Preps Talk

66 Days to Kickoff: St. Laurence

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66 Days to Kickoff: St. Laurence

CSNChicago.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 Jul. 31, we’ll unveil the @CSNPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.

School: St. Laurence

Head coach: Harold Blackmon

How they fared in 2016: 9-4 (2-1 Chicago Catholic White conference), lost to Sacred Heart-Griffin in the 6A state semifinal. 

2017 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 25 – Benet Academy

Sept. 1 – @ Immaculate Conception

Sept. 8 – @ Bishop McNamara

Sept. 15 - St. Rita

Sept. 22 - Hope Academy

Sept. 29 – @ Leo

Oct. 6 - Marmion Academy

Oct. 13 - Aurora Christian

Oct. 20 - @ St. Ignatius

Biggest storyline: Can the Vikings reload especially on offense for the 2017 season?

Names to watch this season: Senior DB Dante Bronson Senior DE Eddie Pierson 

Biggest holes to fill: The Vikings had one of the state's most explosive offenses in 2016 and will need to replace nine graduated starters this fall. 

EDGY's Early Take: While the Vikings and head coach Harold Blackmon will have work to do on offense, their defense looks to be a strength early on this season. Seven starters are back in the fold. This program has been on a roll the past few seasons. Expect the Vikings to reload and make a run towards another state playoff bid in 2017.

Preps Basketball Power Rankings: No. 9 Notre Dame

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NBC Sports Chicago

Preps Basketball Power Rankings: No. 9 Notre Dame

School: Notre Dame

2018-19 record: 19-12 (6-3 East Suburban Catholic Conference)

Postseason results: Lost to Evanston in Class 4A regional finals.

Players to watch: The junior class is stellar for the Dons. Guard Anthony Sayles is a Division I prospect who also excels on the football field. Forward Troy D'Amico is a mid-major prospect who can score at a high level. And Evanston transfer Louis Lemond could be one of the area's breakout players this season with a bigger role and multiple high-major scholarship offers. 

Why they're in the power rankings: Notre Dame looked like they immediately clicked this summer once Lesmond entered the lineup. The Dons already had talent and size last season thanks to D'Amico and senior forward Jason Bergstrom. Now with an added year of experience, and the addition of Lesmond, the Dons have massive expectations. Although most of Notre Dame's core is juniors, they're talented enough to compete for a state title this season.

Did you know? Notre Dame's program has done a great job of capturing regional titles (17). The program has struggled to make longer runs in the IHSA playoffs, however, as the Dons only have two sectional titles in school history.  
 

Edgy Tim's Top 25 Preps Power Rankings: Quarterfinal Round

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NBC Sports Chicago

Edgy Tim's Top 25 Preps Power Rankings: Quarterfinal Round

Here are the latest @NBCSPreps Top 25 Power Rankings as teams embark on the semifinal round of the IHSA playoffs.

1. Lincoln-Way East 12-0 (1)
Last Week: Beat Homewood-Flossmoor, 26-7
This Week: @ Marist
EDGY's Take: The Griffins go two-for-two against H-F and make the 8A semifinal round for the third straight season.

2. Mount Carmel 12-0 (2)
Last Week: Beat Phillips, 24-8
This Week: @ Willowbrook
EDGY's Take: Justin Lynch had 169 total yards and two touchdowns in the win. The Caravan will hit the road and take on Willowbrook this Saturday.

3. Nazareth Academy 12-0 (3)
Last Week: Beat Batavia, 38-24
This Week: @ Rolling Meadows
EDGY's Take: Michigan-bound quarterback J.J. McCarthy threw for three touchdowns and the Roadrunners never looked back. They'll have an undefeated Rolling Meadows team to contend with next week.

4. Warren Township 12-0 (4)
Last Week: Beat Bolingbrook, 18-6
This Week: vs Brother Rice
EDGY's Take: The Blue Devils have given up only 40 points on the season. And now, a rematch against Brother Rice-- the team that ended Warren's season in 2018.

