Preps Talk

Edgy Tim's Top 25 Preps Power Rankings: Playoffs Week 1

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USA Today

Edgy Tim's Top 25 Preps Power Rankings: Playoffs Week 1

Here are the latest @NBCSPreps Top 25 Power Rankings after the first week of postseason play.

1. Lincoln-Way East 10-0 (1)
Last Week: Beat Plainfield South, 40-0
This Week: vs Notre Dame
EDGY's Take: A.J. Henning had three touchdowns in the win. The Griffins will now look to dent a very strong Dons defense.

2. Mount Carmel 10-0 (2)
Last Week: Beat Eisenhower, 61-14
This Week: vs Glenbard North 
EDGY's Take: The Caravan will take on a familiar foe in the Panthers-- a team that has won six straight games.

3. Nazareth Academy 10-0 (3)
Last Week: Beat Libertyville, 47-6
This Week: vs Thornton
EDGY's Take: The Roadrunners' defense will need to contain Thornton QB Derrick Williams on Saturday.

4. Warren Township 10-0 (4)
Last Week: Beat Plainfield East, 49-7
This Week: vs Fremd
EDGY's Take: Fright Fest in Gurnee isn't anywhere close to being over as long as the Roller Coaster Kids' defense is still alive in the IHSA playoff field.

5. Homewood-Flossmoor 9-1 (5)
Last Week: Beat Curie, 53-6
This Week: vs Neuqua Valley
EDGY's Take: The Vikings defense will be tested this week as they host QB Mark Gronowski and the Wildcats.

6. Glenbard West 10-0 (6)
Last Week: Beat Downers Grove North, 48-2
This Week: @ Loyola Academy
EDGY's Take: It'll be a matchup that will be hyped all week: The Hitters hit the road to take on Loyola in Wilmette Saturday afternoon.

7. Neuqua Valley 9-1 (7)
Last Week: Beat Conant, 44-6
This Week: @ Homewood-Flossmoor
EDGY's Take: The Wildcats defense stuffed the Conant running game. More will be asked from the defense this week, as the H-F offensive live is quite impressive.

8. Loyola Academy 7-3 (11)
Last Week: Beat Maine South, 14-6
This Week: vs Glenbard West
EDGY's Take: It's wasn't pretty but the Ramblers hang on for the win. JT Thomas threw for two TDs. It doesn't get any easier this week as Glenbard West comes to town.

9. Minooka 10-0 (9)
Last Week: Beat Joliet West, 20-7
This Week: vs Edwardsville
EDGY's Take: The Indians slid by Joliet West. Now comes Edwardsville and standout RB Justin Johnson Jr.

10. Bolingbrook 7-3 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Hinsdale Central, 42-13
This Week: vs Oswego
EDGY's Take: The Raiders lost two straight to end the regular season. But they're healthy again and proved it in a win at Hinsdale Central. 

11. Batavia 8-2 (12)
Last Week: Beat Thornwood, 49-8
This Week: vs Hononegah
EDGY's Take: The Bulldogs will try to slow down QB Payton Mather this weekend.

12. Hillcrest 9-1 (13)
Last Week: Beat St. Laurence, 18-15
This Week: @ Fenwick
EDGY's Take: The Hawks hang tough and beat St. Laurence. Another Catholic League foe awaits.

13. Maine South 7-3 (10)
Last Week: Lost to Loyola, 14-6
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Hawks got off to a 6-0 lead but came up just short in their loss to Loyola.

14. Willowbrook 9-1 (14)
Last Week: Beat Moline, 48-21
This Week: vs Yorkville
EDGY's Take: The Warriors get the running game going in their win over Moline. Yorkville will be a very tough opponent to beat.

15. Huntley 9-1 (15)
Last Week: Beat Taft, 48-6
This Week: @ Marist
EDGY's Take: The Red Raiders now hit the road and look to beat an upstart Marist team.

16. Montini 8-2 (16)
Last Week: Beat Elmwood Park, 56-6
This Week: @ Sycamore
EDGY's Take: Is it just me or do the Broncos always play Sycamore in the postseason?

17. Prairie Ridge 9-1 (17)
Last Week: Beat Grayslake North, 51-6
This Week: vs Simeon
EDGY's Take: The Wolves will get a big test this weekend as Simeon, who beat Lakes 34-3, comes calling.

18. Rolling Meadows 10-0 (18)
Last Week: Beat Lincoln Park, 33-12
This Week: vs Prospect
EDGY's Take: The Mustangs defeated Prospect 35-14 in Week 7. Now comes the rematch.

19. Hersey 9-1 (19)
Last Week: Beat Auburn, 49-0
This Week: @ Lake Zurich
EDGY's Take: Huskies QB Jordan Hansen and the rest of the offense will need to ramp up against the always-tough Lake Zurich defense.

20. Fremd 8-2 (20)
Last Week: Beat Plainfield North, 19-0
This Week: @ Warren Township
EDGY's Take: The Vikings will square off against another defensive-minded program in Warren Township.
 
