Preps Talk

High School Lites Preview: Week 9


High School Lites Preview: Week 9

CSN Chicago will have cameras covering the biggest high school football games across Chicagoland on the Week 9 edition of High School Lites, Friday at 11:00 p.m. Can the surging Evanston Wildkits break Maine South’s 74 game conference winning streak? Can Bolingbrook shock the IHSA prep football world and beat No. 1 ranked Homewood-Flossmoor secure a state playoff bid? Can Elmwood Park beat St. Edward in Elgin and grab a spot at the IHSA playoff table? And who comes away with a win when Hersey travels to Rolling Meadows in a must-win playoff scenario for both teams? 


Solorio at Morgan Park, 4:15 p.m. at Gately Stadium

EDGY's Take: This first round CPL Playoff game will feature two very solid teams to watch in Solorio (5-3) and Morgan Park (6-2), both of whom will make the IHSA state playoff field. Solorio has lost two of its last three games, including last week's 63-13 loss to Phillips. The Sun Warriors could definitely use a win here. Morgan Park and head coach Terry Atkin's are battle tested. Their only two losses this season came to Thornton Township (7-1) and Mount Carmel (7-1). 

EDGY's Pick: Morgan Park 31, Solorio 14


Evanston at (24) Maine South, 7:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Maine South (6-2) and head coach Dave Inserra have bounced back well from a rough 0-2 start behind senior QB Brian Collis. He’s guided by a big and physical line led by senior OL/DL Liam O'Sullivan (Cincinnati) and junior D-1 level OG Kevin Jarvis. Evanston (6-2) also has plenty of talent behind senior QB Matt Little (Western Michigan) plus senior WR/DB Travion Banks (Miami of Ohio) and senior DL Naquan Jones (Michigan State). Can the Hawks offense keep the Wildkits defense on the field—and the Evanston offense on the sidelines?

EDGY's Pick: Maine South 35, Evanston 34


Elmwood Park at St. Edward, 7:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Elmwood Park (4-4) is in must-win mode to make the IHSA state playoff field. And even if the Tigers win, they will be sweating it out Saturday night due to low playoff points. Look for St. Edward (5-3) to get the ball into the hands of standout senior RB Dwayne Allen early and often. The game is also expected to be played on the new playing surface at Greg True Field, which earlier this season was ruined by a landscaping incident which became a national story. The newly sodded field was donated to the school by corporate donor.

EDGY's Pick: St. Edward 31, Elmwood Park 21 


Shepard at Bremen, 7:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: In our Viewers’ Choice Game, Shepard (4-4) and head coach Dom Passolano should get a state playoff bid with a win here against rival Bremen (1-7). The Astros will put its fate in the hands of junior QB Jack Carberry and a strong group of backs and receivers. Can the Bremen defense slow down the Astros offense this week?

EDGY's Pick: Shepard 31, Bremen 13


Wheaton Academy at Aurora Central Catholic, 7:15 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Wheaton Academy (5-3) looks to be in the state playoff field win or lose. The Warriors still want to enter the state playoffs on a positive note. Look for Wheaton Academy to get its offense in gear with QB David Thrasher. Aurora Central Catholic (3-5) and head coach John Belskis might be out of the state playoff field, but expect the Chargers to play this like a state championship game. Keep an eye on junior QB Johnny Belskis for Aurora Central Catholic. Can ACC slow down the passing attack from Wheaton Academy?

EDGY's Pick: Wheaton Academy 35, Aurora Central Catholic 21


Manteno at Wilmington, 7:15 p.m.

EDGY's Take: A terrific Week 9 Interstate Eight conference crossover here between the champions of the I-8 Large division (Manteno, 8-0) and the I-8 Small division (Wilmington, 8-0). Wilmington and head coach Jeff Reents will give the ball early and often to senior RB Nick Hawkins. Manteno is much more pass friendly this season with QB Gavin Zimbelmanand. Also, keep an eye on RB/LB Logan DuVuall for the Panthers. Last possession wins?

EDGY's Pick: Wilmington 36, Manteno 35


Hersey at Rolling Meadows, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: This Mid-Suburban East showdown just might be one of the state's most intriguing matchups on Friday night. Hersey (4-4/3-1) needs a win to get into the state playoffs. Rolling Meadows (5-3/3-1) is low on playoff points and certainly needs a win here to get in. Here’s the kicker: Wheeling (3-5/3-1) is also involved. A Hersey win, combined with a Wheeling win (they face 2-6 Elk Grove) gives Wheeling the Mid-Suburban East conference—and they would get the automatic bid for being the conference champ. A Rolling Meadows win eliminates both Wheeling and Hersey from playoff consideration. Everyone get that? 

