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.
Head coach: Brian Cooney
Assistant Coaches: M. Kersting, K. Hoinkes, J. Harazin, G. Verdino, B. Wilson, J Hugunin, A Imbordino
How they fared in 2017: 10-2 (8-1 Southwest Prairie Conference), Oswego made the 2017 Class 8A IHSA state playoff field and defeated Naperville North and Glenbard West before losing to Lincoln-Way East in the quarterfinal round.
2018 Regular Season Schedule:
Aug. 24 vs Plainfield Central
Aug. 31 @ Minooka
Sept 7 vs Plainfield North
Sept. 15 @ Joliet West
Sept. 21 vs Plainfield East
Sept. 28 @ Romeoville
Oct. 5 @ Oswego East
Oct. 12 vs Joliet Central
Oct. 19 @ Plainfield South
Biggest storyline: Can the Panthers win the Southwest Prairie Conference title for the eighth straight year?
Names to watch this season: RB Charles Coleman WR/DB Josh Forney
Biggest holes to fill: Oswego will need to reload on the defensive side of the football in 2018 with just two starters back from a season ago.
EDGY's Early Take: Oswego and head coach Brian Cooney has his Panthers playing hard nosed and very physical football on both sides of the football to great success. Look for the Panthers offense to utilize it's backfield which includes senior big back Charles Coleman (6-foot-2, 220 pounds) and to establish the run game led by big offensive line with three returning starters including senior OL Cole Kiestwetter (6-foot-2, 260 pounds). If the Panthers defense can develop sooner rather than later this season expect Oswego again be a team to watch in the post-season in 2018.
School: Marian Catholic
2018-19 record: 27-5 (8-1 East Suburban Catholic Conference)
Postseason results: Lost to Simeon in Class 4A sectional semifinals.
Players to watch: The Spartans are led by senior point guard Ahron Ulis, an Iowa commit who has already started on varsity for multiple seasons. Ulis is joined in the Marian Catholic backcourt by Joe Green, a consistent double-figure scorer who can also chip in all over the floor. Senior forward Elijah Jones is a 6-foot-7 forward who had a breakout summer. Jones committed to Western Illinois.
Why they're in the power rankings: A consistent presence in the top 10 of the Preps Power Rankings last season, Marian Catholic returns much of its core. Ulis has a chance to be one of the area's top players this season and he's surrounded by capable double-figure scorers.
Did you know? Marian Catholic head coach Mike Taylor is approaching 300 wins at the school and should reach the mark this season. Taylor is 284-188 in his 16 years with the Spartans.
School: Notre Dame
2018-19 record: 19-12 (6-3 East Suburban Catholic Conference)
Postseason results: Lost to Evanston in Class 4A regional finals.
Players to watch: The junior class is stellar for the Dons. Guard Anthony Sayles is a Division I prospect who also excels on the football field. Forward Troy D'Amico is a mid-major prospect who can score at a high level. And Evanston transfer Louis Lemond could be one of the area's breakout players this season with a bigger role and multiple high-major scholarship offers.
Why they're in the power rankings: Notre Dame looked like they immediately clicked this summer once Lesmond entered the lineup. The Dons already had talent and size last season thanks to D'Amico and senior forward Jason Bergstrom. Now with an added year of experience, and the addition of Lesmond, the Dons have massive expectations. Although most of Notre Dame's core is juniors, they're talented enough to compete for a state title this season.
Did you know? Notre Dame's program has done a great job of capturing regional titles (17). The program has struggled to make longer runs in the IHSA playoffs, however, as the Dons only have two sectional titles in school history.