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September 2008 Archives
Surprisingly, Naperville Central didn't tumble out of the Sun-Times top 25, but then again that's also probably a sign of how highly Wheaton Warrenville South is regarded. Within this piece, Steve Tucker writes of this week's crosstown at North Central College: This will be the first in a series of big tests for the reigning Class 8A state champions. Could Nick Mlady be the school's second consecutive Sun-Times Player of the Year?
With that in mind, what's your early crosstown prediction? And who's your first-half MVP?
Check back around 7 p.m. to follow the live blog from Naperville North as the Huskies take on Glenbard North. Follow along with me in this rematch of last season's Class 8A state final.
Well, Naperville Central certainly got what it wanted, Wheaton Warrenville South coming into Memorial Stadium with its 23-game DuPage Valley Conference and 31-game regular-season winning streaks intact.
Waubonsie Valley is coming down off an emotional win against a District 204 rival to face 0-4 Elgin on Friday night. But the Warriors (1-3) can't afford to overlook Elgin - they've given themselves a chance to be in the playoff conversation and need to bank another win.
"Don't let their record fool you," Waubonsie coach Paul Murphy said. "They got some pretty good skill kids on offense that scare the heck out of you, that can go the distance."
Look for Waubonsie quarterback Tyler Castro, who went 19-of-28 for 265 yards and four touchdowns last week against Neuqua Valley, to set up in the spread offense and make Elgin chase receivers all night.
"(With) a small roster, 30-something players, I'm sure (Elgin's) got guys going both ways," Murphy said. "We're 80-something players. We got to wear them down and just make them play for 48 minutes and make them go that distance and we think we can wear them down."
Last Friday very well could have marked a turning point in a previously disappointing campaign for Waubonsie Valley's football squad. With a 28-26 victory over arch-rival Neuqua Valley, the Warriors propelled themselves into the win column, and into the UEC conversation. At 1-3, the Warriors finally return to Death Valley for a showdown with 0-4 Elgin, in which they must continue their upward climb and their winning ways.
Four DuPage Valley Conference teams are spotlighted in the latest Chicago Sun-Times poll and those heavyweight programs will be colliding on Friday night. No. 3 Naperville North hosts No. 23 Glenbard North, while No. 4 Wheaton Warrenville South brings its 31-game regular season winning streak to No. 16 Naperville Central.
What would your ballot look like?
UPDATE: The show is not going to be broadcast from Naperville North. Not sure why the change happened.
ESPN Radio 1000 will broadcast its High School GameNight show from Naperville Central on Friday night after the Redhawks play Wheaton Warrenville South in a game that will influence who wins the DuPage Valley Conference football championship .
The show airs from 10-11 p.m. and features interviews with players and coaches from around Chicagoland.
A 3-7 record against Neuqua Valley isn't what the Waubonsie Valley players cared about Friday night.
The Warriors are for more interested in the 2-0 mark they've posted against their District 204 rivals the past two seasons.
"This is the biggest sigh of relief I've ever had," senior defensive lineman Sherrod Stancil said after the Warriors 28-26 victory. "The biggest test for our team was to make sure last year wasn't a fluke and that Waubonsie is the better football team."
Welcome to the Sun's Game of the Week live blog with staff writer Paul LaTour, beginning around 7 p.m. Check back to interact with me live from Benedetti-Wehrli Stadium.
Kenneth Clay is The Sun's guest blogger. Mr. Clay, a sports writer for Waubonsie Valley's school newspaper "The Voice," is a junior. His views do not represent those of The Sun's and are entirely his own.
It is all the talk around town - Waubonsie Valley and Neuqua Valley going head-to-head tonight in the heart of downtown Naperville at North Central College to compete for bragging rights.
