Austin Pullara

72 Days to Kickoff: Coal City

72 Days to Kickoff: Coal City

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: Coal City

Head coach: Dan Hutchings

Assistant coaches: Francis Loughran, Jim Looper, Ryan Bunton, Mark Masters and Adam Troll

How they fared in 2017: 6-4 (4-1 Interstate 8 Large Conference). Coal City made the Class 4A playoff field. The Coalers lost to Taylorville in opening round action. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 vs Morris

Aug. 31 @ Wilmington

Sept. 7 vs Herscher

Sept. 14 @ Sterator

Sept. 22 vs Plano

Sept. 28 @ Sandwich

Oct. 5 vs Manteno

Oct. 12 @ Reed-Custer

Oct. 19 vs Lisle

[MORE: 73 Days to Kickoff - Joliet Central]

Biggest storyline: Can the Coalers make a deep state playoff run in 2018?

Names to watch this season: TE/LB Austin Pullara RB Connor Skubic and DB Max Arias

Biggest holes to fill: The Coalers will bring back a ton of returning starters (13) this fall. Can Coal City reload in a few key spots? If so, they'll return to the playoffs for the 32nd time in 35 years.

EDGY's Early Take: Head coach Dan Hutchings and the Coalers should have a lot to look forward to this season. This will be the last go-around of the Interstate Eight conference's current alignment. If Coal City can survive the early portion of the regular season schedule and catch a break or two in the health department, the Coalers have a good shot at getting back to the state playoffs.