Preps Talk

High School Lites: Week 3 preview

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High School Lites: Week 3 preview

Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011Posted: 9:05 p.m.

By Joe Collins
CSNChicago.com

Week three of High School Lites is upon us! Comcast SportsNet is your home for prep football coverage in Chicagoland. We will bring you highlights of as many as 15 games across the area, including a duel in the northwest suburbs as Cary-Grove takes on Crystal Lake South. Also, Lyons Township has played one of the toughest schedules in the state, winning vs. Stevenson and falling against Downers Grove South. Will they have enough in the tank with No. 2 Glenbard West coming into town? Well also have highlights of top-ranked Maine South battling Deerfield. Here is a sneak-peak of each game we will cover during Friday nights show:

Thursday games

Steinmetz 20, Clemente 16

The Silver Streaks pick up their second win of the year as they held on to defeat Clemente in the opening game of the Big Shoulders conference. Steinmetz has already topped their win total from last season. They look to improve to 3-1 next Friday against Taft. Clemente (0-3) will look for their first win as they take on Mather.

Manley 14, South Shore 6

The Wildcats improve to 2-1 on the season and get their first conference win in Chicagos Windy City conference. Terrance Bass found the end zone twice. Manley will take on Hyde Park next Thursday at Gately Stadium while South Shore (0-3) battles Gage Park.
Friday games

Foreman (1-1) vs. Taft (1-1), 3:30 p.m. at Lane Tech

The conference opener in the Big Shoulders conference features two teams that could be neck-and-neck in the conference race. Foreman has proven they can score. They put 67 points on Farragut in the opener. One of their strengths is their offensive line, which is built around 6-5, 250 tackle Johnny Daniels. Taft, 42-0 winners last week over Gage Park, is led by Paul Masnica on defense. Hell try to key in on one of the better quarterbacks in the conference, Foremans Sergio Serrano.

De La Salle (2-0) at No. 3 Mount Carmel (2-0), 7:00 p.m. at Gately Stadium

Caravan head coach Frank Lenti is inching closer to becoming the all-time winningest high school football coach in Illinois. He currently has 305 wins, one shy of legendary Richards head coach Gary Korhonens total. If his running back Brandon Greer is on, No. 306 could be lurking. Greer scored on runs of 24 and 54 yards in last weeks 31-0 win over Morgan Park. Standing in their way is a Meteors team that has a fine running back of their own in Mikale Wilbon. He tallied 30 carries for 247 yards and 3 TDs to carry De La Salle over Gordon Tech.

T.F. South (1-1) @ Oak Forest (2-0), 7:00 p.m.

Speaking of long-time respected high school football coaches, T.F. South has one of their own in Tom Padjen. The 35-year Rebels head coach has 202 career victories, including last weeks 37-6 win over Collins Academy. Padjen has a fine running back in Giovanni Canty, who scored a trio of touchdowns on Friday. Oak Forest features deep threat Tevin Coleman, who has received offers to multiple Big Ten schools. The Bengals will be looking for revenge after T.F. Souths 53-21 mauling in Lansing last year.

Richards (1-1) @ Lemont (2-0), 7:00 p.m.

The 2-0 Indians are one of only eight teams in the state of Illinois that has not given up a point yet on the season. They have yet to be tested, in blowout wins over Little Village (54-0) and Riverside-Brookfield (49-0). Running back Eric Kirkman has three touchdowns so far on the season. Richards should give them more of a battle. The Bulldogs were on the short end of a 28-16 decision to Morris last week, but they feature wide receiver Davonta Corner who could, at the very least, threaten Lemonts shutout streak.

Glenbrook South (1-1) @ Glenbrook North (1-1), 7:00 p.m.

Central Suburban crossover pits North versus South (both by school and conference names) and it will also feature a pair of solid offensive lines. 6-foot-4, 248-pound Matt Demos is the anchor up front for the visiting Titans while 6-foot-4, 275-pound lineman Mike Ermel does the same for the Spartans. South QB Mac Zibriskie has passed for five TDs on the year, while the aptly-named Grant Rushing threatens in the backfield for North. The last time these two teams hooked up was in 2008, with Glenbrook South taking a 35-7 decision.

Crystal Lake South (2-0) @ No. 15 Cary-Grove (2-0), 7:15 p.m.

Fox Valleys Valley conference could have two, perhaps three teams go fairly deep into the playoffs come October. Two of them butt heads in Cary Friday night. The 15th-ranked Trojans turned some heads last week, going to Lake Zurich and walking away with a 10-7 victory. They are loaded on defense under their new coach, Brad Seaburg. Crystal Lake South, who has only given up one touchdown on the year, is getting results from the likes of linebacker Joe Coriaci. He had two sacks against Crystal Lake Central in week two.

No. 12 Prairie Ridge (2-0) @ Huntley (0-2), 7:15 p.m.

