Michael Hennessey

78 Days to Kickoff: Notre Dame

78 Days to Kickoff: Notre Dame

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: Niles Notre Dame

Head coach: Michael Hennessey

Assistant coaches: Dan DeFranza, Fred Proesel, Jim Morrissey, Eric Hennessey, Pat Gallagher and Joe Pauley

How they fared in 2018: 10-3 (5-2 East Suburban Catholic Conference). Notre Dame made the Class 6A state playoff field and defeated St. Ignatius, Crystal Lake South and Antioch. They lost to Cary-Grove 28-21 in the semifinal round. 

2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 30 @ Geneva
Sept. 6 vs Oak Forest
Sept. 13 vs Marist
Sept. 20 @ Benet Academy
Sept. 27 vs St. Laurence
Oct. 4 @ St. Viator
Oct. 11 @ St. Patrick
Oct. 18 vs Carmel
Oct. 25 vs Joliet Catholic

[MORE: 90 Days to Kickoff - St. Patrick]

Biggest storyline: Is there life for Notre Dame after the graduation loss of All-State running back Ty Gavin (Winona State)?

Names to watch this season: QB Anthony Sayles (Jr.), RB Julian Schurr (Sr.), LB Anthony Ranallo (Sr.)

Biggest holes to fill: The Dons will need to replace 15 graduated starters from a season ago. That includes replacing all five starting offensive linemen. 

EDGY's Early Take: It's no question that the Dons will have several questions to answer this summer; however, Notre Dame has an exciting playmaker under center in junior QB Anthony Sayles. He has enough firepower to compete with all challengers in 2019. This will be Michael Hennessey's 33rd season at the helm of the program. If this program can reload, especially up front on both sides of the line, look for them to challenge for a state playoff spot this fall.