By D.J. Wanberg
While other teams continue thinking about the present, Neuqua Valley is already thinking about the 2008-09 season.
The Wildcats' season came to an end on Tuesday night with a 4-2 loss to St. Rita in a second-round Blackhawk Cup game in Bensenville.
Seven players on this season's varsity roster are expected to return in the fall and with the Naperville area teams usually crowded with depth at their programs' various levels, Neuqua should remain a competitive force in the Metro West and in the state.
No surprises so far after two days of second-round play up at The Edge Ice Arena. All high seeds advanced. Top seed and defending state champ Glenbrook North takes on No. 8 Fenwick on Saturday at 1:20 p.m. in quarterfinal play.
St. Rita, a No. 5 seed, takes on No. 4 Stevenson in the other Saturday quarterfinal game at 3:15 p.m.
Second-round play continues tonight (Wednesday) as No. 2 New Trier Green faces No. 18 Highland Park at 6:40 p.m. with No. 7 Glenbrook South battling No. 10 Prairie Ridge at 8:35 p.m.
Naperville's lone remaining squad, Naperville Central, battles Barrington at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday.