Preps Talk

Reinke leaves a legacy at Winnebago


Reinke leaves a legacy at Winnebago

Joe Murphy has been coaching basketball at Winnebago for 26 years. So it is understandable if he gets confused from time to time. Like when he is talking about the starting lineup of his currently unbeaten team and mentions Brad Reinke.


He meant Matt Reinke. His brother Brad played on Murphy's 2009 team that finished fourth in the Class 2A tournament. Then there was his brother Wes, who played on Murphy's 2004 and 2005 teams that finished second in the Class A tournament. And Mitch, who played on Murphy's 2002 regional finalist.

As a sophomore, Matt was called "Baby Reinke" by the coach. Matt didn't like that very much. He is the youngest and last of four brothers to play for Murphy, who has won more than 500 games and could achieve two milestones this season by becoming the first unbeaten team and first state champion in school history.

Matt, a 6-foot-4 senior who averages 19 points per game, probably is the best player produced on Jeff and Christine Reinke's driveway. Growing up, he attended all of Winnebago's games and went to summer tournament with his brothers. And then there were those brutal one-on-one sessions in the driveway. The rim broke two years ago because it was worn out.

"I was always smaller than my brothers," Matt said. "They wouldn't let me win. There were a lot of bloody noses. One-on-ones would turn into fistfights. We'd battle for 10 minutes, then start playing again. Mom and Dad would just let us settle things among ourselves."

He went to Peoria to observe the state finals. He watched Wes and his best friend, Devan Bawinkel, play on three teams that went 90-8, including the 2004 and 2005 state runner-ups. Bawinkel is a legend in Winnebago, the school's all-time leading scorer and a two-time All-Stater who played at West Virginia and Iowa.

"Winnebago is a basketball town, a lot of tradition," Matt said. "For a Friday night home game, everyone is there. The town is dead except for the gym. Any summer day you can find 20 or 30 kids playing at the park. You always see someone dribbling a ball. There is a basketball hoop in almost every driveway.

"I sensed I could play the game when I was growing up and watching Wes and Devan play. They were a lot better than everyone else around. I wanted to be like Devan. He brought new life to the basketball program. He put our program on the map."

But as good as Bawinkel was -- he was named the Class A Player of the Year as a senior-- he never achieved what this team has the opportunity to achieve. At the moment, Winnebago is one of only two unbeaten teams in the state. The Indians, who won the Chuck Dayton Holiday Tournament at DeKalb in December and have been tested only twice this season, have averaged 69 points per game while allowing only 50. Last week, Winnebago defeated state-rated Rockford Lutheran by three points on Matt Reinke's last-second shot. Earlier, the Indians edged Oregon in overtime. They have two signature dates remaining--against Aurora Christian and a rematch with Rockford Lutheran.

Reinke heads a lineup that includes 6-foot senior point guard Jacoby Posley (15 ppg, 4 assists), 6-foot-1 sophomore Dalton Menke (10.5 ppg), 6-foot-1 senior Derrick Polkowski (6 ppg) and 6-foot-5 senior Brent Campbell, an All-State football player who hadn't played basketball since seventh grade -- until this season.

"He decided he wanted to play last spring and he played all summer," Murphy said. "He is big and strong. He has given us muscle and rebounding."

Top reserves are 6-foot-3 junior Ryan Swigart, 5-foot-8 senior Taylor Shumate, 6-foot-2 senior Joey Morrissey and 6-foot-3 junior Isiah Yanni. Swigart quarterbacked the football team that lost to state champion Aurora Christian in the Class 3A quarterfinals for the second year in a row.

"Potentially, this could be the best team I have had," Murphy said. "What we do well is shoot. We have a lot of good shooters. We also have a lot of speed. All of the teams that I have had that were very good could do something well and make big plays. That's how you get downstate."

Last year's team wasn't one of those teams. Winnebago finished 16-14.

"We were pretty young and learning," Murphy said. "We knew it would be a tough season. We had only two seniors, a freshman and a sophomore on the varsity and the tallest player was 6-foot-3."

With four starters and four top reserves returning, however, Murphy had very high expectations for 2012-13. And he hasn't been disappointed.

"They did real well in the summer," he said. "They are quick and fast and know what they are doing. We also have more experience."

The Indians are 21-0 after Friday's 72-50 victory over Byron. They meet Aurora Christian on Tuesday. Against Byron, they went on a 25-8 run in the second quarter and built a 42-21 halftime lead. Posley scored 16 points and Reinke added 13. They are ranked No. 3 in Class 2A behind once-beaten Harrisburg and unbeaten Pleasant Plains.

