Preps Talk

74 Days to Kickoff: Chicago Hope Academy

74 Days to Kickoff: Chicago Hope Academy

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: Hope Academy

Head coach: Matt Kelly

Assistant coaches: Kevin Davis, Donnell Brown, Brian Noller, Damon Gladney, Sam Cote, Jason Pankau and Abi Burgos

How they fared in 2017: 8-3 (3-0 Chicago Catholic League Red Conference). Hope Academy made the Class 2A state playoff field. The Eagles defeated Orr and then lost to Sterling Newman Central Catholic in second round action. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 25 vs Mount Carmel at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb

Aud. 31 @ DePaul Prep

Sept. 7 vs St. Edward

Sept. 14 vs St. Ignatius

Sept. 22 @ St. Laurence

Sept. 28 @ Providence Catholic

Oct. 6 vs Leo

Oct. 12 vs St. Joseph @ Elmhurst College

Oct. 20 @ Guerin Prep

[MORE: 92 Days to Kickoff: St. Edward]

Biggest storyline: The Eagles have 41 wins over the last five seasons (all IHSA playoff berths). Can they continue to soar and return to the playoffs?

Names to watch this season: OL/DL Patrick Ross, RB/LB Derrick Williams and QB Trevor Land

Biggest holes to fill: The Eagles have 18 returning starters back from a season ago; however, will they have enough depth and overall numbers to continue to win in the CCL?

EDGY's Early Take: Hope Academy needed to deal with plenty of distractions last season, including a nearby neighborhood shooting when hosting Providence Catholic. The issue eventually led to two forfeit wins due to opponents’ safety concerns. As for this season, head coach Matt Kelly and company welcome back an experienced team with several potential college recruits on the roster. If Hope Academy can stay somewhat healthy against a schedule that includes CCL crossovers against the likes of Mount Carmel, Providence and St. Laurence, they have a very good chance of making a postseason run again in 2018. 

VOTE: Viewers' Choice Game Of The Week

brand_new_lites.jpg
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 football 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 night. 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. — just after Chicago Cubs and White Sox baseball. The show also live streams at www.nbcsportschicago.com/watchlive. High School Lites will also have broadcast replays at 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. the following Saturday. This week, we are spotlighting 2A, 3A and 4A teams in Chicagoland. We'll send our cameras to one of the following:

Herscher at Wilmington, 7:00 p.m.

Reed-Custer vs. Lisle at Benedictine University, 7:00 p.m.

St. Edward at Chicago Christian, 7:15 p.m.

— 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.

Edgy Tim's Preps Power Rankings: Week 6

brand_new_lites.jpg
NBC Sports Chicago

Edgy Tim's Preps Power Rankings: Week 6

Here are the latest @NBCSPreps Top 25 Power Rankings. 

1. Lincoln-Way East 5-0 (1)
Last Week: Beat Lincoln-Way Central, 38-0
This Week: vs H-F
EDGY's Take: The Griffins get quarterback A.J. Henning back in the lineup. The rich get richer. 

2. Nazareth Academy 5-0 (2)
Last Week: Beat Benet Academy, 45-7
This Week: @ Carmel
EDGY's Take: The Roadrunners dismantled a pretty decent Benet Academy defense last Friday. 

3. Batavia 5-0 (3)
Last Week: Beat Wheaton South, 41-20
This Week: vs Geneva
EDGY's Take: The Bulldogs are a big, strong and very physical team with multiple ball carriers. 

4. Homewood-Flossmoor 5-0 (4)
Last Week: Beat Lincoln-Way West, 28-14
This Week: @ Lincoln-Way East
EDGY's Take: The Vikings get their much anticipated showdown with Lincoln-Way (B)East this week in Frankfort. Be there. 

5. Brother Rice 5-0 (5)
Last Week: Beat Providence Catholic, 20-0
This Week: vs St. Rita
EDGY's Take: The Crusaders defense locked down a potent Providence running game last Friday.

6. Mount Carmel 4-1 (7)
Last Week: Beat Marmion Academy, 28-7
This Week: vs St. Ignatius
EDGY's Take: The Caravan keep rolling and can St. Ignatius become a thorn in Mount Carmel's side this week?

7. Cary-Grove 5-0 (8)
Last Week: Beat Dundee-Crown, 55-15
This Week: @ McHenry
EDGY's Take: As always, the Trojans pound the running game right at you; that said, they've discovered the forward pass this season. QB Ben McDonald has been a difference maker.

