Preps Talk

90 Days to Kickoff: St. Patrick

90 Days to Kickoff: St. Patrick

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. Patrick

Head coach: Adam Guerra

Assistant coaches: Mike Fabrizio (Asst Head Coach & Offensive Coordinator), Anthony Griffin (Defensive Coordinator), Kaseem Sinceno (Wide Receivers), Nick Madsen (Defensive Line), Anthony Delgado (Linebackers)

How they fared in 2018: 5-4 (3-4 in East Suburban Catholic Conference). St. Patrick failed qualify for the 2018 IHSA state football playoff field.

2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 30 @ Evanston

Sept. 6 vs Glenbrook North 

Sept. 13 vs Leo

Sept. 20 @ Carmel

Sept. 27 @ Notre Dame

Oct. 4  vs St. Viator

Oct. 11 @ Fenwick

Oct. 18 vs Marist

Oct. 25 @ Marian Central Catholic

Biggest storyline: How well can the Shamrocks match up in the newly-formed ESCC/CCL mega conference starting this fall? 

Names to watch this season: OL/DL Kwame Achampong (Sr.), OL Joe Fanning (Sr.), ILB Vince Waters (Sr.)

Biggest holes to fill: The Shamrocks welcome back 11 returning starters (five offense, six defense) from a season ago, but they will need to find answers at a few key spots, including at quarterback. 

EDGY's Early Take: The Shamrocks posted a 5-4 season in 2018 but were kept home during the postseason because of low playoff points. Now that St. Pats will begin play in the ESCC/CCL mega conference, playoff points should come much easier with a beefed up schedule. If Coach Guerra’s Shamrocks can find a few answers at a few key positions this is a team that could again challenge for an IHSA state playoff bid this fall. Getting off to a good early start against the likes of Evanston, Glenbrook North and Leo will undoubtedly be top priority.

45 Days to Kickoff: Joliet West

45 Days to Kickoff: Joliet West

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: Joliet West

Head coach: Bill Lech

Assistant coaches: Harry Hessling, Seandell Davis, Patrick Lauer, Terry Clarke, Diondrey Hood, Kevin Kusnik, Jeff Peterson, Nick Davis, Peter Nackovic, Dan Tito and Brett Gould

How they fared in 2018: 3-6 (3-6 Southwest Prairie Conference). Joliet West failed to qualify for the IHSA state football playoff field.

2019 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 30 @ Minooka

Sept. 6 vs Oswego

Sept. 13 @ Oswego East

Sept. 20 vs Yorkville

Sept. 27 @ Romeoville

Oct. 4 @ Plainfield East

Oct. 11 vs Joliet Central

Oct. 18 vs Plainfield South

Oct. 25 @ Plainfield Central

Biggest storyline: Can the Tigers make more positive steps as a program as they embark on the newly-realigned Southwest Prairie conference?

Names to watch this season: OL Hunter Brooks (Sr.) and FB/LB Tom Luedke (Sr.)

Biggest holes to fill: The Tigers graduated nearly their entire starting offensive skills group from a season ago. Junior RB Trent Howland is the lone returning starter back this fall. 

EDGY's Early Take: Joliet West posted just a 3-6 record in 2018 but that record was a bit misleading on several levels. The Tigers, under then-first year head coach Bill Lech, turned the program around on a lot of levels. Joliet West came within a few plays of potentially winning four of those six losses. If the Tigers can get their offense on track early this season (against a front-loaded schedule against four Southwest Prairie West crossover opponents) they will again challenge for an IHSA state football playoff spot. 

Warren's Willis Singleton Jr. commits to Iowa State

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Rivals

Warren's Willis Singleton Jr. commits to Iowa State

Warren Township 3-star ranked senior defensive tackle Willis Singleton Jr. (6-foot-2, 285 pounds) announced his college decision today and gave Iowa State his verbal commitment. Singleton Jr. who ended up with 20 scholarship offers this summer discussed his decision.

"Iowa State was my first Power 5 offer," Singleton Jr. said. "We kept just building up our relationship and it just became bigger and bigger. I was able to pick up some big Power 5 offers late (including Illinois and Michigan State) but it was never about the name or the hype for me. It's always been about the relationships for me and I have that with Iowa State."

Singleton Jr. was able to visit the Ames, Iowa, school multiple times before. That familiarity with the coaches and the players was also a big factor in his decision.

"Isaiah Lee (current Iowa State and former Nazareth Academy defensive linemen) was a big help for me with just getting it straight from him on everything at Iowa State and I've known Isaiah for awhile now," Singleton Jr. said. "I've spent a lot of time at Iowa State around the coaches and the players and more than once I was there more than 24 hours just getting to know them. I just felt like Iowa State was the place for me in my heart in the end and Iowa State is the place for me."

Singleton Jr. had narrowed down his final list of schools to the Cyclones along with Illinois, Michigan State, Cincinnati and Louisville.