Derrick Williams

74 Days to Kickoff: Chicago Hope Academy

74 Days to Kickoff: Chicago Hope Academy

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: Hope Academy

Head coach: Matt Kelly

Assistant coaches: Kevin Davis, Donnell Brown, Brian Noller, Damon Gladney, Sam Cote, Jason Pankau and Abi Burgos

How they fared in 2017: 8-3 (3-0 Chicago Catholic League Red Conference). Hope Academy made the Class 2A state playoff field. The Eagles defeated Orr and then lost to Sterling Newman Central Catholic in second round action. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 25 vs Mount Carmel at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb

Aud. 31 @ DePaul Prep

Sept. 7 vs St. Edward

Sept. 14 vs St. Ignatius

Sept. 22 @ St. Laurence

Sept. 28 @ Providence Catholic

Oct. 6 vs Leo

Oct. 12 vs St. Joseph @ Elmhurst College

Oct. 20 @ Guerin Prep

[MORE: 92 Days to Kickoff: St. Edward]

Biggest storyline: The Eagles have 41 wins over the last five seasons (all IHSA playoff berths). Can they continue to soar and return to the playoffs?

Names to watch this season: OL/DL Patrick Ross, RB/LB Derrick Williams and QB Trevor Land

Biggest holes to fill: The Eagles have 18 returning starters back from a season ago; however, will they have enough depth and overall numbers to continue to win in the CCL?

EDGY's Early Take: Hope Academy needed to deal with plenty of distractions last season, including a nearby neighborhood shooting when hosting Providence Catholic. The issue eventually led to two forfeit wins due to opponents’ safety concerns. As for this season, head coach Matt Kelly and company welcome back an experienced team with several potential college recruits on the roster. If Hope Academy can stay somewhat healthy against a schedule that includes CCL crossovers against the likes of Mount Carmel, Providence and St. Laurence, they have a very good chance of making a postseason run again in 2018.