Preps Talk

1 Day to Kickoff: Loyola Academy

1 Day to Kickoff: Loyola Academy

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 Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30.

School: Loyola Academy

Head coach: John Holecek

Assistant coaches: Pete Devine, Beau Desherow, Tim Feldheim, Mike Dooley, Pete Distaulo, Tyler Vradenburg, Mike Kotowski, Ryan Gallagher and Pat Naughton

How they fared in 2018: 11-3 (2-2 Chicago Catholic Blue Conference). Loyola Academy made the Class 8A state playoff field and defeated Minooka, Oswego, Maine South and Lincoln-Way East They advanced to the state title game and defeated Brother Rice 13-3 at Champaign's Memorial Stadium.

2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 31 vs St. Ignatius (Ohio) in Michigan City IN
Sept. 7 vs New Trier
Sept. 14 vs St. Rita
Sept. 20 @ Mount Carmel
Sept. 27 @ St. Ignatius
Oct. 5 vs Brother Rice
Oct. 12 vs Benet Academy
Oct. 18 @ Marian Central Catholic
Oct. 26 vs Marist

[MORE: 9 Days to Kickoff - Brother Rice

Biggest storyline: Loyola Academy has made six trips to the state title game since 2011, with titles in 2015 and 2018. The key to another title will be if they can reload, especially on defense.

Names to watch this season: RB Trevor Cabanban (Sr.) and OL Christo Kelly (Sr., Holy Cross)

Biggest holes to fill: The Ramblers welcome back just one returning starter on defense-- senior DE Luke Desherow. 

EDGY's Early Take: Head coach John Holecek might be coming off his best coaching year ever. The Ramblers hit a rough midseason patch, losing three of four games and needing to win out in the last two regular season games just to make the IHSA playoff field. From there, they rattled off seven straight wins and captured the school's second 8A state title in four years and their third overall IHSA football state title in school history (the other was in 1993). The 2019 Ramblers offense will be critical in setting the tone, especially in the early going. They bring back six returning starters. Senior RB Trevor Cabanban and senior RB Tyler Flores are proven, experienced options in the run game who will run behind three returning starters on the offensive line: senior Christo Kelly, junior Josh Kreutz and senior Peter Gianaris. Loyola will also feature several newcomers, including junior QB Perrion McClinton. Junior kicker Nate Van Zelst is already drawing recruiting attention. As mentioned, the defense will be young but the talent level in the underclassmen group is very high. Several of them will be asked to step big time up this season. Loyola Academy has remained one of the most consistent large enrollment programs to find ways to win. They've posted double-digit win totals every season since 2008. They have the pieces in place for another deep run to DeKalb this fall. 

High School Lites Roundup Playoffs Week 3

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

High School Lites Roundup Playoffs Week 3

High School Lites is back with an exciting Week 3 of the playoffs full of thrilling matchups. NBC Sports Chicago has the highlights of some of the top matchups from the games.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @NBCSPREPS for all of the latest IHSA football scores and highlights.

Drive: Phillips Episode 12

Windy City Legends: PJ Fleck

Saint Xavier Team of the Week: Benet’s boys soccer team and girls cross country

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Minooka’s Gabriella Charlebois

Class 8A

(23) Marist 41, (18) Loyola Academy 27

(24) Brother Rice 38, (1) Minooka 21

Class 7A

(1) Mount Carmel 24, (8) Phillips 8

(2) Nazareth 38, (7) Batavia 24  
  
(5) Willowbrook 28, (20) Lake Zurich 10

Class 6A

(1) Prairie Ridge 14, (6) Cary-Grove 13

Class 5A

(8) St. Rita 35, (4) Hillcrest 8

Boylan Catholic 19, Sycamore 16

Class 4A

2) Richmond-Burton 24, (3) IC Catholic 14

Class 3A

(2) Byron 32, (3) Wilmington 0

Preps Basketball Power Rankings No. 10: Bolingbrook

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USA TODAY

Preps Basketball Power Rankings No. 10: Bolingbrook

School: Bolingbrook

2018-19 record: 23-8 (8-2 Southwest Suburban Blue)

Postseason results: Lost to Belleville West in Class 4A Supersectionals.

Players to watch: Darius Burford took advantage of a new role this summer and was one of the area's toughest perimeter players. The 6-foot-0 lead guard committed to Elon during the fall. Junior guard Kai Evans is another Division I prospect who should see an uptick in production this season. And freshman forward Donoven Younger has a chance to make a varsity impact right away. The 6-foot-7 Younger is already getting love from college coaches and area scouts as he's looked good in recent events. 

Why they're in the power rankings: Most programs would be devastated following the loss of two decorated guards like Tyler Cochran and Joseph Yesufu. The Raiders have reloaded with multiple Division I prospects and strong younger classes that look promising for the future. Burford is a takeover player and he has plenty of talent around him. Bolingbrook should once again be one of the area's best.

Did you know? One of the state's most successful programs in the past decade, the Raiders captured their third sectional title in five years last season. Before the recent stretch, Bolingbrook only had one sectional title (1985) in school history.