Preps Talk

Edgy Tim's Week 2 analysis and picks

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NBC Sports Chicago

Edgy Tim's Week 2 analysis and picks

NBC Sports Chicago will have cameras covering the biggest high school football games across Chicagoland on the Week 2 edition of High School Lites, tonight at 11:00 p.m. Two top Chicagoland running backs take center stage when St. Rita's sophomore sensation RB Kaleb Brown travels to Oak Lawn to face Richards and senior RB Leshon Williams. Top ranked Lincoln-Way East hits the road this week to take on Naperville Central. Are the Redhawks already in must-win mode? Lake Zurich also is seeking their first win after losing in the opener to Fremd. Getting a win over Marist will not be an easy task. And can Maine South bounce back this week in hosting top-ranked Mount Carmel?

St. Rita (1-0) at (23) Richards (1-0), 7:00 p.m. #SENDEDGY

EDGY's Take: St. Rita is coming off an impressive 31-14 win over Joliet Catholic as the offense was able to get on track behind sophomore RB Kaleb Brown and a steady diet of play-action passing attack led by QB Brian Johnson. Richards and head coach Tony Sheehan will rely on standout senior RB Leshon Williams (Iowa) and an explosive group of skills led by senior QB Javon Robinson. The Bulldogs' defense held Lincoln-Way Central in check in last week's 14-7 win. Will the team that can slow down the oopposing run game win? 

EDGY's Pick: Richards 21 St. Rita 20

Wilmington (1-0) at Oak Lawn (0-1), 7:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Wilmington's head coach Jeff Reents will likely choose to run the football early and often. Look for RB Jake Rodawold to pick up where he left off (156 yards rushing, four touchdowns) last week. He was a key component in the Wildcats' 32-0 win over Evergreen Park. Oak Lawn and first year head coach Harold Blackmon will look to rebound from a rough 63-7 loss last Friday to Marian Catholic. 

EDGY's Pick: Wilmington 38 Oak Lawn 12

(1) Lincoln-Way East (1-0) at (14) Naperville Central (0-1), 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Lincoln-Way East was able to get a strong opening week win over Stevenson. The Griffins are stacked with talent, spearheaded by senior WR AJ Henning (Michigan). Senior QB Kyle Quinn is a true dual-threat option to watch in the East offense. LWE also has plenty of other names to watch including senior DE Sean McLaughlin (Northwestern) and senior DE Adrian Wilson (Bowling Green). They're part of a roster that remains one of the largest --by participation numbers-- in the entire state.  Naperville Central and head coach Mike Stine lost last Friday to Hinsdale Central 14-6. The Redhawks' offense, touted in the preseason as being a potentially explosive unit, is led by junior QB Sam Jackson (Minnesota) and senior WR Jadon Thompson (Illinois); however, the unit was limited to under 200 yards of offense in the loss. Can the Redhawks' offense get on track against East's defense? Can the Naperville Central defense slow down the run/pass attack of Lincoln-Way East? Which team can limit the big play? It could be the determining factor on the scoreboard. 

EDGY's Pick: Lincoln-Way East 28 Naperville Central 21

(19) Neuqua Valley (1-0) at Stevenson (0-1), 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: It took Neuqua Valley and head coach Bill Ellinghaus a half to get going, but the Wildcats eventually pulled away from Glenbard North in a 27-10 win last Friday. RB Armani Moreno led the run game with 122 yards and two touchdowns while senior QB Mark Gronowski (South Dakota State) also ran for a score. Stevenson lost to Lincoln-Way East 30-7 last Friday. The Patriots are led by first-year head coach Brent Becker. Look for senior RB JM Etienne and senior QB Justin Hiller to play big roles. Senior OL Ean Norenburg (Harvard) and senior DB Jordan Vincent (EIU) are two more critical names to watch. Can the Wildcats get out of the gates a little faster this week? Can Stevenson's offense get in gear?

EDGY's Pick: Neuqua Valley 24 Stevenson 21

Brooks (0-1) at Taft (0-1), 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Taft will come home this week and open up thier new on-campus stadium. Brooks and head coach J.D. Daniels took a 24-8 loss to Hubbard in Week 1. Can they bounce back this week? Taft and head coach John Tsarouchas went on the road in the opener, losing to Glenbrook North 40-28. But these Eagles are expecting big things this season behind junior QB Daniel Loch and a deep group of backs and receivers led by senior WR/S Dexter Stigall. Taft is the defending Chicago Public League champion. Can Brooks slow down the multiple weapons from the Taft offense? 

