Preps Talk

Edgy Tim's Preps Power Rankings: Week 4

Edgy Tim's Preps Power Rankings: Week 4

Here are the latest @NBCSPreps Power Rankings:

1. Lincoln-Way East 3-0 (1)
Last Week: Beat Andrew, 42-0
This Week: @ Sandburg
EDGY's Take: The Griffins just keep rolling along. Will AJ Henning be back soon? Fingers crossed. 

2. Nazareth Academy 3-0 (5)
Last Week: Beat Marian Central Catholic, 42-7
This Week: vs St. Patrick
EDGY's Take: So...I guess those BCS college teams who have already offered Nazareth Academy sophomore QB JJ McCarthy just might not be that crazy after all?  The Roadrunners are on fire so far this season. 

3. Batavia 3-0 (4)
Last Week: Beat Lake Park, 43-7
This Week: @ Glenbard North
EDGY's Take: The Bulldogs got a key piece back last Friday in junior RB Art Taylor (185 yards, two touchdowns). He is going to boost Batavia's offense in a big way.

4. Homewood-Flossmoor 3-0 (7)
Last Week: Beat Stagg, 46-0
This Week: @ Bolingbrook
EDGY's Take: The Vikings will need all hands on deck this Friday as they play for the Alec Anderson Memorial trophy.

5. Brother Rice 3-0 (8)
Last Week: Beat Fenwick, 35-3
This Week: vs Loyola
EDGY's Take: The Crusaders are on a roll; they beat Fenwick last Friday. Huge game this week as Rice hosts an angry and refocused Loyola team. 

6. Stevenson 3-0 (9)
Last Week: Beat Libertyville, 28-0
This Week: @ Zion-Benton
EDGY's Take: The Patriots just seem to find more and more weapons. The latest this year is junior WR/DB Jordan Vincent.

7. Mount Carmel 2-1 (15)
Last Week: Beat Loyola, 17-12
This Week: vs De La Salle
EDGY's Take: The Caravan defense came to play in upsetting Loyola on Saturday. While the offense still has work to do, the defense looks locked in so far in 2018. 

8. Loyola Academy 2-1 (2)
Last Week: Lost to Mount Carmel, 17-12
This Week: @ Brother Rice
EDGY's Take: Quite simply, the Ramblers didn't play well on Saturday in the loss to Mount Carmel. Don't expect that to happen too often under John Holocek.

9. Simeon 3-0 (20)
Last Week: Beat Phillips, 21-8
This Week: vs Solorio
EDGY's Take: Huge win on Saturday night over Phillips to gain CPL bragging rights. QB/ATH Alante Brown (Michigan State) is special. 

10. Lake Zurich 2-1 (10)
Last Week: Beat Zion-Benton, 23-0
This Week: vs Lake Forest
EDGY's Take: The Bears are starting to see their offense take positive steps. Will it serve as a building block for the rest of the season?

11. Cary-Grove 3-0 (11)
Last Week: Beat Hampshire, 49-0
This Week: @ Huntley
EDGY's Take: The Trojans will need to bring their A-game to Huntley on Friday night.

12. Marist 2-1 (12)
Last Week: Beat Notre Dame, 28-21
This Week: @ St. Viator
EDGY's Take: The Redhawks pull off a nice win over Notre Dame on Friday. QB Mike Markett continues to make a case for being one of the top quarterbacks in Chicagoland this season.

13. Barrington 3-0 (14)
Last Week: Beat Maine South, 26-23
This Week: vs Evanston
EDGY's Take: The Broncos pulled off a huge come from behind win over Maine South last Friday. Junior QB Tommy Fitzpatrick is fitting in nicely this season under center for the Broncos.

14. Maine South 2-1 (6)
Last Week: Lost to Barrington, 26-23
This Week: @ Conant
EDGY's Take: The Hawks biggest question mark right now centers on how long will QB Bobby Inserra be out with an injury.

15. Oswego 3-0 (13)
Last Week: Beat Plainfield North, 34-10
This Week: @ Joliet West
EDGY's Take: The Panthers are making it look too easy so far in the Southwest Prairie conference.

16. Bolingbrook 3-0 (16)
Last Week: Beat Sandburg, 54-0
This Week: vs Homewood-Flossmoor
EDGY's Take: The Raiders are getting an All-State caliber season so far from senior RB Quentin Pringle.

17. Phillips 1-2 (3)
Last Week: Lost to Simeon, 21-6 
This Week: vs Lincoln Park
EDGY's Take: The Wildcats will go back to work this week, trying to get their offense (specifically the passing game) back on track. Despite the loss to Simeon, the Wildcats are still one of the top teams in Class 6A. 

18. Glenbard West 2-1 (17)
Last Week: Beat Addison Trail, 27-0
This Week: @ York
EDGY's Take: The Hilltoppers get the running game going in beating Addison Trail on Saturday. They have a very good test this week on the road at a "better-than-you-think" York squad.

19. Richards 3-0 (18)
Last Week: Beat Evergreen Park, 42-0
This Week: @ Oak Lawn
EDGY's Take: The Bulldogs take care of business in Evergreen Park. Can anyone in the South Suburban Red slow this team down?

20. Benet Academy 3-0 (20)
Last Week: Beat St. Patrick, 35-14
This Week: vs Notre Dame
EDGY's Take: The Redwings will need to bring their strong run defense again on Friday. Can they contain Notre Dame senior standout RB Ty Gavin?

21. Willowbrook 3-0 (21)
Last Week: Beat Leyden, 26-9
This Week: @ Addison Trail
EDGY's Take: The Warriors got out of the gate quickly in their win over Leyden.

