Simeon-Morgan Park: Good kids, bad city

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Simeon-Morgan Park: Good kids, bad city

There are many reasons to be disappointed at the outcome of Wednesday night's Public League showdown between Simeon and Morgan Park that have nothing to do with the game. The biggest disappointment was the loss of yet another young life in a senseless act of gun violence that continues to plague the city and makes Chicago the topic of national conversation.
17-year-old Tyrone Lawson didn't deserve to die over the outcome of a basketball game.
No one can say for certain that the Morgan Park student -- who, like the students at both schools, are really good kids -- wouldnt have still been shot and killed had the post-game skirmish between players on the two teams not broken out on the court.
But there is no question the incident was the catalyst that led to someone pulling a gun and forever changing the lives of all families involved both of the alleged perpetrators and of the victim.
Violence at games between Simeon and Morgan Park is not unusual. In September, one person was stabbed after a fight broke out in the stands during a football game between the two schools. The fact that each is considered a powerhouse in the city only heightens the rivalry and, subsequently, the animosity between students and supporters of each.
But that's still no excuse for what happened. Its also worth noting that not everyone in attendance at Chicago State on Wednesday night was a Wolverine or Mustang supporter. Some were just there to watch a competitive high school basketball game between two respected programs.
Some of the spectators were adults, some were students at other schools, others were small children, like my own 7-year-old son who was so shaken by what he saw and after learning that someone had gotten killed, said that he never wanted to go to another high school basketball game again.
As a parent, it's difficult for me to explain that what happened was the exception, not the rule, but it speaks to how traumatic something like this can be, even to those not directly affected.
17-year-old Tyrone Lawson was his mother's only child. If that's not enough to break your heart then perhaps maybe the news that his mother was planning to get married on Feb. 26, on what would have been her son's 18th birthday. Or maybe the fact that Lawson will never have an opportunity to go to his high school prom, walk across the stage at graduation, or go on to fulfill his life's purpose because someone made a decision that his life was essentially worthless and had no purpose.
Again, there are so many reasons to be disappointed at the events that occurred on Wednesday night, especially when you consider that as a sportswriter charged with the task of covering this event and bringing the details of it to the masses, out of all the words youve read thus far, not one paragraph or sentence has anything to do with what transpired on the court prior to the final buzzer sounding.
Lost in all of this will be the fact that two Chicago Public League titans squared off and put on a great show for those who love prep sports.
The final score no longer matters.
Who played well doesnt matter.
The only thing that matters is that a young man tragically lost his life over something stupid and our reputation as a city has taken yet another hit. That reflects on all of us who live here, but as someone who was born, raised and proud to say that Im from Chicago, it pains me to say that I am truly embarrassed to be a native Chicagoan right now, a city that I consider to be the greatest in all the world.
May you rest in peace, Tyrone, and hopefully your life will not have been lost in vain.

63 Days to Kickoff: Warren Township

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63 Days to Kickoff: Warren Township

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 @CSNPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.

School: Warren Township

Head coach: Bryan McNulty

Assistant Coaches: Brandon Schild, Josh Williams, Ross Purchatzke, Justin Van Schaik, Jim Voutiritsas, Clay Kovak

How they fared in 2016: 4-5 (4-3 North Suburban Lake conference), failed to qualify for the 2016 IHSA state playoffs.

2017 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 25 – @ Barrington

Sept. 1 – vs New Trier

Sept. 8 – vs Libertyville

Sept. 15 - @ Lake Forest

Sept. 22 - @ Lake Zurich

Sept. 29 – vs Mundelein

Oct. 6 - vs Waukegan

Oct. 13 - @ Zion-Benton

Oct. 20 - @ Stevenson

Biggest storyline: Can the Blue Devils survive a brutally tough schedule in 2017?

Names to watch this season: Senior WR Micah Jones (Notre Dame), Senior TE Ryan Short 

Biggest holes to fill: The Blue Devils have 11 starters back (5 offense 6 defense) and a ton of underclassmen talent, but can that talent develop into needed depth this season?

EDGY's Early Take: The Warren Township schedule is brutal and is also front loaded so the Blue Devils will need to come out clicking immediately. If the Blue Devils can get big production from it's seniors while a very good underclassmen group gels, this could be a team that surprises this fall. 

64 Days To Kickoff: Crystal Lake South

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64 Days To Kickoff: Crystal Lake South

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 @CSNPreps Top 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 25.

School: Crystal Lake South

Head Coach: Rob Fontana

How they fared in 2016: 3-6 (2-6 Fox Valley conference), failed to qualify for the 2016 IHSA state playoffs.

[MORE: 65 Days To Kickoff: Taft]

2017 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 25 – @ McHenry

Sept. 1 – vs Crystal Lake Central

Sept. 8 – @ Jacobs

Sept. 15 - vs Prairie Ridge

Sept. 22 - @ Dundee-Crown

Sept. 29 – vs Hampshire

Oct. 6 - @ Cary-Grove

Oct. 13 - vs Huntley

Oct. 20 - vs West Chicago

Biggest storyline: Can the Gators get out of the gate quicker in 2017?

Names to watch this season: Junior OL Trevor Keegan and Senior RB/LB Kyle Leva

Biggest holes to fill: The Gators will need plenty of guys to step up, especially in the offensive skills department. Senior RB Kyle Leva the only returning starter back from a season ago.

EDGY's Early Take: With an offensive line that --at least size-wise-- could double as a major college line, it's safe to say that Crystal lake South will look to run the football a bit in 2017. If the newer offensive skills players can develop and help the Gators avoid a slow start (0-4 out of the gate in 2016), this team has the potential to be as strong as the upper tier FVC teams this fall.