21. St. Rita 7-3 (21)
Last Week: Beat Glenbard South, 49-14
This Week: @ Sterling
EDGY's Take: The Mustangs hit the road on Saturday to take on a Sterling team that's been near or at the top of the 5A poll all season long.

22. Notre Dame 8-2 (22)
Last Week: Beat Barrington, 23-21
This Week: @ Lincoln-Way East
EDGY's Take: The Dons get RB Julian Schurr back and then hang on for the 23-21 win over Barrington to advance.
  
23. Crete-Monee 10-0 (23)
Last Week: Beat Bremen, 50-14
This Week: @ Providence Catholic
EDGY's Take: The Warriors always get up to take on nearby rival Providence Catholic in the postseason.

24. Hinsdale Central 8-2 (8)
Last Week: Lost to Bolingbrook, 42-13
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Red Devils fell into a 28-6 hole vs. Bolingbrook and couldn't make up ground as their season comes to a close.

25. Oswego 9-1 (25)
Last Week: Beat Elgin, 42-8
This Week: @ Bolingbrook
EDGY's Take: The Panthers' defense and running game always get the headlines. But QB Cole Pradel is having a big season for Oswego.

Top five under the radar teams to watch in 2020

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NBC Sports Chicago

Top five under the radar teams to watch in 2020

There are several teams that finished with losing records this past season; they will undoubtedly be flying under the radar come August.  Who are the top 5 teams who could surprise IHSA football fans next fall?

St. Charles North (4-5): It was a tough 2019 season for the North Stars both on and off the field. The school administration and head coach Ron Pomazak had to deal with the serious brain injury to sophomore RB Aidan Carlson-- an issue which impacted the entire community. St. Charles North still has talent in the program including several starters on the offensive line, namely junior OL/DL Carmine Bastone and junior OT Ian Erickson. They are on the rise along with junior ATH Jordan Nubi, the younger brother of former North Star and current Minnesota Gopher safety Tyler Nubin. 

Naperville Central (4-5): The Redhawks had a ton of hype in the preseason, then the reality of a brutal schedule set in. Naperville Central ended up losing three games to eventual state champions (Lincoln-Way East, Ohio’s Pickerington Central and East St. Louis). They lost another two games to teams with a combined record of 17-4. The 2020 Redhawks will still have one of the state's most dangerous athletes in QB Sam Jackson (Minnesota) along with a deep group of talented young receivers led by junior Keon Green and sophomore Reggie Fluerima.

Stevenson (4-5): The Patriots missed the IHSA state football playoff field for the first time since 1988. Can postseason football come back to Lincolnshire? Stevenson head coach Brent Becker will need to replace a very big senior class; however, this remains one of the top programs year in and year out in Illinois. Don't look for Stevenson to be down for very long.

Lockport (4-5): Easily one of the better stories of 2019. Former longtime Porter assistant coach George Czart was given the reins of this program in the offseason. Czart was also the head coach at Lincoln-Way North and led the Phoenix to a 54-29 record in eight seasons before the district closed the school. The Porters have numbers in the program; Czart’s staff did an outstanding job of getting everyone to buy in and the program became competitive as a result. The overall talent level is still a work in progress but the ingredients are in the building. They have the potential of becoming an eventual monster to watch in the Southwest suburbs.

Oak Park-River Forest (4-5): The Huskies, under head coach John Hoerster, wound up posting a losing record—a rarity for this Western Suburban Silver program. But outside of a 42-0 Week 9 loss to Glenbard West, OPRK was in every game last season. Several of the Huskies top players in 2019 will be back in 2020, led by QB/S Jaden McGill, LB Naahlyee Bryant and junior OL/DL Amarion Jones.

VOTE: Wintrust Viewers' Choice Game of the Week

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NBC Sports Chicago

VOTE: Wintrust Viewers' Choice Game of the Week

Who wants it more?              

NBC Sports Chicago and Wintrust present our “Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week.” We are putting High School Lites, Chicagoland’s top prep sports show, in the hands of passionate high school basketball followers. Fans will get the chance to pick one game that the @NBCSPreps crew will cover on Friday night. We will send our cameras to the game that gets the most votes; highlights and postgame reaction of that game will appear on that night’s “High School Lites” broadcast at 11:00 p.m. The show also live streams at www.nbcsportschicago.com/watchlive and appears in the MyTeams app.  High School Lites will also have broadcast replays at 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. the following Saturday on NBC Sports Chicago. 

This week, we're going to get a taste of the Chicago Public League/White division. Which game should we attend for High School Lites?

Mather at Foreman, 5:00 p.m.

Jones at Wells, 5:00 p.m.

Perspectives-MSA at Raby, 6:30 p.m.

To participate, our fans are encouraged to do the following:

**Follow our NBC Sports Chicago preps Twitter page: @NBCSPreps.

**Note the pinned tweet that is atop the feed.

**Vote for the game you want NBC Sports Chicago to cover Friday night.

**Spread the word!

The poll will start promptly at 12:00 p.m. Monday. We will make an announcement with the official results on @NBCSPreps just after 4 p.m. Thursday. And as a reminder, be sure to follow @NBCSPreps for updates on the “Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week,” along with other high school sports news, scores and highlights, all season long.