Who wants is more?
NBC Sports Chicago and Wintrust present our “Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week.” We are putting High School Lites, Chicagoland’s top prep sports show, in the hands of passionate high school football followers. Fans will get the chance to pick one game that the @NBCSPreps crew will cover on Friday night. We will send our cameras to the game that gets the most votes; highlights and postgame reaction of that game will appear on that night’s “High School Lites” broadcast at 11:00 p.m, just after White Sox baseball . The show also live streams at www.nbcsportschicago.com/watchlive and appears in the MyTeams app. High School Lites will also have broadcast replays at 7:30 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. the following Saturday on NBC Sports Chicago.
This week, due to popular demand, we're going with a Backyard Brawls: 2.0 edition. We are featuring three games with strong local rivalry connections. Which "border war" high school football game is the most worthy of our coverage?
Lockport at Sandburg, 7:00 p.m.
Naperville North vs. Naperville Central, 7:00 p.m. at North Central College
Barrington at Palatine, 7:30 p.m.
To participate, our fans are encouraged to do the following:
**Follow our NBC Sports Chicago preps Twitter page: @NBCSPreps.
**Note the pinned tweet that is atop the feed.
**Vote for the game you want NBC Sports Chicago to cover Friday night.
**Spread the word!
The poll will start promptly at 12:00 p.m. Monday. We will make an announcement with the official results on @NBCSPreps just after 4 p.m. Thursday. 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, all season long.
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.
Head coach: Corey Olson
How they fared in 2017: 7-4 (4-1 Mid Suburban West Conference). Palatine made the Class 8A state playoff field. They defeated South Elgin and then lost to Edwardsville in second round action.
2018 Regular Season Schedule:
Aug. 24 @ Stevenson
Aug. 31 vs Rolling Meadows
Sept. 7 @ Glenbrook South
Sept. 14 vs New Trier
Sept. 21 vs Fremd
Sept. 28 @ Hoffman Estates
Oct. 5 vs Schaumburg
Oct. 12 @ Conant
Oct. 19 @ Barrington
[MORE: 83 Days to Kickoff - Fremd]
Biggest storyline: The Pirates are shooting for their 11th playoff season in 12 years. How much can they reload this season en route to playoff football in the fall?
Names to watch this season: OL/DL David Balanganayi and WR Jake Gronwick
Biggest holes to fill: The Pirates will need to have a few guys step up in several spots including quarterback, wide receiver and also on both the offensive and defensive line.
EDGY's Early Take: Palatine and head coach Corey Olson will be a bit younger this season. The Pirates lost some key impact names from a season ago, including WR Johnny O'Shea, DB Jake Moertl and QB D.J. Angelaccio. One of the big keys for the Pirates this season will be getting some of the newer faces up to speed quickly.The early non-conference schedule will be a challenge, featuring games against the likes of Stevenson and New Trier. They also have a Week Two Mid-Suburban crossover hosting Rolling Meadows.
Here are five lower-seeded teams in Classes 8A thru 4A that shouldn’t be overlooked heading into this weekend's first round of the IHSA state football playoffs.
No. 23 seed Palatine (6-3): First-year head coach Corey Olson had an up-and-down regular season. But don't let the Pirates’ record fool you. Palatine lost to three state playoff teams in Stevenson (14-7 in Week 1), Maine South (17-14 in Week 4) and Barrington (26-24 in Week 6). The combined record of all three opponents was a stout 23-4. Palatine will rely on senior QB DJ Angelaccio, senior WR Johnny O'Shea and senior WR Jack Orlando. The defense is led by senior LB Cortez Hogans (NIU), senior DE Bryant Smith and versatile senior DB Jake Moertl.
No. 29 seed Glenbard North (5-4): Yes, the Panthers struggled at times this season. Yes, they needed to beat Neuqua Valley last Friday just to make the 7A playoff field. That said, when this team is on they can hang with anyone and everyone in their class. The Panthers have gotten a big season from senior RB/LB Jayleen Fitzpatrick, senior QB Lee Rady and a veteran offensive line anchored by senior Jose Vazquez. GBN’s defense is the program’s calling card. Their secondary, featuring senior Tyrik Henderson (Minnesota), is just one of several names to watch on the defense.
No. 13 seed Providence Catholic (5-4): The Celtics also stumbled to the finish line in regular season play, losing their last two games. But Providence, whose four losses came to opponents with a combined 30-6 record (East St. Louis, Missouri’s Vianney Prep, Loyola Academy and Mount Carmel) are undoubtedly playoff tested. Their running game, featuring senior RB De'Shon Gavin (Western Illinois) and their big, experienced offensive line are included in their many strengths. Providence Catholic, who plays mainly 8A/7A level competition most of the regular season, will have an old-school battle in the opening round against Richards (7-2). Should Providence win that game, the Emerald Isle could go on a deep run.
No. 14 seed Marian Central Catholic (5-4): Head coach Mike Maloney's sideline at times resembled more of a MASH unit than a playoff-ready team. The Hurricanes have survived that storm of injuries and could be primed for a nice run in 5A. Marian Central Catholic has gotten some key names back to the lineup including former QB Gavin Scott, who has been moved to running back. The Hurricanes are also battle-tested coming off an East Suburban Catholic Conference schedule.
No. 14 seed Geneseo: The Maple Leafs are one of the state's traditional power football programs. They have struggled at times but were able to upset state-ranked Morris 21-17 to become playoff eligible. Geneseo also played a tough schedule and posted losses to bigger enrollment playoff names Quincy (6-3), Sterling (9-0), Rochelle (6-3) and Kaneland (6-3). Geneseo is a power running offense built for playoff football. Keep an eye on senior RB Drew Rapps and junior RB Zac Olson.