Preps Talk

Edgy's thoughts: The beauty that is high school football season

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Edgy's thoughts: The beauty that is high school football season

I start my 20th season of publishing on my website --EDGYTIM.com-- this Friday night. There are two things I am certain of as we kick off the 2015 season.

First, at least one highly ranked team will get beat on Friday night.

Second, all the preseason polls, predictions and forecasts all mean nothing once the ball is kicked off.

I fully expect to be "wrong" on more than a few teams when it comes to the rankings week in and week out.

Don't get me wrong: I love nothing better than going 25-for-25 in any given week, and it's actually happened once or twice over the 20+ years. It was an amazing feeling.

Did I pick your team to lose this week? Depending on the year, that might turn out to be a very good thing.

[EDGY TIM: Five names to watch in 2015]

Prohibitive favorites? Not in IHSA football. We have no such thing.

Homewood-Flossmoor pulled off a pretty rare feat in high school circles this preseason, being named a consensus top-ranked team in Chicagoland. While the H-F fans celebrate the early accolades, also be aware that I can count on one hand (and have some fingers left) the teams who went wire-to-wire as the state's top ranked team.

Yet for me, that's the beauty of IHSA football. Teams have a chance week in and week out. Someone, somewhere across the state is getting ready to shock the world and win a big game -- or games. Someone will get out of the gates slow, catch fire at the right time and make a deep state playoff run.

So enjoy the preseason rankings, stories and such. Once Friday night gets here, put aside all the hype. Get out and go watch a local IHSA game this weekend.

It's the best time of the year.

Play Smart. Play Hard.

39 Days to Kickoff - Downers Grove South

39 Days to Kickoff - Downers Grove South

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 July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Downers Grove South

Head coach: Mark Molinari 

Assistant coaches: Mark Molinari - Head Coach / Offensive Coordinator, Dan Bielawski - Defensive Coordinator, Troy Michalek - Defensive Line, Matt Quatman - Linebackers, Jon Orech - Offensive Line, Chris Wild - Offensive Line, Paul Maggiore - Running Backs, Tony Nevrly - Wide Receivers

How they fared in 2017: 4-5 (4-2 West Suburban Gold Conference). Downers Grove South failed to qualify for the IHSA state football playoff field.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Bolingbrook

Sept. 1 vs Oak Park-River Forest

Sept 8 @ Proviso East

Sept. 14 @ Hinsdale South

Sept. 21 vs Addison Trail

Sept. 28 @ Morton

Oct. 5 vs Leyden

Oct. 12 @ Downers Grove North

Oct. 19 vs Willowbrook

[MORE: 59 Days to Kickoff - Mount Carmel]

Biggest storyline: Can the Mustangs contend for the West Suburban Gold title and get back to the IHSA state playoffs?

Names to watch this season: WR/DB Jaelynn Blecke, OL/DL Shawn Lee and ATH Jayden Lambert

Biggest holes to fill: The Mustangs will have some graduation holes to fill-- especially at the quarterback position. Multi-year starter Matt Greenwald leaves big shoes to fill under center.

EDGY's Early Take: Downers Grove South just missed making the 2017 IHSA state playoff field. While the Mustangs will be a bit younger in 2018, it could work to their advantage. They have some very talented underclassmen names to watch this fall. The Mustangs' overall depth will be tested in a few spots this season; however, if South can stay relatively healthy, this team has a chance to challenge for a conference title and a state playoff spot. 

40 Days to Kickoff: Chicago Ag Science

40 Days to Kickoff: Chicago Ag Science

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 July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Chicago Ag Science

Head coach: Shawn Finnin

Assistant coaches: Craig Dovich, Vince Patterson, KJ Jones and Richard Price

How they fared in 2017: 6-4 (5-1 CPL Chicago Great Lakes Conference). Chicago Ag made the Class 4A state playoff field and lost to Rochelle in opening round action.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Lindblom

Aug. 31 vs Hubbard

Sept 7 vs King

Sept. 14 @ Harlan

Sept. 21 @ Julian

Sept. 28 vs Marshall

Oct. 4 vs Goode

Oct. 13 @ Urban Prep Englewood

Oct. 19 vs Orr

[MORE: 41 Days to Kickoff - Bogan]

Biggest storyline: Can the Cyclones keep winning in a new conference (CPL Illini Windy City) starting this year?

Names to watch this season: TE Tony Stafford and OL Kam Williams

Biggest holes to fill: The Cyclones will need to replace 8 starters on defense lost to graduation.

EDGY's Early Take: The Cyclones had a historic season in 2017 making the IHSA state playoff field for the first time in school history. With the recent success comes a "move up" to the Illini division this fall. Look for Ag Science to rely on an experienced offense (seven starters) including four returning starters on the Cyclones offensive line from a year ago.