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-Way West
Head coach: Dave Ernst
Assistant Coaches: Luke Lokanc, Larry Lokanc, Mike Villa, Eric DoornKaat, George Czart, Bob Lombardi, Sean Lucas, Rob Glielmi, Steve Bauer and Al McKellar
How they fared in 2017: 9-3 (6-1 Southwest Suburban Conference), Lincoln-Way West made the Class 7A state football playoff field. The Knights defeated Jacobs and Alton and then lost to Batavia in the quarterfinal round.
2018 Regular Season Schedule:
Aug. 24 vs. Racine Case (Wisc.)
Aug. 31 @ Lincoln-Way Central
Sept. 7 vs. Bradley-Bourbonnais
Sept. 14 vs. Thornridge
Sept. 21 @ Homewood-Flossmoor
Sept. 28 @ Sandburg
Oct. 5 vs. Thornton Township
Oct. 12 @ Stagg
Oct. 19 @ Andrew
Biggest storyline: Can the Warriors get back to the 7A playoffs and make a deeper run this season?
Names to watch this season: OL Martin Bender and RB Caleb Marconi
Biggest holes to fill: The Warriors welcome back 10 returning starters but just three are back on the defensive side of the football. In particular, they will need to replace their entire starting secondary from a season ago.
EDGY's Early Take: Ernst has guided the Warriors to the IHSA playoffs in each the past six seasons. If West can reload a bit on the defensive side of the football they have a good chance of getting to the postseason again this fall. The good news is that the offense brings back four starting offensive linemen along with bruising RB Marconi. Look for the running game to pace the offense. It should be a big strength this fall.