Thursday, September 8, 2016

When I went to the...

...Montini - Maine South game in Week One I sat -- as I nearly always do -- on the home side of the stadium. (You can sit up higher and see better.) I found myself next to a retired teacher from Maine South who also graduated from the school in the 1960s. He was an old white guy (of course) so I couldn't help asking him about Maine South's most famous alumna, Hillary Clinton (from its first graduating class, in 1965). He winced (of course) and looked as though the hot dog he was eating didn't agree with him. "Yeah," he said. "But we don't talk about that." I chuckled a little inside.

(He was actually a nice man and I enjoyed talking about Maine South football with him.)

This week the Hawks (1-1) travel to Barrington (2-0) to face the Broncos for only the fourth time since 2004.

Here are the results (home team in CAPS):

2014: Barrington 21, MAINE SOUTH 7
2008: Maine South 42, BARRINGTON 0
2006: BARRINGTON 42, Maine South 34

Let's throw out those last two games -- this year's seniors were only ten years old in 2008. Even 2014's tilt probably doesn't matter much; I've heard that Barrington is very strong this year and I know Maine South is much improved over last season.

The Hawks are ranked No. 7 in the Sun-Times, No. 8 in MaxPreps and No. 12 in the Tribune. After beating Montini at home, 44-13, Maine South lost to Loyola on the road, 44-43.

Barrington, meanwhile, is ranked No. 19 in the Trib, No. 20 in the Times and No. 25 in MaxPreps. The Broncos won their first two games, both at home, over Glenbrook South, 41-15, and Prospect, 49-7.

In an effort to improve its schedule, Maine South will play two games against teams from the West Division of the Mid-Suburban League; the other will be next week against Conant at home.

Who wins this one? I don't know, but after the pair scored a combined 177 points in their first two games, it wouldn't surprise me to see a high-scoring affair.

Elsewhere in the Chicago area, Lincoln-Way East plays host to Homewood-Flossmoor in what should be a great South Suburban Conference matchup of two undefeated teams.

Homewood-Flossmoor -- No. 3 in the Times, No. 5 in the Trib and No. 21 in MaxPreps -- beat Downers Grove South and Hammond (IN) by a combined score of 110-12!

Lincoln-Way East, for its part, is No. 2 in the Trib, No. 5 in the Times and No. 6 in MaxPreps. The Griffins defeated South Bend Adams (IN) and Belleville West by a combined score of 84-12.

In the last four years, the home team has won each time:

2015: HOMEWOOD-FLOSSMOOR 28, Lincoln-Way East 3
2014: LINCOLN-WAY EAST 43, Homewood-Flossmoor 40
2013: HOMEWOOD-FLOSSMOOR 24, Lincoln-Way East 21
2012: LINCOLN-WAY EAST 35, Homewood-Flossmoor 20

Before 2012 it was all Lincoln-Way East. (And my buddy Kevin is always telling me nothing before that matters.)

Lincoln-Way East was founded in 2001, and it bears repeating that the football team has never missed the playoffs in every year of the school's existence.

But what about this year? Did H-F reload after graduating so many seniors last year? And did the closing of Lincoln-Way North add appreciably to East's roster? I guess we'll find out Friday night.

Finally, in another great intra-conference showdown, Neuqua Valley (2-0) will travel to Waubonsie Valley (2-0). (This time it's the DuPage Valley Conference, which the two schools joined last year.)

Neuqua is ranked No. 8 in both the Trib and the Sun-Times and No. 12 in MaxPreps after dispatching Metea Valley, 35-7, and Naperville Central, 24-10, at home.

Waubonsie Valley beat two teams on the road, Lake Park, 16-8, and Glenbard North, 29-28. The Warriors are ranked No. 7 in the Trib, No. 10 in MaxPreps and No. 14 in the Times.

In the last twelve years the two rivals have faced each other 14 times, with Neuqua winning nine of the contests:

2015: NEUQUA 28, Waubonsie 7
          Waubonsie 21, NEUQUA 14 (Round Two)
2014: Waubonsie 35, NEUQUA 28
2013: Neuqua 40, WAUBONSIE 25
2012: NEUQUA 35, Waubonsie 34 (OT)
          Neuqua 23, WAUBONSIE 20 (Round Three)
2011: WAUBONSIE 27, Neuqua 21
2010: NEUQUA 43, Waubonsie 6
2009: Neuqua 28, WAUBONSIE 7
2008: Waubonsie 28, NEUQUA 26
2007: WAUBONSIE 10, Neuqua 6
2006: NEUQUA 25, Waubonsie 6
2005: Neuqua 22, Waubonsie 3 (North Central College)
2004: Neuqua 63, Waubonsie 21 (North Central College)

Will the Wildcats prevail over Waubonsie after the home team's dramatic victory over Glenbard North last week? Beats me. But I'll be following it closely on Twitter.

Enjoy the games!

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