Simeon

23 Days to Kickoff: Simeon

23 Days to Kickoff: Simeon

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: Simeon

Head coach: Dante Culbreath

How they fared in 2018: 11-1 (5-0 CPL Illini Red Bird Conference). Simeon made the Class 7A state playoff field and defeated Rockford East and Lincoln-Way West. They lost to Nazareth Academy in the quarterfinal round.
 
2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 31 @ Southfield Christian (MI) 
Sept. 7 @ St. Francis Academy (MD)
Sept. 13 vs Lincoln Park (at Lane Tech) 
Sept. 20 @ Solorio 
Sept. 28 vs Perspectives 
Oct. 5 vs. Phillips (at Gately)
Oct. 11 @ Hubbard (at Gately)
Oct. 18 vs. Taft (at Gately)
Oct. 24 vs Curie (at Gately)

[MORE: 65 Days to Kickoff - Solorio] 

Biggest storyline: Simeon, one of the most consistent Chicago Public League football programs, is going for their 19th straight IHSA postseason berth. Can the Wolverines reload at a few key positions and make another lengthy postseason run?

Names to watch this season: ATH Chau Smith (Sr.) and OL Khalyl Warren (Sr., SE Misouri)

Biggest holes to fill: The Wolverines will need to replace a handful of key starters lost to graduation, including QB Alante Brown (Texas Tech).

EDGY's Early Take: Coach Dante Culbreath's Wolverines had a strong run in 2018, which included a last-minute loss to eventual 7A state champion Nazareth. While some key names have graduated, Simeon still has plenty of kids to build around this season. Senior ATH Chau Smith is a D-1 recruit, impact player and overall gamebreaker. The offensive line is a strength, led by senior Khalyl Warren and junior OT Cameron James (6-foot-8, 280 pounds). The team will hit the road quite a bit in the early going, including back-to-back trips to Michigan and Maryland. If they can avoid bus lag, they can win a lot of games. The Oct. 5 game vs. Phillips is filled with plenty of intrigue. The overall talent level and potential this fall is impressive and the Wolverines undoubtedly belong in the Top 25. 

Edgy Tim's 20th annual IHSA football All-State team

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Edgy Tim's 20th annual IHSA football All-State team

Below is the 20th annual EDGYTIM.com All-State team. All players have been selected from Classes 8A thru Class 5A. 

Offense

QB JJ McCarthy, Nazareth Academy (6-foot-2, 180 pounds) - Only a sophomore, passed for 3,448 yards and 37 touchdowns in leading the Road Runners to the Class 7A state title. 

RB Jirehl Brock, Quincy (6-foot-0, 200 pounds) - Ran for 2,158 yards and 33 touchdowns in just 10 games in 2018. 

RB Keenan Hailey, Joliet Catholic (5-foot-9, 185 pounds) - Ran for 2,637 yards and 34 touchdowns in leading the Hilltoppers to the 5A state title. 

TE Jahleel Billingsley, Phillips (6-foot-5, 227 pounds) - Alabama commit. Just did it all (TE/DE/WR/QB) for the Wildcats in 2018 and is one of the state's best overall athletes. 

WR Jackson Ritter, Lincoln-Way East (6-foot-4, 205 pounds) - Was easily one of the biggest impact receivers from one of the state's most dominant teams in 2018. Averaged 19 yards per catch in 2018. 

WR Rashaan Palmer Jr., Simeon (6-foot-4, 200 pounds) - Was at times as dominant a receiver as anyone in the state of Illinois. Possesses a huge reach and length and exceptional overall physical tools and ball skills. 

OL Peter Skoronski, Maine South (6-foot-4, 270 pounds) - Only a junior, Skoronski, who already has multiple Power 5 scholarship offers was dominant on both sides of the football for the Hawks

OL Trevor Keegan, Crystal Lake South (6-foot-6, 290 pounds) - The state's top ranked recruit in the Class of 2019 will announce his college choice on Dec 11. Helped led the Gators to the state playoffs in 2018. 

OL Addison West, Cary-Grove (6-foot-4, 270 pounds) - Western Michigan commit. Class 6A state champion who played on both sides of the line and keyed one of the state's best running attacks in 2018. 

OL Evan Kirts, Brother Rice (6-foot-5, 265 pounds) - Illinois commit. Has physically grown and developed into a strong offensive tackle this past season for the Crusaders. 

OL JJ Guedet, Washington (6-foot-8, 265 pounds) - Minnesota commit. Was a dominant two way starter on both sides of the football for the Panthers in 2018. 

KR/PR Michael Love, Nazareth Academy (5-foot-9, 170 pounds) - One of the state's best and most versatile players who was a huge key in the Road Runners 2018 Class 7A state title season. 

ATH Alante Brown, Simeon (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) - Michigan State commit. Brown has played quarterback, receiver and defensive back for the Wolverines and is also one of the state's most dangerous athletes in 2018. 

Defense

DL Zack Pelland, Warren Township (6-foot-4, 250 pounds) - Colgate commit. Was a team leader and captain for one of Chicagoland's top defenses in 2018. 

DL Demond Taylor, East St Louis (6-foot-3, 275 pounds) - NIU commit. Taylor is one of three players (Taylor, Jeff Thomas and Jerrell McDaniels) who have been a four-year varsity starter for the Flyers and head coach Darren Sunkett. 

DL Deion Harry, Crete Monee (6-foot-6, 257 pounds) - Harry was a key leader and defensive end for the Class 6A state runner up Warriors in 2018.

DL Cam Mattox, Hillcrest (6-foot-3, 215 pounds) - NIU commit. Speedy off the edge pass rusher who also can drop back into coverage. Was a big key for the Hawks and head coach Mo Weaver in 2018. 