Murphy, a graduate of Rockford Boylan in 1971, was a wrestler in high school. At Illinois State, he majored in industrial technology. He wanted to be a coach. But he wanted to coach football, his favorite sport. He once was head coach in football and basketball at Winnebago.

He attended Illinois State when Will Robinson was the basketball coach and Doug Collins was the star player. So he got the itch to coach basketball. His first opportunity out of college was to coach basketball at Larimer Junior High School in Oak Forest.

After one year in Oak Forest, he went to North Lawn Junior High School in Streator for two years, then to Winnebago. He had hoped to go to a larger school. Even when he landed at Winnebago, he planned to move to a Rockford school one day.

But he never left Winnebago. He started as freshman football coach and also coached sixth grade boys basketball and seventh and eighth grade girls basketball. He coached girls basketball for five years, then became the head football coach. Finally, the basketball job opened up and he was hired. He coached football and basketball for three years.

Murphy, 60, credits Streator's Mike Blair for mentoring him. And he credits freshman coach Ben Powers and sophomore coach Matt Kauffman for teaching the fundamentals and individual skills to the younger players. Both of them played for Murphy.

"They work on individual skills, not team skills," Murphy said. "The kids shoot for 30 minutes in practice and dribble up and down the halls because we don't have a lot of gym time."

The Indians can go 10 or 11 players deep and boast four or five players who can score 10-plus points in any game. That wasn't the case last year.

"Are we better than the other teams? I looked up to them. But I wouldn't change a thing. I'm confident of our team right now. I wouldn't swap for anyone or any of the other teams," Matt said. "I averaged 17 points per game last year and teams played a lot of box-and-one defense on me. But I don't see it as much this year because so many others can score. Our edge? Speed. We are able to play with athletic teams."

The fact that Winnebago has never produced an unbeaten team or a state champion hasn't gone unnoticed by Reinke and his teammates.

"It definitely is in the back of our minds. Three times we have gone downstate. We were good, but not good enough. If we won the state title, we would have one up on the other teams," Matt said.

And one up on his older brothers.

NBC Sports Chicago to carry live coverage of the 2018 IHSA Football Championships

NBC Sports Chicago

NBC Sports Chicago to carry live coverage of the 2018 IHSA Football Championships

Chicago, IL (November 19, 2018) -- For the eighth-straight year, NBC Sports Chicago – THE Home of the #Authentic Fan – will be airing LIVE high-definition coverage of the 2018 Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Football State Championships on Friday, November 23 & Saturday, November 24 from the University of Illinois’ Memorial Stadium in Champaign, IL.  Illinois preps football fans can look forward to seeing every action-packed championship battle starting with the Class 1A contest on Friday morning at 10:00 AM CT, leading up to Saturday night’s highly-anticipated Class 8A match-up between state powerhouses Brother Rice vs. Loyola Academy at 7:00 PM CT.  The 2018 IHSA Football State Championships will be produced by the IHSA & PlayOn! Sports.

In addition -- EVERY IHSA Football State Championship telecast on NBC Sports Chicago, including surrounding pre/postgame coverage, will be streamed LIVE on  Authenticated NBC Sports Chicago subscribers can watch live IHSA Football State Championships action from anywhere in the United States.  The live streaming service is currently available to customers of Comcast/Xfinity, DIRECTV, DISH Network, AT&T U-verse, Mediacom, RCN, WOW!, Time Warner Cable and Charter among numerous other carriers.  In addition, NBC Sports Chicago is also available on numerous streaming services including DIRECTV NOW, Hulu, fuboTV, Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, and YouTube TV.  For a full list of carriers and more information about NBC Sports Chicago’s live streaming service, viewers are urged to visit

•    Friday’s Class 3A & 4A championships, along with Saturday’s 7A/8A championships, will all air live on NBC Sports Chicago+… NBC Sports Chicago+ is located on Comcast/Xfinity ch. 201 in the Chicago area and in South Bend, IN, and on ch. 285 in Comcast/Xfinity’s Peoria, Springfield, Rockford and Champaign markets…viewers are urged to visit’s special “Channel Finder” section ( ) or for complete channel location details throughout the state.  
•    Fans are also strongly urged to interact via Twitter throughout the entire weekend by utilizing the hashtag #IHSA to share their comments and showcase their school spirit for their favorite teams.  

