By Michael O'Brien
All the tournament passes are sold out for the Pontiac Holiday Tournament, and the stands are packed to the rafters with walk-up buyers.
Most of the crowd was there to see Sports Illustrated cover subject Jabari Parker, and the Simeon senior lived up to billing in a first-round game on Thursday.
The Duke recruit scored 20 points and handed out five assists. He looked healthy for the first time this season, leading the Wolverines to a 77-20 win over East Moline.
For the first time I felt like I helped the team out, Parker said. The other games I felt like I was just out there.
Kendrick Nunn scored 13, and Russell Woods added 12 for the Wolverines (6-1).
Parker started looking healthier a couple days ago, Simeon coach Robert Smith said. You can look at him and tell he has lost the weight. Thats huge.
CSNChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Aug. 1, we’ll unveil the @CSNPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 26. You can view Edgy Tim's other football previews here.
School: St. Charles North
Head coach: Robert Pomaczak
Assistant coaches: Dan Meyo (assistant head coach), Brian Flynn (offensive coordinator), Rick Magsamen (defensive coordinator), Tom Poulin (special teams), Jeff Petersen and Joe Nemetz.
How they fared in 2015: 7-3 (4-2) Upstate 8 River Conference. St. Charles North made the Class 7A state playoff field and lost to Benet Academy in opening-round action.
Biggest storyline in 2016: Is this the year that the North Stars win the Upstate 8 River conference?
Names to watch this season: WR/TE Griffin Hammer, OT Isaac Hawn
Biggest holes to fill: Can the North Stars find some answers in the defensive backfield after graduation losses from this past spring?
EDGY's early take: St. Charles North, with 13 starters returning, has continued to take positive steps under Pomaczak. North has the makings of doing some big things this fall, however playing both Batavia and Geneva on the road in Weeks 8 and 9 is an enormous task to say the least.
The top-ranked Class of 2017 offensive tackle in the state is off the board.
Richmond-Burton's Dalton Wagner, a four-star offensive tackle, gave Arkansas head coach Brett Bielema his verbal commitment Friday morning. Wagner has been at Arkansas since Thursday making an unofficial visit and announced his decision via his Twitter account.
Wagner narrowed his favorites down to Indiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas last month. Wagner is now the 19th known verbal commitment in the Razorbacks' 2017 recruiting class and the first from Illinois.
CSNChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Aug. 1, we’ll unveil the @CSNPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 26.
Head coach: Mike Sebestyen
Assistant Coaches: Brock Collins, Tim Beishir, Tom Whalen, Nick Lussow, Don Sebestyen, Jeff Collier, Lance Burmeister
How they fared in 2015: 3-6 (2-3) Mid Suburban East Conference. Prospect failed to qualify for the 2015 IHSA state playoff field.
Biggest storyline in 2016: Is this the Year of the Knights in the Mid Suburban East?
Names to watch this season: OL Billy Matzek; OL Alex Palczewski
Biggest holes to fill: Can anyone pick up the slack from graduated RB Bobby Jarosz?
EDGY's Early Take: With 14 starters back (six on offense, eight on defense) from a season ago will Prospect be able to convert that experience into a few more wins and a state playoff bid? If the Knights can find some answers in a few key spots, including the offensive skills department, this team could do some big things this fall.