18 Days to Kickoff: Oswego

18 Days to Kickoff: Oswego

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: Oswego

Head coach: Brian Cooney

How they fared in 2018: 10-1 (9-0 Southwest Prairie Conference). Oswego made the Class 8A state playoff field, beat Taft and then lost to Loyola Academy in second round action.

2019 regular season schedule:

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

[MORE: 72 Days to Kickoff - West Aurora

Biggest storyline: The Panthers have been a model of consistency for years-- eight Southwest Prairie conference championships in a row. Can they continue to dominate play in an expanded league, which now contains West Aurora and Yorkville?

Names to watch this season: OL Jack Hugunin (Sr.) and WR/DB Jack Lemke (Sr.)

Biggest holes to fill: The Panthers graduated several key playmakers from a season ago including QB Noah Parker, WR Jamal Fomby and RB Charles Coleman.
EDGY's Early Take: Oswego, in seven seasons under head coach Brian Cooney, has gone 66-14. Each season has resulted in at least nine wins and a playoff berth. The Panthers will attempt to keep their conference title winning streak alive in the newly-expanded Southwest Prairie West division. But winning the West will be a challenge against several top programs including Minooka, Plainfield North, rival Oswego East and newcomers Yorkville and West Aurora. While Oswego did graduate some key skills personnel from last season, this program is far from empty. Keep an eye on senior OL/DL Jack Hugunin (NIU) and senior WR/DB Jack Lemke. The Panthers also boast an offensive and defensive lineman group that is big and very physical. 

Oswego standout tackle the latest to commit to NIU

NBC Sports Chicago

Oswego standout tackle the latest to commit to NIU

Oswego junior defensive tackle Jack Hugunin (6-foot-3, 255 pounds) made a visit to Northern Illinois University on Monday for the Huskies' spring practice.

He didn't wait much longer to decide where he'll play, as he gave a same-day verbal commmitment to head coach Thomas Hammock. 

"I knew that I was going to go to NIU for the spring practice {Monday} and give NIU my commitment," Hugunin said. "I've been to NIU now a bunch of times and overall it's just the best fit for me and that's why I decided to commit."

The school's location and winning history played major roles in the selection.

"My goal has always been to get a college degree and play football at the highest possible level and I can get that done at NIU. I'll get to play in a great conference (Mid American Conference) and also play in a winning football program that's also 45 minutes from home. NIU really showed me a lot of love from very early on in the process and they were my first offer. I have a really good connection with all of the coaches at NIU. They really welcomed me when I first visited and it's just gotten better each time I visit. Academically, NIU is also a really good fit for me."

Hugunin is now the Huskies third known in-state verbal commitment and the program's fourth commitment overall so far this spring. Hugunin joins Peoria WR Kaevion Mack, West Aurora DE Matt Johnson and Milwaukee Vincent's ILB Devonte Lee.

VOTE: Viewers' Choice Game Of The Week

NBC Sports Chicago

VOTE: Viewers' Choice Game Of The Week

It's a rivalry within a rivalry: "The Joliets vs. The Oswegos." Who wants it more? 

We are putting High School Lites, Chicagoland's top prep sports show, in the hands of area basketball fans in our "Viewers' Choice Game of the Week." Fans will get the chance to pick one game that the @NBCSPreps crew will cover on Thursday. We will send our cameras to the game that gets the most votes; highlights and postgame reaction of that game will appear on Friday night's "High School Lites" broadcast at 11 p.m. The show also live streams at www.nbcsportschicago.com/watchlive. High School Lites will also have broadcast replays at 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. the following Saturday. We're going all out for a pair of crosstown rivalry games that we are going to pair against...each other: 

Joliet Central at Joliet West, 5:45 p.m.

Oswego East at Oswego, 6:30 p.m.

— Follow @NBCSPreps on Twitter.
— Note the "pinned Tweet" atop the @NBCSPreps feed. Vote for the game you want us to cover.
— Spread the word! 

We will make an announcement on @NBCSPreps just after 3 p.m. Thursday with the official results of which game will be covered. And as a reminder, be sure to follow @NBCSPreps for updates on the "Viewers' Choice Game of the week," along with other high school sports news, scores and highlights this season.