Conference implications. The No. 24 Redhawks (11-2, 4-1) are coming off of a recent hot stretch that includes wins over Wheaton-Warrenville South and taking the DeKalb Tournament title. Naperville North (13-1, 5-0) only has a loss to Batavia this season as the Huskies are on top of the DVC at the moment. 

Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week

North Shore at Francis Parker, 6 p.m. -- Our Viewers' Choice Game of the Week heads to Lincoln Park for this Independent School League matchup. Francis Parker (3-8, 1-2) has a busy week with conference games on back-to-back nights. North Shore (6-5, 2-2) dropped a tough one-point decision to Northridge on Wednesday as they look to remain in the conference picture.

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

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

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

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

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 BlueNews.com'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."