EDGY's Pick: Taft 38 Brooks 12

(24) Marist (1-0) at Lake Zurich (0-1), 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Marist head coach Ron Dawczak utilized his two quarterback rotation in a 42-0 win over Dunbar last Saturday. Senior Hayden Mikesell and sophomore Dontrell Jackson Jr. had great success in getting the Redhawks into the win column. They have plenty of talent this fall including senior WR A.J. Markett, senior LB Colin Bohanek (EIU) and junior OL Pat Coogan, who has already added several offers this summer. Lake Zurich lost to Fremd 24-6 as the Bears committed several turnovers and struggled to generate much offense. Expect a much more focused team this week. They're led by first-year head coach Ron Planz. Can Lake Zurich dent the Marist defense and avoid turning the football over? Can Marist continue to make the rotating quarterback system work this week on the road?

EDGY's Pick: Marist 24 Lake Zurich 21

(10) Mount Carmel (1-0) at (18) Maine South (0-1), 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Mount Carmel was able to break in its brand new on-campus facility on Friday, Barda-Dowling Stadium at Carey Field, with a 42-0 win over Calumet New Tech. Maine South is coming off a 42-28 loss to Glenbard West, where the Hawks struggled to slow down the power-running offense of West. The Maine South offense looked strong against Glenbard West, but a second half injury to starting junior QB Luke Leongas undoubtedly shifted momentum away from coach Dave Inserra's crew. Can the Caravan quickly ramp things up against Maine South this week on the road? Will Luke Leongas play on Friday? Can the Hawks' defense contain the Caravan run game?

EDGY's Pick: Mount Carmel 31 Maine South 28

Bolingbrook (1-0) at (4) St. Charles North (1-0), 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Bolingbrook and head coach John Ivlow got off to a good start with a 43-10 win over Proviso West. The Raiders have their usual group of college-bound athletes. They're led by OL John Williams (Cincinnati), senior TE Trevor Borland (Buffalo), QB Devyn Suggs (Yale) and junior S Justin Walters, who has already added several FBS level scholarship offers. St. Charles North picked up their first win last Friday against Palatine. The North Stars trailed 14-7 at halftime but got a big performance from RB Nick Demarco en route to the victory. The St. Charles North defense is strong this season. Keep an eye on senior DT Deji Oshin along with senior LB/FB Ben Furtney. Can Bolingbrook play well on the road and come away with a win? Can St. Charles North finally get a win over the Raiders? They've dropped two straight, back-to-back, very close regular season match ups. 

EDGY's Pick: St. Charles North 35 Bolingbrook 34 OT

Kenwood (1-0) at De La Salle (1-0), 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Let's call this the Something Has to Give Bowl. Kenwood beat Whitney Young 48-0 in Week 1 while De La Salle had little issue with Niles West in a 43-0 rout. Kenwood's head coach Sinque Turner has a roster with talent. It includes senior WR Jaleel Payne, senior S Donald Dillon and junior S Myles Mooyoung. De La Salle head coach Mike Boehm has experience on his roster, especially on defense. There are several new faces on offense. Keep an eye on senior TE Matt Byrnes and senior WR/S Jason Moore for the Meteors this fall. Can Kenwood handle De La Salle's size up front on both sides of the football? And can De La Salle slow down the speedy Kenwood Broncos?

EDGY's Pick: De La Salle 34 Kenwood 28

DeKalb (1-0) vs. Sycamore (1-0), 8:00 p.m. at NIU

EDGY's Take: This long-time rivalry game is now a nonconference matchup. Sycamore has moved to the Interstate Eight conference while DeKalb is now in the DuPage Valley after the Northern Illinois Big 12 East conference dissolved. Sycamore head coach Joe Ryan got an impressive 24-0 win from his crew, defeating Washington last Friday. DeKalb opened up play with a 21-0 win over Lake Park. For the Bards, keep an eye on senior RB Jalon Redmond, senior DB Donovan Lacey and senior WR Alex Siebens. Junior QB Trenton Kyler is a threat with the run and the pass. Class 5A state-ranked Sycamore is stacked with experience. They have 15 starters back (eight offense, seven defense) from a season ago. Senior RB/LB Manny Dominguez is a headliner along with senior LB Preston Rudd for Sycamore this season. Can Sycamore limit the DeKalb running game and make the Barbs' offense more one dimensional? Is this already a must-win for DeKalb? 

EDGY's Pick: DeKalb 41 Sycamore 40

Viewers Choice Game of the Week:
Bishop McNamara (1-0) at Coal City (1-0), 7:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Bishop McNamara and Hall of Fame head coach Rich Zinnani got off to a good start last Friday in beating Bloom 49-21. The Fighting Irish will look to senior QB Ty Hiller and a deep backfield to lead the way. It includes senior RB Owen Jackson and RB Caleb Smith. Coal City, under head coach Dan Hutchings, also had a strong opening night showing. They beat nearby rival Morris 48-33 as senior RB Dan Jizek ran for 245 yards and three touchdowns. This is a key early season matchup in Class 4A. Can the Coalers beat another key 4A school and local rival this week on their home field? And can the Coalers get the running game going again this week against Bishop Mac? Last possession wins?
 
