Joe Collins

It's official: CCL and ESCC leagues to merge for football beginning in 2019

It's official: CCL and ESCC leagues to merge for football beginning in 2019

The Chicago Catholic League and East Suburban Catholic Conference announced Thursday that their leagues will merge for football competition beginning with the 2019 season. The merger became official after a unanimous vote by school principals from both conferences.

The new conference will consist of the following 14 members of the Chicago Catholic League (CCL): Brother Rice, De La Salle, DePaul College Prep, Fenwick, Leo, Loyola Academy, Marmion Academy, Mount Carmel, Montini, Providence, St. Laurence, St. Rita, St. Ignatius and St. Joseph. They will combine with the 10 full members of the East Suburban Catholic Conference (ESCC): Benet Academy, Carmel, Joliet Catholic, Marian Catholic, Marian Central Catholic, Marist, Nazareth Academy, Notre Dame College Prep, St. Patrick and St. Viator.

The merger was discussed by a committee of athletic directors from each conference over the spring and summer. This committee agreed on certain criteria which will determine divisional leagues within this new conference. That criteria includes a school's male enrollment, football participation numbers and success during the 2017 and 2018 football seasons.

How will this impact high school football across Chicagoland? Will it mean more parity among programs? Will similar enrollment numbers and participation numbers lead to success across all divisions? What will the new individual leagues look like? Will certain rivalries like Mount Carmel-St. Rita come back into the fray?

Stay tuned.


Evanston Wildkits full-court shot 'best moment' of freshman's life

Evanston Wildkits full-court shot 'best moment' of freshman's life

Blake Peters didn’t want the ball to come to him. But life came at him fast. 2.6 seconds to be exact.

His team, the Evanston Wildkits, were down by two points late in the fourth quarter against Maine South. The Hawks had a chance to make it a three point game with a free throw. The shot was missed—and naturally, the ball ricocheted right to him. Peters captured the rebound and launched a prayer. It resulted in one of the craziest endings in recent Illinois high school basketball memory.

“I didn’t want that responsibility of shooting the shot,” Peters said. “I just told myself to shoot it. And actually, it looked good when I saw it...and then when it went in, I was shocked. It was probably the best moment of my life.”

Peters, a freshman, drilled an 80-foot, one-handed game winner to give his Wildkits a 45-44 win over conference foe Maine South. It sent the home crowd at Beardsley Gymnasium into a frenzy. The ensuing social media buzz, which included acknowledgment from Sports Illustrated and ESPN’s “SportsCenter” just to name a few, catapulted Peters into the viral stratosphere.

In this interview, Peters takes us back to a moment he’ll treasure indefinitely.

Viewers' Choice: Vote for High School Lites game coverage


Viewers' Choice: Vote for High School Lites game coverage

Who wants it more?

We are putting High School Lites, Chicagoland's top prep sports show, in the hands of area football fans in our "Viewers' Choice Game of the Week." Fans will get the chance to pick one game that the @CSNPreps crew will cover on Friday night. We will send our cameras to the game that gets the most votes; highlights and postgame reaction of that game will appear on that night's "High School Lites" broadcast at 11 p.m. — just after Chicago White Sox baseball. The show also live streams at High School Lites will also have broadcast replays at 6:30 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. the following Saturday. This week we spotlight some "on the verge" teams in Chicagoland. Whether teams are on the verge of a turnaround, a breakout season or –possibly- entering Edgy Tim's Top 25 Power Rankings, these matchups could go a long way in determining which teams stand above the rest:

Hersey at Hoffman Estates, 7:30 p.m.

Libertyville at Batavia, 7:30 p.m.

Wheaton North at Joliet Catholic, 7:30 p.m.

[MORE: Edgy Tim's Preseason All-State Team]

Poll opens Monday at 12 p.m. and closes Thursday at 4 p.m. Here is what fans need to do to vote:

— Follow @CSNPreps on Twitter.
— Note the "pinned Tweet" atop the @CSNPreps feed. Vote for the game you want us to cover.
— Spread the word! 

We will make an announcement on @CSNPreps just after 4 p.m. Thursday with the official results of which game will be covered. And as a reminder, be sure to follow @CSNPreps for updates on the "Viewers' Choice Game of the week," along with other high school sports news, scores and highlights this season.