Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Week One is in...

IC Catholic's Jordan Rowell.
...the books, and here is how the Chicago newspapers and MaxPreps rank the Top Ten. (All teams undefeated unless otherwise noted.)

Trib:

1. Loyola
2. Lincoln-Way East 
3. Glenbard North
4. Glenbard West
5. Mount Carmel
6. Homewood-Flossmoor
7. Brother Rice
8. Waubonsie Valley
9. Neuqua Valley
10. Palatine

Sun-Times:

1. Loyola
2. Mount Carmel
3. Homewood-Flossmoor
4. Glenbard West
5. Lincoln-Way East
6. Crete-Monee
7. Brother Rice
8. Bolingbrook (0-1)
9. Neuqua Valley
10. Marist (0-1)

MaxPreps:

1. Loyola
2. Palatine 
3. Prairie Ridge
4. Glenbard West
5. IC Catholic
6. Nazareth
7. Sacred Heart-Griffin
8. Neuqua Valley
9. Cary-Grove (0-1)
10. Glenbard North

I guess what immediately jumps out is that Loyola is No. 1 in all three news services. Glenbard West, coincidentally, is No. 4 in each. And Neuqua Valley is the only other school that appears in all three.

Other than that, MaxPreps is the outlier, with tiny IC Catholic (who shut out defending 3A champ McNamara, 34-0) and Sacred Heart-Griffin, who's outside the Chicago area, in the mix. (Could IC really beat Nazareth? Or Glenbard North?)

Also, the Sun-Times and MaxPreps include teams that have lost a game, namely Bolingbrook, Marist and Cary-Grove.

Is IC for real? According to Mike Helfgot, writing in the Tribune:

The Elmhurst school made one of the biggest opening-night statements in the area, a 34-0 victory over Bishop Mac. NIU recruit Jordan Rowell had his typical big game with more than 200 yards, and the defense shut out a team that scored 91 points against it last year.

Next week may present the biggest challenge on IC's schedule — at St. Laurence, which has a 1,597-495 enrollment advantage (IHSA multiplier included) and is coming off an impressive win of its own, 31-21 over Benet.

If not for Saturday afternoon's Maine South at Loyola game, IC at St. Laurence on Friday night could be my Game of the Week. (It still might.)

Who are these two teams anyway? Well, IC was 11-2 last year and made it all the way to the semifinals of 3A. (Its two losses were at the hands of McNamara.) In the last six years the Knights have had only one losing season, 4-5 in 2014.

St. Laurence, for its part, was 10-3 last year, also losing in the semis to the eventual champ, in this case 5A Nazareth.

Pat Disabato of the Daily Southtown has been talking up the Vikings for a while now and for good reason: last year's impressive season was up from a 1-8 finish as recently as 2012. Friday night's victory over Benet avenged last year's 42-21 loss.

Who will win this one? As far as I can tell the two schools have never met. But here's a clue: in 2015 St. Laurence defeated McNamara by thirty points. Jordan Rowell will have to have the game of his life to upset the Vikings in Burbank.

2 comments:

Mike Tracy said...

A previous draft identified St. Laurence as the Rams. That's the nickname of Burbank's other team, Reavis. My bad.

Ed Crotty said...

It looks like most of IC's coaching staff are formerly Driscoll coaches. So there is a good pedigree there.