In addition,’s IHSA Preps section ( will feature highlight packages from all games throughout the weekend, along with week-long coverage & scouting reports from veteran Illinois preps sports writer “Edgy Tim” O’Halloran (@EDGYTIM).  Plus – NBC Sports Chicago viewers can look forward to a special “IHSA Football Championships” wrap-up edition of High School Lites on Saturday, Nov. 24 live at 11:00 PM (hosted by Leila Rahimi) for a complete rundown of every championship game, including expanded highlights and player/coaches interviews.  From an additional social media standpoint, fans are urged to follow @NBCSPreps on Twitter throughout the weekend for up-to-the-minute 2018 IHSA Football State Championship news & game updates.

IHSA TV veterans Dave Bernhard (Class 3A, 4A, 7A & 8A) and Lee Hall (Class 1A & 2A) return in 2018 to bring viewers every thrill-packed play-by-play call, which will also include the second-year pxp call from Peoria Chiefs/college/preps broadcaster Nathan Baliva (Class 5A & 6A). Color analysis will be provided by renowned Chicago Bears/NFL expert Hub Arkush (Class 7A & 8A), along with Northern Illinois University football radio color analyst Mark Lindo (Class 3A, 4A, 5A & 6A) and longtime IHSA TV contributor/Illinois High School Coaches Association Hall of Famer Jack McInerney (Class 1A & 2A).

Handling sideline reporting duties for every IHSA Football Championship game throughout the weekend will be provided by Marquette University Director of Digital Media & Internet Services/seasoned national-regional sports broadcaster Patrick Reed. “Edgy Tim” O’Halloran will also provide “between-game” analysis throughout the weekend recapping and previewing every championship match-up.

The following schedule details NBC Sports Chicago’s coverage (also streaming live to authenticated NBC Sports Chicago subscribers on of the 2018 IHSA Football State Championships airing this Thanksgiving weekend (team records & play-by-play/color analyst teams are in parentheses):


10:00 AM – Class 1A: FORRESTON [11-2] vs. CENTRAL (Camp Point) [12-1] (Lee Hall/Jack McInerney) 
1:00 PM – Class 2A: GIBSON CITY-MELVIN-SIBLEY (Gibson City) [13-0] vs. MAROA-FORSYTH (Maroa) [13-0] (Lee Hall/Jack McInerney) 
4:00 PM – Class 3A: BYRON [13-0] vs. MONTICELLO [13-0] (Dave Bernhard/Mark Lindo)
(NOTE: This game will air on NBC Sports Chicago+; channel locations here:
7:00 PM – Class 4A: IC CATHOLIC (Elmhurst) [13-0] vs. MCNAMARA (Kankakee) [12-1] (Dave Bernhard/Mark Lindo)
(NOTE: This game will air on NBC Sports Chicago+; channel locations here:


10:00 AM – Class 5A: MONTINI (Lombard) [12-1] vs. JOLIET CATHOLIC (Joliet) [9-4] (Nathan Baliva/Mark Lindo)
1:00 PM – Class 6A: CARY-GROVE (Cary) [13-0] vs. CRETE-MONEE (Crete) [10-3] (Nathan Baliva/Mark Lindo)
4:00 PM – Class 7A: NAZARETH ACADEMY (LaGrange Park) [12-1] vs. ST. CHARLES NORTH (St. Charles) [10-3] (Dave Bernhard/Hub Arkush)
(NOTE: This game will air on NBC Sports Chicago+; channel locations here:
7:00 PM – Class 8A: BROTHER RICE (Chicago) [13-0] vs. LOYOLA ACADEMY (Wilmette) [10-3] (Dave Bernhard/Hub Arkush)
(NOTE: This game will air on NBC Sports Chicago+; channel locations here:


Edgy Tim's Preps Power Rankings: Championship Round

NBC Sports Chicago

Edgy Tim's Preps Power Rankings: Championship Round

Here are the latest @NBCSPreps Top 25 Power Rankings.

1. Brother Rice 13-0 (3)
Last Week: Beat Marist, 14-3
This Week: Class 8A state title game vs Loyola
EDGY's Take: The Crusaders defense loomed large. Then Rice's offense, led by QB John Bean, did the rest. It added up to a 14-3 win at a packed house at Marist. And it'll be the first IHSA state title game appearance for Brother Rice since 1985. 

2. Nazareth Academy 12-1 (8)
Last Week: Beat Batavia, 47-28
This Week: Class 7A state title game vs St. Charles North
EDGY's Take: The Roadrunners offense, featuring QB J.J. McCarthy and RB Michael Love, has remained on fire in the postseason. Nazareth pulled away late in beating Batavia to advance to the 7A state title game. 

