Preps Talk

CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings: No.25 St. Charles East

CSN Preps Preseason Power Rankings: No.25 St. Charles East

School: St. Charles East

Head Coach: Bryce Farquhar

Assistant Coaches: Tim Wolf, Jon Kittl, Olijuwon Davis, Nolan Possley, Pat Schiller, Brian Teresinski, Gabe Nyenhuis, Mike Budziniski, Greg Bess, Len Asquini and Chris Goryl

How they fared in 2016: 11-1 (6-0 Upstate 8 River Conference) The Saints made the Class 8A state playoff field, defeated Lockport and New Trier before losing to Palatine in the quarterfinal round.

2017 Regular Season Schedule:

August 25th vs Rock Island

September 1st @ Glenbard East

September 8th @ Geneva

September 15th vs St. Charles North

September 22nd @ Batavia

September 29th @ Bartlett

October 6th vs Larkin

October 13th vs Elgin

October 20th @ Streamwood

Biggest storyline: Can the Saints play deeper into November in Class 8A this season?

Names to watch this season: Senior QB/S Clayton Isbell, Senior RB/OLB Nick Garlisch (South Dakota St) and Junior RB Justin Jett

Biggest holes to fill: The Saints have just one starter back on the offensive line (junior OL Justin Hull) and the defensive line (senior DL Pat Griffin).

EDGY's Early Take: Despite having to reload quite a bit up front, this Saints team returns a ton of explosive playmaker types. Senior Clayton Isbell (6-foot-3, 190 pounds) will play under center and spearhead the power running game. The team also features a strong group of backs, including senior Nick Garlisch and junior Justin Jett. On the defensive side, senior LB Abe Swanson (5-foot-10, 185 pounds) is one of five starters back and is part of a defensive unit that boast a ton of speed.

Warren's Willis Singleton Jr. commits to Iowa State

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Rivals

Warren's Willis Singleton Jr. commits to Iowa State

Warren Township 3-star ranked senior defensive tackle Willis Singleton Jr. (6-foot-2, 285 pounds) announced his college decision today and gave Iowa State his verbal commitment. Singleton Jr. who ended up with 20 scholarship offers this summer discussed his decision.

"Iowa State was my first Power 5 offer," Singleton Jr. said. "We kept just building up our relationship and it just became bigger and bigger. I was able to pick up some big Power 5 offers late (including Illinois and Michigan State) but it was never about the name or the hype for me. It's always been about the relationships for me and I have that with Iowa State."

Singleton Jr. was able to visit the Ames, Iowa, school multiple times before. That familiarity with the coaches and the players was also a big factor in his decision.

"Isaiah Lee (current Iowa State and former Nazareth Academy defensive linemen) was a big help for me with just getting it straight from him on everything at Iowa State and I've known Isaiah for awhile now," Singleton Jr. said. "I've spent a lot of time at Iowa State around the coaches and the players and more than once I was there more than 24 hours just getting to know them. I just felt like Iowa State was the place for me in my heart in the end and Iowa State is the place for me."

Singleton Jr. had narrowed down his final list of schools to the Cyclones along with Illinois, Michigan State, Cincinnati and Louisville.

46 Days to Kickoff: Downers Grove North

46 Days to Kickoff: Downers Grove 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 Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30.

School: Downers Grove North

Head coach: Joe Horeni

Assistant coaches: Keith Litchenberg, Bill Kleckner, Terry Kent, Chad Isaacason, Josh Croci, Todd Cassens, Chris Guerreri, Mike Franzese, Kyle Briscoe, Greg Purnell, Pat Fleming and Max Gilbert

How they fared in 2018: 4-5 (2-4 West Suburban Silver Conference) Downers North failed to qualify for the IHSA state football playoff field.

2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 30 @ Buffalo Grove

Sept. 6 vs Addison Trail

Sept. 13 vs York

Sept. 20 @ Proviso West

Sept. 27 @ Hinsdale Central

Oct. 4 vs Glenbard West

Oct. 11 @ OPRF

Oct. 18 vs Lyons Township

Oct. 25 @ Downers Grove South

Biggest storyline: The Trojans missed a winning season (and possibly a playoff berth) in a heartbreaking loss to York in last year’s season finale. Can the motivated Trojans get over the top this season and into the IHSA state playoff field?
 

Names to watch this season: QB Drew Cassens (Sr.) and S Mark Dennison (Sr.)

Biggest holes to fill: The Trojans welcome back 13 returning starters (six offense, seven defense) this season, but they will be a bit inexperienced on the defensive line this fall. 

EDGY's Early Take: Downers Grove North came within a few plays of making the IHSA state football playoffs last season, which included close losses to OPRF (21-14) and York (14-7). The Trojans, guided by head coach Joe Horeni, welcome back several key names from the 2018 season including senior QB Drew Cassens. A big key for the Trojans this season will be getting off to a good start before hitting a very tough middle portion of the regular season schedule.