Bears

Final CSN Top 20 IHSA football rankings

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Final CSN Top 20 IHSA football rankings

1 Glenbard West (14-0)
Last Week (Ranked 2): Defeated Lincoln-Way East 10-8
PrepsTalk: West was simply devastating on defense. They recorded five sacks and recovered a fumble. DB Hayden Carlson recorded 14 tackles, including a jarring hit on QB Tom Fuessell late in the game.

2 Mount Carmel (13-1)
Last Week (Ranked 3): Defeated Glenbard North 28-14
PrepsTalk: Don Butkus scored three touchdowns (two rushing, one passing) and Draco Smith added a 78-yard run to paydirt to give the Caravan their first state championship since 2002.

3 Lincoln-Way East (13-1)
Last Week (Ranked 1): Lost to Glenbard West 10-8
PrepsTalk: It was a rough end to a fine season for the Griffins. Quarterback Tom Fuessel (21 carries, 17 yards rushing; 3-14, 51 yards passing) couldnt get anything going against the stout GBW defense.

4 Crete-Monee (14-0)
Last Week (Ranked 4): Defeated Cary-Grove 33-26
PrepsTalk: Laquon Treadwell did a little bit of everything to clinch C-Ms first state title. He scored two touchdowns, made 12 tackles and secured a key interception in the third quarter.

5 Glenbard North (12-2)
Last Week (Ranked 5): Lost to Mount Carmel 28-14
PrepsTalk: Justin Jacksons 76-yard interceptionTD for the games opening score was clutch, but it was all Caravan from there. Jackson was held to 63 yards rushing. Brian Murphy had a touchdown pass.

6 Cary-Grove (13-1)
Last Week (Ranked 6): Lost to Crete-Monee 33-26
PrepsTalk: Quinn Baker had two scores (one passing, one receiving) and Kyle Norberg had another touchdown with 117 yards rushing, but it was too much Laquon Treadwell for the Trojans to match.

7 Loyola (11-2)
Last Week (Ranked 7): Did Not Play
PrepsTalk: The Chicago Catholic Blue conference recorded a final overall record of 45-18. Every team in conference finished with a record of .500 or better.

8 Neuqua Valley (12-1)
Last Week (Ranked 8): Did Not Play
PrepsTalk: It will be tough to match senior running back Joey Rhattigans numbers next year, but running back TJ Scruggs and quarterback Davide Tomei may get their chance in 2013.

9 Maine South (11-1)
Last Week (Ranked 9): Did Not Play
PrepsTalk: The Hawks will take a 60-game conference winning streak into play next season. The last time they lost a conference game was in October 2000 against New Trier.

10 Montini (12-2)
Last Week (Ranked 10): Defeated Morris 19-6
PrepsTalk: Dmitri Taylor scored on a 74-yard run and on a 48-yard reception, part of 227 total yards on the day, as the Broncos won their fourth consecutive 5A state championship.

11 Morris (12-2)
Last Week (Ranked 11): Lost to Montini 19-6
PrepsTalk: Quarterback Zach Cinnamon scored a late touchdown, but the Redskins could not establish any offense for the bulk of the game. Running back Reese Sobol tallied 81 yards.

12 Waubonsie Valley (10-2)
Last Week (Ranked 12): Did Not Play
PrepsTalk: Austin Guido was virtually unstoppable this year at running back. DeMario Webb and Jon Fizer are two players who could receive some looks in the backfield next season.

13 Lemont (11-2)
Last Week (Ranked 13): Did Not Play
PrepsTalk: Its going to be really tough to replace two of the top linemen in the area 6-foot-7, 290-pound Ethan Pocic (headed to LSU) and 6-2, 270-pound Tim McAullife (Bowling Green).

14 Benet (11-2)
Last Week (Ranked 14): Did Not Play
PrepsTalk: After contributing as an offensive lineman this season, 6-9 junior Sean OMara will head to the basketball court. He is regarded as one of the top centers in the area.

15 Wheaton North (10-2)
Last Week (Ranked 15): Did Not Play
PrepsTalk: Junior quarterbackreceiver Clayton Thorson broke his collarbone in a playoff game this season, but look for him to make big contributions in 2013.

16 Lake Zurich (10-3)
Last Week (Ranked 16): Did Not Play
PrepsTalk: It was a successful opening campaign for new head coach David Proffitt. The Bears have eclipsed the 10-win mark in five of the last seven seasons.