Prairie Ridge is the third of the three-headed monster in the Fox Valley. Theyve earned their No. 12 ranking by sprinting past Glenbard South and Mundelein by a combined score of 97-12. Their offense, led by quarterback Nick Nissen, fullback Connor Greenwald, running back Jordan Getzelman and wide receiver Sean Valentine, is one of the best in the area. Huntley is still looking for their first win on the season after falling to Crystal Lake Central and Kaneland.

No. 2 Glenbard West (2-0) @ Lyons (1-1), 7:30 p.m.

Has anybody in Illinois played a tougher schedule than Lyons? They split their first two games, defeating Stevenson (24-19) while falling to Downers Grove South (28-0). Both of LTs opponents were ranked at the time, and they now have the No. 2 Hilltoppers staring them in the face. Glenbard West shut down Wheaton Warrenville South in the opener and then took it to Willowbrook last week, 49-0. Future Penn State tackle Tommy Schutt leads the GBW attack. RB Jaime Jones leads the Lions. LT upset Glenbard West 31-13 last season in Glen Ellyn.

No. 1 Maine South (2-0) @ Deerfield (0-2), 7:30 p.m.

The Warriors have produced winning seasons every year since 2005. But with an 0-2 start and top-ranked Maine South knocking on the door, that streak could be in jeopardy. The Hawks come to Deerfield riding high from a 13-9 victory over Wheaton Warrenville South. They contained Northwestern-bound RB Dan Vitale and had just enough from QB Matt Alviti to get the win. Deerfield counters with running back Jeremy Kritt leading the attack.

Fenwick (1-1) @ No. 11 St. Rita (1-1), 7:30 p.m

Week three is usually when high school teams start focusing on conference opponents. For the 11th-ranked Mustangs, theyre just happy to play a team from their own state. St. Rita beat Portage (IN) in week one and lost to Whitehaven (TN) last week. Linebacker Will McNamara and DB Charles Elmore look to set the tone. They might have their hands full with Friars quarterback Pat Hart, who is listed at 6-foot-2, 220 pounds.

No. 6 Homewood-Flossmoor (2-0) @ Lincoln-Way Central (1-1), 7:30 p.m.

The 6th-ranked Vikings havent been tested at all in wins over Senn (76-6) and Deerfield (47-0). Maybe a road conference game can keep them honest? H-F has a potent offense, run by QB Tim Williams, RB Sheldon Jones and WR Gerald Butler. Their defense has been solid too. They held Deerfield to less than 100 yards of total offense. The Knights have a marquee running back in Brett Ditchman. He carried the ball 41 times for 271 and three touchdowns last week against Thornridge.

Lockport (2-0) @ No. 4 Lincoln-Way East (2-0), 7:30 p.m

Like the Fox Valley, the Southwest Suburban Blue might be closing ground on the DuPage Valley and Catholic Blue for the "toughest Chicagoland conference" title for high school football. The SWSB boasts five 2-0 teams, three of them ranked. The No. 4 Griffins feature QB Blake Winkler, who has already torched Edwardsvilles and Dunbars defenses to the tune of 414 yards and seven touchdowns. Lockports defense, guided by LB Brad Johnson, will hope to slow the LWE attack. Could the x-factor be Lockport QB Billy Reed, who hopes to come back from a knee injury?

Marmion (1-1) @ No. 19 Montini (1-1), 7:30 p.m.

Not only is it a nice rivalry game, but its also quite a matchup of two teams with plenty of playoff experience. The 19th-ranked Broncos are two-time defending 5A state champions. The Cadets were the state runner-ups in 6A last season. Montini is paced by their real-deal wide receiver, Nebraska recruit Jordan Westerkamp. Marmion bounced back nicely after an opening week loss to Batavia with a 6-0 win over Fenwick. They held the Friars to 59 total yards. NOTE: Game highlights shown exclusively on CSNChicago.com.

Also, tune in to check out our debut of our Muscle Milk Team of the Week! We head to the south suburbs and check in with Calvin Lindsey and T.F. North. The Meteors' quarterback accounted for eight touchdowns last week against North Lawndale. Well also catch up with Faith Ekakitie, Lake Forest Academys imposing defensive lineman. Our Flashback segment has a South Bend twist, and well also preview Saturdays games. And we invite you to share your story ideas as well. Check us out at csnchicagowebsite@comcastsportsnet.com

40 Days to Kickoff: Chicago Ag Science

40 Days to Kickoff: Chicago Ag Science

NBCSportsChicago.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 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Chicago Ag Science

Head coach: Shawn Finnin

Assistant coaches: Craig Dovich Vince Patterson KJ Jones Richard Price

How they fared in 2017: 6-4 (5-1 CPL Chicago Great Lakes Conference). Chicago Ag made the Class 4A state playoff field and lost to Rochelle in opening round action.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Lindblom

Aug. 31 vs Hubbard

Sept 7 vs King

Sept. 14 @ Harlan

Sept. 21 @ Julian

Sept. 28 vs Marshall

Oct. 4 vs Goode

Oct. 13 @ Urban Prep Englewood

Oct. 19 vs Orr

[MORE: 41 Days to Kickoff - Bogan]

Biggest storyline: Can the Cyclones keep winning in a new conference (CPL Illini Windy City) starting this year?

