Preps Talk

High School Lites preview Week 7

NBC Sports Chicago

High School Lites preview Week 7

High School Lites has plenty of great action from across the Chicagoland area this week. We'll have highlights from the Public League, Catholic League, Central Suburban South and Mid-Suburban League. The show will also look back at No. 1 Curie's battle with No. 2 Bogan earlier this week while St. Viator's Jeremiah Hernandez and Treyvon Calvin are this week's Wintrust Athlete of the Week.

High School Lites airs on NBC Sports Chicago + on Friday night at 11 p.m. with replays on Saturday morning at 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. on NBC Sports Chicago. Follow us on Twitter @NBCSPreps for more scores and updates throughout the week.

Montini at Mother McAuley (girls), Thurs. 6:00 p.m. -- Two of the area's best girls team battle in this one. Montini (18-3) is coming off of back-to-back wins as they're the No. 4 team in the IHSA Class 4A AP girls rankings. Mother McAuley is No. 10 in those same rankings as they're 18-1 on the season. 

Lincoln Park at Lane Tech, 5:00 p.m. -- The Public League Red North/West is showcased in this one. Lincoln Park (10-6, 2-2) has played one of the area's toughest schedules as they already have a conference road win at Whitney Young. Lane Tech (11-4, 2-2) won a holiday tournament at Maine East as they're playing very well the past few weeks. 

No. 17 New Trier at No. 7 Evanston (boys), 6:00 p.m. (girls varsity also on HS Lites)/8:00 p.m. -- This boys and girls doubleheader should be a fun rivalry night. On the boys side, the top two teams in the Central Suburban South matchup for the first time here.

Evanston (16-3, 3-1) is off to strong start thanks to a senior backcourt that features Southern Illinois commit Lance Jones, Jaheim Holden and Ryan Bost. New Trier (15-2, 5-0) counters with a strong showing during the holiday season with a tourney win in Arizona followed by a strong 3-1 showing at Pontiac. Ciaran Brayboy is pledged to Harvard as he leads the interior play for the Trevians.

The girls game features an Evanston (15-5) team on a three-game winning streak. New Trier (14-4) recently fell in the title game at Dundee-Crown to Maine West as they bounced back with a win over Niles North.

Prospect at Rolling Meadows, 6:00pm -- Two of the best teams in the Mid-Suburban East play in this one. Prospect (8-8, 4-0) remains unbeaten and on top of the division after taking down Hoffman Estates. Rolling Meadows (10-5, 3-1) counters with super sophomore Max Christie as he's a threat to score from nearly anywhere on the floor. 

No. 24 Waukegan at Stevenson, 7:00 p.m. -- The North Suburban Conference's top two teams play for the first time this season in this one. The Bulldogs (13-3, 4-0) feature Bryant Brown, one of the area's best seniors as he's been very productive this season. Stevenson (12-3, 3-1) counters with a balanced team as they look to knot it up with Waukegan in a tight conference race. 

Glenbard South at West Aurora, 7:00 p.m. -- A major battle in the Upstate Eight as the two best teams play. Glenbard South (11-3, 6-1) has won back-to-back games to start the new year as their only conference loss came to the Blackhawks back on Nov. 30. West Aurora (15-3, 8-0) looks to maintain its conference lead 

Notre Dame at No. 9 St. Viator, 7:00 p.m. -- In a tight East Suburban Catholic Conference, this one could be important. Notre Dame (10-7, 1-1) is trying to rally in league play behind some talented young players -- including sophomore Anthony Sayles. St. Viator (14-2, 2-0) fell short at the Wheeling Hardwood Classic, but they're still in great position to compete for a conference title. Seniors Jeremiah Hernandez (Kent State) and Treyvon Calvin (Wright State) are a backcourt to watch while also being our Wintrust Athletes of the Week. 

St. Laurence at No. 13 Leo, 7:00 p.m. -- An intriguing Catholic League crossover that has a lot league implications in this one. St. Laurence (16-3, 5-2) recently lost in conference play to Montini before bouncing back with a win over Providence. Leo (13-3, 5-1) is trying to stay on top of the White Division as senior point guard Fred Cleveland Jr. (North Carolina A&T) is having a big season.

Riverside-Brookfield at Aurora Christian, 7:30 p.m. -- The surprisingly deep Metro Suburban Blue gets two of the better teams in this one. Riverside-Brookfield (13-3, 4-0) is atop the conference after previously spending time in the Preps Power Rankings earlier this season. Aurora Christian (14-3, 2-0) counters with junior Will Wolfe as they've only lost to one area team (Providence-St. Mel) all season.

