11 Days to Kickoff: Lake Zurich

11 Days to Kickoff: Lake Zurich

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: Lake Zurich

Head coach: Ron Planz

How they fared in 2018: 7-4 (5-2 North Suburban Conference). Lake Zurich made the Class 7A state playoff field and defeated DeKalb in the opening round. They lost to Mount Carmel in second round action.

2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 30 @ Fremd
Sept. 6 vs Marist
Sept. 13 @ Zion-Benton
Sept. 20 @ Lake Forest
Sept. 27 vs Stevenson
Oct. 4 vs Libertyville
Oct. 11 vs Warren Township
Oct. 18 vs Mundelein
Oct. 25 vs Waukegan

[MORE: 95 Days to Kickoff - Fremd

Biggest storyline: New head coach Ron Planz. Can the Bears make the adjustment to their new head coach and keep up their winning ways in 2019?

Names to watch this season: QB/DB Jack Moses (Sr.), LB Bryan Sanborn (Jr.), TE Hunter Welcing (Sr., Northwestern)

Biggest holes to fill: In the trenches. The Bears will need to reload on both the offensive and defensive lines.
 
EDGY's Early Take: The Bears have a new leader in former Elmhurst College head coach Ron Planz, who originally took the head coaching position at Larkin then took the job at Lake Zurich after Luke Mertens surprisingly stepped down late this spring. LZ welcomes back some key names from a season ago including senior QB Jack Moses, senior TE Hunter Welcing (Northwestern) along with Power Five recruit in junior LB Bryan Sanborn. The Bears schedule is certainly no gimme. Early nonconference tests against Fremd and Marist will great tests right out of the gate. Getting five straight home games to close the regular season is a big plus. This team is hungry to get back into the playoffs and make some noise later this fall. 
 

Breaking: Northwestern adds a commitment from in-state four-star offensive lineman Peter Skoronski

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Breaking: Northwestern adds a commitment from in-state four-star offensive lineman Peter Skoronski

Northwestern and head coach Pat Fitzgerald added another big piece to its impressive Class of 2020 as Maine South four-star ranked offensive tackle Peter Skoronski (6-foot-4, 280 pounds) decided to give the Wildcats his verbal commitment today.

Skoronski selected Northwestern over scholarship offers from multiple Power 5 schools, including Notre Dame, Michigan and Penn State. He generally kept his recruiting process and plans in silent mode and seldom, if ever, spoke to any media during his recruiting process, a rarity these days in the fast paced social media world of college recruiting. 

Skoronski is now the 10th known overall verbal commitment and the Wildcats third known in-state pledge. Skoronski joins Lake Zurich three-star ranked junior tight end Hunter Welcing along with Wheaton North three-star ranked outside linebacker Xander Mueller as in-state commitments in the Class of 2020.

Skoronski, a four star ranked recruit according to Rivals.com is also the highest ranked in-state commitment since Class of 2018 Lincoln-Way East DE Devin O'Rourke who was also a four star ranked recruit.

Power Rankings: #5 - Lake Zurich

Power Rankings: #5 - Lake Zurich

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: Lake Zurich

Head coach: Luke Mertens

Assistant coaches: Aaron Towne, Nate Boekholder, Jason Newburger, Matt VanAcker, Nick Summers, Vito Andriola, Rick Erickson, Jeff Bartlett, Shane Williams, Kelly Henkel, Chris Barberis, Christian Wollard and Alec Malachowski

How they fared in 2017: 13-1 (7-0 North Suburban Conference). Lake Zurich made the 7A state playoff field and defeated Schaumburg, Plainfield North, St. Rita and Mount Carmel. In the state title game, they lost in OT to Batavia. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 vs Fremd

Aug. 31 vs Nazareth Academy

Sept. 7 vs Zion-Benton

Sept. 14 vs Lake Forest

Sept. 21 @ Stevenson

Sept. 28 @ Libertyville

Oct. 5 @ Warren Township

Oct. 12 vs Mundelein

Oct.20 @ Waukegan

[MORE: Power Rankings #6 - Nazareth]

Biggest storyline: The program didn't miss a beat when they changed coaches in the 2017 offseason. Can the program, one year removed from a state title game, reload once again and not skip a beat for the second consecutive season?

Names to watch this season: LB Luke Dwyer (North Dakota State) and WR Michael Gallus

Biggest holes to fill: The Bears will need to have some fresh faces step up on offense, especially in the skills department: quarterback and running back. 

EDGY's Early Take: The Bears will simply reload this season. Head coach Luke Mertens was able to make quite a state playoff run in his first season. Keep an eye on senior QB Matt McGraw (6-foot-4, 185 pounds), who transferred in this summer from Grant. He brings a big arm and a passing threat to the Lake Zurich offense. The Bears' defense will once again be a strength. Keep an eye on senior DL Jackson Farsales, senior LB Luke Dwyer and senior DB Austin LePage. The underclassmen talent for Lake Zurich is also impressive and will provide much needed depth this season.