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: St. Joseph
Head coach: Adam Polak
Assistant coaches: Tewan Brown, Alex Puente, Pierre Walters and Nick Esposito
How they fared in 2017: 3-7 (1-2 Chicago Catholic League Red Conference), St. Joseph failed to qualify for the IHSA state football playoffs.
2018 Regular Season Schedule:
Aug. 24 @ Elmwood Park
Aug. 31 vs St. Laurence
Sept. 7 @ St. Ignatius
Sept. 14 @ Montini Catholic
Sept. 21 vs Leo
Sept. 29 @ DePaul Prep
Oct. 5 vs Chicago Christian
Oct. 12 vs Chicago Hope
Oct. 19 @ Marmion Academy
[MORE: 65 Days to Kickoff - Elmwood Park]
Biggest storyline: The Chargers have an experienced roster. With a new head coach at the helm, can St. Joseph make some noise in 2018?
Names to watch this season: ILB Anthony Brown and DE Antonio Hardaway
Biggest holes to fill: The Chargers will need to find some new faces in the secondary with just one starter back this fall-- senior Aamir Burgie.
EDGY's Early Take: St. Joseph and first year head coach Adam Polak will welcome back 11 returning starters (six offense, five defense) this season. The Chargers were a Cinderella story in 2016, as they made the IHSA playoffs. Can the Chargers make a run at another postseason spot --and possibly a conference title-- this fall? The biggest key will be catching a few breaks. That includes staying healthy, as they play a schedule that includes CCL crossovers against the likes of St. Laurence, Montini Catholic and Marmion Academy.
2017-18 record: 28-8, 7-2 Public League Red-North/West
Postseason results: Lost to Belleville West in Class 4A state title game.
Players to watch: The junior backcourt of Fenwick transfer D.J. Steward and Tyler Beard is potentially the best in the state as both players are consensus top-75 national prospects. Senior Myles Baker is poised for a big season after some strong play last season. Other seniors like Justin Warren and Keenan Jones are great role players who have helped win plenty of games.
Why they're in the power rankings: After falling just short of back-to-back Class 4A championships last season, Whitney Young reloads to replace departed seniors like Javon Freeman and Xavier Castaneda. It's rare a high school team loses two Division I prospects and replenishes with a backcourt that could be better, but that's the case here with Whitney Young. The Dolphins have the upside to be the state's best team this season.
Did you know? Whitney Young has been a state final qualifier seven times -- including five times under current head coach Tyrone Slaughter.
High School Lites has moved to Saturdays during the month of November as the IHSA Football State Playoffs continue. NBC Sports Chicago has highlights of some of the top matchups from the quarterfinals.
Be sure to follow us on Twitter @NBCSPREPS for all of the latest IHSA football scores and highlights.
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Brother Rice 14, Marist 3
Loyola Academy 24, Lincoln-Way East 16
Nazareth Academy 47, Batavia 28
St. Charles North 27, Mount Carmel 21, 2 OT
Cary-Grove 28, Notre Dame 21
Crete-Monee 38, Richards 35
Montini 42, Sterling 20
Joliet Catholic 42, Hillcrest 6
IC Catholic 28, Richmond-Burton 9
Bishop McNamara 52, Rochester 42
Byron 42, Herscher 0
Monticello 40, Carlinville 14
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 14, Eastland-Pearl City 7
Maroa-Forsyth 16, St. Teresa 14
Forreston 34, Lena-Winslow 28
Camp Point Central 35, Argenta-Oreana 22