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: Lincoln Park
Head coach: Vince DeFrancesco
Assistant coaches: Steve Karoff, Grant Magnuson, Tyler Clark, Brandon Randolph, Alex Green and Tom Dellota
How they fared in 2017: 8-2 (7-0 Chicago Public League Chicago Big Shoulders Conference). Lincoln Park made the Class 7A state football playoff field. The Lions lost to Alton in opening round action.
2018 Regular Season Schedule:
Aug. 24 @ IWT Speer
Sept. 1 vs. Kenwood
Sept. 7 vs. Hubbard
Sept. 14 @ Phillips
Sept. 21 vs. Lane Tech
Sept. 28 vs. Taft
Oct. 5 vs. Westinghouse
Oct. 12 vs. Raby
Oct. 19 vs. Morgan Park
Biggest storyline: The Lions' new conference. Can Lincoln Park keep its winning ways when they start playing in the CPL/Illini Land of Lincoln this fall?
Names to watch this season: RB/LB Dane Romberger and DB Jalen Jenkins
Biggest holes to fill: The Lions will need to reload on the offensive side of the football this summer with just three starters back this fall.
EDGY's Early Take: Coach Vince DeFrancesco's Lions have been on a nice roll, getting to the IHSA state playoffs in each of his past three seasons (four straight for the school overall). However, the price for the Lions' success is extremely high. The CPL Illini Land of Lincoln is loaded. The schedule includes the likes of Kenwood, Hubbard, Phillips, Raby and Morgan Park...just to name a few. If the Lions can develop their less experienced offense this summer, all the better for them.
The IHSA boys basketball season begins Thanksgiving week as the state of Illinois will once again be loaded with talented players. NBC Sports Chicago presents the Chicagoland area's top 50 players to watch this season as the group features numerous Division I talents and exciting players.
For more information on each player, click on the hyperlink on their name, as we've tweeted about all 50 players during the week on our @NBCSPreps Twitter account. Be sure to check out many of these players this season on High School Lites as we switch from football to basketball beginning with the Nov. 30th episode.
Rashaun Agee, Bogan
Myles Baker, Whitney Young
Connor Barrett, Loyola
Ciaran Brayboy, New Trier (Harvard)
Bryant Brown, Waukegan
Trey Calvin, St. Viator (Wright State)
Kejuan Clements, Simeon
Fred Cleveland Jr., Leo (North Carolina A&T)
Tyler Cochran, Bolingbrook (Northern Illinois)
Keenon Cole, Streamwood (Northern Illinois)
Perry Cowan, DePaul Prep (Brown)
RayJ Dennis, Oswego East (Boise State)
Dashon Enoch, Oak Park-River Forest
Nate Ferguson, Lemont (Drake)
DaJuan Gordon, Curie (Kansas State)
Essam Hamwi, Maine South
Semaj Henderson, Downers North
Jeremiah Hernandez, St. Viator (Kent State)
Jaheim Holden, Evanston
Markese Jacobs, Uplift (DePaul)
Lance Jones, Evanston (Southern Illinois)
Marquise Kennedy, Brother Rice (Loyola)
Mitch Mascari, Geneva
Taeyon Neal, Providence-St. Mel (UIC)
Jeremiah Oden, St. Rita
Antonio Reeves, Simeon
Deng Reng, Wheaton North
Isaac Stanback, Homewood-Flossmoor
Artese Stapleton, Kenwood
Aaron Strong, Farragut
Evan Taylor, Glenbard West (Southern Illinois)
Kendrick Tchoua, Benet
Alex Timmerman, Crystal Lake Central (Bucknell)
Zach Toussaint, Johnsburg
Marquise Walker, West Aurora
Jeremiah Washington, Bogan
Tom Welch, Naperville North (Loyola)
Chris White, Marian Catholic
T.J. Wicks, Kankakee
Tujautae Williams, Orr
Joseph Yesufu, Bolingbrook (Drake)
Tyler Beard, Whitney Young
Seryee Lewis, Kenwood
Adam Miller, Morgan Park
D.J. Steward, Whitney Young
Ahron Ulis, Marian Catholic
Keshawn Williams, Bloom
Will Wolfe, Aurora Christian
Ahamed Bynum, Simeon
Max Christie, Rolling Meadows
2017-18 record: 29-4, 9-0 in Public League Red-South/Central
Postseason results: Lost to Whitney Young in Class 4A super-sectional.
Players to watch: Senior guard Kejuan Clements has been a consistent presence for the Wolverines the past few seasons. Transfer guard Antonio Reeves is a senior Division I prospect who started his career at Kenwood before moving to Arizona for his junior season. And Simeon's young trio of sophomore guard Ahamad Bynum and freshmen A.J. Casey and Jaylen Drane will all be players to track during the season.
Why they're in the power rankings: Simeon might have some growing pains to start the season with such a young team. But the Wolverines possess the talent to compete with anyone in the state. The key will be integrating Reeves seemlessly into the lineup while also developing the young trio that has so much promise and potential.
Did you know? The freshman duo of A.J. Casey and Jayeln Drane competed in the USA Basketball junior national minicamp during October as they were among the best high school players in the country.