Preps Talk

New teams and tons of changes in latest Preps Power Rankings

New teams and tons of changes in latest Preps Power Rankings

The newest edition of the Power Rankings has a lot of changes as most of the teams in the state are no longer playing. With supersectionals approaching this week, we'll see one more major shake up before next week's final rankings. Next week's final rankings will also include a deeper look at each team's overall seasons as we focus strictly on results on this edition.

1. Simeon (29-3, 9-0) (1) -- The Wolverines needed a big second-half comeback to knock out Marist but Simeon was able to hold on for the win. Now we get a rematch between city powerhouses for a supersectional as the Wolverines battle rival Whitney Young. 

2. Orr (30-4, 9-0) (2) -- Orr has now captured the Class 2A championship in back-to-back season after another spectacular showing in Peoria. The Spartans had another special season as they've set the bar for what a "small school" can play like in Chicago. 

3. Whitney Young (26-7, 7-2) (4) -- Whitney Young needed overtime to take down Curie but the Dolphins advanced to face rival Simeon in supersectionals. The defending Class 4A champions have had strong performances from multiple players throughout the playoffs as they should give the Wolverines a great game. 

4. Morgan Park (22-9, 7-2) (5) -- Elevating its play to another level in a sectional final win over Bogan, Morgan Park made a major statement with its improved play. Senior Ayo Dosunmu looks like he's on a mission and Cam Burrell and Adam Miller are also making plenty of plays. The Mustangs once again look like a major Class 3A favorite. 

5. Evanston (25-5, 8-2) (6) -- Give Evanston a ton of credit because they just won arguably the most difficult sectional in the state. The Wildkits knocked off Loyola and New Trier with solid wins as the Wildkits now get a game against Lake Zurich in supersectionals. 

6. Benet (27-4, 8-1) (7) -- Benet continues to roll as they have an 18-game winning streak after eliminating Willowbrook with a blowout win. The Redwings are playing for another supersectional in Class 4A as they take on Larkin at NIU on Tuesday. 

7. West Aurora (25-4, 10-0) (8) -- West Aurora was very impressive in its takedown of Bolingbrook as the Blackhawks persevere through some foul trouble. A much deeper team than given credit for, West Aurora gets a major test against Belleville West on Tuesday at ISU.  

8. Marian Catholic (24-5, 5-4) (15) -- Marian Catholic continues to roll in Class 3A as they beat Pontiac and Kankakee to claim a sectional title. The Spartans are still a young team, but they're already thinking about a potential run to Peoria as they play Metamora in supersectionals on Tuesday. 

9. Larkin (23-8, 11-1) (25) -- Larkin appears to be a dangerous team like we thought they might be during the preseason. The duo of Jalen Shaw and Anthony Lynch has been destructive this postseason as the Royals held off Jefferson for a Class 4A sectional title. Now the Royals will face Benet for the right to go to Peoria on Tuesday. 

10. Lake Zurich (26-7, 9-5) (NR) -- Lake Zurich is back in the rankings after being No. 22 during the preseason and first week of the season. The Bears have quietly been piling up wins as they beat Barrington to claim a Class 4A sectional title. Lake Zurich will be underdogs against Evanston in the supersectional game on Tuesday. 

11. North Lawndale (18-10, 3-6) (NR) -- The Phoenix advanced to a supersectional in Class 3A by knocking off Farragut. Now North Lawndale will get a shot at Morgan Park in the supersectionals as it should make for a solid Public League showdown for a spot at state. 

12. North Chicago (21-8, 14-0) (NR) -- North Chicago has been one of the surprise teams in the playoffs as they earned a minor upset over DePaul Prep to claim a Class 3A sectional title. The Warhawks don't have a lot of quality wins at this point in the season, but they've made an impressive postseason run as they play Boylan in supersectionals. 

13. Curie (26-5, 8-1) (3) -- The Condors saw their season end in overtime at the hands of Whitney Young. One of the best teams in the area all season long, Curie only lost to out-of-state teams and Public League superpowers this season. 

14. Marist (27-5, 7-2) (9) -- Marist might have fallen short against Simeon in the supersectionals, but the RedHawks proved they were for real with a great 27-win season. Senior Morgan Taylor had quite a campaign and Marist has grown into a stable presence in the rankings the past few years. 

15. New Trier (25-6, 8-2) (11) -- The Trevians ultimately couldn't get past Evanston in the rubber match of their season rivalry as the Wildkits won the sectional title at Maine East. But New Trier still had a tremendous season and a memorable comeback win over Niles North in the sectional semifinals. 

16. Bolingbrook (22-7, 7-3) (17) -- Bolingbrook couldn't rally to knock off West Aurora as the Raiders lost in the Romeoville Sectional finals. A strong campaign overall for Bolingbrook, however, as they had one of the best perimeters in the area once again. 

17. Willowbrook (26-6, 9-3) (18) -- Falling short of a sectional title, Willowbrook still made history this season with the best team in program history. The Warriors earned a great win over Naperville North in the sectional semifinals before falling to Benet in the sectional title game. 

