Waubonsie Valley

CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings: No. 7 Lake Zurich

CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings: No. 7 Lake Zurich

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.

School: Lake Zurich

Head coach: Luke Mertens

Assistant coaches: Shane Williams, Aaron Towne, Jeff Bartlett, Nick Summers, Rick Erickson, Kelly Henkel, Will Koukal, Aaron Lewandowski, Christian Wollard 

How they fared in 2016: 8-3 (6-1 North Suburban Conference), made the Class 7A state playoff field. They defeated Harlem, then lost to Fenwick in second-round action.

[MORE: CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings - No. 8 Waubonsie Valley]

2017 regular season schedule:

Aug. 25 @ Fremd

Sept. 1 vs. Montini Catholic

Sept. 8 vs. Waukegan

Sept. 15 vs. Zion-Benton

Sept. 22 @ Warren Township

Sept. 28 @ Lake Forest

Oct. 6 @ Stevenson

Oct. 13 vs. Libertyville

Oct. 20 @ Mundelein

Biggest storyline: Can the Bears put last year's hazing controversy behind them and stay focused on the field?

Names to watch this season: senior LB Jack Sanborn (Wisconsin), senior QB Evan Lewandowski, senior OL Ian Fitzgerald

Biggest holes to fill: The Bears will need to find some replacements in the secondary.

EDGY's early take: Lake Zurich has been dealing with a hazing controversy since the end of last season. Over that time, several key administrators and coaches were replaced, including head coach Dave Proffitt. Mertens, who guided the Lakes football program for over a decade, steps in as head coach. He inherits a very experienced team on both sides of the football, including 14 returning starters (eight offense, six defense). Lake Zurich has the potential to become a state title contender in 2017. 

CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings: No. 8 Waubonsie Valley

CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings: No. 8 Waubonsie Valley

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 July 31, we’ll unveil the @CSNPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.

School: Waubonsie Valley

Head Coach: Paul Murphy

Assistant Coaches: Ron Griffin, Tom Baumgartner, Brad Caldwell, Tom Santoria, Chris Genslinger, Noel Soto, Ken Anderson, Moe Adewole, Jason Mead, Ryan Voitik, Duane Butts, Dan Howell, Mike Whitt

How they fared in 2016: 6-5 (4-4 DuPage Valley Conference), made the Class 8A state playoff field, defeated Hinsdale Central then lost to Lincoln-Way East in second round action.

2017 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 25 vs Lake Park

Sept. 1 Glenbard North

Sept. 8 @ Neuqua Valley

Sept. 15 vs Naperville Central

Sept. 22 @ Metea Valley

Sept. 28 vs Wheaton South

Oct. 6 vs Lincoln-Way Central

Oct. 13 @ Naperville North

Oct. 20 @ Wheaton North

Biggest storyline: Can the Warriors win the final season of the always tough DuPage Valley Conference under this current team configuration?

Names to watch this season:  Senior TE Charles Robinson, Senior DB Derric Lee, Senior QB Tanner Westwood

Biggest holes to fill: The Warriors will need to fins some new faces to play on the defensive line this season.

EDGY's Early Take: The Warriors and head coach Paul Murphy have been building for this season for a few years now. Waubonsie Valley welcomes back 13 starters (8 offense, 5 defense) and several of those same starters are multi-year starters as well. Life is never easy for anyone in the DuPage Valley, yet the talent level and experience factor has never been higher than this season for Waubonsie Valley.

1-on-1 With Waubonsie Valley DB Derric Lee

1-on-1 With Waubonsie Valley DB Derric Lee

It's hard to even imagine or consider a senior in high school as a grizzled veteran. But if any player fits that description, it could very well be Waubonsie Valley senior defensive back Derric Lee (6-foot-0, 170 pounds).

Lee is preparing for his senior season this summer. It'll be his third season starting at the varsity level for the Warriors and head coach Paul Murphy. Lee spent most of his winter and spring traveling all over the county playing travel 7-on-7 for Naperville-based Midwest Boom. Lee would routinely get matched up with some of the top receivers in the nation. Lee is touting 16 scholarship offers from multiple levels including schools, and that includes several roster spot offers from various Ivy League schools. He has also been a mainstay earlier on the summer college camp circuit.

Lee is, quite simply, the football equivalent of the basketball gym rat: a player who loves to play. He never wants to leave the field and never stop competing.

Derric Lee previews his upcoming senior season, his next steps in the recruiting process and more from the Red Grange Classic 7-on-7 at Wheaton Warrenville South High School.