8. Simeon 5-0 (9)
Last Week: Beat Perspectives, 48-13
This Week: vs Raby
EDGY's Take: The Wolverines get a nice win over Perspectives. Simeon has a real shot at a deep playoff run if they can stay healthy. 

9. Marist 4-1 (10)
Last Week: Beat Joliet Catholic, 42-6
This Week: @ Marian Catholic
EDGY's Take: The Redhawks defense made a big statement in slowing down the JCA power run game last Friday.

10. Maine South 4-1 (12)
Last Week: Beat Evanston, 21-13
This Week: vs Niles North
EDGY's Take: The Hawks are still the "Kings of the CSL South" until someone can take the crown away. 

11. Oswego 5-0 (13)
Last Week: Beat Plainfield East, 49-0
This Week: @ Romeoville
EDGY's Take: On Friday, the Panthers rolled over Plainfield East. Oswego is in need of a bigger test sooner rather than later. 

12. Glenbard West 4-1 (14)
Last Week: Beat Downers Grove North, 35-14
This Week: vs Lyons
EDGY's Take: The Hilltoppers had a big second quarter and rolled over the Trojans on Saturday. 

13. Richards 5-0 (15)
Last Week: Beat Shepard, 50-14
This Week: vs Argo
EDGY's Take: The Bulldogs also are making things look really easy. 

14. Phillips 3-2 (17)
Last Week: Beat Morgan Park, 49-0
This Week: @ Curie
EDGY's Take: The Wildcats are looking to finish strong the remainder of the regular season.

15. Willowbrook 5-0 (19)
Last Week: Beat Hinsdale South, 20-10
This Week: @ York
EDGY's Take: The Warriors get a nice win on Friday over Hinsdale South. Is quarterback Sam Tumilty a Chicagoland Player of the Year candidate?

16. Naperville Central 3-2 (20)
Last Week: Beat Metea Valley, 56-13
This Week: vs Naperville North
EDGY's Take: The Redhawks staff gets to game plan to face rival Naperville North for the second time in three weeks. 

17. Bolingbrook 4-1 (21)
Last Week: Beat Bradley, 35-13
This Week: @ Lockport
EDGY's Take: The Raiders get a nice bounce-back win on the road Friday against Bradley. 

18. Montini 5-0 (22)
Last Week: Beat St. Rita, 29-13
This Week: @ Loyola 
EDGY's Take: The Broncos got a nice win last Friday over St. Rita. Is the timing right for the Broncos to take on the reeling Ramblers this Saturday?

19. Hinsdale Central 4-1 (23)
Last Week: Beat York, 35-13
This Week: @ Proviso West
EDGY's Take: The Red Devils get another big day from QB Matt Rush on Saturday, but they announced that RB Luke Skokna is lost for the season because of an injury. 

20. Stevenson 4-1 (6)
Last Week: Lost to Lake Zurich, 23-20 OT
This Week: @ Mundelein
EDGY's Take: The Patriots will need to bounce back after an OT loss to Lake Zurich. The North Suburban conference is wide open, kids.

21. Loyola Academy 3-2 (11)
Last Week: Beat St. Ignatius, 21-14 OT
This Week: vs Montini 
EDGY's Take: The Ramblers hang on for dear life and beat St. Ignatius in OT. Will Loyola right the ship?

22. Evanston 4-1 (16)
Last Week: Lost to Maine South, 21-13
This Week: @ New Trier
EDGY's Take: The Wildkits get another big test this week as they take on their bitter rivals in the Trevians. 

23. New Trier 4-1 (24)
Last Week: Beat Niles West, 57-0
This Week: vs Evanston
EDGY's Take: The Trevians have been rolling since a Week Two loss to Loyola, but this week will also be another big step up against the Wildkits.

24. Hillcrest 5-0 (25)
Last Week: Beat Lemont, 27-7
This Week: @ Tinley Park
EDGY's Take: The Hawks win over Lemont is a big deal...trust me on that one. 

25. Waubonsie Valley 5-0 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Naperville North, 31-24
This Week: @ Neuqua Valley
EDGY's Take: The Warriors get to take on rival Neuqua Valley for the second time this season. They're looking for a sweep after beating the Wildcats 17-10 in Week 3.