18. DePaul Prep (24-7, 5-3) (13) -- DePaul Prep fell short of making a supersectional as they fell to North Chicago in Class 3A. The Rams were still one of the best teams in the Catholic League this season and they'll likely be a factor in the postseason for next year as well.  

19. Niles North (26-5, 6-4) (10) -- Niles North had a great season as they were undefeated outside of the loaded CSL South. The Vikings fell, once again, to New Trier, as Niles North blew a second-half lead before falling in overtime. 

20. Loyola Academy (24-7, 5-3) (14) -- Loyola saw its season end thanks to another loss to Evanston. The Ramblers had an outstanding season before falling in the sectional semifinals.

21. Joliet Central (23-6, 13-1) (21) --  Joliet Central fell to Bolingbrook in a memorable classic in the sectional semifinals. The Southwest Prairie winners were one of the pleasant surprises of this season.

22. Lincoln Park (19-10, 6-3) (20) -- Lincoln Park proved themselves to be one of the Public League's best teams this season as they gave Whitney Young a battle before bowing out in the sectional semifinals. 

23. Homewood-Flossmoor (21-7, 9-1) (16) -- The Vikings played their best basketball of the season heading into the playoffs but they were eliminated by Marist in the sectional semifinals at Thornton. Homewood-Flossmoor still has some solid pieces returning for next season as they'll be a team to keep tabs on. 

24. Lincoln-Way East (23-6, 7-3) (22) -- The Griffins made their first sectional appearance but they fell to red-hot West Aurora. Senior Sam Shafer is an All-Area candidate as Lincoln-Way East made history this season.

25. Brother Rice (19-11, 4-4) (24) -- Brother Rice saw its season come to a close after falling to No. 1 Simeon in the sectional semifinals. The Crusaders had an impressive win over Kenwood and they were able to hang with Simeon for a half, as they proved they were one of the best teams in the area this season. 

68 Days to Kickoff: Oswego East

68 Days to Kickoff: Oswego East

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: Oswego East

Head coach: Tyson LeBlanc

Assistant coaches: Dan Dunbar, Andy Brogan, Jeremy Main, Erik Aister, Dru Filkins, Connor Downs, Zac Sadek, Reggie Cribbs and Mike Harden

How they fared in 2017: 7-3 (7-2 Southwest Prairie Conference). Oswego East made the Class 8A state football playoff field. The Wolves lost to St. Charles East in opening round action.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 vs Plainfield East

Aug. 31 @ Joliet West

Sept. 7 vs Romeoville

Sept. 14 vs Joliet Central

Sept. 21 @ Plainfield South

Sept. 28 @ Plainfield North

Oct. 5 vs Oswego

Oct. 12 vs Plainfield Central

Oct. 19 vs Minooka

[MORE: 73 Days to Kickoff - Joliet Central]

Biggest storyline: Can the Wolves get out of the rugged Southwest Prairie conference and make a run in the IHSA state playoffs?

Names to watch this season: ATH Justin Clark and WR Kieon Battle

Biggest holes to fill: The Wolves will need to replace their entire starting defensive line from a season ago.

EDGY's Early Take: Oswego East head coach Tyson LeBlanc is shooting to make the IHSA playoff field and the fourth straight year in 2018. He has a 36-24 record since coming over from Curie High School back in 2012. Oswego East will rely on a strong group of returning offensive skills led by D-1 recruit Justin Clark, who can --and will-- play multiple positions this season for the Wolves. 

69 Days to Kickoff: Lincoln-Way West

69 Days to Kickoff: Lincoln-Way West

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: Lincoln-Way West

Head coach: Dave Ernst

Assistant Coaches: Luke Lokanc, Larry Lokanc, Mike Villa, Eric DoornKaat, George Czart, Bob Lombardi, Sean Lucas, Rob Glielmi, Steve Bauer and Al McKellar

How they fared in 2017: 9-3 (6-1 Southwest Suburban Conference), Lincoln-Way West made the Class 7A state football playoff field. The Knights defeated Jacobs and Alton and then lost to Batavia in the quarterfinal round.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 vs. Racine Case (Wisc.)

Aug. 31 @ Lincoln-Way Central

Sept. 7 vs. Bradley-Bourbonnais

Sept. 14 vs. Thornridge

Sept. 21 @ Homewood-Flossmoor

Sept. 28 @ Sandburg

Oct. 5 vs. Thornton Township

Oct. 12 @ Stagg

Oct. 19 @ Andrew

Biggest storyline: Can the Warriors get back to the 7A playoffs and make a deeper run this season?

Names to watch this season: OL Martin Bender and RB Caleb Marconi

Biggest holes to fill: The Warriors welcome back 10 returning starters but just three are back on the defensive side of the football. In particular, they will need to replace their entire starting secondary from a season ago.

EDGY's Early Take: Ernst has guided the Warriors to the IHSA playoffs in each the past six seasons. If West can reload a bit on the defensive side of the football they have a good chance of getting to the postseason again this fall. The good news is that the offense brings back four starting offensive linemen along with bruising RB Marconi. Look for the running game to pace the offense. It should be a big strength this fall.