Names to watch this season: TE Tony Stafford and OL Kam Williams

Biggest holes to fill: The Cyclones will need to replace 8 starters on defense lost to graduation.

EDGY's Early Take: The Cyclones had a historic season in 2017 making the IHSA state playoff field for the first time in school history. With the recent success comes a "move up" to the Illini division this fall. Look for Ag Science to rely on an experienced offense (seven starters) including four returning starters on the Cyclones offensive line from a year ago.

Three questions for Bears OL: What kind of an impact will Harry Hiestand make?

Three questions for Bears OL: What kind of an impact will Harry Hiestand make?

Pre-camp depth chart
LT
1. Charles Leno
2. Bradley Sowell
3. Matt McCants

LG
1. Eric Kush
2. James Daniels
3. Jordan Morgan
4. Will Pericak

C
1. Cody Whitehair
2. James Daniels
3. Hroniss Grasu

RG
1. Kyle Long
2. Earl Watford
3. Brandon Greene
4. Jeremi Hall

RT
1. Bobby Massie
2. Bradley Sowell
3. Dejon Allen

1. Can Kyle Long get and stay healthy?

The expectation is that Long will be cleared to practice for the beginning of training camp, paving the way for him to be part of the Bears’ Week 1 starting lineup (Matt Nagy said in June that Long will be “good to go” for camp, for what it’s worth). Long has played less than 50 percent of the Bears’ offensive snaps in the last two years due to a string of injuries, and the 29-year-old underwent procedures on his shoulder, elbow and neck after his season ended. 

Long’s toughness isn’t in question — that he still started nine games last year despite never being 100 percent is a testament to that — but the Bears need him to play more for their offensive line to be at its best. Long’s health, and if he gets any planned rest days, will be a daily storyline in Bourbonnais. 

The good news, though, is Long already impressed his new offensive line coach during OTAs and minicamp despite not being able to do much on the field. 

“He really wants to be good,” Harry Hiestand said. “He’s fun to be around, he comes in the meeting room every day with a smile on his face, looking forward to working. He’s very interested in helping the other guys. I didn’t know that about him. But after I’ll say something, the meeting will break and they’ll be walking out to get a break and he’ll be like, you know what coach was talking about there to the young guys. So that part’s been really good about him.” 

2. Where will James Daniels wind up?

The snap assumption — pun intended — when the Bears drafted Daniels in the second round was that he’d play center and Cody Whitehair would shift over to left guard, where he played in college. But the Bears quickly quashed that theory, with Ryan Pace telling the media shortly after drafting Daniels that the Iowa product would begin his pro career practicing as a guard and cross-training at center. 

Daniels, indeed, worked at both positions during OTAs and minicamp, and trying to read any tea leaves from non-padded practices for offensive linemen can be a bit of a stretch. So we’ll get a good idea of where the Bears envision Daniels’ long-term position during training camp practices and then, more importantly, in preseason games. 

Wherever the 20-year-old Daniels winds up, though, the Bears are confident they added a solid piece to protect Mitch Trubisky and pave the way for Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen. 

“The benefit of having a guy like James Daniels, he’s versatile, he can play different positions,” Nagy said in May. “So (we’re) able to let him come in here and play guard and see what he can do, learn from the other guys, let Harry teach these guys the technique.”

3. Can Charles Leno keep growing under Harry Hiestand?

Pro Football Focus ranked Leno as the 15th best tackle in the NFL in 2017, while Bleacher Report’s NFL1000 rankings slotted him 20th among left tackles. Somewhere in that range probably seems right — Leno is a solid player but not among the best tackles in the league.

And here’s the thing: That’s fine. Leno’s four-year contract carries an average annual salary of $9.25 million, which ranks 16th among tackles. Ryan Pace believed in Leno’s upside when he signed him to that deal last August, and if Hiestand — who never coached a game without a future first-round pick at left tackle in six years at Notre Dame — can help Leno realize that potential, the Bears will have an absolute bargain at left tackle for years to come. 

“He’s going to push us,” Leno said. “He’s going to make sure we’re working every single day. Everybody’s coming to work every single day grinding, trying to get better at something, whether it’s putting your hands inside, or hands up, whatever it may be, you’re getting better at something. He’s pushing us to do that. so that just makes us better.”

Even if Leno doesn’t hit that upside and maintains being “solid” or “fine” or whatever you want to call it, that won’t necessarily be a deterrent to the Bears’ success. Ten of the top 20 tackles in Pro Football Focus’ rankings played for a team that didn’t make the playoffs in 2017 — and while, of course, having an elite left tackle is preferable, the Bears can still be competitive with Leno manning that position in 2018.