Preps Talk

Changes in the top ten highlight the latest Preps Power Rankings

Changes in the top ten highlight the latest Preps Power Rankings

The Power Rankings only saw a few shakeups this week as some new teams entered the picture. Two new teams are in the top 25 while the backend of the top 10 also saw some losses and some new teams.

1. Simeon (20-3, 9-0) (1) -- The Wolverines had the week off as they try to make another run in the Public League Playoffs. Looking like the most unstoppable team in Illinois this season, Simeon will be the favorites. 

2. Orr (19-3, 9-0) (2) -- Orr picked up another huge win as they took down conference rival Whitney Young to clinch an undefeated season in the Public League Red North/West. The Spartans will be another contender to watch in the upcoming Public League Playoffs. 

3. Curie (20-3, 8-1) (3) -- Really nice win over Missouri powerhouse Chaminade for the Condors this weekend as they beat a really talented team who just beat Whitney Young the week before. Curie has some huge wins this season of their own as they shouldn't be counted out in the Public League Playoffs. 

4. Morgan Park (16-8, 7-2) (5) -- Morgan Park had the week off as they try to recover and get healthy before the Public League Playoffs. If the Mustangs have their full roster of players, they'll be a really intriguing team to watch.

5. Whitney Young (19-6, 7-2) (4) -- The Dolphins fell to Orr on the road before regrouping and winning a game out in California. A dangerous team in the Public League Playoff picture, Whitney Young has the weapons to compete with anyone in the city. 

6. Evanston (18-4, 7-1) (11) -- The Wildkits had the best week of any team in the area as they knocked off Niles North and Oak Park-River Forest on back-to-back nights The revenge win over  the Vikings was huge for CSL South purposes. Evanston gets another huge game against No. 7 Loyola Academy this week.

7. Loyola Academy (21-3, 5-1) (9) -- The Ramblers continue to pick up double-digit wins as they dispatched St. Patrick and McNamara during the week. Holding St. Patrick to only 11 points was very impressive. Loyola has a tough week ahead as they battle Evanston as well as a Catholic League game against St. Joseph.

8. Niles North (20-3, 5-3) (6) -- Tough overtime loss against Evanston for the Vikings as they are now two games back in the CSL South. Niles North will have some opportunities to bounce back this week when they play New Trier and Prospect.

9. DePaul Prep (19-5, 4-2) (9) -- DePaul Prep ran past De La Salle in Wintrust Arena for another Catholic League win. The Rams have most of the week off until a Saturday tilt with Brother Rice in another conference battle. 

10. Fenwick (16-7, 7-0) (7) -- The Friars remain atop the Catholic League Blue but Fenwick did suffer a surprising letdown against Riverside-Brookfield on Saturday night. Upset aside, Fenwick is still one of the best teams in the area as they'll get a chance to bounce back against Marmion this week. 

11. New Trier (19-3, 6-1) (14) -- Two easy wins for the Trevians during the week as they scored double-figure wins over Manley and Glenbrook South. New Trier has a huge CSL South matchup with Niles North this week as they try to stay in the conference race.

12. Marist (20-3, 5-1) (8) -- The RedHawks fell in overtime to St. Rita but they came back with an overtime win over Notre Dame and a win over St. Ignatius. Marist will face Ag. Science and St. Viator in an important ESCC game this weekend.

13. Oak Park-River Forest (17-5, 8-0) (12) -- Earning another conference win over Glenbard West, the Huskies are still on top of the West Suburban Silver. OPRF did fall to Evanston, however, as they drop a spot for this week. The Huskies will take on York and Downers North in two tough matchups this week. 

14. Benet (18-4, 5-1) (14) -- Two double-digit wins for Benet in conference play this week as they took down Montini and Marian Central. Benet gets a tough ESCC game against Carmel this week and they have a tough non-conference game against St. Charles North as well.

15. West Aurora (17-4, 7-0) (16) -- Ten straight wins for the Blackhawks as they're one of the hottest teams in the area. Two double-digit road wins over West Chicago and Oswego this week as West Aurora faces crosstown rival East Aurora this week. 

