Preps Talk

Big matchups in CSL South, Public League lead High School Lites

Big matchups in CSL South, Public League lead High School Lites

High School Lites has a great show on Friday night as we will feature a number of top conference matchups.

Top teams in the MSL East, Public League Red North/West, West Suburban Gold and CSL South are some of the matchups included.

Catch the latest episode of High School Lites on Friday at 11 p.m. On NBC Sports Chicago.

Thursday

No. 4 Whitney Young at No. 2 Orr, 5 p.m. — A gigantic matchup in the Public League Red North/West. Orr (18-3, 8-0) previously knocked off the Dolphins for the Proviso West Holiday Tournament title as they hold the conference lead. Whitney Young (18-5, 7-1) still has a lot to play for with the conference and Public League Playoff seeding on the line.

Friday

Prospect at Rolling Meadows, 6:00 p.m. -- This is a key matchup in the MSL East as the red-hot Knights travel to Rolling Meadows. Riding a five-game winning streak, Prospect (15-4, 7-0) has played well behind guard David Swedura. Rolling Meadows (10-9, 5-2) counters with a solid team and an intriguing potential standout in freshman Max Christie.

U-High at Northridge, 6:30 p.m. -- The top two teams in the Independent School League face each other in this one. Northridge (16-5, 8-0) is the leader by two games in the conference as they've won eight straight games. U-High (13-9, 7-2) already lost to Northridge on Jan. 5 as they try to make a statement before the playoffs.

Minooka at Plainfield East, 6:30 p.m. -- Two intriguing teams from the Southwest Prairie will go at it in this one. Plainfield East (14-9, 6-3) fell in its last game in Oswego East as they try to to regain some momentum they had going in early January. Minooka (13-11, 5-4) beat Plainfield East on Dec. 15 as they held them off for a home win.

St. Laurence at No. 24 Leo, 7:00 p.m. -- In the Catholic League White, the two best teams are fighting for the conference lead. Leo (15-5, 5-0) has entered the Power Rankings after some recent quality wins over Romeoville and Uplift. St. Laurence (16-7, 4-1) fell earlier this week to Conant but they have a high-caliber offense that is capable of putting up big points.

No. 6 Niles North at No. 13 Evanston, 7:00 p.m. -- Two top-25 teams from the Central Suburban League South battle in this one. Evanston (16-4) lost the first matchup between these two teams on Dec. 15 but they're playing well lately and coming off of a big win over Maine South that saw Blake Peters' game-winning shot going viral. Niles North (20-2, 5-2) is still trying to catch the Wildkits in the conference standings after some earlier losses in January. They feature a high-scoring that is one of the only 20-win teams in the area.

No. 19 Hillcrest at Lemont, 7:00 p.m. -- The South Suburban Blue is the focus here as the Hawks try to stay unbeaten in league play. Hillcrest (17-5, 9-0) has remained the top team in the league but they just fell to Homewood-Flossmoor following a six-game winning streak. Lemont (14-7, 6-2) took down Reavis last week as they try to pick up a signature win before the postseason.

No. 25 Willowbrook at Hinsdale South, 7:30 p.m. -- A big matchup in a crowded West Suburban Gold race for this matchup. Hinsdale South (15-5, 5-2) fell in the first game on Dec. 15 but they are hoping to overtake Willowbrook in the standings in this one. The Hornets are led by Iowa State commit and senior Zion Griffin as he has a balanced supporting cast. The Warriors (19-4, 6-2) have picked up some quality wins lately, including a conference matchup with Proviso East. Senior Ethan Schuemer is already over the 1,000-point plateau for his career.

GIRLS: Glenbard West at OPRF, 7:30 p.m. -- Glenbard West goes for its 20th consecutive wins in this one as they go on the road. Clinching its first West Suburban Silver title since 2006, Glenbard West (23-3, 10-1) is coming off a win over Hinsdale Central. OPRF played a close contest with Glenbard West in the first meeting as they lost by eight on the road on Dec. 15.

Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week

St. Rita at Brother Rice, 7:00 p.m. -- In our Viewers' Choice Game of the Week we head to the Catholic League White. Brother Rice (15-8, 3-3) takes three consecutive wins into this one as this is the start of a key stretch in conference play. St. Rita (12-10, 2-2) is coming off of a big win over Marist earlier this week as they're still capable of knocking off any team in the state.

