High School Lites

15 Days to Kickoff: Maine South

15 Days to Kickoff: Maine South

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: Maine South

Head coach: Dave Inserra

How they fared in 2018: 10-2 (5-0 Central Suburban South Conference). Maine South made the Class 8A state playoff field and defeated Huntley and Waubonsie Valley. In the quarterfinal round, they lost to Loyola Academy.
 
2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 31 @ Glenbard West
Sept. 6 vs Mount Carmel
Sept. 13 @ Fremd
Sept. 20 vs Palatine
Sept. 27 @ Niles West
Oct. 4 @ Evanston
Oct. 11 @ Glenbrook North
Oct. 18 vs Glenbrook South
Oct. 25 @ New Trier

[MORE: 30 Days to Kickoff - New Trier

Biggest storyline: Consistency, as always. The Hawks have been to the IHSA playoffs 27 straight seasons and have had only one losing season since 1983. Can the Hawks reload and make some noise in Class 8A?
 
Names to watch this season: OL/DL Peter Skoronski (Senior, Northwestern), WR/S Ryan Kilburn (Senior, Western Michigan)

Biggest holes to fill: The Hawks graduated several key names from the 2018 squad. They'll need to replace 10 starters on defense.
 
EDGY's Early Take: If any program in the Land of Lincoln has been able to consistently reload from year to year --and make it look easy-- it's the Maine South Hawks. Head coach Dave Inserra will rely on a handful of key returners, led by Northwestern commit OL/DL Peter Skoronski and Western Michigan commit WR/S Ryan Kilburn, both seniors. Keep and eye on senior WR/DB Michael Velazquez as well. Newcomer junior QB Luke Leongas will take the reins of the always explosive Hawks shotgun spread offense. They will have some big challenges on the nonconference schedule. If the Hawks offense can help out a less experienced defense (especially early in the season), then all the better for Maine South in 2019.

16 Days to Kickoff: Minooka

16 Days to Kickoff: Minooka

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: Minooka

Head coach: John Belskis

How they fared in 2018: 7-3 (7-2 Southwest Prairie Conference). Minooka made the Class 8A state playoff field and lost to Loyola Academy in opening round action.

2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 30 vs Joliet West
Sept. 6 @ Plainfield South
Sept. 13 vs Plainfield East
Sept. 20 @ Joliet Central
Sept. 27 @ Oswego East
Oct. 4 @ Plainfield North
Oct. 11 vs Yorkville
Oct. 18 vs West Aurora
Oct. 25 @ Oswego

[MORE: 45 Days to Kickoff - Joliet West] 

Biggest storyline: Is this the year that Minooka overtakes Oswego? Can the Indians knock off the Wolves and win the Southwest Prairie West? How deep of a run can they make in Class 8A?

Names to watch this season: QB Seth Lehr (Sr.), WR/DB Steven Gonzalez (Sr.) and OL/DL Jake Shipla (Sr.)

Biggest holes to fill: The Indians welcome back an impressive 16 starters (eight offense, eight defense) but the overall numbers and depth can always be improved upon.
 
EDGY's Early Take: Minooka head coach John Belskis and the Indians have had a busy summer. The campus is in the midst of being transformed, with ongoing construction for a new field turf surface and additional facility upgrades. Minooka will welcome back a ton of experience from last season's playoff team and that list includes several key contributors from a season ago.  Keep an eye on seniors Seth Lehr (QB), Noah Ellens (RB), Connor Etzkorn (RB), Steven Gonzales (WR/DB) and OL/DL Jake Shipla. The path to a Southwest Prairie title gets much tougher this fall, with the newly-expanded Southwest Prairie West division. The closing stretch of the schedule will be very intriguing. This team has been focused on getting back to the state playoffs and making much more noise this fall. 

17 Days to Kickoff: Prairie Ridge

17 Days to Kickoff: Prairie Ridge

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: Prairie Ridge

Head coach: Chris Schremp

Assistant coaches: Joe Terhaar (offensive coordinator), Andy Peterson (defensive coordinator), Ryan O'Neill, Nick Margiotta, Edward Smith, John Caldarella, Evan Kozlowski, Matt Dunker and Andy Orgler

How they fared in 2018: 8-3 (6-2 Fox Valley Conference). Prairie Ridge made the Class 6A state playoff field, defeated Hinsdale South and then lost to Phillips in second round action.

2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 30 @ Crystal Lake Central
Sept. 6 vs Hampshire
Sept. 13 @ Huntley
Sept. 20 vs Dundee-Crown
Sept. 27 @ McHenry
Oct. 4 vs Jacobs
Oct. 11 vs Burlington Central
Oct. 18 @ Cary-Grove 
Oct. 25 vs Crystal Lake South

[MORE: 71 Days to Kickoff - Crystal Lake Central] 

Biggest storyline: Coach Schremp and company are coming off a rare early exit from the postseason. Can the Wolves recapture the Fox Valley crown and make a deep run in the state playoffs in November?

Names to watch this season: QB Connor Lydon (Sr.), FB Carter Evans (Jr.) and OL Riley Smith (Sr.)

Biggest holes to fill: The Wolves welcome back an impressive 16 starters (eight offense, eight defense) but the overall numbers and depth can always be improved.
 
EDGY's Early Take: The Wolves were 8-3 last year but don't let that record fool you. All three losses were by one possession or less. This was a very young and talented team last fall. They're coming in hungry and have experience on their side. The offense is paced by senior QB Connor Lydon who operates the Wolves' power run-option attack. Senior WB Blake Brown is a name to watch along with junior Carter Evans (6-foot-4, 220 pounds), a converted TE to FB. The defense has speed and will return all three starters on the defensive line. If Prairie Ridge can catch a break or two in the health department, they have the makings of being a very tough out once the postseason rolls around.