17 Palatine (10-2)
Last Week (Ranked 17): Did Not Play
PrepsTalk: Senior quarterback Ethan Olles guided the Pirates to a strong showing in the playoffs this year. But keep an eye on 2016 graduate James Pittman. Is he Palatines QB of the future?

18 Marian Central Catholic (11-1)
Last Week (Ranked 18): Did Not Play
PrepsTalk: First goal of the offseason? Find a way to consistently beat Montini in the regular season and during the playoffs (if need be). Second and third goals: see first goal.

19 Aurora Christian (13-1)
Last Week (Ranked 19): Defeated Tolono Unity 42-12.
PrepsTalk: Don Beebe and company win their second consecutive state championship. Joel Bouagnon scored two rushing touchdowns (60, 10). Brandon Mayes had a 75-yard INT-TD.

20 Simeon (11-2)
Last Week (Ranked 20): Defeated Brother Rice 14-12
PrepsTalk: Huge win for the Wolverines (first Prep Bowl trophy in seven attempts) and for the Public League in general (broke the Catholic Leagues six-game winning streak in the annual game).

Looming and Lurking: Lake Forest, Joliet Catholic, Evergreen Park, Oak Forest, Lyons, Notre Dame, Brooks, Downers Grove North, Crystal Lake Central, Lincoln-Way West, Kaneland, Bolingbrook, Providence, Lakes, Richards, Coal City, Wilmington, Brother Rice.

Be sure to follow @PrepsTalkCSN and @JoeCSN for prep football coverage.

Three questions for Bears ILBs: What kind of an impact will Roquan Smith make?

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USA TODAY

Three questions for Bears ILBs: What kind of an impact will Roquan Smith make?

Pre-camp depth chart

1. Danny Trevathan
2. John Timu
3. Joel Iyiegbuniwe

1. Roquan Smith
2. Nick Kwiatkoski
3. Jonathan Anderson

1. How good can Roquan Smith be?

Making sweeping observations from shorts-and-helmets practices in OTAs is often a fool’s errand, but Smith looked the part while running around the practice fields of Halas Hall after being drafted in April. His quickness and instinctiveness stood out — as they did at Georgia — and his football intelligence and work ethic were praised by coaches and teammates. 

“He’s learning well,” Trevathan said. “He’s doing a good job of learning. He’s learning the little things that you need to learn in this defense. Now it’s all about putting on a show and going out there and rocking.”

And that’s what’s going to be fun to watch in Bourbonnais: How does Smith play with the pads on? Chances are, the answer to that question will be “well,” setting the eighth overall pick on a path to being a mainstay of this defense for years to come. 

That’s not to say Smith doesn’t have plenty on which to work during training camp. But he left Georgia as a sort of “safe bet” in the draft, and nothing he’s done to this point has changed the view of him that he’s likely going to be a good one. 

2. Can Danny Trevathan stay healthy?

In terms of size and athleticism, Trevathan and Smith profile similar to NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis, the inside linebacking tandem that was the spine of the San Francisco 49ers defense during Fangio’s time there. But for Trevathan and Smith to reach that lofty bar — or even to come close to it — Trevathan needs to be more available than he was his first two years with the Bears.

This isn’t questioning Trevathan’s toughness — far from it. That he returned for Week 1 of the 2017 season 10 months after rupturing his patellar tending (an injury that can be a career-ender) was impressive, and that he was immediately productive upon returning was even more extraordinary. But Trevathan missed three games in November due to a strained calf, and coupled with a one-game suspension and the seven games he missed in 2016, the 28-year-old has only played in 21 of 32 games since signing with the Bears. 

Trevathan is confident he can improve his production in 2018, given he wasn’t able to participate in last year’s offseason program practices. He’s entering his third year in Fangio’s defense and feels better prepared after going through OTAs and minicamps this year. It’s just now about him staying on the field to make sure that work pays off.

“I’m more comfortable with this defense, I’m more comfortable with the guys and the calls that we make,” Trevathan said. “I take pride in being correct and working my tail off and making the defense better. And the more that I can be out there — which I plan on being out there a lot — it’s going to help us tremendously.” 

