Preps Talk

High School Lites: Happy New Year, indeed


High School Lites: Happy New Year, indeed

So much for 13 being an unlucky number.

Superstitions aside, the dawn of 2013 features Chicagoland prep basketball teams that made jarring statements across the state and nationwide.

Whitney Young defeated national powers at the Beach Ball Classic in Myrtle Beach. Simeon three-peated in Pontiac. Morgan Park, who was impressive in Las Vegas in a tournament before Christmas, won the Proviso West Holiday Tournament for the first time ever. North Chicago starred in Bloomington. Marian Catholic, Notre Dame and Neuqua Valley all won locally -- the latter used stifling defense in a win over Pleasure Ridge Park (KY) to seize the East Aurora tourney championship.

RELATED: Young, Parker, Cunningham celebrate the holidays

So who will make the biggest statement in the coming months?

High School Lites will bring you action from across the city and suburbs Friday night, including an East Suburban Conference tilt between Benet and Notre Dame. Will the Wheeling Hardwood Classic champion Dons make another statement in Niles, or will Sean O'Mara and the Redwings have an answer?

Can Lemont continue their winning ways as they take on Richards? Leyden has impressed -- they might be one of the quietest 10-win team in the area. But can they tame Morton in Cicero?

Here is a snapshot of every boys basketball game we will profile on Friday's High School Lites at 10:30pm. The rankings reflect the latest CSN Top 20:


(13) H-F @ Bolingbrook, 5:30pm
Niles West @ Glenbrook South, 6:00pm
Joliet Central @ Joliet West, 6:00pm
De La Salle @ St. Rita, 7:00pm
(15) Lemont @ Richards, 7:00pm
St. Joseph @ Gordon Tech, 7:00pm
Leyden @ Morton, 7:30pm
(10) Benet @ (5) Notre Dame, 7:30pm

We will also show highlights of the Under Armour High School All-American Football Game from Tampa, FL. The Chicago area has solid representation with WR Laquon Treadwell (Crete-Moneeundecided), RB Ty Isaac (Joliet CatholicUSC), Ethan Pocic (LemontLSU) and Colin McGovern (Lincoln-Way WestNotre Dame).

Our Muscle Milk Team of the Week is York High School's boys basketball team. The Dukes won their own prestigious Christmas tournament (Jack Tosh Holiday Classic) for the first time since 1980, defeating Kenwood, UIC Prep, Palatine, Waubonsie Valley and then Conant in the championship. York is paced by Colorado State-bound guard David Cohn, who took home tournament MVP honors.

We'll also have a complete recap of Simeon's championship run at the Pontiac Holiday Tournament in our Drive segment. Plus, our cameras head to Park Ridge for our Allstate High School Athlete of the Week: Regan Carmichael. What has been the key to success for this St. Louis-bound guard? And as always, well take a drive down Memory Lane in our Flashback segment and bring you up-to-the-minute scores and highlights from across Chicagoland.

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St. Rita RB Chris Childers commits to Indiana State


St. Rita RB Chris Childers commits to Indiana State

St. Rita senior running back Chris Childers (5-foot-11, 180 pounds) decided late last week to end his recruiting process and gave Indiana State his verbal commitment.

"Indiana State had been recruiting me since the spring when they stopped into school," according to Childers. "I went and visited Indiana State and had a great visit and that's when I committed."

Childers was drawing recruiting interest from Syracuse, Minnesota along with Illinois State, Southern Illinois, Eastern Illinois and North Dakota State before giving Indiana State his verbal commitment. Childers is also the fifth known Chicagoland commitment for the Sycamores joining Linblom WR CJ Rutherford, Carmel WR Shaneal Greene, Bishop McNamara DB Giavion Mason and Simeon defensive tackle Tierre Taylor.

Phillips junior tight end Jahleel Billingsly (6-foot-5, 230 pounds) was able to add his first offer from Purdue after an impressive Boilermakers one day camp performance last Friday at Purdue.

"The Purdue coaches came up to me during the camp and said that they wanted to be the first school to offer me a scholarship,: according to Billingsly.  "I was also able to look around at Purdue a bit and everything was really nice. I was able to see the campus and I also saw the brand new facility that

Purdue is building. Everything was just really nice at Purdue and I also got along great with the coaches. I was a bit surprised to get an offer from Purdue. We are getting towards the end of the summer and I just assumed that most of the coaches would wait until during the season before they would offer me."

Billingsly has also drawn recruiting looks so far this summer from Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, NIU and Missouri.

Waubonsie Valley senior three star ranked tight end Charles Robinson (6-foot-4, 220 pounds) remains one of the top remaining uncommitted names in the Class of 2018. So what's Robinson's plan for his recruiting process?

"I have no clue right now to be honest," Robinson said. "I want to wait until I truly feel the school I pick is the perfect fit for me. I have no favorites. I want to go to a Mississippi State game this fall for a game. I also want to go to an Iowa game, a Georgia game and an Illinois game."

Crystal Lake South four star ranked offensive tackle recruit Trevor Keegan (6-foot-6, 290 pounds) made a recent unofficial visit to Penn State and came away with an offer from the Nittany Lions.

"Penn State was pretty cool," according to Keegan. "I just really get along well with the Penn State coaches and I really like those guys. I was just impressed with the overall mentality at Penn State and just how focused everyone is at working hard and getting better every day. I was also able to tour the campus and see the facilities and I had maybe the best ice creme I've ever had at the Penn State Creamery. It was also great to add an offer from Penn State on my visit. The trip to Penn State went really smooth and it was a lot shorter than I had expected. Overall I had a good visit to Penn State."

Keegan is also hoping to attend some college game days this fall at LSU, Penn State, Michigan and Oklahoma.

30 Days to Kickoff: Maine West


30 Days to Kickoff: Maine West

School: Maine West

Head coach: Jason Kradman

Assistant Coaches: Steve Piha, Mike Smith, Russ Swenson, Dan Wilson, Mike O'Brill, Matt Boswell, Tony Manicke, Ryan Willett, Trent Greco, Rashad Daviston, Joe Duszynski

How they fared in 2016: 4-5 (2-3 Central Suburban North Conference), missed the 2016 IHSA state playoff field

2017 Regular Season Schedule:

August 25th vs Streamwood

September 1st @ Larkin

September 8th vs Buffalo Grove

September 15th @ Wheeling

September 22nd @ Glenbrook North

September 29th vs Maine East

October 6th @ Vernon Hills

October 13th @ Highland Park

October 20th vs Deerfield

Biggest storyline: Can Maine West become playoff eligible in 2017?

Names to watch this season:  Senior TE Matt Kentgen Senior DL Walter Hutt

Biggest holes to fill: The Warriors will need to reload on both sides of the football with just 7 starters back (3 offense 4 defense) this fall. .

EDGY's Early Take: Maine West is looking to continue to take positive steps forward after just missing out on a five win season in 2016. Look for the Warriors to get the football into the hands of senior TE Matt Kentgen as much as possible and if the underclassmen can develop West could again challenge for a state playoff slot in 2017.