Preps Talk

CSN Preps Power Rankings: No. 7 Palatine

CSN Preps Power Rankings: No. 7 Palatine

CSNChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Aug. 1, we’ll unveil the @CSNPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 26. View Edgy Tim's other football previews here.

School: Palatine

Head coach: Rick Splitt

How they fared in 2015: 10-3 (4-1) Mid Suburban West Conference. Palatine made the 2015 Class 8A state playoff field. The Pirates defeated Sandburg, Oak Park-River Forest and Brother Rice before losing to Marist in the 8A semifinal game.

Biggest storyline in 2016: Can the Pirates repeat it's success from a season go?

Names to watch this season: QB Zach Oles, LB Mackenzie Balanganyi

​​​​​[PREPS: Edgy Tim's Countdown to Kickoff series]

Biggest holes to fill:  Can the Pirates reload at a few key spots on the defensive side of the ball?

EDGY's Early Take: Palatine had a terrific run in 2015 and looks primed for a potential conference title and state playoff run for 2016. Senior QB Zach Oles is an All State player who has experience under his belt and is a huge key for the Pirates this season. 

Pirates schedule

Aug. 28 at Stevenson (7:30 p.m.)

Sept. 2 vs. Elk Grove (7:30 p.m.)

Sept. 9 vs. Glenbrook South (7:30 p.m.)

Sept. 16 at New Trier (7:30 p.m.)

Sept. 23 at Hoffman Estates (7:30 p.m.)

Sept. 30 vs. Fremd (7:30 p.m.)

Oct. 7 at Conant (7:30 p.m.)

Oct. 14 at Barrington (7:30 p.m.)

Oct. 21 vs. Schaumburg (7:30 p.m.)

NBC Sports Chicago's 100 Days to Kickoff

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USA Today

NBC Sports Chicago's 100 Days to Kickoff

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.

In case you missed any of our previews, here is our rundown:

100. De La Salle

99. Crystal Lake South

98. Eisenhower

97. Back of the Yards

96. Jacobs

95. Waubonsie Valley

94. Kaneland

93. West Aurora

93 Days to Kickoff: West Aurora

93 Days to Kickoff: West Aurora

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: West Aurora

Head coach: Nate Eimer

Assistant coaches: Tony Melchiori, DC Bob Fowler, DL Patrick Stremel, LB Charlie Graves, DB Mike Runge, OL Joe Howell, RB Ron Murphy and QB Alex Shaw

How they fared in 2017: 7-3 (4-1 Upstate Eight Valley Conference). West Aurora made the IHSA Class 8A playoff field last season. The Blackhawks lost to Naperville Central 35-14 in opening round action.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Larkin

Aug. 31 @ West Chicago

Sept. 7 vs Streamwood

Sept. 14 @ Glenbard East

Sept. 21 vs Bartlett

Sept. 28 vs Glenbard South

Oct. 5 @ Elgin

Oct. 12 vs East Aurora

Oct. 19 vs South Elgin

[MORE: 94 Days to Kickoff - Kaneland]

Biggest storyline: Game 11. Can the Blackhawks get back to the IHSA state playoffs for the fourth straight season and then advance past the opening round?

Names to watch this season: QB Will Tammaru, RB/DB JaQuan Buchanan and DT Denver Warren

Biggest holes to fill: The Blackhawks welcome back an impressive 17 starters (nine offense, eight defense) to the mix. However, the group will be a bit inexperienced in some spots on both the offensive and defensive line.  

EDGY's Early Take: The Blackhawks' turnaround under head coach Nate Eimer and staff has been a terrific story to follow. That said, the bar for West Aurora football has also been raised. No longer are they satisfied by just "getting" to state. The Blackhawks welcome back a deep group on both sides of the football led by a potentially high powered, balanced offense. On paper, this team has the makings of being one of the better Blackhawks teams in their history. They will challenge for the Upstate Eight conference title and get another shot at the Class 8A playoff field.