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 Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30.
School: St. Francis
Head coach: Bob McMillen
Assistant coaches: Doug DiFusco, Todd Howard, Ivan Milivojevic, Jared Culver-McGriff, Tivias Caldwell and Marques Stevenson
How they fared in 2018: 8-3 (4-2 Metro Suburban Blue Conference). St. Francis made the 2018 Class 4A state playoff field. They defeated Amundsen then lost to Boylan in second round action.
2019 regular season schedule:
Aug. 30 @ Argo
Sept. 6 @ Shepard
Sept. 13 vs Westmont
Sept. 20 vs Wheaton Academy
Sept. 27 @ Bishop McNamara
Oct. 4 @ Aurora Christian
Oct. 11 @ Riverside-Brookfield
Oct. 18 vs IC Catholic Prep
Oct. 25 vs Aurora Central Catholic
Biggest storyline: St. Francis had a remarkable turnaround, going from 1-8 in 2017 to an eight win team the following year with a playoff spot. Can the Spartans make an even deeper state playoff run in 2019?
Names to watch this season: QB Tommy Rittenhouse (Jr.), OL Connor Schmidt (Sr.), LB Enzo Rendina (Sr.)
Biggest holes to fill: The Spartans will need to replace eight graduated starters on the defensive side of the football.
EDGY's Early Take: Outside of the second round loss to Rockford Boylan, the only remaining losses for the 2018 Spartans came to 4A state champion and runner up, IC Catholic Prep and Bishop McNamara, respectively. The St. Francis offense will be a strength going into the season for head coach Bob McMillen. They're led by junior QB Tommy Rittenhouse. If the Spartans can get their defense in order, they have a real shot being a top-ranked team in Class 4A this season.