Despite national losses, Simeon still the team to beat in Chicago

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Despite national losses, Simeon still the team to beat in Chicago

The Simeon Wolverines have already lost two games this season. Both losses came on national television and one of those defeats came in embarrassing fashion. Since opening the December month later than most teams, the three-time, Class 4A Illinois state champions have looked nothing like the dominant squad many have become accustomed to seeing.

That being the case, it stands to reason that the losses especially the 29-point drubbing at the hands of Montverde have given local teams confidence that the Wolverines can be beaten just dont tell them that.

Im pretty sure theres a few teams thinking they can beat us right now. If I watched the game on TV, Id feel good about myself on winning too, head coach Robert Smith said. But at the end of the day, everybody that knows me and what Im about and what I do, they know well get it together.

Simeon took out a bit of their anger and frustration from the Montverde loss on Perspectives-Calumet Wednesday night, blowing them out by a final score of 68-39.

Jabari Parker continued to work himself back into elite status as the senior put up 26 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks in the victory.

Though the win over Perspectives was expected. The real test comes later this season when the Wolverines will square off against the likes of Whitney Young, Morgan Park and other top-tier Public League programs; schools that feel like they may have a shot at knocking off the champs.

The competition in the city, theyre no pushovers, Dayton commit Kendall Pollard explained. Weve still got to deal with Whitney Young and Morgan Park. Theyve seen us get our butts kicked on national TV Whitney Young was there against Montverde. So Im sure they think they can get us, but I dont think they can.

The games against nationally ranked teams that weve played so far, just prepares us for the local teams, the Duke-bound Parker said. Yeah, weve lost, but now were basing all our practices and games as preparation for what well have to face in the city. A couple of more practices and I think well be ready. I think well be back blowing the other top teams out and well make our presence felt in the city.

University of Illinois commit, Kendrick Nunn, echoed his senior teammates sentiments.

Locally, I think we should handle those games pretty well. Im not worried about any of those teams beating us, but you still have to be humble about it and just play hard. Always play hard.

Past success breeds confidence, but confidence can also be instilled by a strong leader. The Wolverines seem to get their confident attitude from their head coach who has pretty much seen it all and knows what his team is capable of, even if it doesnt appear to be that way on the surface.

When it comes down to those last games when its win or go home theres been no better team than us, Smith said. As the season goes on we start to figure things out. But were still the champs and if people dont think that or understand who we are or what we are, then theyre sadly mistaken. At the end of the day, were still Simeon.

High School Lites Week 6 capsules and picks

High School Lites Week 6 capsules and picks

CSN Chicago will have cameras covering the biggest high school football games across Chicagoland on the Week 6 edition of High School Lites, Friday at 11:00 p.m. Can Oswego East finally beat crosstown rival Oswego? Can Naperville North's magical season continue as they host division power Neuqua Valley? Can Stevenson avoid Libertyville's upset bid and win on the road? And can Mount Carmel bounce back this week and beat Brother Rice?

Oswego at No. 24 Oswego East, 7:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Oswego (5-0/5-0) has beaten Oswego East (5-0/5-0) 11 straight times. But is this the night that the Wolves break that winning streak? Oswego East has put up points in bunches this season behind Iowa-bound RB Ivory Kelly-Martin, senior QB Jaylon Banks and a host of talented players in the skills department. Oswego, coached by Brian Cooney, has started to get its offense in gear. As for the defense, they’ve allowed just 48 points all season. Keep an eye on junior DT Noah Shannon along with senior WR Ray Chmielinski. Last possession wins?

EDGY's Pick: Oswego East 27, Oswego 26 

Highland Park at Deerfield, 7:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Highland Park (3-2/0-1) is looking to bounce back this week after losing to Glenbrook North 42-28 last Friday. The Giants have one of the top running backs in the conference in senior DJ Penick. Deerfield (3-2/0-1) and head coach Steve Winiecki are also looking to rebound. They lost 10-7 last Friday to Vernon Hills. The Warriors also have a do-it-all standout in senior WR/DB Charlie Jones and three star-ranked senior ILB/DE Joshua Maize. Can the Giants get the running game going against the Warriors defense?

EDGY's Pick: Highland Park 31, Deerfield 24

Woodstock North at Johnsburg, 7:00 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Johnsburg (5-0/2-0) and head coach Dan DeBoeuf will make sure to get the football into the hands of standout senior RB Alex Peete early and often. But the Skyhawks can (and will) throw the ball with QB Riley Buchanan. Woodstock North and head coach Jeff Schroeder will also run the ball with the likes of RBs Casey Dycus and Collin Mergi. Which defense will rise to the occasion?

EDGY's Pick: Johnsburg 36, Woodstock North 30

Wilmington at Lisle, 7:00 p.m. at Benedictine Univ.

EDGY's Take: Wilmington (5-0/3-0) was able to get head coach Jeff Reents his 200th win last Friday with a 43-6 win over Seneca. Senior RB Owen Weaver has been a load to stop this season. Lisle (3-2/2-1) is led by former Addison Trail Hall of Fame coach Paul Parpet. Parpet will look to get senior do-it-all QB Mark McGrath involved as much as possible. Can the Lisle defense slow down the Wilmington running attack?

