40 Days to Kickoff: Highland Park

40 Days to Kickoff: Highland Park

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 Jul. 31, we’ll unveil the @CSNPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.

School: Highland Park

Head coach: Joe Horeni

Assistant Coaches: Jason Newberger, Tony Monken, Randy Hoffman, Jimmy Knotek, Anthony Kopp, Ryan Kaltenmark , Don McCord, Bob McCraren, Owen Kugler, Davy Lindquist

How they fared in 2016: 7-3 (4-1 Central Suburban North Conference), made the 2016 Class 7A state playoff field and lost to Plainfield North in opening round action.

2017 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 25 – vs Libertyville

Sept. 1 – @ Lakes

Sept. 8 – vs Hersey

Sept. 15- @ Prospect

Sept. 22 - @ Vernon Hills

Sept. 29 – vs Glenbrook North

Oct. 6 - vs Deerfield

Oct. 14 - vs Maine West

Oct. 20- @ Maine East

Biggest storyline: Can the Giants go back-to-back state playoff appearances and also advance deeper in 7A?

Names to watch this season:  Junior OL/RB/LB Tom Motzko and Senior QB John Sakos

Biggest holes to fill: While the Giants have a good number of returning starters back (6 offense 7 defense), can they develop much needed depth from the remaining roster?

EDGY's Early Take: Highland Park had a solid season in 2016 including an impressive Week 9 win over Class 5A state finalist Vernon Hills before running into a buzzsaw at Plainfield North (Class 7A state finalist) in the IHSA Class 7A state playoffs. I look for the Giants to again challenge for the CSL North conference crown and to make more noise in Class 7A this coming season.

32 Days to Kickoff: Joliet Catholic Academy

32 Days to Kickoff: Joliet Catholic Academy

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 July 31, we’ll unveil the @CSNPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.

School: Joliet Catholic Academy

Head coach: Jake Jaworski

Assistant Coaches: Dave Douglas, Jimmy Sharp, Jake Ziesmer, Mark Mettille, Josh Greenback, Tim Swanson, Chris Kinsella, Cory McLaughlin

How they fared in 2016: 1-8 (1-6 East Suburban Catholic Conference), missed the 2016 IHSA state playoff field

2017 Regular Season Schedule:

August 25th @ Geneva

September 1st vs Wheaton North

September 8th vs St. Patrick

September 15th @ Niles Notre Dame

September 22nd vs Marian Central Catholic

September 29th @ Nazareth Academy

October 6th vs Benet Academy

October 13th vs Marian Catholic

October 20th @ Marist

Biggest storyline: Can Joliet Catholic rebound from it's disappointing 2016 season?

Names to watch this season: Senior RB Ke'von Johnson, Senior OL/DL Shane Raber

Biggest holes to fill: The Hillmen will need to reload on the defensive line and at linebacker this summer.

EDGY's Early Take: So how historically bad was the JCA 2016 football season? You need to go back to the late 1940s before you find another one win season in the Joliet Catholic football history books. First year head coach and JCA alum Jake Jaworski replaces Hall of Fame head coach Dan Sharp this fall. If anything positive came from the 2016 season it's that the Hilltoppers got playing time for a very young team and welcomes back 13 starters (9 offense, 4 defense) this season. This program has the potential to become one of the top turnaround stories for the 2017 season.

33 Days to Kickoff: Westmont

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33 Days to Kickoff: Westmont

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 Jul. 31, we’ll unveil the @CSNPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.

School: Westmont

Head coach: Dan Woulfe

Assistant Coaches:  Dan McCulloch, Mitch Balek, Joe Helton, Scott Helton, Ryan Cahill

How they fared in 2016: 1-8 (0-5 Interstate 8 Small Conference), missed the 2016 IHSA state playoff field

2017 Regular Season Schedule:

August 25th @ Lake View

September 1st vs Chicago Tech Academy Charter

September 8th @ Wilmington

September 15th vs Seneca

September 22nd @ Reed-Custer

September 29th vs Peotone

October 6th @ Lisle

October 13th @ Streator

October 20th vs Plano

Biggest storyline: Can the Sentinels improve upon it's 1-8 season a year ago?

Names to watch this season:  Senior OL/DL Dustin Samoulis Senior QB Brenton Baldwin

Biggest holes to fill: The Sentinels will look to reload upfront on both the offensive and defensive lines this summer. 

EDGY's Early Take: Westmont first year head coach Dan Woulfe, who takes over for Hall of Fame head coach Otto Zeman this fall will look to get the Sentinels back on the winning track. Westmont welcomes back 9 starters (4 offense 5 defense) and the biggest key will be finding new linemen to step up this fall.