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: Troy McAllister
How they fared in 2017: 14-0 (5-0 CPL Illini Land of Lincoln Conference). Phillips made the 5A state playoff field, defeated Morgan Park, Solorio, Lemont and Sterling. They went on to defeat Dunlap in the state championship game.
2018 Regular Season Schedule:
Aug. 26 @ Pickerington Central (Ohio)
Sept. 1 vs Chaminade (St. Louis) at East St. Louis
Sept. 8 vs Simeon at Gately
Sept. 14 vs Lincoln Park at Mandrake
Sept. 21 vs Morgan Park at Mandrake
Sept. 28 vs Curie at Rockne Stadium
Oct. 6 at Lane Tech
Oct. 12 vs Westinghouse at Mandrake
Oct. 19 vs Raby at Lane Tech
Biggest storyline: With the Wildcats moving up to Class 6A, can they claim another state title this November?
Names to watch this season: TE Jahleel Billingsley (Alabama) and WR/S Fabian McCray (Illinois)
Biggest holes to fill: The Wildcats will need to replace quite a bit of offensive production, due to the graduation losses of QB J'Bore Gibbs (South Dakota State) and RB Craig Elmore (Kent State).
EDGY's Early Take: No one can ever accuse Phillips and/or head coach Troy McAllister of avoiding any challenges. The Wildcats will again play "up" in competition, going from Class 5A to 6A this season. They also will play some national powers in Pickerington Central (Ohio) right out of the gate on live TB. The following week, they take on St. Louis-area power Chaminade. That game will be in East St. Louis at the annual Scholar Classic Showdown. As far as the roster is concerned, Phillips is stacked once again with FBS-level talent. If they feel that they have found answers over the summer at a few key spots, they have all the potential to play with --and beat-- any team in Illinois on any given day, regardless of class.