Preps Talk

Preps Basketball Power Rankings: No. 3 Simeon

Preps Basketball Power Rankings: No. 3 Simeon

School: Simeon

2016-17 record: 30-4, 8-2 Public League Red-South

Postseason results: Lost to Whitney Young in Class 4A Title Game

Players to watch: Senior Talen Horton-Tucker (Iowa State) is one of the area's premier two-way players. Senior forward Messiah Jones (Drake) is an elite leaper and rebounder. Talented junior guard KeJuan Clements is also back. The Wolverines also added some intriguing transfers in Xavier Pinson (St. Pat's) and Northwest Indiana native Zion Young. Both Pinson and Young have Division I interest and add even more perimeter firepower. 

Why they're in the power rankings: On paper, you could argue that Simeon is the most talented team in the state this season. The Wolverines have proven veterans who have won city titles and Division I transfers at multiple positions. But how will all of the pieces fit together? This is a fascinating group with a high ceiling.

Did you know? Making it back to Peoria last season, Simeon has now made 13 state finals appearances.

46 Days to Kickoff: Downers Grove North

46 Days to Kickoff: Downers Grove North

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 Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30.

School: Downers Grove North

Head coach: Joe Horeni

Assistant coaches: Keith Litchenberg, Bill Kleckner, Terry Kent, Chad Isaacason, Josh Croci, Todd Cassens, Chris Guerreri, Mike Franzese, Kyle Briscoe, Greg Purnell, Pat Fleming and Max Gilbert

How they fared in 2018: 4-5 (2-4 West Suburban Silver Conference) Downers North failed to qualify for the IHSA state football playoff field.

2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 30 @ Buffalo Grove

Sept. 6 vs Addison Trail

Sept. 13 vs York

Sept. 20 @ Proviso West

Sept. 27 @ Hinsdale Central

Oct. 4 vs Glenbard West

Oct. 11 @ OPRF

Oct. 18 vs Lyons Township

Oct. 25 @ Downers Grove South

Biggest storyline: The Trojans missed a winning season (and possibly a playoff berth) in a heartbreaking loss to York in last year’s season finale. Can the motivated Trojans get over the top this season and into the IHSA state playoff field?
 

Names to watch this season: QB Drew Cassens (Sr.) and S Mark Dennison (Sr.)

Biggest holes to fill: The Trojans welcome back 13 returning starters (six offense, seven defense) this season, but they will be a bit inexperienced on the defensive line this fall. 

EDGY's Early Take: Downers Grove North came within a few plays of making the IHSA state football playoffs last season, which included close losses to OPRF (21-14) and York (14-7). The Trojans, guided by head coach Joe Horeni, welcome back several key names from the 2018 season including senior QB Drew Cassens. A big key for the Trojans this season will be getting off to a good start before hitting a very tough middle portion of the regular season schedule. 

47 Days to Kickoff: Chicago Christian

47 Days to Kickoff: Chicago Christian

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 Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30.

School: Chicago Christian

Head coach: Nick Cook

Assistant coaches: Dan Chiarito, Tom O'Connor, Sean O'Connor, Zach Kuipers and Corey Bulthuis

How they fared in 2018: 7-4 (2-3 Metro Suburban Red Conference). Chicago Christian made the Class 2A state playoff field, defeated Collins, then lost to Eastland Pearl City in second round action..

2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 30 vs Noble-Hansberry
Sept. 6 @ Rockford Christian
Sept. 14 @ Guerin Prep
Sept. 20 @ Aurora Central Catholic
Sept. 27 vs Ridgewood
Oct. 4 @ St. Edward
Oct. 11 vs Christ The King
Oct. 18 vs Elmwood Park
Oct. 25 @ Westmont

Biggest storyline: Chicago Christian boasted a three-win improvement from 2017 to 2018, resulting in a playoff berth. Can the Knights get back into the IHSA playoffs and go a little deeper this time around?

Names to watch this season: QB/DB Danny Bulthuis, WR/LB Brian Anderson, TE/LB Ty Sperling and RB/DB Ryley Bulthuis

Biggest holes to fill: The Knights welcome back a nice core of players on both sides of the football from last seasons state playoff team. Overall numbers and depth, though, can always be better.

EDGY's Early Take: Chicago Christian made some serious noise last year, making the state playoff field for the first time since 2008. Head coach Nick Cook has the program headed in the right direction. If the Knights can catch a break or two, including avoiding the injury bug, look for this team to challenge for the Metro Suburban Red conference title race and into the postseason.