16. Wheaton-Warrenville South (20-4, 11-1) (17) -- With a seven-game winning streak the Tigers are playing really well lately as they had two more double-digit wins over Glenbard North and Neuqua Valley. Wheaton-Warrenville South faces Naperville Central and Waubonsie Valley this week in DuPage Valley Conference play. 

17. Marian Catholic (15-4, 3-3) (18) -- The Spartans were able to hold off Carmel for an ESCC win as they have a busy week coming up. Marian Catholic has three games against Providence, Nazareth and Mount Carmel during the week.

18. Naperville North (19-2, 10-1) (19) -- Solid week for the Huskies as they earned three wins over Wheaton North, Lake Park and East Aurora. Naperville North gets two home games this week when they host Glenbard North and Neuqua Valley. 

19. Joliet Central (18-4, 10-0) (21) -- The Steelmen picked up wins over Lockport and Oswego during the week as they stayed unbeaten and in the lead in the Southwest Prairie. Joliet Central will battle Minooka this week in conference play.

20. Bolingbrook (16-5, 4-2) (10) -- Tough week for Bolingbrook as they were defeated by Lockport and Springfield Lanphier. The Raiders haven't been the same these past two weeks as they host Sandburg and Stagg this week. 

21. Hillcrest (18-5, 10-0) (22) -- Hillcrest earned a tough win over Lemont in South Suburban play as they continue to be the class of the league. The Hawks will try to stay unbeaten in league play when they face Bremen this week. 

22. Aurora Christian (21-0, 9-0) (23) -- The Eagles needed to rally to pick up one of its best wins of the season in knocking off Oswego East as they remain the area's only unbeaten team. Aurora Christian faces a tough battle against 20-1 Winnebago this week, a team they already defeated during the holidays.

23. Leo (17-5, 6-0) (24) -- Leo continues to play great ball as they took down St. Laurence and Nazareth during the weekend. The Lions have to go on the road to face Montini in the Catholic League White this week. 

24. Homewood-Flossmoor (13-6, 5-1) (NR) -- The Vikings enter the Power Rankings after some quality wins in recent weeks over teams like Hillcrest and Lincoln-Way East. A dangerous team who is leading the SouthWest Suburban Blue, Homewood-Flossmoor plays Stagg, Lockport and Marshall this week. 

25. Hinsdale South (16-5, 6-2) (NR) -- The Hornets are back in the Power Rankings following an important conference win over Willowbrook. Senior Zion Griffin is putting up his Player of the Year case as he put up a monster outing. Hinsdale South faces Downers South and Leyden this week. 

63 Days to Kickoff: Shepard

63 Days to Kickoff: Shepard

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: Shepard

Head coach: John Rone

Assistant coaches: Andrew Porter, Ron Rivera, Chris Lewis, Ryan McGuire and Clint Connelly

How they fared in 2017: 8-2 (5-1 South Suburban Red Conference). Shepard made the Class 6A state football playoff field. The Astros lost to Marmion Academy in opening round action. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Leyden

Sept. 1 @ Stagg

Sept 7 vs Hillcrest

Sept. 14 vs Eisenhower

Sept. 21 @ Richards

Sept. 28 @ Oak Lawn

Oct. 5 vs Reavis

Oct. 12 vs Evergreen Park

Oct. 19 @ Argo

Biggest storyline: First-year head coach John Rone. Can the Astros challenge once again for the South Suburban Red conference title under a new head coach?

Names to watch this season: RB/LB Chris Harrison and TE/DE Kevin Graham

Biggest holes to fill: The Astros bring back 10 returning starters (five offense, five defense). Overall depth could also be a concern.  

EDGY's Early Take: Shepard will be led by former Eisenhower assistant Rone, who was able to retain an experienced staff at Shepard. It will help ease the transition from former head coach Dominic Passolano this summer. If the Astros can get off to a good early start they have the overall talent to again make a state playoff appearance in 2018. Can they challenge conference power Richards in the South Suburban Red race?

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.