22. Montini 3-0 (22)
Last Week: Beat Marmion Academy, 27-3
This Week: vs St. Joseph
EDGY's Take: The Broncos are piling up the wins before CCL Blue season arrives in a few weeks. Their defense has only given up three points on the season.

23. Hinsdale Central 2-1 (24)
Last Week: Beat OPRF, 7-0
This Week: @ Downers Grove North
EDGY's Take: The Red Devils got a big win over OPRF. Can they get the early-season swagger back? It's the Old Oaken Bucket game this week. 

24. Naperville Central 1-2 (25)
Last Week: Beat Naperville North, 35-7
This Week: @ Trinity Ky.
EDGY's Take: DO NOT be fooled by Trinity's record (0-4), Redhawk fans. Trinity has lost four games to nationally-ranked teams and has been in every single game. Huge road test this week for Naperville Central. 

25. Huntley 3-0 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Prairie Ridge, 35-28
This Week: vs Cary-Grove
EDGY's Take: Red Raiders senior quarterback Chris Raffin is off to a strong start. Huge game in the FVC Friday night. 

Jerry Sloan, Bulls player and Jazz coaching legend, stayed true to Illinois roots

Jerry Sloan, Bulls player and Jazz coaching legend, stayed true to Illinois roots

There’s country strong. And then there’s Jerry Sloan.

The NBA Hall of Fame player and coach, a tenacious defender and steady offensive threat, became a household name with the Chicago Bulls in the 1970s. Four-time NBA All-Defensive First Team. Two-time NBA-All-Star.

Sloan died Friday after a courageous battle against Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia. He was 78.

But it was Sloan’s perseverance as a child and his dedication to the game of basketball —and his home town— 300 miles south of the Windy City that made him a real star.

[MORE: Remember ‘Original Bull’ Jerry Sloan as he lived: tough, humble and honest]

The former Bull, who went on to lead the Utah Jazz to the playoffs in 15 of his 23 seasons there as a head coach, grew up on a farm near McLeansboro, Illinois. The youngest of 10 children, Sloan would routinely wake up in the wee hours to do family chores. He’d then walk two miles to the town’s high school for basketball practice.

The foundation of a hard work ethic and a ferocious competitive nature paved the way for Sloan’s rise to stardom.

Sloan played on several great McLeansboro teams in the late-50s. In his junior season, he helped guide his squad to a 19-6 record for coach Gene Haile. He followed that up with a senior season most kids would dream of: 26 wins, 3 losses. He was named to the All-State team.

He would later guide the Evansville Purple Aces to two Division II national championships. He became known as “the Original Bull” shortly after the startup Bulls franchise drafted him in the 1966 expansion draft. The rest was history—a brilliant 10-year career in Chicago as a player and nearly three more as a head coach on West Madison before becoming a legend in Salt Lake City.

But it was his small-town roots that made Jerry Sloan all the more genuine.

He would return to McLeansboro several times in 1984 —the year he became an assistant with the Utah Jazz— to watch his high school team play. His son, Brian, led the Foxes to the Class A state championship that year, going 35-0 in the process. Brian went on to play for Bobby Knight at Indiana.

Sloan would return frequently to this Southern Illinois town many times during his run with the Jazz— a run where he only finished below .500 once and racked up an astonishing career 1,221 wins. Hamilton County High School, formerly known as McLeansboro, dedicated its gym in Sloan’s honor in Dec. 2012. A road in McLeansboro is now called Jerry Sloan Avenue.

In a statement, a representative from McLeansboro High School said the following:

“Today is a sad day for Hamilton County and the Foxes. Coach Jerry Sloan has passed away. Coach Sloan graduated from McLeansboro High School in 1960 and was always a hometown boy. Whenever he returned he was just one of us. He will be greatly missed. RIP Coach Sloan.”

McLeansboro will always be Sloan Country.

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Michigan recruit J.J. McCarthy to transfer from Nazareth to Florida's IMG Academy

Michigan recruit J.J. McCarthy to transfer from Nazareth to Florida's IMG Academy

J.J. McCarthy, the state’s top-ranked high school quarterback and overall player according to Rivals, is transferring from Nazareth Academy to IMG Academy in Florida.

McCarthy made the announcement on his Twitter page Monday afternoon.

The news sent shock waves throughout the national prep football landscape. McCarthy, committed to play at Michigan, led the Roadrunners to an IHSA 7A second place finish back in November. As a sophomore in 2018, he threw for over 3,200 yards and 36 touchdowns. It culminated in a state title win and a 13-1 season.

The move makes sense for McCarthy, as he will team up with offensive lineman Greg Crippen, a fellow Michigan commit. According to Rivals, McCarthy (6-foot-2, 195 pounds) is ranked as the No. 5 pro-style quarterback and No. 33 overall recruit in the country.

The loss is a huge one for head coach Tim Racki and company at the La Grange Park school. That said, the Roadrunners are one of the dominant programs in IHSA football, compiling a 38-4 record the past three seasons with three state titles in the previous six campaigns.

The big questions: Will other high-caliber Illinois high school athletes follow McCarthy? When will the IHSA commit to a fall sports schedule? What will Illinois high school football look like in the fall? What guidelines will be in place? There are many uncertainties.

What is known: The IHSA chose to cancel the state basketball tournament and all 2020 spring sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Illinois is currently in a phased reopening of businesses and other institutions. Florida is ahead of Illinois in respect to some of those aforementioned facilities.

The risk, or perhaps the unknown, was worth it for McCarthy and his family. Will Florida —or other states, including Illinois— even be cleared to play football come August? Will his move be a productive one in retrospect?

Time will tell.