EDGY's Pick: Wilmington 37, Lisle 21

Lincoln-Way East at Andrew, 7:15 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Lincoln-Way East (4-1/2-1) will take the very short drive over to Andrew (0-5/0-3) in this Southwest Suburban conference game. Lincoln-Way East has gotten a big season from its two headed monster at quarterback, seniors Jake Arthur and Max Shafer. Andrew (0-5/0-3) and first year head coach Adam Lewandowski has been battling an overloaded schedule (22-8 opponents combined record) and a struggling offense so far this season.

EDGY's Pick: Lincoln-Way East 41, Andrew 12

No. 6 Neuqua Valley at No. 14 Naperville North, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Neuqua Valley (5-0/4-0) was expected to be in the DuPage Valley conference title hunt. The Wildcats have a ton of skills and talent including Notre Dame commit WR/S Isaiah Robertson. Junior QB Jake Eskoff has also been vital for the Wildcats this season. Naperville North (5-0/4-0) and head coach Sean Drendel will rely on a deep senior class, a balanced offense and a defense that has improved each week. Can the Neuqua Valley defense get the football back quickly, giving their offense more touches? Can North’s defense limit the Wildcats’ big play ability?

EDGY's Pick: Neuqua Valley 28, Naperville North 21

No. 16 Stevenson at Libertyville, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Stevenson’s (4-1/3-0) only loss came back in Week 1 to Palatine, 28-20. The Patriots’ offense has averaged over 40 points per game since that game and senior QB Aidan O'Connell has been a key. A few of his top targets include senior twins WRs, Henry and Michael Marchese. Libertyville (3-2/2-1) and head coach Mike Jones is looking top bounce back after losing last Friday to Lake Forest. On offense, the Wildcats will rely on senior QB Jack Ruskell and a big, physical offensive line led by Iowa State commit OT Tyler Jost. Can Libertyville slow down the Stevenson passing game? 

EDGY's Pick: Stevenson 28, Libertyville 21

Mt. Carmel at No. 3 Brother Rice, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Mount Carmel (3-2/0-2) is trying to shake off a loss last Friday to St. Rita as the Caravan are in serious need of a headline win. Keep an eye on junior do-it-all RB/WR/QB Alek Thomas and NIU commit RB Michael Kennedy. Brother Rice (5-0/1-0) has been on a serious roll as senior QB Dino Borrelli is having a terrific senior season. Fellow senior Ricky Smalling (Illinois) is a threat at wide receiver at all times. Can the Caravan win on the road? Can the Brother Rice defense slow down the Mount Carmel option game?

EDGY's Pick: Brother Rice 34, Mount Carmel 27

No. 19 Bradley-Bourbonnais at Lincoln-Way Central, 7:30 p.m.

EDGY's Take: Bradley (5-0/3-0) found itself down two touchdowns in the fourth quarter last Friday against Bolingbrook. But they staged a stunning comeback, winning 22-21. The Boilermakers will look towards Iowa commit WR/RB Cam Harrell. Lincoln-Way Central (4-1/2-1) has been solid all season. The Knights offense is led by QB Hunter Campbell and his top target is WR Matt Pollack. Can Bradley continue to make big plays when needed? Can Lincoln-Way Central limit the big play ability of Bradley?

EDGY's Pick: Bradley 27, Lincoln-Way Central 24

Viewers’ Choice Game

St. Edward at Fenton, 7:15 p.m.

EDGY's Take: St. Edward (4-1/0-1) took its first loss last Friday, 49-3, to 3A top-ranked Immaculate Conception. The Green Wave will look to get back in the win column this week behind junior QB Kyle Mlinarich plus junior WR Saveon Smith and the Green Wave's potent passing game. Fenton (2-3/0-1) and head coach Mark Kos have been up and down all season as both schools try to get in the win column in Metro Suburban Blue play. Can the Fenton defense slow down the Green Wave passing attack?

EDGY's Pick: St. Edward 41, Fenton 14

Larkin senior Christian Negron out for season with torn ACL

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Larkin senior Christian Negron out for season with torn ACL

Larkin forward Christian Negron, a major contender for the All-Area team this season, will miss his senior season with a torn ACL.

The bouncy 6-foot-6 forward has been a major force in the area since his varsity debut as a freshman for the Royals as he averaged 16.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, 4.2 blocks, 3 assists and 2.2 steals per game last season.

Negron is coming off of a strong summer in which he played with the Puerto Rican national team during the U18 FIBA Americas. Leading in the team in scoring and rebounding, Negron averaged 13.4 points, 13.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game including 23 points and 13 rebounds against the gold-medal winning United States.

While Negron's local high school career is likely over, he had a great three seasons at Larkin and he still has a bright basketball future if he is able to recover. Considered a three-star recruit by Rivals.com, Negron recently cut his list to five schools as he is looking at Bradley, DePaul, Loyola, Oregon State and UAB.