64 Days to Kickoff: T.F. South

64 Days to Kickoff: T.F. South

Head coach: Bob Padjen

Assistant coaches: Trent Jensen, Jesse Kikkert, Jonathan Hill, Doug Smith, Mike Tisza, Rob Shell and Tim Russell

How they fared in 2017: 6-4 (3-3 South Suburban Blue Conference), T.F. South made the Class 6A state football playoff field. The Rebels lost to Danville in opening round action. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Thornwood

Sept. 1 vs Julian

Sept. 7 vs Oak Forest

Sept. 14 @ TF North

Sept. 21 vs Bremen

Sept. 28 @ Reavis

Oct. 5 vs Hillcrest

Oct. 12 @ Lemont

Oct. 19 @ Tinley Park

[MORE: 86 Days to Kickoff - Reavis]

Biggest storyline: T.F. South has advanced to the playoffs 20 times in the past 24 seasons. Can the Rebels get back to the IHSA state playoff field and make more noise this fall?

Names to watch this season: QB Kamron Clayton LB Michael Smith

Biggest holes to fill: The Rebels will need to replace seven starters on each side of the football this fall. 

EDGY's Early Take: T.F. South head coach Bob Padjen was able to keep the Rebels on a winning path in his first season as Rebels head coach after several years serving in an assistant role. South always has talent. If the underclassmen can step up this summer, look for the Rebels to challenge for the top half of the South Suburban Blue conference race. 

Recruiting News and Notes: Wynston Russell verbally commits to Oregon State

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Rivals

Recruiting News and Notes: Wynston Russell verbally commits to Oregon State

Homewood-Flossmoor’s senior three star-ranked defensive back Wynston Russell (5-foot-10, 160 pounds) announced his verbal commitment to Oregon State via his Twitter account.

"I really like the coaches at Oregon State a lot and they played a big role in my decision," Russell said. "Coach Tibs (Tim Tibesar) and head coach (Jonathon) Smith along with the rest of the coaches at Oregon State are a newer staff and they are going to win a lot of games at Oregon State. On my official visit I was able to learn more about the great academic support system in place. The academic support that is offered at Oregon State is great and they also work hard on career planning and placement."

"Everyone on the official visit really bonded last weekend, and the guys already on the team also made us feel like part of the team already. The guys on the team are great guy. I also really liked the campus life at Oregon State. You have plenty of things to do but you can also focus on academics and you don't have a ton of distractions. I just felt very comfortable at Oregon State and that was another big part of my decision. I just felt like I fit in there."

Russell was holding multiple scholarship offers and also considered Wisconsin, Western Michigan and Toledo before giving the Beavers his commitment. 

Chicago Mount Carmel senior offensive guard recruit Marcelo Mendiola (6-foot-5, 290 pounds) impress the University of Cincinnati coaches at a recently-held North Central College satellite camp. A few weeks later Mendiola added a Bearcat offer, visited the campus and then gave Cincinnati his verbal commitment.

"It's (Cincinnati) just a great fit for myself and my family," Mendiola said. "We talked it over and I just have a lot in common with the coaches and the philosophy in the football program at Cincinnati. I looked hard at things like the overall depth chart and I'll have a chance to come in and earn early playing time."

Joliet Catholic senior offensive tackle Dave Monnot III (6-foot-6, 285 pounds) decided to give Purdue his verbal commitment after adding a camp offer from the Boilermakers. Monnot III camped at Purdue last Monday, added a Boilermakers offer last Thursday and immediately gave the Purdue staff his verbal commitment.

"One of the big things that sold me on (Purdue) was the coaching staff," Monnot III said. "I love the way Coach (Dale) Williams coaches. He's an Ohio guy and he's going to hold me accountable if I mess up, and that's something I look for in a coach. The final factor was the players (at Purdue). I didn't get a chance to talk to any of the players while I was there, but at my gym here at home, Rudy's, Evan Panfil used to go there, so I had his number. I gave him a call and asked him about his experience there and he sold me."

Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin senior three star-ranked offensive tackle Nick Broeker (6-foot-5, 290 pounds) decided earlier this week to give Ole Miss his verbal commitment. Broeker, who was holding 18 scholarship offers this summer pointed towards his connection to Ole Miss as one of his reasons on giving the Rebels his commitment.

"Ole Miss just has so much to offer," according to Broeker. "It's a great fit for me in so many ways. They play in the best conference in the nation in the SEC West. My goal has always been to play at the highest possible level in college and you can't find a higher level of college football than the SEC. Ole Miss offers a good education plus I just feel at home. Ole Miss offered and recruited me as an offensive tackle. I looked at several schools and in the end I found myself comparing everyone else to Ole Miss. My family is also really excited about Ole Miss and they also really loved it.