Monday, August 31, 2015

The rankings are in...

Batavia quarterback Kyle Niemiec.
...for Week One from the three news services I follow. (We'll still check in with the AP from time to time.) I've only included the top ten from each -- that's enough for now.

The big news, I guess, is that Joliet Catholic joined all three rankings this week with its impressive 35-13 victory over defending 7A champ Providence. Montini also moved up after its narrow win over Maine South, 20-17, joining the Chicago papers' top ten but still only at No. 13 in MaxPreps. Also, Lincoln-Way East, Simeon and Wheaton North all lost.

Beth Long kept Simeon and Maine South in her top ten, I assume, because both fell to top-notch teams by close margins. But while the Wolverines travel down to Mississippi this weekend to play a school that's 0-3, the Hawks host Loyola on Friday and are in danger of beginning the season 0-2. (Not to worry, Maine South fans, they're still likely to run the table in the Central Suburban Conference.)

Oh, and lest we forget, Phillips cracked Mike Helfgot's top ten with its convincing victory over Fenwick, 40-16. 

On to the rankings (all teams undefeated unless otherwise noted): 

Chicago Tribune

1. Homewood-Flossmoor
2. Mount Carmel
3. Glenbard West
4. Naperville Central
5. Loyola
6. Stevenson
7. Montini
8. Joliet Catholic
9. Wheaton Warrenville South
10. Phillips

Chicago Sun-Times

1. Homewood-Flossmoor
2. Glenbard West
3. Nazareth
4. Libertyville
5. Naperville Central
6. Montini
7. Mount Carmel
8. Joliet Catholic
9. Simeon (0-1)
10. Maine South (0-1)


1. Loyola
2. Barrington
3. Homewood-Flossmoor
4. Nazareth
5. Rochester
6. Stevenson
7. East St. Louis 
8. Glenbard West
9. New Trier 
10. Joliet Catholic

As for the game I attended, Batavia at Oswego, what started out as a 0-0 snore after one quarter (at least I got the senior citizen discount!) turned into a bit of a slugfest as the visiting Bulldogs held off a late rally by the Panthers to prevail, 36-28. While I had gone primarily to see Steven Frank, the highly-touted quarterback of Oswego (this kid can run as well as pass!), I was just as impressed with his counterpart at Batavia, Kyle Niemiec.

As I mentioned in one of my tweets from Friday night, I wouldn't read too much into the first game of the year. Both teams seemed a little rusty in the first quarter and, anyway, it's a long season. But Oswego now has to play Providence this week, and you know what that means: one of these two programs is going to wake up Saturday morning 0-2. Oswego can survive that, but the Celtics would still have to find five victories in their bruising Catholic League Blue schedule to make the playoffs. So it's an even bigger game for the New Lenox squad.

And as for my Upset of the Week that never happened: Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!

P. S. Note to high school teams: Please wear uniforms with numbers that can be read from the stands. It was next to impossible to tell who was who from both Batavia and Oswego Friday night. I didn't even learn Kyle Niemiec's name until Saturday morning. Thank you.

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