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High School Lites: Lenti looks to make history

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High School Lites: Lenti looks to make history

Thursday, Sept. 15, 2011
Posted: 1:29 p.m.

By Chris Boden & Scott Krinch
CSNChicago.com

Week four of High School Lites is coming up on Friday and Comcast SportsNetCSNChicago.com is the place to go for preps coverage in the Chicagoland area. We'll be bringing you highlights of over 15 games across the area and this week's marquee matchup is a showdown of unbeatens in the Southwest Suburban - Blue Conference: No. 6 Homewood Flossmoor hosts No. 4 Lincoln-Way East. Which team will come away still holding a big zero in the loss column? Tune in to find out. We'll also have highlights of Matt Alviti and the No. 1 Maine South Hawks taking on Niles North. After a 42-0 thrashing of Fenwick, No. 11 St. Rita will go to a hostile environment to take on their Catholic League rival, Brother Rice.

Here's a quick glimpse of each game we'll cover during Friday night's show at 10:30 p.m.:

Robeson (3-0) vs. Bogan (0-3), 3:30 @ Stagg

Chris Boden: The records aren't deceiving in this Prairie State division opener. The Bengals have managed just six points in each of their three losses, though things did get a little better against Lane last week, when they allowed just 28 points after giving up 54 and 51 to open the season against Tinley Park and Edwardsville, respectively. The Raiders are rolling behind RB Devon Sanders, who was Tom Lemming's MVP at a summer camp exclusively for juniors. He carried 58 times for 460 yards and 9 touchdowns in lopsided wins over Julian and Harlan before last week's 28-14 victory at Rich Central.

Young (2-1) vs. Simeon (1-2), 3:30 @ Gately

Scott Krinch: Getting their leader back was all Simeon needed. Quarterback Robert Gregory returned to lead the Wolverines to a 47-7 rout of Morgan Park last week. Before taking his talents to the University of Arkansas and the SEC, Gregory is hoping to lead Simeon to their first state title in school history. Well see if Young can contain Gregory in this Chicago Public League showdown.

Evergreen Park (2-1) @ Tinley Park (3-0), 7:00

CB: So, Mustangs, how good is your defense? The Titans were down 20-7 last week at home to T.F. North, then the Kyle Sheridan-led offense rolled up 49 second half points en route to a 56-52 thrill ride, won on a short touchdown run in the final minute by Preston Thompson. The game turned midway through the third quarter when TP returned kickoff & punt returns within about a minute of each other. That gives them 150 points in their three games. EP put up big numbers itself against Phillips and Payton to start its season, but dropped their South Suburban Red opener to Eisenhower last week, 28-9.

11 St. Rita (2-1) @ Brother Rice (3-0), 7:30

SK: Could this game be an upset in the making? The Crusaders have a powerful 1-2 running back punch of Martez Walker and Andrew Walker and the duo have combined for 14 touchdowns already this season. Will the Mustangs defense, coming off two straight shutouts be able to extinguish the Crusaders running game? Anything can happen in the Catholic League - Blue conference.

Bremen (3-0, 1-0) @ Oak Forest (3-0, 1-0), 7:00

CB: The south suburbs are the place to be this Friday, can't go wrong if you're able to pick-and-choose. Don't let the Braves and Bengals fly under your radar in the rugged, deep South Suburban Blue. The visitors snuck past Hillcrest 14-12 last week, while the hosts have been putting up 40 points per game. Their 33-21 win over T.F. South was their lowest offensive output. Each side has running backs with multiple D-1 offers, Big 10 included: Bremen's David Smith and Oak Forest's Tevin Coleman. Iowa, among others, is interested in both.

4 Lincoln-Way East (3-0, 1-0) @ 6 Homewood-Flossmoor (3-0, 1-0), 7:30

SK: If you're looking for offense this is the game to watch. The Griffins are averaging 44 PPG this season but not to be outdone, the Vikings are averaging 55. Wide receiver J.J. Robertson, an Illini commit, highlights the list of explosive players for Lincoln-Way East. While, HF's Tim Williams is one of the top quarterbacks in the state, passing for over 601 yards on the season. One costly turnover could be the difference in this game.

