VOTE: Wintrust Viewers' Choice Game of the Week

NBC Sports Chicago

VOTE: Wintrust Viewers' Choice Game of the Week

Who wants it 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 basketball 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. 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, we're going to get a taste of the Chicago Public League/White division. Which game should we attend for High School Lites?

Mather at Foreman, 5:00 p.m.

Jones at Wells, 5:00 p.m.

Perspectives-MSA at Raby, 6:30 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.

71 Days to Kickoff: Raby

71 Days to Kickoff: Raby

School: Al Raby

Head coach: D'Angelo Dereef

Assistant Coaches:   Jordan Dornbush, Eric Harris and Warren Agnew

How they fared in 2017: 11-2 (4-1 CPL Illini Land of Lincoln Conference). Raby made the Class 4A state football playoff field. The Raiders defeated Rock Island Alleman, Richmond-Burton and Dixon before losing to Morris in the semifinal round.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Niles North

Sept. 1 vs UP Englewood at Lane Stadium

Sept. 8 vs Curie at Lane Stadium

Sept. 14 @ Lane Tech

Sept. 22 @ Westinghouse

Sept. 29 @ Simeon

Oct. 6 vs Morgan Park @ Lane Stadium

Oct. 12 @ Lincoln Park

Oct. 19 vs Phillips @ Lane Stadium

[MORE: 97 Days to Kickoff - Back of the Yards]

Biggest storyline: Can the Raiders make another deep run in the state playoffs in 2018?

Names to watch this season: DB Romel Goston and WR/S Marshon Foster

Biggest holes to fill: The Raiders and head coach D'Angelo Dereef welcome back 18 returning starters from last year's semifinal team. They have a deep, talented team but more depth is always needed to make a deep run in the state playoffs. 

EDGY's Early Take: Al Raby was another terrific story out of the Chicago Public League in 2017, as they made a solid run in the post-season. The Raiders of 2018 will feature a deep roster including senior DB Romel Goston (NIU commit) and WR/S Marshon Foster (Western Michigan commit). Look for the Raiders to be in the 4A state title talk once again; however, a move over to the CPL Illini Heartland conference this fall will bring a much tougher regular season slate. 

NIU adds more Chicago flavor with Class of 2019 standouts

USA Today

NIU adds more Chicago flavor with Class of 2019 standouts

The Bears weren’t the only area football team to have a successful weekend bringing in talent.

Northern Illinois University and head coach Rod Carey saw a big spike over the weekend in the Huskies’ Class of 2019 in-state recruiting efforts. 

NIU was able to add four new verbal commitments this past weekend in Solorio junior wide receiver Messiah Travis (5-foot-10, 170 pounds), Raby junior defensive back Romel Goston (6-foot-1, 170 pounds), Buffalo Grove junior tight end Tom Trieb (6-foot-2, 220 pounds) and Kenwood junior cornerback Mark Aitken (5-foot-9, 175 pounds). 

"I like a lot of what NIU has to offer," Messiah said. "Getting to play and go to school close to home at NIU was really important to me. I'm really close with my family. It will allow my mom and my dad to come and see me play in college. NIU also recruited me really hard right out of the gates and NIU was my first offer. NIU really made me feel wanted and like I was needed there."

NIU was able to find early recruiting success a year ago when Carey and his staff decided to extend verbal scholarship offers much earlier in the recruiting process compared to previous years. 

Three of the latest Chicagoland pledges (Messiah Travis, Romel Goston and Mark Aitken) play together on the HEROH 7-on-7 team based on the South Side. Those connections played a big part in Aitken's decision process. 

"We have a really strong connection both mentally and emotionally," according to Aitken. "I feel like we can just make each other better at NIU and also keep each other on the right track. It was definitely a part of my decision to commit to NIU."

NIU now has five known verbal commitments in the Class of 2019. That list includes Detroit’s Martin Luther King High School junior wide receiver Jalen McGaughy (6-foot-3, 175 pounds).

This will mark the sixth full season for Carey leading the Huskies. He owns a 44-24 record during his time in DeKalb with five bowl appearances.