Preps Talk

CSN launches Mascot Madness tournament

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CSN launches Mascot Madness tournament

CSN will be launching "Mascot Madness," a new online tournament enabling fans to pick the top high school sports team nickname in Illinois.

Similar to the NCAA Tournament bracket and selection show, the 64 teams and the four brackets in "Mascot Madness" will be announced on CSN Friday night on High School Lites at 11:30 p.m. and streaming live on CSNChicago.com.

There will not be any "seeds" associated with the teams in the tournament. Matchups in each of the four regions (Skyline, Highway, Heartland and Prairie) are based solely on school enrollment numbers.

[RELATED: Mascot Madness on CSNChicago.com]

Starting Monday, Feb. 8 at noon, fans can cast their first round vote by visiting CSNChicago.com/MascotMadness. Polls will close on Thursday, Feb. 11 at 4 p.m.

For the remaining five weeks, the brackets will shrink to 32, 16, 8, 4 and 2, while fans will be able to vote Mondays starting at noon with the weekly polls closing at 4:00 p.m. each Thursday. The weekly results will be revealed every Friday night on High School Lites and on CSNChicago.com/MascotMadness. The champion will be announced during CSN's live on-air/online coverage of the 2016 IHSA Class 4A boys basketball state championship game on Saturday, March 19.

From a social media standpoint, fans are encouraged to support their favorite school by using #MascotMadness on Twitter. Also, fans are urged to visit @CSNPreps on Twitter for daily updates and the latest information on not only the "Mascot Madness" tournament, but also for the very latest IHSA news, scores, and more.

35 Days to Kickoff: Oak Forest

35 Days to Kickoff: Oak Forest

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: Oak Forest

Head coach: Brian McDonough

How they fared in 2017: 4-5 (3-3 South Suburban Conference). Oak Forest failed to qualify for the IHSA state football playoff field.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 vs Pekin
Aug. 31 @ Niles Notre Dame
Sept. 7 @ T.F. South
Sept. 14 @ Hillcrest
Sept. 21 @ Eisenhower
Sept. 28 vs T.F. North
Oct. 5 vs Tinley Park
Oct. 12 @ Bremen
Oct. 19 vs Lemont

Biggest storyline: Can the Bengals get back into the IHSA state playoffs this season?

Names to watch this season: LB Anthony Kluk and OL/DL Julian Ramirez

Biggest holes to fill: The Bengals will need to reload on both sides of the football especially on offense with the graduation losses of several starters including QB Tyler Morrison and RB Waitari Wilson.

EDGY's Early Take: It was a rare season for the Bengals in 2017, having missed the IHSA state playoff field for the first time since 1999. Look for Oak Forest to rely on its defense while a newer group on offense develops. The Bengals and veteran head coach Brian McDonough will need to get out to a good early start with a front-loaded regular season schedule. 

36 Days to Kickoff: Glenbard North

36 Days to Kickoff: Glenbard North

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: Glenbard North

Head coach: Ryan Wilkens

Assistant coaches: Rich Smelko, John Cassidy, Bruce Donash, John Pullia, Tom Gudella, Kudret Kamabari and Matt Ng

How they fared in 2017: 5-5 (4-4 DuPage Valley Conference). Glenbard North made the Class 7A state playoff field and lost to Batavia in opening round action.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Neuqua Valley

Aug. 31 vs Warren Township

Sept. 7 @ St. Charles East

Sept. 14 vs Batavia

Sept. 21 @ Wheaton North

Sept. 28 @ Lake Park

Oct. 5 vs St. Charles North

Oct. 12 vs Wheaton Warrenville South

Oct. 19 @ Geneva

[MORE: 50 Days to Kickoff - Neuqua Valley]

Biggest storyline: The Panthers have a new conference home. Can the Panthers reload and fare well in the DuKane Conference?

Names to watch this season: LB Michael Wellman and FB Jake Wilson

Biggest holes to fill: The Panthers will need several players to step up on offense with just one returning starter back from a season ago-- senior FB Jake Wilson.

EDGY's Early Take: Glenbard North says farewell to the DuPage Valley conference and says hello to all things DuKane. The Panthers will undoubtedly be a younger team in 2018. While some of the star power has graduated, head coach Ryan Wilkins will once again focus on establishing a strong, fast and physical running game. Getting off to a good start against a loaded schedule will be a big key for Glenbard North this season.