As always the football rivalry between the two schools remains heated with trash talking coming from both sides. The taunting for this highly anticipated match up started as early as last February, when the Neuqua men's basketball team devastatingly defeated the Warriors in the semi-sectionals to end the Waubonsie's great season. Characteristically, Waubonsie's fans just wouldn't stand for it and immediately chanted,"Wait until football! Wait until football!" Ever since then Facebook groups have started and are full of school pride and trash talk against the opposing school.
Wheaton North running back Mike Trumpy is a threat to score every time he touches the ball. That's part of the reason why the next phase of his career will be playing on Saturdays in the Big Ten. The Northwestern recruit will line up on Friday night against a Naperville Central defense that's allowing only 9.7 rushing yards per game.
The Upstate Eight Conference will expand and realign into two six-team divisions beginning in the fall of 2010.
The conference announced the anticipated move on Thursday and it took into account several geographic considerations. Metea Valley, which in scheduled to open in the fall of 2009, will become the conference's new 12th member and join District 204 rivals Neuqua Valley and Waubonsie Valley in the UEC South. The division will also include East Aurora, St. Charles East and St. Charles North.
The UEC North will be made up of Bartlett, Elgin, Lake Park, Larkin, South Elgin and Streamwood.
What's your early take? How will this impact these UEC programs?
The East Suburban Catholic Conference will wake up Friday morning with three undefeated teams - Marist, St. Patrick and Notre Dame. And with St. Patrick traveling to Notre Dame a few hours later, that grouping won't last very long.
Benet and Joliet Catholic are 1-0 in conference, but each lost its first two games. And of the five teams that lost its ESCC opener last week, four started the season 2-0. As Benet coach Gary Goforth said on Thursday: "Who knows?"
"This could be a topsy-turvy year in the conference for all we know," Goforth said.
Already this season Wheaton Warrenville South hammered Joliet Catholic, St. Joseph snapped a 45-game losing streak that stretched across five seasons and 3-0 Marist could be off to its best start since 1986.
With 10 starters returning from a 10-3 team that advanced to the Class 7A semifinals last season, Carmel was supposed to be an early ESCC frontrunner, but the Corsairs (2-1, 0-1) stumbled in the rain last week against an improved Marist team. That's how it's gone so far in an unpredictable ESCC.
Forget what we thought we knew - what will the ESCC look like by the end of Friday night and at the beginning of November?
FoxSports.com (via Profootballtalk.com) reported on Sunday that New Orleans Saints head coach and Naperville native Sean Payton got a new five-year contract this week.
Payton, a 1982 graduate of Naperville Central, will have a salary that puts him in the top five in the NFL for head coaches.
FOX Sports has learned that Benson this week ripped up head coach Sean Payton's current contract agreement and has rewarded him with a new five-year contract -- a deal which catapults him among the five highest-paid head coaches in the NFL.
Payton now joins the upper echelon in coaching salaries and is presumed to be behind only Seattle's Mike Holmgren, Denver's Mike Shanahan, Tennessee's Jeff Fisher and New England's Bill Belichick.
Naperville Sun Game of the Week: Benet vs. St. Joe's at Benedictine University
Staff writer Brad Engel will be blogging live, beginning at approximately 6:30 p.m. tonight
District 129 will be running a live video webcast of Friday's Naperville Central at West Aurora game. Coverage is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. and will be available at www.sd129.org.
Neuqua Valley senior Will Konovsky got some good news this week about his injured right knee. According to the family, an MRI showed no ACL tears nor damaged cartilage. He has a "severe bone contusion" from hyperextending his knee, but Konovsky should return to action in two to three weeks.
For Naperville Central, this is about perception versus reality on two fronts - what its DuPage Valley Conference schedule looks like on paper, and how its spread offense controls the ball.
Waubonsie Valley will enter Week 3 at 0-2, staring down last year's UEC co-champion St. Charles East, followed by the Warriors' arch-rival Neuqua Valley in Week 4. Ideally, Waubonsie would like to win both of these games, but they must win at least one.
