Preps Talk

28 Chicagoland football teams pitch in to help


28 Chicagoland football teams pitch in to help

The winter for high school football players usually consists of various workouts and camps. But for one special night, 28 different teams will compete in a very different game for a worthy cause.

Franklin Middle School in Wheaton will host its fourth annual Dodgeball Madness Tournament to raise money for the Ross K. MacNeill Foundation, which aims to end pediatric brain cancer. The tournament will take place at the school from March 9-12, with separate tournaments for students, parents and several local fire and police departments. Last year, the event raised over $23,000 through registration fees, donations, sponsorships and auctioned items.

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A special highlight of this year’s tournament will be on March 9, when more than 175 local high school football players will kick-off the tournament. Student athletes from 28 area high school football teams, including Wheaton Warrenville South, Wheaton North, Glenbard West, Naperville North, Naperville Central, Lake Park, Glenbard South, Downers Grove North, St. Francis, West Chicago, Lyons Township, Elk Grove Village, Lincoln Way Central, St. Charles North and Neuqua Valley, will compete in this fun-filled event. It will begin with a brief ceremony slated to begin at 6:30 p.m.  

ESPN’s Matt Bowen, former Chicago Bear Anthony Adams and other current and former NFL players will be in attendance. Special recognition will be paid to Andrew Garwood, a 2011 Glenbard West graduate and former Hitter football player, who passed away of brain cancer last month. Andrew was very involved at Penn State University in THON, an annual event at PSU that raises millions of dollars to fight childhood cancer. Mrs. Kim MacNeill, co-founder of the Ross K. MacNeill Foundation, will speak as well.

96 Days to Kickoff: Jacobs

96 Days to Kickoff: Jacobs 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: Jacobs

Head coach: Bill Mitz

Assistant coaches: Bubba Smith, Mike Warren, Brian Zimmerman, JM Foote, Ryan Arndt and Bob Mackey

How they fared in 2017: 6-4 (5-3 Fox Valley Conference). Jacobs made the Class 7A playoff field. The Golden Eagles lost to Lincoln-Way West in opening round action. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 Hampshire 

Aug. 31 @ Huntley 

Sept. 7 Dundee-Crown 

Sept. 14 @ McHenry 

Sept. 21 Neuqua Valley 

Sept. 28 Prairie Ridge 

Oct. 5 @ Cary-Grove 

Oct. 12 Crystal Lake South 

Oct. 19 @ Crystal Lake Central

Biggest storyline: Can the Golden Eagles move up in the Fox Valley Conference pecking order in 2018?

Names to watch this season: OT Joacheim Price and OL Nick Zonta

Biggest holes to fill: The Golden Eagles will need to replace its entire starting linebacker group from a season ago.

EDGY's Early Take: Year in and year out, Jacobs is always a factor in the rugged Fox Valley Conference (seven playoff appearances in the last eight years). The Golden Eagles return some starters in several key spots. If the underclassmen group can step up this summer, look for Jacobs to challenge for the FVC conference title and a higher seed in 7A come IHSA playoff time. 

97 Days to Kickoff: Back of the Yards

97 Days to Kickoff: Back of the Yards 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 @NBCSPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Back of the Yards

Head coach: Sheamus Murphy

Assistant Coaches: Will Johnson, Marty McNamara, Tim McNamara and Nick Teich

How they fared in 2017: 8-2 (6-0 CPL Great Lakes Conference). Back of the Yards made the Class 5A state playoff field. They lost to Solorio in opening round action. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Week 1: @ Kelly

Week 2: vs. Goode

Week 3: @ Brooks

Week 4: vs. Schurz

Week 5: vs. Kenwood

Week 6: vs. North Lawndale

Week 7: @ Steinmetz

Week 8: vs. Payton Prep

Week 9: @ Clark

Biggest storyline: The Bobcats were a true feel-good story last season. Can the Bobcats build on its momentum and success going into the 2018 campaign?

Names to watch this season: OL/Dl Kevin Pacheco, WR/DB Carl McNickles, OL Armando Resendiz

Biggest holes to fill: The Bobcats bring back several returning starters from last season; however, can they find a new signal caller to replace the graduation loss of 2017 standout QB Jeremiah Harris (McKendree College)? 

EDGY's Early Take: One of the top stories from the 2017 season was the rise of this young program. The Bobcats made the IHSA state playoff field in just their third season of varsity football. As for 2018? The expectations have risen for this South Side school. A move to the CPL Illini Prairie State conference ramps up the overall competition level. If the Bobcats can find a steady signal caller, they have solid chance at competing for a potential IHSA state playoff spot come October.