LB Maema Njongmeta, Stevenson (6-foot-1, 210 pounds) - Wisconsin commit. Njongmeta has all the tools to develop into a big time defender at Wisconsin. Has great speed and physical tools.

LB Jackson Bruscianelli, Montini Catholic (6-foot-0, 200 pounds) - A multi-year starter and tackling machine (148 total tackles in 2018) for the Class 5A state runner up Broncos. 

LB Michael Jansey Jr, Batavia (6-foot-2, 210 pounds) - Northwestern commit. Was simply one of the top overall defenders and athletes in the Dukane Conference and in Class 7A in 2018. 

DB Sebastian Castro, Oak Lawn Richards (6-foot-1, 198 pounds) - Iowa commit. Castro has been one of the best and most versatile athletes in the state of Illinois over the past few seasons. 

DB Tyler Nubin, St. Charles North (6-foot-2, 185 pounds) - Minnesota commit. Another versatile and high level athlete who played QB/WR/RB/S for the Class 7A state runner up North Stars in 2018. 

DB Jake Gonzales, Loyola Academy (6-foot-1, 193 pounds) - Penn commit. Gonzalez has been the quarterback of the Ramblers defense for the past few seasons. Was the leading tackler for the Class 8A state champion Ramblers this fall. 

DB Sam Tumilty, Willowbrook (5-foot-9, 175 pounds) - Just a junior, Tumilty was a key high level two way starter who just never left the field for the Warriors and head coach Nick Hildreth in 2018. 

K/P Jack Olsen, Wheaton Warrenville South (5-foot-10, 170 pounds) - A junior, Olsen set a new IHSA state record with hitting 8 field goals this season. Possesses one of the top legs in the Class of 2020. 

Making of a Chicago legend: A look back at Jabari Parker's decorated Simeon career

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AP

Making of a Chicago legend: A look back at Jabari Parker's decorated Simeon career

From the moment Jabari Parker started his local basketball career, he's been a special talent who has produced at every level. Parker's signing with the Chicago Bulls this offseason brings back a lot of memories of his decorated four-year high school career at Simeon.

For Bulls fans who didn't follow Parker before Duke or the NBA, here's some of the notable moments from four years in the Public League.

As a freshman with the Wolverines, Parker was seen as one of three big incoming freshman in the area for the Class of 2013, along with forward Alex Foster and center Tommy Hamilton. Although all three players had the size and skill level to be varsity contributors, it was Parker who was special from his debut game.

Coming off the bench for a top-5 Simeon team against a top-10 Thornton team at Chicago State, Parker had 16 points on 6-for-9 shooting with two 3-pointers as the Wolverines went on to win in his first game in high school. Eventually becoming the first Wolverine freshman to start on varsity, Parker piled up high-major scholarship offers and national acclaim, as he was the team's second-leading scorer behind Brandon Spearman.

But Parker was hurt on the eve of the IHSA Class 4A state championship weekend and was on the bench injured as Simeon went on to surprisingly win the state title after some late-season slip-ups. Parker contributed heavily to Simeon winning the state title during his first season, however, as he was leading scorer in six games during that season.

During his sophomore season, Parker blossomed from a prospect into a full-blown star as Simeon once again captured a state title. By this point in his career, Parker was a consensus top-5 national high school prospect in his class as he regularly led a loaded Simeon team in scoring. Parker eventually averaged 15.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per game as he won ESPN High School 2011 Sophomore of the Year national honors, while also Simeon won a title at the prestigious Pontiac Holiday Tournament.

The summer of 2011 saw Parker become a contender for No. 1 in his class -- and regardless of class at the high school level -- as he dominated the summer circuit against his peers and older players.

Making the 2011 USA Basketball U16 team, Parker won MVP honors at the FIBA Americas U16 Tournament as the USA team captured a gold medal. Parker also had big performances at the Kevin Durant and LeBron James Skill Academies before winning the MVP at the Nike Global Challenge in August against mostly older players.

Before entering his junior season at Simeon, some national scouts believed Parker was the best prospect in either the junior or senior national classes. With Parker garnering so many accomplishments as an underclassman, he had a huge reputation already as Simeon was an established national powerhouse.

Parker helped the Wolverines capture a third straight state title, a city title and another title at the Pontiac Holiday Tournament, as they went 33-1. Simeon didn't lose to an Illinois opponent Parker's junior year (they only lost to nationally ranked Findlay Prep) with Parker setting a school record of 40 points in only 21 minutes against Perspectives on Dec. 19. For his junior season, Parker put up 19.5 points, 8.9 rebounds per game as he became the first non-senior to win Mr. Basketball in Illinois honors.

Gatorade also declared Parker the national boys basketball Player of the Year for that high school season as he became only the fourth non-senior to win that award. Sports Illustrated put Parker on its cover and proclaimed him as the best high school basketball player since LeBron James.

Facing an enormous amount of pressure during his senior year, Simeon played a national schedule and went 30-3, winning a fourth consecutive IHSA state title with Parker as he put up 18.4 points, 10.4 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game.

Becoming the only player besides Sergio McClain to start on four straight IHSA state title teams, Parker secured back-to-back Mr. Basketball in Illinois honors while also making the McDonald's All-American Game, Jordan Brand Classic and the Nike Hoop Summit. Parker played all over the country during his senior season, with nationally-televised games and packed crowds filled with fans.

Reclassifications and the emergence of other contenders, coupled with Parker's foot injury before his senior season, dropped Parker below the No. 1 ranking to end his high school career. But he still finished as a consensus top-5 prospect in the class who eventually rose to the No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft in 2014.

Now that Parker has signed with the Bulls, he has a chance to resurrect his career in Chicago, the place where he had his most basketball success.