3. How big a role will Nick Kwiatkoski have?

The Bears didn’t draft Smith because they felt like they absolutely needed to upgrade over Kwiatkoski, who’s acquitted himself well in 25 games since being picked in the fourth round of the 2016 draft. But Kwiatkoski has dealt with some injury issues, and for as solid a player as he may be, the Bears’ defense needed (and still needs) more great players. Drafting Smith gave the Bears a shot at adding a great player.

It also leaves Kwiatkoski in the same spot he was in a year ago, when the Bears entered the 2017 season with Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman as their unquestioned starting inside linebackers. Smith still has to earn that starting spot, but the safe bet is he will, relegating Kwiatkoski again to reserve duties.

And that’s a positive for the overall health of this defense, having a player good enough to start ready to play if needed. But it also raises this question: What do the Bears do with Kwiatkoski if he’s one of their four best linebackers, but isn’t one of their two best inside linebackers? 

So for the purposes of watching training camp practices, seeing if Kwiatkoski gets any reps at outside linebacker will be an interesting storyline to follow. 

Nationals fans sent Kyle Schwarber from hero to villain in monumentally entertaining Home Run Derby

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USA TODAY

Nationals fans sent Kyle Schwarber from hero to villain in monumentally entertaining Home Run Derby

WASHINGTON, D.C. — How could someone like Kyle Schwarber play the villain?

The fan favorite who’s always quick with a smile — or an Uncle Sam costume on the Fourth of July — Schwarber doesn’t fit the mold of a loathsome target of boos. But he made quite the heel turn in the minds of Washington Nationals fans Monday night, and of course he knew it was coming.

Schwarber went from getting cheered by the legions in attendance at the Home Run Derby to getting booed when he took on, and eventually lost to, hometown hero Bryce Harper in the final round.

“I was down in the tunnel saying, ‘If we get to the finals, Harp, they’re all going to be against me. I think they’re all going to be against me,’” Schwarber said Monday night. “And then I went out there and got booed after they all got pumped up for me. That’s just the beauty of it, and I was happy for Bryce that he won it in front of the home crowd.”

Harper delivered an incredibly memorable baseball moment Monday night, catching up to Schwarber’s 18 home runs with a ridiculous display of repetitive power to win a Home Run Derby for the ages. The format of this event, revamped a couple years ago, made for a dramatic and hugely entertaining evening. Harper smacked nine homers over the final 47 seconds of the final round to tie Schwarber, then bested him in bonus time. Unsurprisingly, the home crowd was going ballistic for their boy.

But earlier in the night, it was Schwarber getting all the cheers, when he made his own last-second comeback to beat Philadelphia Phillies slugger Rhys Hoskins in the second round. Schwarber was pumping up the crowd, pumping his fists and screaming while putting on a show of his own to catch and pass Hoskins' 20 home runs and advance to the finals.

How quickly the locals forgot.

By the finals — during which Schwarber looked understandably exhausted — the crowd had turned on him, trying to get every advantage for Harper.

“As soon as I got done with that round, I told myself that he had it,” Schwarber said. “I knew that he had the home crowd behind him, and I knew that he was a very prolific power hitter with a great swing. For him to come in and do that and started getting down to the wire, all of a sudden he started racking them up one at a time. You kind of just accept your fate there.”

Perhaps the night could’ve ended differently for Schwarber had he listened more closely to the advice of his teammates, Javy Baez and Willson Contreras, who were quick with Gatorade, a towel and words of encouragement on Monday. Baez hit 16 home runs in his own first-round appearance, though Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Max Muncy knocked him out.

“I was just telling him to slow down,” Baez said. “He was kind of rushing a little bit, that’s why he was jumping to the ball.”

“They were actually giving me really good advice that I didn’t take because I was really dumb-headed,” Schwarber said. “‘Make sure you take some pitches and get the pitch that you want.’ At the end, I felt like I was swinging at everything. I was just running out of gas. I felt like I had to put up as many swings just to try to put a couple out.”

Schwarber was totally content with losing out to Harper’s home-field advantage. Though as his homers flew out deep into the right-field seats Monday night, you couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like if Schwarber was instead taking aim at Sheffield Avenue and getting his own home-field advantage from Cubs fans.

The North Side hasn’t played host to the All-Star Game since 1990, so perhaps Schwarber will still be slugging the next time the Friendly Confines are the site of the Home Run Derby.

“That’d be really cool one day if the All-Star Game’s at Wrigley,” Schwarber said, “and to participate in the Derby, that’d be fun.”