Preps Talk

CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings: No. 14 Mount Carmel

CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings: No. 14 Mount Carmel

CSNChicago.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 Jul. 31, we'll unveil the @CSNPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.

School: Mount Carmel

Head coach: Frank Lenti

Assistant coaches: Mike Minogue, Bill Nolan, Dave Lenti, Mark Antonietti, Jerry Blew, Rick Good, Tom Sulo, Mark Carmen

How they fared in 2016: 4-5 (0-4 Chicago Catholic League Blue Conference), failed to qualify for the 2016 IHSA state playoff field.

[MORE: CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings - No. 15 New Trier]

2017 regular season schedule:

Aug. 25 vs. Taft *Soldier Field*

Sept. 1 @ Lane Tech

Sept. 9 @ Loyola Academy

Sept. 16 vs. DePaul Prep

Sept. 22 @ St. Rita

Sept. 29 vs. Brother Rice

Oct. 6 @ De La Salle *St. Rita*

Oct. 13 vs. Montini Catholic

Oct. 20 vs. Providence Catholic

Biggest storyline: Can the Caravan bounce back from a 4-5 season in 2016?

Names to watch this season: senior QB Alek Thomas (TCU), senior OL/DL Jeremy Cooper (Cincinnati)

Biggest holes to fill: Mount Carmel will need to reload on the offensive line with just one returning starter in senior Marcelo Mendiola. 

EDGY's early take: It's pretty rare to see Mount Carmel sitting at home come state playoff time, and its 4-5 record in 2016 was the first time since 1985 that the Caravan missed the IHSA playoffs. The 2017 Caravan? The defense welcomes back eight starters this fall and senior two-sport standout Thomas will takes the reins under center, running the Caravan's option attack. A key will be how quickly an inexperienced Mount Carmel offensive line can come together, yet this is also a very proud football program looking to put last season behind them in 2017.

Breaking: NIU adds it's first 2021 commitment

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Breaking: NIU adds it's first 2021 commitment

Northern Illinois head coach Thomas Hammock was able to get an early start on the Huskies Class of 2021 as Solorio junior S/WR Brian Whitsey (6-foot-2, 195 pounds) was extended a scholarship offer today at the Huskies Junior Day recruiting event and later gave the Huskies his verbal commitment. 

"I visited NIU today for the Junior Day and NIU has been recruiting me since my sophomore year," Whitsey said. "After being at NIU and getting to know everyone better, I just feel like NIU is where I belong so I committed."

Whitsey, who was also drawing early recruiting attention from the likes of Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Toledo, Eastern Illinois, Illinois and SIU discusses what stands out to him about NIU after his Junior Day visit.

"NIU has a great coaching staff. I also like the direction of the program and they have been a winning program for the most part over the last several years. I just feel that NIU has a lot to offer and that it's the best fit and the best place for me. That's why I decided to commit early."

Whitsey is the first known verbal commitment for NIU in the Class of 202.

High School Lites basketbal roundup: Week 7

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

High School Lites basketbal roundup: Week 7

Check out our high school hoops highlights from some of the best games around the state, and be sure to follow @NBCSPREPS for all of the latest scores, highlights, and analysis

Windy City Legends: Candace Parker

Athlete of the Week: Lake Park West's Darrione Rodgers

Team of the Week: Saint Viator hockey

Highlights: Sandburg 63, Stagg 56

Highlights: Marist 57, St. Rita 46

Highlights: Benet 55, St. Charles East 44

Highlights: Morton 67, Leyden 55

Highlights: Sycamore 53, Kaneland 47

Mid-week Mixtape:  Thornton 55, Homewood-Flossmoor 43

Highlights: Buffalo Grove 80, Rolling Meadows 70

Highlights: Senn 73, Amundsen 67

Highlights: Clark 74, Crane 57

Highlights: Whitney Young 80, North Lawndale 41

Highlights Bolingbrook 79, Lincoln-Way East 66