Monday, October 12, 2015

This is NOT Homewood-Flossmoor's... field; it's actually Lincoln-Way North's.  

But you said you were going to the Lincoln-Way East at H-F game on Friday night. It was even your Game of the Week!

That's right; I did. But I got shut out of Friday night's game in Flossmoor! I couldn't believe it. After driving all the way down south in rush hour traffic (and arriving two hours early) I stopped into the McDonald's on 183rd and Kedzie. While I munched on a couple of burgers, I scrolled through Twitter. And here's what popped up from the Homewood-Flossmoor Athletics page:

Tonight's vs. game is SOLD OUT! No tickets will be available for purchase at the gates.

Wha-a-at? I thought. You gotta be kidding me! It's not even a playoff game.

This called for some quick thinking (not my long-suit). I could just go on to my sister's place in New Buffalo, Michigan, like I had planned. (We were going to the Navy - Notre Dame game on Saturday.) But they might be out to dinner. And even though I could watch the Cubs game there, my sister and her husband are rabid Cubs-haters, so they might not even want to watch it.

I got it! Let's consult Boring Old White Guy. There's Nazareth at Joliet Catholic, but that was about 40 minutes away and would make my drive to Michigan even farther. Wait a minute; what's this? Thornton at Lincoln-Way North? Both undefeated? And 14 minutes away? I'm there!

So that explains the picture at the top of this post. (By the way, Lincoln-Way North is a big, beautiful school. It's only eight years old, I was told, and looks more like it's eight days old. But, apparently, it's closing at the end of this year. Crazy, huh? I'll have to look into it further for the story.)

I only stayed for the first half, in which the Phoenix led Thornton, 14-12. (They eventually won, 28-26.) In the game I didn't go, H-F clobbered Lincoln-Way East, 28-3, so I didn't miss much -- except the Harley-Hampton twins. (Next week the Vikings travel to 6-1 Sandburg, so I may get another chance to see the No. 1 team in both Chicago papers before the playoffs. Shhh!)

My other Games of the Week were mostly one-sided affairs, with Huntley beating Crystal Lake South, 36-13, Libertyville over Warren, 48-21, and Glenbard West in a rout against Oak Park River Forest, 34-7. The one contest that turned out to be a contest was Joliet Catholic and Nazareth, which ended with the Hilltoppers topping the Roadrunners, 38-35. (But the halftime score was 31-0, JCA, so I probably wouldn't have stayed around for that thrilling comeback anyway.)

Elsewhere, Barrington lost to Palatine, 26-24, throwing the Mid-Suburban West up for grabs.

In the rankings, Nazareth and OPRF got bumped from the Tribune's top ten and the Roadrunners fell out of the Sun-Times's as well. In their place, Brother Rice and Naperville Central moved up; the Crusaders on the back of a forfeit win -- huh?

In MaxPreps, Phillips and Montini mysteriously fell in favor of Homewood-Flossmoor and Hinsdale Central. (It took them this long to put the Vikings in their top ten? Whatever.)

On to the rankings! (All teams undefeated unless otherwise noted.)

Chicago Tribune

1. Homewood-Flossmoor 
2. Loyola
3. Glenbard West 
4. Libertyville
5. Montini
6. Joliet Catholic
7. Phillips
8. Hinsdale Central (6-1)  
9. Brother Rice (6-1)
10. Naperville Central (6-1)

Chicago Sun-Times  

1. Homewood-Flossmoor
2. Glenbard West
3. Loyola 
4. Libertyville 
5. Montini
6. Phillips 
7. Joliet Catholic
8. Hinsdale Central (6-1)
9. Naperville Central (6-1)
10. Brother Rice (6-1)


1. Loyola
2. Glenbard West
3. Libertyville
4. Rochester
5. Joliet Catholic
6. Homewood-Flossmoor
7. Hinsdale Central (6-1)
8. Sacred Heart-Griffin 
9. Brother Rice (6-1) 
10. Naperville Central (6-1)

As for the remainder of the season, Mike Helfgot of the Trib writes (my emphasis):

Bracket breakdown: As No. 1 Homewood-Flossmoor and No. 2 Loyola continued to appear on a higher level than anyone else in Week 7, the projected Class 8A playoff bracket finally reflects what has been evident empirically all season.

Losses by Barrington, Oak Park and New Trier guarantee that H-F and Loyola will be on opposite sides of the bracket and unable to meet until the state final — assuming they hold up their end of the bargain and finish 9-0.

Homewood-Flossmoor has two potential playoff teams remaining on its schedule in Sandburg (6-1) and Bolingbrook (4-3), but the Vikings made a major statement Friday with their 28-3 victory against then-No. 12 Lincoln-Way East.

After scoring all its points in the first half of its 42-0 victory against DePaul Prep on Saturday, Loyola has St. Rita and Mount Carmel left, which may not be as imposing as it sounds.

St. Rita (3-4) has not defeated a team with a winning record, and Mount Carmel (6-1) took a 31-14 loss from a Brother Rice team that Loyola beat 28-0.

Apparently, though, Glenbard West won't be in the 8A mix (darn!):

Following its third straight victory over an undefeated conference rival, No. 3 Glenbard West looks like a real good bet to be the top seed in the Class 7A playoffs.

West (7-0) made the jump to Class 8A last season, and while they appear to be on the 7A/8A bubble as the second-largest school currently listed in 7A, the cutoff point is projected to come down and push the Hilltoppers back to 7A.

After knocking off Lyons, Hinsdale Central and Oak Park in succession, West will conclude the regular season against Proviso West (1-6) and Addison Trail (3-4). The Hilltoppers have lost two regular-season games in eight years.

So I guess there's no chance of Glenbard West playing either Loyola or Homewood-Flossmoor, which is a shame. But the Hitters just might face Libertyville, which would be a great matchup, too!

Tomorrow: My Games of the Week.

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