Preps Talk

High School Lites Week 4 capsules and picks

High School Lites Week 4 capsules and picks

CSN Chicago will have cameras covering the biggest high school football games across Chicagoland on the Week 4 edition of High School Lites, Friday at 11:00 p.m. Can Lockport keep its momentum rolling when they host Homewood-Flossmoor? Can Naperville North stay undefeated as they take on Lake Park? Can Marian Central Catholic win on the road at Marist? And who wins the battle of undefeated teams in St. Charles on Friday night? Who you got: North or East?

Edgy Tim is here to talk about Week 4 of the High School Football season! Have a question about your favorite program or a big game this week? Ask and he'll answer it on-air!

Posted by NBC Sports Chicago on Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Proviso West at (14) Oak Park-River Forest, 6:00 p.m. 

EDGY's Take: The OPRF (3-0) offense has been clicking all season behind senior QB Jeremy Hunt, senior WR Eddie Gorens and junior RB Terrance Roundy. Proviso West (0-3) has struggled to score points as the Panthers begin the scheduling gauntlet in the West Suburban Silver. 

EDGY's Pick: OPRF 41, Proviso West 13

(6) Lincoln-Way East at (18) Bolingbrook, 7:00 p.m. 

EDGY's Take: Lincoln-Way East (2-1) will try to bounce back from its loss last week to H-F behind dual QBs: senior Jake Arthur and senior Max Shafer. Senior RB Nigel Muhammad is also a threat. Bolingbrook's (2-1) offense was able to kick things into high gear in beating Stagg last week 55-7 behind QB Anthony Vespo and a strong running attack. Can the Raiders offense show up again this week? Can the Griffins secondary cover the Raiders receivers?

EDGY's Pick: Lincoln-Way East 28, Bolingbrook 27

(3) Homewood-Flossmoor at Lockport, 7:30 p.m. 

EDGY's Take: Homewood-Flossmoor (3-0) found itself down 14-0 early to Lincoln-Way East last Friday but then rallied behind senior QB Bryant Wright and a potent Vikings running game with senior RB Herbert Hughes and RB Ty Nutall. Lockport (3-0) has been able to win close games so far this season behind a strong season so far from QB/K Ben Davis and RB Tavares Moore. Can the Porters running game control the time of possession against the explosive H-F offense? 

EDGY's Pick: Homewood-Flossmoor 36, Lockport 21

St. Patrick at Marian Catholic, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: St. Patrick (3-0) has been downright explosive this season behind QB Anthony Mazzenga and a core of speedy receivers led by senior WR Andrew Edgar. Marian Catholic (1-2) will look towards Illinois verbal commit senior QB Cameron Thomas to match score for score against the Shamrocks.

EDGY's Pick: St. Patrick 42, Marian Catholic 20

[RELATED - Edgy's Week 4 power rankings]

St. Charles East at (24) St. Charles North, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: The St. Charles East (3-0) defense forced six turnovers in beating Geneva 30-0 last week and the Saints will look towards QB Zack Mitchell to lead the ground-and-pound offense. St. Charles North (3-0) has a ton of talent including senior QB Zach Mettetal plus senior WR Griffin Hammer (Colorado State) and a big and physical offensive line led by senior OT Isaac Hawn (NIU). Can the North Stars avoid turnovers and get the football back from the Saints running game? Can the Saints offense score in a hurry if needed?

EDGY's Pick: St. Charles North 29, St. Charles East 17

Naperville North at Lake Park, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Expect a very physical hard hitting DuPage Valley Conference game here. Naperville North (3-0) is coming off its most impressive win so far in beating Wheaton North 33-7. The Huskies’ balanced offense is led by QB Luke Cegles and RB Eric Wright. Lake Park (2-1) has been knocking on the door and just missing out on the state playoffs the past few seasons. The Lancers offense is young but improving with junior QB Jackson Behles and strong defense led by Michigan State commit senior DE Jacub Panasiuk. Last possession wins?

EDGY's Pick: Naperville North 35, Lake Park 31

Marian Central Catholic at (15) Marist, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Marian Central Catholic (2-1) will look to rebound from a Week 3 loss to Benet Academy. The Hurricanes will rely on QB Gavin Scott and TB Brian Niemaszek. Marist (2-1) will rely on their wide open spread offense with junior QB Morgan Taylor and big offensive line including Kansas State commit OL Bill Kuduk. Can the Hurricanes get their offense back on track? Can the Redhawks defense continue to improve?

EDGY's Pick: Marist 27, Marian Central Catholic 21

Leyden at (25) Lyons Township, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: It's either been feast or famine so far this season for the Leyden (2-1) offense. Keep an eye on senior WR/DB Jalen Moore (SIU). Lyons Township (3-0) is led by standout junior QB Ben Bryant and a host of receivers including senior WR Hasahn Austin. Can the Eagles dent the Lyons defense? 

EDGY's Pick: Lyons Township 35, Leyden 14

Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week

Whiting at Lake Station Edison, 7:00 p.m.