3. Loyola Academy 10-3 (12)
Last Week: Beat Lincoln-Way East, 24-16
This Week: Class 8A State Title Game vs Brother Rice
EDGY's Take: The Ramblers defense, once again, set the tempo. They forced a few key first half turnovers while QB Jack Fallon and WR Rory Boos did the rest in stunning Lincoln-Way East. Loyola gets a rematch with CCL Blue rival Brother Rice on Saturday. 

4. Cary-Grove 13-0 (7)
Last Week: Beat Notre Dame, 28-21
This Week: Class 6A state title game vs Crete-Monee
EDGY's Take: The Trojans win a classic over Notre Dame on Saturday, with Danny Daigle's late touchdown being the difference. The Trojans get a rematch from the 2012 6A state title game this Saturday against Crete-Monee. 

5. Lincoln-Way East 12-1 (1)
Last Week: Lost to Loyola, 24-16
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Griffins started out slow and never recovered in their loss to Loyola. The Griffins offense was held to a season low 16 points in the loss. 

6. Marist 11-2 (4)
Last Week: Lost to Brother Rice, 14-3
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Redhawks defense kept them in the game but the offense just could not get into a higher gear. It's their second loss to rival Brother Rice this season. 

7. St. Charles North 10-3 (25)
Last Week: Beat Mount Carmel, 27-21 (2-OT)
This Week: Class 7A state title game vs Nazareth Academy
EDGY's Take: The North Stars just never quit. Senior ATH Tyler Nubin had a huge day when it counted for St. Charles North, who will make their first IHSA state title game appearance.

8. Batavia 12-1 (2)
Last Week: Lost to Nazareth Academy, 47-28
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Bulldogs battled back all game long. But in the end, they just couldn't keep pace with the Nazareth offense.  

9. Mount Carmel 11-2 (5)
Last Week: Lost to St. Charles North, 27-21 (2-OT)
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Caravan had their chances late against St Charles North but just couldn't finish.

10. Homewood-Flossmoor 10-2 (6)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed

11. Simeon 11-1 (10)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed

12. Maine South 10-2 (9)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed

13. Montini Catholic 12-1 (19)
Last Week: Beat Sterling, 42-20
This Week: Class 5A state title game vs Joliet Catholic
EDGY's Take: The Broncos get a big road win at Sterling and will now try to beat Joliet Catholic in the 5A state title game-- a rematch of the epic 70-45 JCA win back in 2011. 

14. Crete-Monee 10-3 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Richards, 38-35
This Week: Class 6A State Title Game vs Cary-Grove
EDGY's Take: The Warriors, who started off 0-3, have simply been the Cinderella story of the postseason. They pulled out more last minute magic and stun Richards 38-35 to advance to the 6A state title game.

15. Warren Township 10-2 (11)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed

16. Richards 12-1 (13)
Last Week: Lost to Crete-Monee, 38-35
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Bulldogs drop a heartbreaking 38-35 loss to Crete-Monee to end the season. 

17. Notre Dame 10-3 (24)
Last Week: Lost to Cary-Grove, 28-21
This Week: Season Completed
EDGY's Take: The Dons battled Cary-Grove and came up just short in a 28-21 loss on Saturday. Has any player ever meant more to Niles Notre Dame football than Ty Gavin? 

18. IC Catholic Prep 13-0 (23)
Last Week: Beat Richmond Burton, 28-9
This Week: Class 4A state title game vs Bishop McNamara
EDGY's Take: The Knights trailed Richmond-Burton at the half but then rallied for the 28-9 win. Can the Knights beat Bishop McNamara on Friday night for the second time this season. It's a Week 4 Metro Suburban Blue rematch. 

19. Joliet Catholic 9-4 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Hillcrest, 42-6
This Week: Class 5A state title game vs Montini Catholic
EDGY's Take: The Hilltoppers get another big game from their running game, led by RB Keenan Hailey. The JCA defense made several big stops in beating top seed Hillcrest on Saturday. Can JCA beat Montini this time around?

20. Willowbrook 11-1 (15)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed

21. Phillips 9-3 (14)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed

22. Bishop McNamara 12-1 (NR)
Last Week: Beat Rochester, 52-42
This Week: Class 4A state title game vs IC Catholic Prep
EDGY's Take: The Fightin' Irish get a huge day from senior RB Tyshon King and stun powerhouse Rochester to advance to the 4A state title game.

23. Oak Park-River Forest 8-3 (16)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed

24. Wheaton South 10-2 (17)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed

25. Oswego 10-1 (18)
Last Week: Season Completed
This Week: Season Completed