Preps Talk

High School Lites preview: Week 7

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High School Lites preview: Week 7

High School Lites has a lot of enticing conference matchups on the show this week as we have Chicagoland covered with games from the CSL South, ESCC, DVC, Red-West, NSC Lake, Upstate Eight and Catholic League South.

Benet and Notre Dame will be featured in a matchup of ranked teams and we'll also have a feature on Hinsdale South senior center and Northwestern commit Barret Benson. The Marmion wrestling team will also be featured as our Team of the Week.

High School Lites will air this week at 11 p.m. on CSN and stream on CSNChicago.com.

Thursday's games

Maine South at No. 7 Evanston, 7:00 p.m. - This Central Suburban South rivalry has been fun to watch the last few years as the top two teams in the league battle again. Evanston (12-2, 4-0) is the league favorite behind star junior guard Nojel Eastern and his talented supporting cast that is plenty capable without him on the floor. Maine South (12-4, 3-1) had a loss to New Trier recently and will look to bounce back with a big conference road win to put them back in the title picture.

No. 12 Notre Dame at No. 10 Benet, 7:00 p.m. - An important one in the East Suburban Catholic Conference as Benet (12-2, 1-1) hosts Notre Dame (11-3, 1-1). Both of these teams played state title contender Fenwick last week with the Redwings pulling out the victory. Notre Dame is one of the taller teams in the area and pose an interesting matchup for Benet in this one.

Friday's games

Naperville Central at No. 14 Naperville North, 7:30 p.m. - In the battle of Naperville, North hosts Central as these two co-conference leaders do battle in the DuPage Valley Conference. Naperville North (11-3,, 4-1) was impressive this holiday season as they've won six of their last seven games. Naperville Central has lost three straight games after a great start and they'll look to turn things around in this rivalry game.

Farragut at No. 16 Whitney Young, 6:00 p.m. - Whitney Young hosts Farragut in a Red-West battle as these two teams played on Dec. 12 with the Dolphins winning on the road. The Admirals (12-5, 2-4) have dropped three consecutive games since winning a holiday tournament in Missouri while Whitney Young (9-4, 3-1) has looked strong lately playing good competition from all over the country.

[MORE PREPS: CSN Preps Boys Basketball Power Rankings - Week 7]

Indian Creek at Newark, 7:00 p.m. - In our Viewers' Choice Game, the host Norsemen (16-2, 4-0) take on the Timberwolves (11-3, 3-0) in a battle for the top spot in the Little Ten conference. Newark is coming off an 84-49 win at Seneca, while I-C was victorious over Polo on Tuesday, 57-41.

No. 21 Zion-Benton at Mundelein, 7:00 p.m. - Zion-Benton (11-4, 3-1) entered the @CSNPreps Power Rankings after knocking off Libertyville and Lake Zurich and they'll go on the road in the North Suburban Lake to face Mundelein (1-13, 0-4).

Mount Carmel at Brother Rice, 7:00 p.m. - A great rivalry takes place on the hardwood as two of the Catholic South's best collide. Mount Carmel (12-4, 4-0) will put their unbeaten conference mark on the line when they go on the road to face Brother Rice (11-6, 3-1). The Caravan have spent time in the Power Rankings this season while Brother Rice won the Luther North Holiday Tournament and is a factor under first-year head coach Bobby Frasor.

Glenbard East at West Chicago, 7:00 p.m. - Two of the best teams in the Upstate Eight Valley as Glenbard East tries to catch up with West Chicago. Glenbard East (8-6, 2-1) is trying to bounce back after a subpar holiday season while West Chicago (13-3, 3-0) is riding a three-game winning streak. These two teams play again at Glenbard East on Feb. 9.

Stevenson at Libertyville, 7:00 p.m. - The North Suburban Lake is wide open and these two middle-of-the-pack teams will try to make a move on Friday night. Stevenson (9-4, 3-1) has some puzzling losses this season as they try to earn a nice road win at Libertyville and junior wing Justin Smith is showing positive signs this season. Libertyville (9-6, 2-3) has a talented team and a promising sophomore in Drew Peterson.

90 Days to Kickoff: Warren

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NBC

90 Days to Kickoff: Warren

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: Warren Township

Head coach: Bryan McNulty

Assistant coaches: Jim Voutiritsas, Brandon Schild, Justin Van Schaik, Tayler Erbach and Mark Mika

How they fared in 2017: 7-4 (5-2 North Suburban Conference). Warren Township made the IHSA 8A playoff field. The Blue Devils defeated Bolingbrook then lost to Maine South in second round action.

2018 Regular Season Schedule

Aug. 24 vs Barrington

Aug. 31 @ Glenbard North

Sept. 7 vs Waukegan

Sept. 14 vs Libertyville

Sept. 21 @ Lake Forest

Sept. 28 @ Zion-Benton

Oct. 5 vs Lake Zurich

Oct. 12 vs Stevenson

Oct. 19 @ Mundelein

Biggest storyline: Can The Blue Devils make it back-to-back postseason appearances and challenge for the North Suburban Conference title?

Names to watch this season: DL Zack Pelland, DT Willis Singleton and RB Martin Walker

Biggest holes to fill: The Blue Devils will need to find a new pass/catch tandem to replace graduated QB Ian Schilling and a strong group in the skills department, led by WR Micah Jones (Notre Dame).  

EDGY's Early Take: The Blue Devils had a nice 2017 season. After starting seven sophomores on the varsity level a year ago, head coach Bryan McNulty has the rare combination of youth and experience this fall. The defense will be a definite strength going into the season. The offense will rely on the running game, which features four starting offensive linemen back in the fold along with senior RB Martin Walker. If the passing game can come along, this team can once again challenge in the North Suburban Conference race and also in the overall 8A picture. 

91 Days to Kickoff: Joliet Catholic

91 Days to Kickoff: Joliet Catholic

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: Joliet Catholic Academy

Head coach: Jake Jaworski

Assistant coaches: Dave Douglas, Cory McLaughlin, Chris Kinsella, Mark Mettille, Jake Ziesmer, Zach Dolph, Josh Greenback and Craig Slowik

How they fared in 2017: 3-6 (2-5 East Suburban Catholic Conference). JCA failed to make the 2017 IHSA state playoff field.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 vs. St. Rita

Aug. 31 @ IC Catholic Prep

Sept. 7 @ St. Viator

Sept. 14 vs. Carmel

Sept. 21 @ Marist

Sept. 28 vs. Benet Academy

Oct. 5 vs. Marian Catholic

Oct. 12 @ Nazareth Academy

Oct. 19 @ Notre Dame

Biggest storyline: Can Joliet Catholic snap a two-year hiatus from the state football playoffs?

Names to watch this season: OT Dave Monnot and RB Kenyetta Williams

Biggest holes to fill: The Hilltoppers will need to reload at the quarterback and wide receiver positions. 

EDGY's Early Take: It's been a rough few seasons at one of the state's best football programs. That said, 2018 has the potential to be the turnaround year the Hilltoppers have been looking for. Second-year head coach Jake Jaworski will feature four big and experienced offensive linemen, led by senior OT Dave Monnot (6-foot-6, 287 pounds). They also have a name to watch in junior-to-be RB Kenyetta Williams. If Joliet Catholic can survive another challenging early season non-conference schedule, they will compete in the always-tough ESCC.