Preps Talk

40 Days to Kickoff: Highland Park

40 Days to Kickoff: Highland Park 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 Jul. 31, we’ll unveil the @CSNPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.

School: Highland Park

Head coach: Joe Horeni

Assistant Coaches: Jason Newberger, Tony Monken, Randy Hoffman, Jimmy Knotek, Anthony Kopp, Ryan Kaltenmark , Don McCord, Bob McCraren, Owen Kugler, Davy Lindquist

How they fared in 2016: 7-3 (4-1 Central Suburban North Conference), made the 2016 Class 7A state playoff field and lost to Plainfield North in opening round action.

2017 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 25 – vs Libertyville

Sept. 1 – @ Lakes

Sept. 8 – vs Hersey

Sept. 15- @ Prospect

Sept. 22 - @ Vernon Hills

Sept. 29 – vs Glenbrook North

Oct. 6 - vs Deerfield

Oct. 14 - vs Maine West

Oct. 20- @ Maine East

Biggest storyline: Can the Giants go back-to-back state playoff appearances and also advance deeper in 7A?

Names to watch this season:  Junior OL/RB/LB Tom Motzko and Senior QB John Sakos

Biggest holes to fill: While the Giants have a good number of returning starters back (6 offense 7 defense), can they develop much needed depth from the remaining roster?

EDGY's Early Take: Highland Park had a solid season in 2016 including an impressive Week 9 win over Class 5A state finalist Vernon Hills before running into a buzzsaw at Plainfield North (Class 7A state finalist) in the IHSA Class 7A state playoffs. I look for the Giants to again challenge for the CSL North conference crown and to make more noise in Class 7A this coming season.

NBC Sports Chicago Preps Basketball Power Rankings: Week 9

NBC Sports Chicago Preps Basketball Power Rankings: Week 9

The Power Rankings have more interesting changes in store this week. The top 10 is looking more-and-more like a defined group of teams that might be hard to displace without a significant loss. 

Meanwhile, in the middle of the rankings, more chaos went down as many ranked teams lost during a busy three-day weekend. It means an influx of some new teams, and some old faces, as the rankings saw plenty of changes in the back this week.

1. Curie (21-1) (1) -- Three double-digit wins for the Condors as they continue to blowout the competition.

2. Bloom (18-1) (2) -- Light week for the Blazing Trojans as they prepare for a busy week that includes games against St. Viator, Thornwood and Kankakee.

3. Bogan (19-2) (3) -- The Bengals have ripped off five straight wins since the loss to Curie as they're looking strong once again.

4. Morgan Park (19-3) (4) -- Another great week for the Mustangs with wins in Baltimore and a win over Bolingbrook on Monday. 

5. Whitney Young (17-6) (5) -- Credit the Dolphins for a monster week that included close conference wins over Uplift and North Lawndale as well as a win at Hoophall in Massachusetts.

6. Bolingbrook (14-4) (7) -- Proving themselves as a major contender, the Raiders knocked off Evanston and Homewood-Flossmoor before losing a close one to Morgan Park.

7. Evanston (18-4) (6) -- The Wildkits avenged an earlier loss to Glenbrook South while losing a close nonconference game to Bolingbrook. 

8. Marian Catholic (19-3) (8) -- Losing to a strong out-of-state team in Culver (IN), Marian Catholic also knocked off Naperville North and a team from Ohio.

9. Homewood-Flossmoor (13-5) (9) -- Dropping a game to Bolingbrook, the Vikings are still a major contender who has played a tough schedule. 

10. New Trier (18-3) (15) -- Three wins for the Trevians during the week, including a statement win over DePaul Prep.

11. St. Laurence (19-3) (21) -- Vaulting back up the Power Rankings thanks to recent Catholic League wins over Leo and DePaul, St. Laurence is red hot. 

12. DePaul Prep (13-6, 7-1) (10) -- Dropping a few close games to ranked teams in St. Laurence and New Trier, the Rams will try to bounce back.

13. Geneva (19-1) (16) -- Geneva picked up wins over Naperville North, St. Charles North and East Aurora during an impressive week.

14. St. Rita (15-6) (17) -- Continuing to win and stay atop their division in the Catholic League, St. Rita knocked off Montini. 

15. Lincoln Park (15-6) (18) -- The Lions quietly had two great wins this week after holding off Farragut and then blowing out Bloomington.

16. York (19-3) (20) -- Impressive showing from the Dukes at Wheaton South, as they earned a win over the hosts before a close loss to Rockford East in the title game.

17. Leo (15-5) (22) -- Leo seemed to figure things out after some recent losses with two blowout wins over St. Francis de Sales and Crete-Monee.

18. Orr (15-8) (23) -- The Spartans earned a good conference road win at Lane before falling to a tough out-of-state opponent in Blackhawk Christian (IN). 

19. Providence-St. Mel (16-5) (11) -- Providence-St. Mel remains in the thick of the Catholic League race following a close loss to Mount Carmel. 

20. Benet (16-5) (12) -- Tough stretch for the Red Wings at the Wheaton South event with losses to the hosts and Rockford East on Monday.

21. Stevenson (15-3) (23) -- The winning streak has reached six games for the Patriots following wins over Warren and St. Charles North. 

22. Waukegan (17-4) (NR) -- Quality week from the Bulldogs to get back in the Power Rankings with victories over Zion-Benton and Notre Dame.

23. West Aurora (18-3) (NR) -- Riding an eight-game winning streak, the Blackhawks have gone unbeaten in the Upstate Eight to this point. 

24. St. Viator (16-4) (NR) -- After dropping out of the rankings with some losses following Treyvon Calvin's injury, the Lions are back in as they've looked like a threat once again.

25. Oak Park-River Forest (12-7) (19) -- A triple-overtime win over Downers North was impressive but the Huskies fell the next day to Hillcrest. 

VOTE: Viewers' Choice Game Of The Week

NBC Sports Chicago

VOTE: Viewers' Choice Game Of The Week

Who wants it more? 

We are putting High School Lites, Chicagoland's top prep sports show, in the hands of area basketball fans in our "Viewers' Choice Game of the Week." Fans will get the chance to pick one game that the @NBCSPreps crew will cover on Friday. We will send our cameras to the game that gets the most votes; highlights and postgame reaction of that game will appear on that night's "High School Lites" broadcast at 11 p.m on NBC Sports Chicago. The show also live streams at High School Lites will also have broadcast replays at 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. the following Saturday on NBC Sports Chicago. We’re going all out for the Northern Lake County Conference this week. 

Which one of the four games below are the most worthy of our coverage?

Grayslake Central at Grant, 7:00 p.m.

Lakes at Grayslake North, 7:00 p.m.

Round Lake at North Chicago, 7:00 p.m.

Wauconda at Antioch, 7:00 p.m.

To participate in the poll, our fans are encouraged to do the following:

— Follow @NBCSPreps on Twitter.
— Note the "pinned Tweet" atop the @NBCSPreps feed. Vote for the game you want us to cover.
— Spread the word!
We will make an announcement on @NBCSPreps just after 4 p.m. Thursday with the official results of which game will be covered. And as a reminder, be sure to follow @NBCSPreps for updates on the "Viewers' Choice Game of the week," along with other high school sports news, scores and highlights this season.