Preps Talk

Preps Power Rankings adds two new teams this week

Preps Power Rankings adds two new teams this week

The Preps Power Rankings don't have a lot of changes this week since the high school season was slow after the holiday tournaments. Some teams had off while others only played one game. Many teams traveled out of state to play opponents from all over the country.

Although most of the rankings remain the same, a few teams fell to unranked opponents, so we see two new teams enter the mix this week.

1. Simeon (12-2, 3-0) (1) -- The Wolverines earned an impressive national victory against Memphis East, a team Simeon lost to in December. Conference games and national opponents have Simeon with a busy week ahead as they play Kenwood, Hyde Park and No. 1 national Montverde Academy. 

2. Orr (12-2, 4-0) (2) -- Another quality win for the Spartans as they beat St. Joseph by double-digits. Orr has a crazy week as they host Uplift and Whitney Young before playing Detroit English Village in Michigan. 

3. Curie (12-2, 3-0) (3) -- The Condors picked up two out-of-state wins over Missouri and Michigan opponents as Curie is starting off 2018 in a positive manner. Bogan and Kenwood loom on the conference schedule for the Condors this week. 

4. Niles North (13-0, 3-0) (4) -- Niles North had the week off as they try to stay undefeated. The Vikings take on a tough conference opponent in Maine South before hosting Deerfield. 

5. Whitney Young (13-4, 3-1) (5) -- Tough loss against Hamilton (TN) for the Dolphins as they traveled to Memphis. Whitney Young will get some Public League Red North-West games this week as they face Von Steuben and Orr. 

6. Morgan Park (10-6, 2-2) (6) -- The Mustangs lost to Chaminade (MO) over the weekend at an out-of-state shootout. Morgan Park has two conference battles this week against Hyde Park and Vocational.  

7. Oak Park-River Forest (10-2, 3-0) (7) -- Overtime win against York for OPRF this week as they start the year with a win. The Huskies have a conference matchup with Downers North before playing in the Wheaton Warrenville South tournament over the weekend.

8. Fenwick (12-4, 3-0) (8) -- The Friars won against De La Salle in conference play as they remain unbeaten in the Catholic League. Fenwick gets another strong opponent in conference play this week when they face St. Joseph. 

9. Bolingbrook (11-2, 2-0) (9) -- Needing overtime to take down Sandburg, Bolingbrook outlasted the Eagles for a conference win. The Raiders go on the road to face Stagg for another league game this week. 

10. Lincoln Park (11-4, 3-1) (11) -- The Lions had the week off as the jump back into Public League play during the week. North Lawndale will be a major test while Westinghouse is another tough game. 

11. Marian Catholic (11-2, 1-1) (12) -- Marian Catholic barely got past Rock Island for a solid win as the Spartans have won some tight games recently. This is a big week for Marian Catholic as they face Richards and Marist before heading to Iowa for a game at Dubuque (IA).

12. DePaul Prep (13-3, 2-0) (13) -- Huge win for DePaul Prep as they got revenge on St. Rita while also beating St. Francis. DePaul Prep faces Lindblom, Loyola Academy and Riverside-Brookfield during a busy week. 

13. Marist (15-1, 2-0) (15) -- Easy win over Harlan as Marist is already up to 15 wins on the season. Marist gets two games this week, including an ESCC battle with Marian Catholic that should be a good one. 

14. Evanston (12-3, 3-1) (16) -- The Wildkits picked up a double-figure win over Niles West in conference play this week. Evanston has one of its biggest games of the season against New Trier during the week. 

15. North Lawndale (11-2, 2-1) (17) -- North Lawndale had the week off as they get ready to restart Public League play this week. The Phoenix play Lincoln Park and Von Steuben this week. 

16. Uplift (9-5, 3-1) (18) -- The Titans had the week off as they prepare for a big conference games against Orr and Farragut. Uplift is still searching for a marquee Public League win this season. 

17. Loyola (13-2, 2-1) (19) -- After winning in Florida, the Ramblers earned wins over Mount Carmel and Lakes. Loyola has some tough games this week, including St. Viator, DePaul Prep and Mather.

18. Hillcrest (13-4, 5-0) (20) -- Solid week for Hillcrest as they picked up double-digit wins against Argo and John Glenn (MI). The Hawks will try to remain unbeaten in the South Suburban with games against Shepard and Oak Lawn this week.

