27 Days to Kickoff: Stevenson

27 Days to Kickoff: Stevenson 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: Stevenson

Head coach: Brent Becker

Assistant coaches: Tom Baumann, Guy Boliaux, Pat Block, Brian Burja, Shane Cook, Jason Ford, Pat Grady, Marco Grigeletto, Dave Jacobson, Tom Kelly, Josh Kilker, Dan Larsen, Bill McNamara, Kevin Pearson, John Solis, Jason Soulje, Ryan Thut, Eric Ramos and Curtis Weber

How they fared in 2018: 6-4 (4-3 North Suburban Conference). Stevenson made the Class 8A state playoff field and lost to Marist in opening round action.

2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 30 @ Lincoln-Way East
Sept. 6 vs Neuqua Valley
Sept. 13 vs Libertyville
Sept. 20 vs Zion-Benton
Sept. 27 @ Lake Zurich
Oct. 4 vs Mundelein
Oct. 11 @ Waukegan
Oct. 18 vs Warren Township
Oct. 25 @ Lake Forest

Biggest storyline: It’s Brent Becker’s team now. Can he lead the Patriots back to the IHSA state playoff field? If so, it’d be the 31st consecutive time that Stevenson has reached the postseason.

Names to watch this season: RB JM Etienne (Sr.), OL Ean Norenberg (Sr.) and DB Jordan Vincent (Sr.)

Biggest holes to fill: The Patriots will need to reload on the defensive side of the football with just three returning starters back from a season ago.

EDGY's Early Take: Coach Brent Becker takes over the head coaching reins from Josh Hjorth, who stepped down from the position last winter. Becker, a long-time assistant coach at Stevenson, will allow the Patriots to have an easy transition. The Patriots offense has a nice mix of playmakers back along with three starters on the offensive line. The less experienced defense will be tested immediately starting in the opener at Lincoln-Way East. I fully expect Stevenson to challenge in the North Suburban conference and gain another state playoff berth this fall.


Power Rankings: #11 - Stevenson

Power Rankings: #11 - Stevenson 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.

School: Stevenson

Head coach: Josh Hjorth

Assistant coaches: Brent Becker (OL/Assistant Head Coach), Tom Baumann (DBs), Brian Burja (DC), Chris Caballero (OL/DL), Jason Ford (LBs), Pat Grady (WRs/Special Team Coordinator) Erik Jensen (Quality Control Coach), Redelle Lawrence (DBs), Joey Weber (QBs)

How they fared in 2017: 6-4 (5-2 North Suburban Conference). Stevenson made the 8A state playoff field and lost to Hinsdale Central in opening round action. 

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 vs Palatine

Aug. 31 @ Neuqua Valley

Sept 7 @ Libertyville

Sept. 14 @ Zion-Benton

Sept. 21 vs Lake Zurich

Sept. 28 @ Mundelein

Oct. 5 vs Waukegan

Oct. 12 @ Warren Township

Oct. 19 vs Lake Forest

[MORE: 29 Days to Kickoff - Palatine]

Biggest storyline: Can the Patriots, under second-year head coach Josh Hjorth, make another run at the North Suburban title --and beyond-- this season?

Names to watch this season: RB JM Etienne and LB Maema Njongmeta

Biggest holes to fill: The Patriots welcome back 15 returning starters from a season ago including nine back on offense. On defense, they'll be looking to fill holes on the defensive line and in the secondary. 

EDGY's Early Take: The Patriots went young in 2017 as then-first year head coach Josh Hjorth was able to get varsity experience to several key players. That should pay dividends this fall. Stevenson, led by three returning offensive lineman, will look to establish their running game early in the season. Senior QB Cole Okmin will have a deep and experienced group of backs and receivers to utilize. The key in the first few weeks will be the development of the defensive line and secondary. Defensive team leaders such as senior OLB Maema Njongmeta will play a big role in bringing along a younger but very talented group. 

What to watch for in this weekend's state-title hockey game between Loyola Academy and Stevenson

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What to watch for in this weekend's state-title hockey game between Loyola Academy and Stevenson

A state champion will be crowned Saturday at the United Center, when Loyola Academy Gold plays Stevenson for the Boys Red Division State Championship.

Here are some of the storylines we’re watching ahead of the game.

1. Coaching connection: These two coaches have known each other for more than 20 years. Loyola head coach D.J. LaVarre coached against Stevenson head coach Tom Wood when Wood played youth hockey. LaVarre also knows Tom’s dad, Jim, who is the former head coach at Stevenson. Currently the coach Stevenson’s JV 2 team, Jim won the AHAI high school coach of the year in 2007.

2. Fun rewards for players of the game: At Stevenson, the player of the game is awarded a hard hat. At Loyola, it’s a championship belt.

3. International influence: Stevenson’s goalie, Elias Sandholm, is a transfer student from Sweden and has the highest save percentage in school history, .951. He made the all-state team and the Chicago Showcase team.

4. Next man up: In net for Loyola will most likely be Hugh Brady, a senior who stepped up when Thomas Moran went down with a hip injury. Brady has played 47 games and has a .945 save percentage.

5. A drought will be snapped: Stevenson has never won a state championship. Loyola is looking for its first since 1996.

Puck drop is at 3 p.m., with the girls’ state championship game, Glenbrook vs. New Trier, starting at 11:30 a.m.

One more fun note: Team USA gold medalist and Palos Heights native Kendall Coyne will drop the ceremonial puck prior to both games.