Preps Talk

High School Lites preview: Week 8

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High School Lites preview: Week 8

This week's edition of High School Lites has some important conference matchups including big games from the Public League Red-South, Southland, East Suburban Catholic Conference, Southwest Prairie, Upstate Eight River, Catholic League South and Central Suburban North. 

We'll also have a "Getting to Know" feature on Glenbard West senior Justin Pierce. The William & Mary commit has helped lead the Hilltoppers to an unbeaten start, while the Homewood-Flossmoor girls basketball team is our Team of the Week. 

You can catch High School Lites on Friday at 11 p.m. on CSN with replays at 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. Be sure to follow us on Twitter at @CSNPreps.

Thursday games

No. 2 Kenwood at DuSable, 5 p.m. — One of the top teams in the city, Kenwood (13-1, 8-0) goes on the road to play DuSable (2-9, 2-5). While the Broncos will be heavily favored, it's always important to pick up conference road wins.

No. 5 Bogan at No. 1 Morgan Park, 6 p.m. — One of the best matchups of the year, this Red-South showdown is a rematch from December. At Bogan on Dec. 17, Morgan Park (13-1, 6-0) won 79-58 despite Charlie Moore battling foul trouble and barely playing. Senior Jarrin Randall stepped up with 23 points. The Bengals (15-4, 6-2) will need senior James Jones to step up in this one to have a chance.

[MORE PREPS: AP Illinois high school boys basketball rankings: Week 8]

Friday games

Crete-Monee at Rich South, 6:30 p.m. — Crete-Monee is trying to remain one of the top teams in the south suburbs as it goes on the road in the Southland against Rich South (8-7, 2-2). The Warriors (13-4, 4-0) are talented, and they have a prominent local connection as Dwayne Rose, the nephew of Derrick Rose, is a talented junior at Crete-Monee.

Minooka at Plainfield North, 6:30 p.m. — An important battle in the Southwest Prairie as leader Minooka (15-7, 6-1) goes on the road to contender Plainfield North (11-7, 5-2). These two teams matched up on Dec. 4 with Minooka winning, 56-36, at home.

Batavia at St. Charles North, 7 p.m. — The Upstate Eight River leader goes on the road when Batavia (14-6, 6-0) heads to St. Charles North (3-10, 1-5). Bulldogs senior guard Cannan Coffey is having a great season and leads the way for Batavia. 

Elgin at Larkin, 7 p.m. — Another solid Upstate Eight River battle as Elgin visits Larkin. These two teams played on Dec. 3 with Larkin (10-7, 3-2) winning 84-80 on the road. Since then, Elgin (14-6, 3-3) has had a nine-game winning streak and played very well, so this rivalry game should once again be close.

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

No. 13 Marian Catholic at Joliet Catholic, 7 p.m. — With as good as the East Suburban Catholic Conference has been, this game is looking pretty big. Marian Catholic (14-4, 2-0) is one of the most talented teams in the area, and it gives Joliet Catholic (14-2, 2-1) a test to see how good it really is. 

Leo at Seton Academy, 7 p.m. — Two underrated teams in the Catholic League South face off as Leo (15-3, 4-1) heads to Seton Academy (14-4, 4-1). Since falling to Thornton at the Big Dipper in December, Leo has won five straight games.

DeKalb at Yorkville, 7 p.m. — In our Viewers' Choice Game of the Week, DeKalb (16-3, 6-0) is one of the best teams in Northern Illinois, and it travels to Northern Illinois Big 12 conference opponent Yorkville (9-8, 1-3). The Barbs won their own holiday tournament this season and are coached by former UIC assistant and York head coach Al Biancalana. 

Glenbrook North at No. 25 Deerfield, 7:30 p.m. — The top two teams in the Central Suburban North collide as red-hot Deerfield (17-3, 4-1) hosts Glenbrook North (11-4, 4-1). These two teams played on Dec. 8, and Deerfield won 62-52 on the road.

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.