5. Brother Rice 8-4 (19)
Last Week: Beat Minooka, 38-21
This Week: @ Warren Township
EDGY's Take: The Crusaders look like a new team in the postseason; sophomore QB Jack Lausch is a big part of the transformation. 

6. Marist 8-4 (18)
Last Week: Beat Loyola, 41-27
This Week: vs Lincoln-Way East
EDGY's Take: The Redhawks beat Loyola twice. In Wilmette. In one season. In less than a month. Wow.

7. Willowbrook 11-1 (14)
Last Week: Beat Lake Zurich, 28-10
This Week: vs Mount Carmel
EDGY's Take: The Warriors get another All State-caliber performance on Saturday from QB Sam Tumilty; Warriors advance to the IHSA semis for the first time since 1975.

8. Rolling Meadows 12-0 (15)
Last Week: Beat Wheaton South, 20-3
This Week: vs Nazareth Academy
EDGY's Take: The Mustangs continue to get a strong postseason from their defense while QB Cason Schiller has also been a major key on offense.

9. Prairie Ridge 11-1 (14)
Last Week: Beat Cary-Grove, 14-13
This Week: @ Deerfield
EDGY's Take: The Wolves beat C-G handily in the regular season but had to hang on for dear life in this one.

10. Homewood-Flossmoor 10-2 (5)
Last Week: Lost to Lincoln Way East, 26-7
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Vikings and head coach Craig Buzea will have a nice core of underclassmen coming back in 2020. 

11. Loyola 8-4 (6)
Last Week: Lost to Marist, 41-27
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Ramblers started several key underclassmen this season on both sides of the football. They will be a force in 2020.

12. St. Rita 9-3 (16)
Last Week: Beat Hillcrest, 35-8
This Week: vs Boylan
EDGY's Take: Kaleb Brown had two touchdowns in the win. The Mustangs have rolled so far in 5A and get to host Rockford Boylan on Saturday.

13. Minooka 11-1 (7)
Last Week: Lost to Brother Rice, 38-21
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Indians will graduate 17 senior starters this spring but the numbers remain up in Minooka.

14. Bolingbrook 8-4 (8)
Last Week: Lost to Warren Township, 18-6
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Raiders also will look to reload a bit in 2020. Having two FBS-level underclassmen back in (S) Justin Walters and (LB) Tyler McLaurin is a good place to start. 

15. Glenbard West 10-1 (9)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Hilltoppers also welcome back some key underclassmen for 2020 including RB Jalen Moore.

16. Neuqua Valley 9-2 (10)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Wildcats will need to reload in the offensive skills department for 2020 but the Wildcats always have talent in the program.

17. Batavia 9-3 (11)
Last Week: Lost to Nazareth Academy, 38-24
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Bulldogs also will return some key names in 2020 led by WR Trey Urwiler and QB Kyle Oroni.
 
18. Hillcrest 10-2 (12)
Last Week: Lost to St. Rita, 35-8
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: Hillcrest head coach Morgan Weaver has built the Hawks into a top South Suburban power and having RB Mar'Kiese Irving back for another year is huge.

19. Huntley 9-2 (19)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: Season Completed

20. Maine South 7-3 (20)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: Season Completed 

21. Phillips 9-2 (21)
Last Week: Lost to Mount Carmel, 24-8
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Wildcats are a perennial contender. They will reload the roster again and be a force in the CPL and Class 7A in 2020.

22. Wheaton South 8-4 (22)
Last Week: Lost to Rolling Meadows, 20-3
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Tigers also will look to QB Parker Brown being back in 2020.
  
23. Deerfield 10-2 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Lake Forest, 21-20
This Week: vs Prairie Ridge
EDGY's Take: The Warriors beat Lake Forest and are in the IHSA semifinals for the first time since 1990. Is Steve Winiecki Coach of the Year?

24. Fremd 8-3 (24)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: Season Completed

25. Notre Dame 8-3 (25)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: Season Completed