No. 14 York at Oak Park-River Forest, 7:30 p.m. -- The West Suburban Silver's top two teams face here. The Dukes (15-1, 4-0) have been one of the area's surprises this season as they recently won the Jack Tosh Holiday Classic. Oak Park River-Forest (10-6, 4-1) has top-25 talent but they've played a tough schedule so far. They're a senior-laden team looking to get back in the Power Rankings with another quality win.


Hampshire at Dundee-Crown, 7:30 p.m. -- An intriguing Fox Valley matchup is our Viewers' Choice Game of the Week. Hampshire (10-6, 5-2) is coming off of a big weekend in which they took down Cary-Grove and Kaneland. Dundee-Crown (13-3, 5-2) has won five consecutive games, including a massive conference win over first-place Crystal Lake Central earlier this week.

13 Days to Kickoff: Phillips

13 Days to Kickoff: Phillips 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 Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30.

School: Phillips

Head coach: Troy McAllister

How they fared in 2018: 9-3 (5-0 CPL Illini Land of Lincoln Conference). Phillips made the Class 6A state playoff field and defeated Lake Forest and Prairie Ridge. They advanced for the quarterfinal round and lost to Cary-Grove.

2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 31 @ Cass Tech (MI)
Sept. 7 vs St. Mary (MO) at East St. Louis
Sept. 13 vs Taft
Sept. 20 vs Raby
Sept. 27 @ Morgan Park (Gately Stadium)
Oct. 5 @ Simeon (Gately Stadium)
Oct. 11 vs Lane Tech
Oct. 19 @ Westinghouse
Oct. 25 @ Lincoln Park (at Lane Tech)

Biggest storyline: Phillips has gone from a Public League also-ran to a program with annual state title aspirations. Can the two-time state champion Wildcats get back into the 6A playoff field and make a deeper run this November?

Names to watch this season: S Robert Pledger (Sr., Western Michigan) OL/DL Demerick Morris (Sr., Temple)

Biggest holes to fill: The Wildcats will bring back an experienced team this season after playing a ton of underclassmen in 2018. The biggest hole is more from a leadership standpoint with the graduation losses of WR/DB Fabian McCray (NIU) and DB Joseph Thompson (Illinois), both of whom were long time varsity starters. 

EDGY's Early Take: Phillips (4A-sized enrollment) and head coach Troy McAllister volunteered to "move up" to Class 6A level last season and also this season. The Wildcats will bring back big group of returning starters who saw significant playing time last season.

While they came up short last season with a 6A quarterfinals loss to Cary-Grove, look for the Wildcats to again challenge everyone who comes their way in the Chicago Public League. They’ll have to be road warriors the first two weeks, as they take on marquee competition from out of state. The Oct. 5 date vs. Simeon is a must-see. The 6A playoff field will have to be wary of Phillips.

14 Days to Kickoff: Montini Catholic

14 Days to Kickoff: Montini Catholic 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 Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30.

School: Montini Catholic

Head coach: Mike Bukovsky

Assistant coaches: Brian Casey, Mark Placey, Kyle Petros, Joe DiCanio, Thomas McLaurin, Ted Fleckles, Larry Sheppard, Roosevelt Holiday, Joe Consalvo and Jack Bruscianelli

How they fared in 2018: 12-2 (3-1 CCL Blue Conference). Montini made the Class 5A state playoff field and defeated Woodstock North, Sycamore, Evergreen Park and Sterling. They advanced to the state title game where they lost to Joliet Catholic.

2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 31 @ Hudson (WI)
Sept. 6 vs Collins
Sept. 13 @ Mount Carmel
Sept. 20 vs St. Rita
Sept. 27 vs St. Viator
Oct. 4 @ (Niles) Notre Dame
Oct. 11 @ St. Joseph
Oct. 18 vs De La Salle
Oct. 25 vs Providence Catholic

Biggest storyline: Finishing. Can the Broncos get to DeKalb for the 5A state title game and walk away with a championship trophy?

Names to watch this season: WR/TE Nate Muersch (Sr., Miami OH), OL Jeremiah Banks Wall (Sr.), QB Deontay Bell (Sr.)

Biggest holes to fill: The Broncos welcome back 12 starters (five offense, seven defense) from last season's squad but they will have new faces at receiver, running back and defensive back. 

EDGY's Early Take: Montini Catholic has been chomping at the bit to get back on the field. They had a great run last season and fell short in Champaign against JCA. Several key names return this season, including quarterback Deontay Bell and a sure-handed, tall receiver in Nate Muersch. The offensive line brings back three starters as well.

The Broncos defense has speed and experience on the line and at linebacker. Senior defensive back CJ Bufkin is a name to watch this fall. The newly-realigned CCL/ESCC schedule is strong but the Broncos should be well prepared after playing in the old CCL Blue the past few seasons.