To enter Week 5 without a win would be a real morale killer for a team with a lot of potential. Not to mention, it would mean the Warriors must run the table to even be playoff eligible.
But surviving the next two weeks won't be easy. The Warriors had a tough time containing the run against Prairie Ridge, which will be key to stopping St. Charles East running back Wes Allen this Friday. And what can you say about the 204 rivalry? It's always intense, emotional and a momentum builder. After the Warriors beat Neuqua last season, they didn't lose a game until they met Hinsdale Central in the playoffs.
So, football fans, if you're forced to pick only one, which team - St. Charles East or Neuqua - does Waubonsie have the best shot against? Which victory is most important for the Warriors, both in terms of UEC title hopes and going unbeaten to finish the regular season?
Neuqua Valley receiver Josh Schaffer had an ice pack on his ankle in the fourth quarter Friday night. But, despite a limp as he left the field postgame, the injury didn't look serious enough to keep the Western Michigan recruit out of next week's game at Lake Park.
That's good news for the Wildcats. And good news for Schaffer's fan club. As he was leaving the school, two girls walking in the parking lot shouted, "We love you Josh."
Waubonsie Valley takes on Prairie Ridge in the Wolves' home opener tonight at 7:45 p.m. Check back here at around 7:30 p.m. for live blogging by yours truly during the game. Just a reminder to vote in The Sun's poll. Who do you think will win this game? The poll is located on the right side of the sports page just past the giant photo of Dan LeFevour.
Neuqua's defense took a beating against Naperville North last week. The Wildcats allowed more than 500 yards of offense, including nearly 400 on the ground.
While some of that can be explained as an adjustment period to its new defense, Neuqua coach Bryan Wells said that's only a small part of it.
Every program enters Week 1 with question marks, whether you're the defending Class 8A state champions (Naperville North) or a team that just missed the playoffs (Lake Park) last season. Naperville Central falls somewhere between those extremes, and coach Mike Stine kind of laughed when asked for his impressions off the Waubonsie Valley game film - everyone feels like they have a long way to go on both sides of the ball.
Wayne Bland is our first guest blogger. He runs PrepNow.org, which offers free college football scholarship information. In addition, PrepNow.org has a live weekly web radio show called The Football Recruiting Show!, which airs every Friday from 10-11 p.m.
It's so much more then just football!
If you are like me, you are really excited that high school football season is here again! I can hear the roaring crowds cheering loudly for their favorite teams. I remember families cuddling under blankets trying to keep warm on crisp autumn nights. The hot dogs, hot chocolate and, oh we canʼt forget the marching bands. I love the game!
For many of these young men, it is much more then a game. Football has become a sense of pride, accomplishment, and bravado. Many of these young men have dreams of playing at the college level and hopefully playing in the NFL.
Neuqua Valley defensive end Will Konovsky said after practice today he'll miss the Wildcats home opener against Plainfield Central on Friday night.
He and the team are hoping that's all he'll miss.
-Seven of eight DVC teams won in Week 1.
-That group includes Glenbard East (1-0) and West Chicago (1-0), which went a combined 3-15 last season.
-Meanwhile Glenbard North, the only DVC program to lose its opener, was the Class 8A runner-up in 2007.
-And despite losing to Bartlett 28-21, Glenbard North came away with the most playoff points (nine) in the conference from Friday night. All nine teams on the Panthers' schedule are currently 1-0.
Any guesses as to how the DVC will look after Week 9?
According to NFL Films President Steve Sabol, Saints head coach Sean Payton agreed to be the featured team on HBO's Hard Knocks but only if filming lasted three weeks instead of the recommended six.
Payton, a Naperville Central grad, became the featured subject today when ESPN 1000's Waddle and Silvy asked Sabol who might be the next highlighted team. Sabol did not offer Payton's reason for requesting camera time be cut in half, but Sabol admitted the show is very invasive and that it maintains the last call over all editorial content.
Should Payton have taken the deal?