St. Viator (0-3, 0-1) @ Joliet Catholic (3-0, 1-0), 7:30

CB: If there's any time Lions coach Chris Kirkpatrick might want to double-check to see if Brett Basanez and Jarrett Payton have any eligibility left, this is it. His team has been on the short end of thee blowouts in the East Suburban Catholic, and now face the king of the hill at Joliet Memorial. JCA avenged last fall's 5A quarterfinal loss to Peoria Richwoods with last Friday's 63-34 win, as Northwestern-bound Malin Jones rushed for 242 yards & 4 TD's. Ty Isaac "only" ran for 3, but churned out 273 yards on the ground.

8 Loyola (3-0) @ Providence (3-0), 7:30

SK: After a dominant, 48-13 victory over Lake Forest Academy, Loyola hits the road to take on Providence in their Catholic League - Blue opener. Providence has already matched their win total of last season, doing so with a balanced running game featuring Jack Klyczek, Andy Hoffmeister and Brandon Price. No one has been able to slow down Ramblers quarterback, Malcom Weaver. Weaver is a dual-threat quarterback that could make you pay with his arm and explosive scrambling ability.

Niles North (1-2) @ 1 Maine South (3-0), 7:00
CB: Who (if anyone) can knock off the three-time defending 8A champs? The well-oiled machine rolled past Deerfield last week behind 3 TD's on the ground from 5 foot 4 Paul Preston and another three through the air from junior QB Matt Alviti. It's hard to imagine anyone on the rest of their schedule putting a blemish on their record prior to the playoffs. They'll host the Vikings in this Central Suburban crossover, and their only win was by forfeit over Niles West sandwiched between losses to Oak Lawn and Waukegan.

Elmwood Park (2-1) @ Ridgewood (0-3), 7:00

SK: The Tigers offense finally started to click last Friday, with a 40-0 shutout of Carver Military Academy. Senior QB Tom Senn leads Elmwood Park into enemy territory to take on longtime rival, Ridgewood. The Rebels are winless but came up just short in 22-14 loss against King. Could this be the week that Ridgewood notches their first win?

Huntley (0-3, 0-1) @ 17 Crystal Lake South (3-0, 1-0), 7:15

CB: We'll feature the Gators this week after their dramatic, last-second, game-winning 51 field goal by a birthday boy last week at Cary-Grove. Led by an inspiring coach and a defense that's allowed just 13 points, they'll need to safeguard against a letdown versus the Red Raiders, who've had a brutal schedule this opening month (dropping a 43-2 decision last week to the newest Fox Valley "Valley" member, 12 Prairie Ridge). Despite Brad Walovitch's heroics in last Friday's win, Reese Dziedzic was the unsung hero, setting up the kick with a 16-yard run off a fake punt, and catching a pass for the Gators' lone touchdown.

Marian Catholic (2-1, 2-1) @ 10 Carmel (2-1, 2-1), 7:30

SK: The Corsairs have rebounded nicely, winning their last two games, after a heart-breaking season opening loss to Joliet Catholic. Carmel running back Jordan Kos is as dangerous as they come in the open field. Look for the Corsairs to feed Kos the rock early and often. If the Spartans have any chance of pulling off an upset, they will need running back Jeruel Taylor to have a repeat performance of his 197 yard, two touchdown game against Benet.

Record Hunting

Mount Carmel (3-0) @ St. Joseph (0-3), Saturday 1:30 p.m.

SK: Last week, Frank Lenti tied the legendary Gary Korhonen of Richards with his 306th career win. If Mount Carmel can get past St. Joseph on Saturday, Lenti will break the states all-time career wins record. The Caravan walloped De La Salle last week, 40-7. Being outscored 145-13 on the season, the Chargers have little chance of pulling off the upset. Look for Lenti to have his name atop the record books by Saturday evening.

Transfer troubles

Chicago Pubic League sports administration director Calvin Davis ruled Julian senior DaeShaun Hurley ineligible for the season on Monday. Hurley transferred to Julian from Morgan Park after head coach Lexie Spurlock was fired following the season. Hurley was highly regarded as one of the best players in the state and despite being ineligible he is still being recruited by a handful of D-1 schools.

Coaching Carousel

Rumors swirled around Fenwick High School after the dismissal of head coach Joe DiCanio on Tuesday but no one is quite sure whether he resigned or was fired. DiCanio led the Friars to a Prep Bowl title last season but his team was just (1-2) to start the season. Scott Thies, Class of 99 and Fenwick athletic director, will take over head coaching duties for the remainder of the 2011 season.