EDGY's Pick: Rolling Meadows 34, Hersey 26


West Aurora at Metea Valley, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: West Aurora (5-3) is looking to lock up its first state playoff bid since 1994. Metea Valley (3-5) is out of the state playoffs, but don't look past the battle-tested Mustangs. West Aurora has speed to burn with senior RB/S Drake Spears (Illinois), junior RB/DB DeQuan Cross and his twin brother junior DB/RB DaVion Cross. Metea Valley will get the ball in to the hands of senior RB Maurice Burkely as much as possible. 

EDGY's Pick: West Aurora 29, Metea Valley 28 (OT)


Bolingbrook at (1) Homewood-Flossmoor, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Bolingbrook (4-4) wasn't expected to be in a must-win situation this week but here they are. The Raiders will need to get a big performance from senior LB/TE Tuf Borland (Ohio State) and an offense that has been prone to turning the ball over. H-F (8-0) needed a quarter to kick things into gear last week. After trailing 13-0 to Sandburg last Friday, the Vikings never looked back and beat the Eagles 55-21. Can the Raiders’ offense finish drives and not turn the football over against the Vikings’ speedy defense? 

EDGY's Pick: Homewood-Flossmoor 38, Bolingbrook 14 


Brother Rice at St. Rita, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Brother Rice (7-1) and head coach Brian Badke have been on a roll ever since a Week 3 loss to Loyola. The Crusaders offense is paced by QB Cam Miller and a very strong group of offensive skills group, including junior WR Ricky Smalling. St. Rita (3-5) will miss the IHSA state playoffs for only the second time since 1999. Can the Mustangs defense contain the spread passing attack from the Crusaders?

EDGY's Pick: Brother Rice 38, St. Rita 14

33 Days to Kickoff: Benet

33 Days to Kickoff: Benet 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: Benet Academy

Head coach: Pat New

How they fared in 2017: 9-4 (5-2 East Suburban Catholic Conference). Benet Academy made the Class 7A state playoff field. They defeated Maine West, Hononegah and Lincoln-Way Central before losing to Batavia in the state semifinal round. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ St. Laurence

Aug. 31 @ Moline

Sept. 7 @ St. Patrick

Sept. 14 vs Niles Notre Dame

Sept. 21 vs Nazareth Academy

Sept. 28 @ Joliet Catholic

Oct. 5 vs St. Viator

Oct. 13 @ Marian Catholic

Oct. 19 vs Marist

[MORE: 78 Days to Kickoff - St. Patrick]

Biggest storyline: After back-to-back state semifinal playoff runs, can the Redwings pick things up right where they left off and another make deep playoff run?

Names to watch this season: QB Collin Gillespie and RB/S Ben Hickey

Biggest holes to fill: While the Redwings will welcome back some key starters from a season ago, they will need to reload a bit up front on both the offensive and defensive line. 

EDGY's Early Take: Coach Pat New's Redwings had an early 14-0 lead over eventual 7A state champion Batavia before falling to the Bulldogs. Benet, who has 50 program wins since 2012 (all playoff seasons), is never short on talent. Look for their offensive skills department to carry the load early this season. The Redwings should challenge in the East Suburban Catholic Conference race and into playoff time come October. 

34 Days to Kickoff: Bartlett

34 Days to Kickoff: Bartlett 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: Bartlett

Head coach: Mark Erlenbaugh

How they fared in 2017: 2-7 (2-3 Upstate 8 Valley Conference), Bartlett failed to qualify for the 20127 IHSA state football playoff field.

2018 regular season schedule:

Aug. 24 @ East Aurora

Aug. 31 vs Glenbard East

Sept. 7 vs Glenbard South

Sept. 14 @ Elgin

Sept. 21 @ West Aurora

Sept. 28 vs West Chicago

Oct. 5 vs Larkin

Oct. 13 @ South Elgin 

Oct. 19 @ Streamwood

[MORE: 53 Days to Kickoff - Glenbard East]

Biggest storyline: Can the Hawks soar in the newly realigned Upstate 8 conference?

Names to watch this season: QB Dean Kotsovetis and WR Austin Gates

Biggest holes to fill: The Hawks will need to fill in several spots this summer especially upfront on the offensive and defensive lines due to graduation losses.

EDGY's Early Take: Bartlett head coach Matt Erlenbaugh comes in from Chicago's Solorio High School and takes over the Hawks football program. Look for Bartlett to have a chance to challenge in the newly-realigned Upstate Eight schedule. The Hawks schedule this season won't include the likes of several 2017 state playoff teams like Lemont, Prairie Ridge and St. Charles East.