Tim Racki

CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings: No. 21 Nazareth Academy

CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings: No. 21 Nazareth Academy

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. Leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25., we unveil the @CSNPreps Top 25 Power Rankings.

School: Nazareth Academy

Head coach: Tim Racki

Assistant coaches: Casey Moran, Joe Reynolds, Rudy luna, Brody Budmayr, Jeff Tumpane, Joe Battaglia, Steve Gray, Tom Minogue, Larry White, Jonathon Bittle, Joe Felice

How they fared in 2016: 6-5 (3-4 East Suburban Catholic Conference), made the Class 5A state playoff field, defeated Goode STEM Academy then lost to Vernon Hills in second-round action.

[MORE: CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings - No. 22 Huntley]

2017 regular season schedule:

Aug. 25 vs. Dunbar

Sept. 1 vs. De La Salle

Sept. 8 vs. Notre Dame

Sept. 15 @ Carmel

Sept. 22 vs. Benet Academy

Sept. 29 vs. Joliet Catholic

Oct. 6 @ Marist

Oct. 13 vs. St. Viator

Oct. 20 @ Marian Catholic

Biggest storyline: Can the young but talented Roadrunners win a state title in 2017?

Names to watch this season: senior OL/DL Isaiah Lee, senior LB Wesley Lones

Biggest holes to fill: The Roadrunners bring back a ton of experience on both sides of the football but they need to develop some depth on both sides of the ball.

EDGY's Early Take: Under Racki, Nazareth Academy will be one of Chicagoland's most talented and loaded teams this fall. If the talent level can come together and play on the same page, the Roadrunners have a great chance at making a deep IHSA state playoff run in 2017.

93 Days to Kickoff: Nazareth Academy

nazareth-0807.jpg

93 Days to Kickoff: Nazareth Academy

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.

Head coach: Tim Racki

Assistant coaches: Casey Moran, Joe Reynolds, Rudy luna, Brody Budmayr, Jeff Tumpane, Joe Battaglia, Steve Gray, Tom Minogue, Larry White, Jonathon Bittle, Joe Felice

How they fared in 2016: 6-5 (3-4 East Suburban Catholic Conference), lost to Vernon Hills in Class 5A second-round action.

[MORE: 94 Days to Kickoff - Oswego Panthers]

2017 regular season schedule:

Aug. 25 – Dunbar

Sept. 1 – De La Salle

Sept. 8 – Notre Dame

Sept. 15 - @ Carmel

Sept. 22 - Benet Academy

Sept. 29 – Joliet Catholic

Oct. 6 - @ Marist

Oct. 13 - St. Viator

Oct. 20 - @ Marian Catholic

Biggest storyline: Can the underclassmen come of age and lead the Roadrunners back to a state title?

Names to watch this season: Senior OL/DL Isaiah Lee, Senior RB/LB Austin Reifsteck 

Biggest holes to fill: Not much. The Roadrunners welcome back nearly all 22 starters, along with several players who saw significant playing time in 2016.

EDGY's early take: Nazareth Academy played a huge number of underclassmen in 2016, while also struggling with a rash of injuries. The positives from last season? The Roadrunners now feature an experienced and deep team that has a real shot of making a serious run at the East Suburban Catholic Conference title and way beyond in Class 5A.

Edgy Tim goes one-on-one with Nazareth's Isaiah Lee

Edgy Tim goes one-on-one with Nazareth's Isaiah Lee

One of the best aspects of the EDGYTIM Underclassmen Showcase — powered by EFT Football Academy — is finding kids who are relative unknowns that give a strong camp performance. It makes college coaches and recruiters take notice.

Nazareth Academy junior defensive tackle Isaiah Lee (6-foot-2, 280 pounds) undoubtedly fits that mode. Lee had one of the best overall performances at last week’s event at the McCook Max Athletic and Exposition Center.

[RELATED: Edgy Tim goes one-on-one with Mount Carmel's Terrance Taylor]

The Roadrunners, under head coach Tim Racki, posted a 6-5 record last season. That final mark pales in comparison to the back-to-back 5A state titles in 2014 and 2015; however, Nazareth played a ton of underclassmen who gained valuable varsity playing time in 2016.

Lee was one of several Roadrunner underclassmen to watch. Get to know this havoc-causing interior defensive linemen in the one-on-one interview above.