19. St. Rita (9-8, 1-1) (10) -- The Mustangs fell at home to DePaul Prep as the Rams got revenge from the Hinsdale Central Holiday Classic game. St. Rita travels to Pennsylvania next week for multiple games over the weekend.

20. Libertyville (8-5, 3-1) (21) -- Libertyville had the week off as they prepare to face Carmel and Mundelein during the week. Senior Drew Peterson remains in the thick of the Player of the Year race. 

21. Joliet Central (12-2, 5-0) (22) -- Blowout win for the Steelmen as they ran past Plainfield South. Joliet Central has two more Southwest Prairie games this week against Plainfield North and Oswego.

22. Brother Rice (11-6, 1-2) (24) -- Picking up a Catholic League win this week, Brother Rice held off St. Ignatius. This week, the Crusaders hit the road to face Mount Carmel in another conference clash. 

23. Batavia (13-3, 4-1) (25) -- Two wins for Batavia during the week, including a thrilling buzzer-beater to knock off St. Charles East. The Bulldogs get three games this week, including two games Saturday against South Elgin and host Rockford Jefferson.

24. Naperville Central (11-2, 4-1) (NR) -- With only 10 wins all of last season, the Redhawks are now up to 11 this season as this balanced group is playing with a lot of confidence. Winning the DeKalb Holiday Tournament and knocking off previously-ranked Wheaton Warrenville South has been an impressive stretch. 

25. Jacobs (12-2, 4-0) (NR) -- The Golden Eagles enter the top 25 after a great stretch that includes winning their own Hinkle Holiday Classic. Not only is Jacobs running through the Fox Valley but they have double-digit wins over solid Mid-Suburban teams like Palatine and Barrington.

33 Days to Kickoff: Benet

33 Days to Kickoff: Benet

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: Benet Academy

Head coach: Pat New

How they fared in 2017: 9-4 (5-2 East Suburban Catholic Conference). Benet Academy made the Class 7A state playoff field. They defeated Maine West, Hononegah and Lincoln-Way Central before losing to Batavia in the state semifinal round. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ St. Laurence

Aug. 31 @ Moline

Sept. 7 @ St. Patrick

Sept. 14 vs Niles Notre Dame

Sept. 21 vs Nazareth Academy

Sept. 28 @ Joliet Catholic

Oct. 5 vs St. Viator

Oct. 13 @ Marian Catholic

Oct. 19 vs Marist

[MORE: 78 Days to Kickoff - St. Patrick]

Biggest storyline: After back-to-back state semifinal playoff runs, can the Redwings pick things up right where they left off and another make deep playoff run?

Names to watch this season: QB Collin Gillespie and RB/S Ben Hickey

Biggest holes to fill: While the Redwings will welcome back some key starters from a season ago, they will need to reload a bit up front on both the offensive and defensive line. 

EDGY's Early Take: Coach Pat New's Redwings had an early 14-0 lead over eventual 7A state champion Batavia before falling to the Bulldogs. Benet, who has 50 program wins since 2012 (all playoff seasons), is never short on talent. Look for their offensive skills department to carry the load early this season. The Redwings should challenge in the East Suburban Catholic Conference race and into playoff time come October. 

34 Days to Kickoff: Bartlett

34 Days to Kickoff: Bartlett

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: Bartlett

Head coach: Mark Erlenbaugh

How they fared in 2017: 2-7 (2-3 Upstate 8 Valley Conference), Bartlett failed to qualify for the 20127 IHSA state football playoff field.

2018 regular season schedule:

Aug. 24 @ East Aurora

Aug. 31 vs Glenbard East

Sept. 7 vs Glenbard South

Sept. 14 @ Elgin

Sept. 21 @ West Aurora

Sept. 28 vs West Chicago

Oct. 5 vs Larkin

Oct. 13 @ South Elgin 

Oct. 19 @ Streamwood

[MORE: 53 Days to Kickoff - Glenbard East]

Biggest storyline: Can the Hawks soar in the newly realigned Upstate 8 conference?

Names to watch this season: QB Dean Kotsovetis and WR Austin Gates

Biggest holes to fill: The Hawks will need to fill in several spots this summer especially upfront on the offensive and defensive lines due to graduation losses.

EDGY's Early Take: Bartlett head coach Matt Erlenbaugh comes in from Chicago's Solorio High School and takes over the Hawks football program. Look for Bartlett to have a chance to challenge in the newly-realigned Upstate Eight schedule. The Hawks schedule this season won't include the likes of several 2017 state playoff teams like Lemont, Prairie Ridge and St. Charles East.