This Greater South Shore conference battle in Northwest Indiana features a Fighting Eagles team that is coming off a 28-7 win over Boone Grove. Edison (2-2) has already equaled last year’s win total and will be looking for an upset here. The visiting Oilers, once again, have state championship aspirations (finished second to Monrovia in 2015). They’re 4-0 on the season, riding high off a 31-14 win over Wheeler last week. Look for Whiting quarterback Stuart Glascow to be active in the rushing game. He tallied 138 yards on the ground in last week’s win.

Jerry Sloan, Bulls player and Jazz coaching legend, stayed true to Illinois roots

Jerry Sloan, Bulls player and Jazz coaching legend, stayed true to Illinois roots

There’s country strong. And then there’s Jerry Sloan.

The NBA Hall of Fame player and coach, a tenacious defender and steady offensive threat, became a household name with the Chicago Bulls in the 1970s. Four-time NBA All-Defensive First Team. Two-time NBA-All-Star.

Sloan died Friday after a courageous battle against Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia. He was 78.

But it was Sloan’s perseverance as a child and his dedication to the game of basketball —and his home town— 300 miles south of the Windy City that made him a real star.

[MORE: Remember ‘Original Bull’ Jerry Sloan as he lived: tough, humble and honest]

The former Bull, who went on to lead the Utah Jazz to the playoffs in 15 of his 23 seasons there as a head coach, grew up on a farm near McLeansboro, Illinois. The youngest of 10 children, Sloan would routinely wake up in the wee hours to do family chores. He’d then walk two miles to the town’s high school for basketball practice.

The foundation of a hard work ethic and a ferocious competitive nature paved the way for Sloan’s rise to stardom.

Sloan played on several great McLeansboro teams in the late-50s. In his junior season, he helped guide his squad to a 19-6 record for coach Gene Haile. He followed that up with a senior season most kids would dream of: 26 wins, 3 losses. He was named to the All-State team.

He would later guide the Evansville Purple Aces to two Division II national championships. He became known as “the Original Bull” shortly after the startup Bulls franchise drafted him in the 1966 expansion draft. The rest was history—a brilliant 10-year career in Chicago as a player and nearly three more as a head coach on West Madison before becoming a legend in Salt Lake City.

But it was his small-town roots that made Jerry Sloan all the more genuine.

He would return to McLeansboro several times in 1984 —the year he became an assistant with the Utah Jazz— to watch his high school team play. His son, Brian, led the Foxes to the Class A state championship that year, going 35-0 in the process. Brian went on to play for Bobby Knight at Indiana.

Sloan would return frequently to this Southern Illinois town many times during his run with the Jazz— a run where he only finished below .500 once and racked up an astonishing career 1,221 wins. Hamilton County High School, formerly known as McLeansboro, dedicated its gym in Sloan’s honor in Dec. 2012. A road in McLeansboro is now called Jerry Sloan Avenue.

In a statement, a representative from McLeansboro High School said the following:

“Today is a sad day for Hamilton County and the Foxes. Coach Jerry Sloan has passed away. Coach Sloan graduated from McLeansboro High School in 1960 and was always a hometown boy. Whenever he returned he was just one of us. He will be greatly missed. RIP Coach Sloan.”

McLeansboro will always be Sloan Country.

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Michigan recruit J.J. McCarthy to transfer from Nazareth to Florida's IMG Academy

Michigan recruit J.J. McCarthy to transfer from Nazareth to Florida's IMG Academy

J.J. McCarthy, the state’s top-ranked high school quarterback and overall player according to Rivals, is transferring from Nazareth Academy to IMG Academy in Florida.

McCarthy made the announcement on his Twitter page Monday afternoon.

The news sent shock waves throughout the national prep football landscape. McCarthy, committed to play at Michigan, led the Roadrunners to an IHSA 7A second place finish back in November. As a sophomore in 2018, he threw for over 3,200 yards and 36 touchdowns. It culminated in a state title win and a 13-1 season.

The move makes sense for McCarthy, as he will team up with offensive lineman Greg Crippen, a fellow Michigan commit. According to Rivals, McCarthy (6-foot-2, 195 pounds) is ranked as the No. 5 pro-style quarterback and No. 33 overall recruit in the country.

The loss is a huge one for head coach Tim Racki and company at the La Grange Park school. That said, the Roadrunners are one of the dominant programs in IHSA football, compiling a 38-4 record the past three seasons with three state titles in the previous six campaigns.

The big questions: Will other high-caliber Illinois high school athletes follow McCarthy? When will the IHSA commit to a fall sports schedule? What will Illinois high school football look like in the fall? What guidelines will be in place? There are many uncertainties.

What is known: The IHSA chose to cancel the state basketball tournament and all 2020 spring sports due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Illinois is currently in a phased reopening of businesses and other institutions. Florida is ahead of Illinois in respect to some of those aforementioned facilities.

The risk, or perhaps the unknown, was worth it for McCarthy and his family. Will Florida —or other states, including Illinois— even be cleared to play football come August? Will his move be a productive one in retrospect?

Time will tell.