EDGY's Pick: Bishop McNamara 34 Coal City 28 OT

Preps Basketball Power Rankings No. 13 Lincoln Park

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NBC Sports Chicago

Preps Basketball Power Rankings No. 13 Lincoln Park

School: Lincoln Park

2018-19 record: 23-8 (7-2 Public League Red-North/West)

Postseason results: Lost to Riverside-Brookfield in Class 4A regional finals.

Players to watch: The backcourt of junior guards Ismail Habib and Julio Montes were outstanding last season as they showed poise and scoring ability. Both Habib and Montes are creative off the dribble and capable of knocking down jumpers. Senior big man Romelle Howard has a chance to be a force after some strong showings during the summer.

Why they're in the power rankings: Last season was a successful one for the Lions. They established themselves as a consistent top-25 program with a great returning talent base for the future. With a top returning backcourt, Lincoln Park should remain one of the city's best teams this season.    

Did you know? Playing one of the toughest schedules in the area last season, Lincoln Park managed its first 20-win season in a decade.   

Preps Basketball Player of the Year Preseason Power Rankings

Preps Basketball Player of the Year Preseason Power Rankings

The 2019-20 high school basketball season has plenty of star power to keep track of this season. One of the strongest groups of Player of the Year contenders the area has seen in years, this year's group features multiple nationally-ranked players and intriguing candidates.

We'll continue to monitor Player of the Year candidates as the season goes on but here's a look at the top five contenders entering this season. 

1. Adam Miller, Morgan Park -- The favorite entering the 2019-20 season has to be Miller after he was arguably the state's best player last season.

Averaging 28.4 points, 7.8 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game, nobody in the area is capable of going for scoring runs quite like Miller. He can go on insane three-point bursts off the dribble while also creating offense for his Morgan Park teammates. The senior broke the Big Dipper Holiday Tournament scoring record while having games of 48 and 45 points there last season.

The Mustangs also could be the best team in the state this season as Miller will have plenty of help around him. That could mean some huge offensive nights for Miller since defenses shouldn't be about to key in on him with junk defenses like he saw so often last season. 

2. D.J. Steward, Whitney Young -- Steward had perhaps the best summer of any in-state player as he rose up national rankings and committed to Duke. But he's still slightly behind Miller in the Player of the Year preseason race because his numbers haven't been as massive.

Still averaging a stellar 24.3 points and 3.2 assists per game for the Dolphins last season, Steward is ultra efficient as an offensive threat. On a team that will play a national schedule with tons of opportunities against nationally-ranked teams, Steward will also get a ton of chances to make his case during the season.

While this season looks like a Miller vs. Steward race for Player of the Year going into it, both players are also trying to capture state titles after falling short last season. Earning state hardware could wind up being the difference in what should be a tight race.

3. Max Christie, Rolling Meadows -- If anyone is to push Miller and Steward's two-senior battle for Player of the Year it will likely be Christie. The state's top college prospect, the 6-foot-7 junior is a top-ten national recruit in the Class of 2021 who won a gold medal with USA Basketball over the summer.

Putting up 25.2 points, nine rebounds and 3.2 assists per game as a sophomore, Christie has already won MSL East Player of the Year honors and scored over 1,000 points during his two-year varsity career.

Capable of putting up 50 points during a game or throwing up a triple-double, Christie is one of the most electric players the area has seen in years. Watching his junior season should be a ton of fun as he has the potential to win Player of the Year if he can stay healthy and put up huge numbers.

4. Bryce Hopkins, Fenwick -- Also coming off of a big summer is this 6-foot-7 junior forward. Hopkins was already consistently putting up 30-point games by the end of his sophomore season. Now, the junior could emerge as a a sleeper Player of the Year threat after becoming a nationally-ranked Class of 2021 prospect this summer.

Committed recently to Louisville, Hopkins averaged 23 points per game last season. After seeing his complete scoring package grow and his strength continue to develop, Hopkins could be an unstoppable scorer for the Friars this season.

Hopkins will also be counted on to be a leader of a young team as Fenwick plays a tough schedule with tons of showcase opportunities this season. 

5. Ahron Ulis, Marian Catholic -- There are a number of candidates who could go in this final spot but Ulis gets a slight nod over the others. A winning player who has already made a trip to Peoria as a sophomore, Ulis has helped the Spartans to some very successful seasons while running point.

Averaging 18.3 points, 4.4 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game as a junior, the Iowa commit will consistently have the ball in his hands for a likely top-ten team as Marian Catholic has big expectations this season. If Ulis consistently shows an ability to knock down perimeter jumpers then he could have a huge season to close out a memorable high school career.