Preps Talk

2017 AP preps football rankings: Week 7

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2017 AP preps football rankings: Week 7

Here are the latest rankings of Illinois high school football teams in each class, according to an Associated Press panel of sportswriters:

Class 8A

Others receiving votes: Naperville North 10, Hinsdale Central 7, Gurnee Warren 4, Stevenson 2, Oswego 2, St. Charles East 2, South Elgin 2, Oswego East 1

Class 7A

Others receiving votes: Hoffman Estates 18, Willowbrook 5, Jacobs 4, Benet 4, Rockford Auburn 3, Lincoln Park 2, Hersey 1

Class 6A

Others receiving votes: Lemont 17, Danville 8, St. Laurence 5, Oak Lawn Richards 4, Riverside-Brookfield 4, Peoria Central 2

Class 5A

Others receiving votes: Triad 9, Rich Central 5, Payton 4, Chicago (Solorio Academy) 2, Rochelle 1, Lindblom 1

Class 4A

Others receiving votes: Raby 15, Taylorville 10, Chicago Sullivan 1

Class 3A

Others receiving votes: Anna-Jonesboro 10, Fairfield 9, Wilmington 4, Sesser (S.-Valier) 3, Vandalia 2, Watseka Coop 1

Class 2A

Others receiving votes: Chicago (Hope) Academy 8, Trenton Wesclin 5, Aurora Christian 2, Alton Marquette 1, Clifton Central 1

Class 1A

Others receiving votes: Fulton 21, Aquin 11, Princeville 5, Camp Point Central 3, Dakota 2, Argenta-Oreana 1

32 Days to Kickoff: Woodstock North

32 Days to Kickoff: Woodstock North

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: Woodstock North

Head coach: Jeff Schroeder

Assistant coaches: Matt Polnow, John Fredericks, Chris Jackowiak, Dave Rose and Kirk Cagle

How they fared in 2017: 5-5 (1-5 Kishwaukee River Conference). Woodstock North made the Class 5A state playoff field and lost to Lemont in opening round action.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Westosha Central Wisc.
Aug. 31 vs Antioch
Sept. 7 @ Richmond-Burton
Sept. 14 @ Johnsburg
Sept. 21 vs Burlington Central
Sept. 28 @ Marengo
Oct. 5 @ Lincoln
Oct. 12 vs Woodstock
Oct. 19 vs Harvard

[MORE: 88 Days to Kickoff - Antioch]

Biggest storyline: Can the Thunder reload and make another state playoff run in 2018?

Names to watch this season: DE Derek Freeman and OL/LB Matt Stevens

Biggest holes to fill: The Thunder will need to fill some holes this summer including replacing graduated standout QB Collin Mergi.

EDGY's Early Take: Woodstock North started the 2017 season with an early 0-2 hole and found their way to the state playoffs behind a good read-option run game and a strong defense. Look for the Thunder to continue to move forward this season with eight returning starters (four offense, four defense) in the fold. Interesting schedule for the Thunder, in that they have to travel north to Westosha Central HS (Salem, WI) for the opener. And in Week 7, they'll travel nearly 200 miles south to take on Lincoln. 

33 Days to Kickoff: Benet

33 Days to Kickoff: Benet

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: Benet Academy

Head coach: Pat New

How they fared in 2017: 9-4 (5-2 East Suburban Catholic Conference). Benet Academy made the Class 7A state playoff field. They defeated Maine West, Hononegah and Lincoln-Way Central before losing to Batavia in the state semifinal round. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ St. Laurence

Aug. 31 @ Moline

Sept. 7 @ St. Patrick

Sept. 14 vs Niles Notre Dame

Sept. 21 vs Nazareth Academy

Sept. 28 @ Joliet Catholic

Oct. 5 vs St. Viator

Oct. 13 @ Marian Catholic

Oct. 19 vs Marist

[MORE: 78 Days to Kickoff - St. Patrick]

Biggest storyline: After back-to-back state semifinal playoff runs, can the Redwings pick things up right where they left off and another make deep playoff run?

Names to watch this season: QB Colin Gillespie and RB/S Ben Hickey

Biggest holes to fill: While the Redwings will welcome back some key starters from a season ago, they will need to reload a bit up front on both the offensive and defensive line. 

EDGY's Early Take: Coach Pat New's Redwings had an early 14-0 lead over eventual 7A state champion Batavia before falling to the Bulldogs. Benet, who has 50 program wins since 2012 (all playoff seasons), is never short on talent. Look for their offensive skills department to carry the load early this season. The Redwings should challenge in the East Suburban Catholic Conference race and into playoff time come October.