Preps Talk

Edgy Tim's Preps Power Rankings: Week 7

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NBC Sports Chicago

Edgy Tim's Preps Power Rankings: Week 7

Here are the latest @NBCSPreps Top 25 Power Rankings. 

1. Lincoln-Way East 6-0 (1)
Last Week: Beat Homewood-Flossmoor, 48-6
This Week: @ Lockport
EDGY's Take: Can anyone slow down the Griffins in 2018? 

2. Nazareth Academy 6-0 (2)
Last Week: Beat Carmel, 55-17
This Week: vs Marist
EDGY's Take: It'll be a big, big test this week for the Roadrunners. Last year was ugly against Marist. Expect Nazareth to be ready for this one on Friday.

3. Batavia 6-0 (3)
Last Week: Beat Geneva, 48-0
This Week: @ St. Charles East
EDGY's Take: The Bulldogs take care of Geneva. Does this week's game at St. Charles East have "trap game" written all over it?  

4. Brother Rice 6-0 (5)
Last Week: Beat St. Rita, 21-14
This Week: @ Marmion Academy
EDGY's Take: The Crusaders snuck by rival St. Rita in a close win on Friday.

5. Mount Carmel 5-1 (6)
Last Week: Beat St. Ignatius, 49-0
This Week: vs Providence Catholic
EDGY's Take: The Caravan will look to keep rolling this week as the Celtics come to Gately Stadium.

6. Homewood-Flossmoor 5-1 (4)
Last Week: Lost to Lincoln-Way East, 48-6
This Week: @ Bradley-Bourbonnais
EDGY's Take: The Vikings will need to get back to work this week after a rough loss at Lincoln-Way East.
 
7. Cary-Grove 6-0 (7)
Last Week: Beat McHenry, 63-21
This Week: @ Jacobs
EDGY's Take: The Trojans' offense has been putting up big points all season long.

8. Simeon 6-0 (8)
Last Week: Beat Raby, 42-0
This Week: vs Hubbard
EDGY's Take: The Wolverines have a very good chance at winning out the remainder of the regular season, but long-time rival Hubbard stands in the way this week.

9. Marist 5-1 (9)
Last Week: Beat Marian Catholic, 42-0
This Week: @ Nazareth Academy
EDGY's Take: Can the Redhawks' defense slow down and contain Nazareth's spread offense? Can the Marist offense, led by QB Mike Markett, be its best defense this week? 

10. Maine South 5-1 (10)
Last Week: Beat Niles North, 42-7
This Week: @ Glenbrook South
EDGY's Take: Coach Dave Inserra's Maine South Hawks continue to get a big season from backup senior QB Cole Dow.
 
11. Oswego 6-0 (11)
Last Week: Beat Romeoville, 56-6
This Week: @ Oswego East
EDGY's Take: The Battle of Oswego is this week. You better get those tickets in advance. 

12. Glenbard West 5-1 (12)
Last Week: Beat Lyons Township, 41-7
This Week: @ Hinsdale Central
EDGY's Take: Hilltoppers senior RB Tyquan Cox is having an All-Area/All-State caliber season so far.  

13. Richards 6-0 (13)
Last Week: Beat Argo, 50-0
This Week: vs Lemont
EDGY's Take: The Bulldogs look forward to taking on South Suburban crossover rival Lemont this week.
 
14. Phillips 4-2 (14)
Last Week: Beat Curie, 42-0
This Week: @ Lane Tech
EDGY's Take: The Wildcats defense has allowed just six points over the last three weeks.

15. Willowbrook 6-0 (15)
Last Week: Beat York, 28-14
This Week: vs Morton
EDGY's Take: The Warriors are now 6-0 for the first time since 2000.

16. Naperville Central 4-2 (16)
Last Week: Beat Naperville North, 50-21
This Week: vs Neuqua Valley
EDGY's Take: The Redhawks offense is clicking behind QB Payton Thorne.
 
17. Bolingbrook 5-1 (17)
Last Week: Beat Lockport, 39-7
This Week: @ Thornridge
EDGY's Take: The Raiders take care of Lockport and will take on Thornridge in a rare Thursday game this week in Dolton. 

18. Montini 6-0 (18)
Last Week: Beat Loyola, 28-27
This Week: @ Fenwick
EDGY's Take: The "never-say-quit" Broncos trailed Loyola 21-0 but fought their way back to victory. It was Montini's first-ever win over Loyola.
 
19. Hinsdale Central 5-1 (19)
Last Week: Beat Proviso West, 47-8
This Week: vs Glenbard West
EDGY's Take: The Red Devils will get a big test on Friday against the Hilltoppers.
 
20. Stevenson 5-1 (20)
Last Week: Beat Mundelein, 43-0
This Week: vs Waukegan
EDGY's Take: The Patriots are back on a roll. But more tests await, including this Friday at they host the Bulldogs.

21. New Trier 5-1 (23)
Last Week: Beat Evanston, 35-28
This Week: @ Niles North
EDGY's Take: The Trevians get a big boost from injured RB Brian Sitzer in their win over rival Evanston on Friday.
 
22. St. Charles North 5-1 (NR)
Last Week: Beat St. Charles East, 28-7
This Week: @ Glenbard North
EDGY's Take: The North Stars have also gotten a nice season so far from sophomore QB Kyler Brown as North topped East last in the annual "Battle of St. Charles."

23. Hillcrest 6-0 (24)
Last Week: Beat Tinley Park, 59-0
This Week: @ T.F. South
EDGY's Take: A lot of people seem to be sleeping on the Hawks. Don't be one of them. 

24. Notre Dame 5-1 (NR)
Last Week: Beat St. Viator, 28-0
This Week: @ St. Patrick
EDGY's Take: The Dons now square off against bitter longtime rival St. Pats this Friday at Triton College. 

25. Neuqua Valley 4-2 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Waubonsie Valley, 47-16
This Week: @ Naperville Central
EDGY's Take: The Wildcats get a nice win over rival Waubonsie Valley, but now comes another tough test at Naperville Central.

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.