On tap

Tune in to see St. Patrick, our Muscle Milk Team of the Week as they prepare for their upcoming match-up with Nazareth Academy. Also, Chris Boden highlights Frank Lenti as he goes for career win 307. Our Flashback segment this week takes us back to Pierre Thomas glory days at T.F. South. See how Thomas went from an undrafted free agent out of the University of Illinois to a Super Bowl champion with the Saints. Well also be previewing Saturdays games.

If you have any story ideas, feel free to email us at: csnchicagowebsite@comcastsportsnet.com

Why Cubs might not lose again and other musings in strange, short season

Why Cubs might not lose again and other musings in strange, short season

As if things weren’t already going well enough for the Cubs during this strange, short season of baseball in a pandemic, now the baseball gods are dropping gifts into their laps.

The Cardinals’ lengthy shutdown because of a coronavirus outbreak has the Cubs’ arch rivals restarting their season Saturday in Chicago with a patched-up roster and eight games over the next five days, including five games against the Cubs.

And although that means the relative hardship of two doubleheaders for the Cubs in three days, all five of those games Monday through Wednesday are against a decimated Cards roster that won’t have the front end of its rotation for any of the games.

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They catch the Cardinals at their weakest point of the early season a week after catching an otherwise formidable Cleveland team at a moment of clubhouse crisis involving protocol perps Zach Plesac and Mike Clevinger.

That one resulted in a two-game sweep by a combined score of 14-3.

This one already has resulted in all 10 games against the Cardinals now being scheduled for Wrigley Field.

Combine that with the three road games against the White Sox next month, and it means that the team with baseball’s best record on the field, the perfect record in player COVID-19 testing and no significant injuries to key players so far will play 60 percent of its games within its Chicago bubble if the Cubs and MLB pull off the full 60-game season.

If the Cubs were positioned any better to make the playoffs, they’d already be there.

“You can look at it that way if you want,” Cubs manager David Ross said. “We’re just doing our thing.”

No other way to look at it from here. Have you seen the rest of the schedule?

The Cubs have 43 games left, including 29 within a National League Central Division that doesn’t include another .500 team three weeks into a nine-week season. Nine more games are against the Tigers and White Sox.

The best team on the schedule is the Twins, and all three of those games are at home and not until the second-to-last weekend of the season.

With all due respect to Ross and his fear of “bad juju,” the Cubs can’t lose.

“It’s still early on,” the manager said.

Nothing’s early in a 60-game season. And the Cubs already have matched the hot starts of their 2016 and 1908 World Series champions.

“We’ve still got a long ways to go in the season,” Ross said.

The Cubs did have to scratch Tyler Chatwood from his scheduled start Friday night because of back tightness. And Kris Bryant has missed the last two games because of a sore finger after rolling his wrist trying to make a diving catch in left field in Cleveland Wednesday.

But Alec Mills looked good in short-notice replacement duty Friday until a rough four-pitch (and three-run) sequence in the sixth. And Chatwood might be ready for one of Monday’s games — or possibly one of Wednesday’s.

“Things falling in our favor?” Ross said. “We’re playing good baseball, and that should be the focus for me and not the other stuff.”

Granted, they still have to play the games. Granted, Bryant wasn’t available off the bench with the bases loaded in the eighth Friday, and Josh Phegley struck out instead.

And, yes, they actually lost a game to the Brewers Friday night.

But if you still don’t believe the baseball gods are stirring the Cubs’ pot so far this season, you weren’t paying attention in the ninth inning when Craig Kimbrel struck out Avisail Garcia swinging at a 98-mph fastball to start the scoreless inning and Manny Piña swinging at a 96-mph fastball to end it.

What closer problem? Bring on the Cardinals, right?

These guys might not lose another game.

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Cubs' Colin Rea to start on Saturday, Tyler Chatwood possibly Monday

Cubs' Colin Rea to start on Saturday, Tyler Chatwood possibly Monday

The Cubs plan to start swingman Colin Rea on Saturday against the Brewers, manager David Ross said after Friday's game.

Alec Mills was originally slated to pitch Saturday but was bumped up to Friday because Tyler Chatwood was scratched with mid-back tightness. The Cubs will evaluate Chatwood to see if he's an option to pitch on Monday, when they're scheduled to play a doubleheader against the Cardinals.

Rea, 30, has made two appearances this season, allowing no runs and one hit while striking out three in three innings. He was named the 2019 Pacific Coast League Pitcher of the Year, sporting a 3.95 ERA in 26 starts.

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Rea's last big league start was July 30, 2016 with the Marlins. He allowed one hit in 3 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out four with no walks.

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