Friday, November 15, 2013

Schaumburg High School... the alma mater of Markos Moulitsas, the founder of the Daily Kos. And yet I still can't pick the Saxons to prevail in their quarterfinal matchup with Glenbard West tomorrow.

Here are the rest of my predictions for Class 7A, with upsets in bold:

Lake Zurich over Wheaton North
Glenbard West over Schaumburg
Mount Carmel over Downers Grove North
Lincoln-Way East over Edwardsville 

No. 1 Lake Zurich (10-1) travels to No. 5 Wheaton North (9-2) Saturday night in what should be another victory for the Bears. Lake Zurich's only loss this year was to Stevenson in Week Nine. They've defeated seven winning teams: Fremd, Cary-Grove, Warren (I was there), Lake Forest, Antioch, Elk Grove Village and Hononegah. Wheaton North is coming off a thrilling come-from-behind victory over Fenwick last week. The Falcons also beat Cary-Grove, Geneva, Naperville North and Central, and Glenbrook North, while losing to DuPage Valley powers Wheaton Warrenville South and Glenbard North. I was at both of those losses and just don't think Wheaton North has the juice to knock off a No. 1 seed.

The Bears have won two out of their last three meetings (home team in CAPS):

2009: LAKE ZURICH 35, Wheaton North 9; Lake Zurich 24, WHEATON NORTH 17
2008: WHEATON NORTH 26, Lake Zurich 7

No. 3 Glenbard West (10-1) will be at No. 2 Schaumburg (10-1) tomorrow afternoon and, as far as I can tell, have never met before. After dropping the opener to Wheaton Warrenville South, the Hilltoppers went on to defeat Downers Grove North, Lyons, Hinsdale Central, OPRF, Harlem and Conant. Schaumburg, meanwhile, lost to Fremd but beat New Trier, Hersey, Barrington, Conant, Schurz and St. Patrick. I haven't seen either team this year; neither one plays in a top conference. And I don't get the sense that Glenbard West is as good as last year's championship team. Still, the Hitters should make it to the semifinals.

In what will probably be the biggest mismatch of the weekend, No. 2 Mount Carmel (10-1) plays at No. 8 Downers Grove North (7-4). The Caravan lost to Loyola while beating St. Patrick, Morgan Park, Bishop McNamara, St. Rita (twice), Providence, Leo and Benet. The Trojans, for their part, beat Downers Grove South, Whitney Young and Wheaton Warrenville South but lost to Glenbard West, OPRF, Lyons and Hinsdale Central. As I said after last week's victory over St. Rita, nobody in 7A is going to beat Mount Carmel this year -- nobody.

The two squads last met in 2006 with Mount Carmel defeating Downers Grove North at home, 24-7.

Lastly, there's No. 3 Lincoln-Way East (9-2) at No. 1 Edwardsville (11-0). The Griffins lost to Homewood-Flossmoor and Bolingbrook but beat Sandburg, Plainfield East and Oswego East. Undefeated Edwardsville, meanwhile, defeated East St. Louis, Belleville West, O'Fallon, Andrew and Bradley-Bourbonnais. I'd heard that the Tigers were the Real Deal this year while noticing that LWE fell to the top two teams in its conference. I was all set to pick Edwardsville until I looked up the history between them:

2012: Lincoln-Way East 40, EDWARDSVILLE 10
2011: Lincoln-Way East 45, EDWARDSVILLE 14
2010: Lincoln-Way East 37, EDWARDSVILLE 10

I won't fade that. Griffins by at least a touchdown.

Tomorrow: Class 8A. (There may be some surprises.)

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