Daily Herald's 2017 Season Coverage
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updated: 8/25/2016 9:22 PM

Week 1 scouting, Lake County

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  • Warren wide receiver Micah Jones makes a catch during practice Wednesday. Find out more about Jones, Warren and all the area's teams in today's Sports Extra (Section 4).

      Warren wide receiver Micah Jones makes a catch during practice Wednesday. Find out more about Jones, Warren and all the area's teams in today's Sports Extra (Section 4).
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer


By Joe Aguilar and Patricia Babcock McGraw

EAST SUBURBAN CATHOLIC CONFERENCECarmel at Waukesha WestWhen: 7:30 p.m., today

Last year: Carmel lost to Waukesha West, 28-7.

Skinny: Carmel's schedule last season featured two state powers. Phillips won the Class 4A state championship while Waukesha West was in the state championship game of the second-largest class in Wisconsin. "They've got five really good linemen back and their halfback, too," Carmel coach Andy Bitto said of Waukesha West. "We played a bear of a schedule last year. We've got a tough first game again this year." Bitto's brother Tony is on the coaching staff at Waukesha West, which will have its hands full trying to stop powerful Carmel running back Rondel Jamison.

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

NONCONFERENCEPalatine at StevensonWhen: 7:30 p.m., today

Last year: Stevenson def. Palatine, 26-24.

Skinny: When starting quarterback Jack Sorenson went down with an injury early in last year's game, back-up quarterback Aidan O'Connell stepped in and stepped up. He led Stevenson to a close-shave victory by completing his first 11 passes and finishing 17-of-20 for 222 yards and 3 touchdowns. Now, O'Connell is the starter and will look for another big game against the Pirates. Twin brother receivers Henry and Michael Marchese will again play a big role. Henry Marchese had 2 touchdown catches last year.

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

Kenosha Tremper at AntiochWhen: 7:30 p.m., today

Last year: Antioch won, 52-20

Skinny: This is the fourth year in a row that the two teams are playing each other on Opening Night. Antioch's win last year was its first over the Trojans, who won 14-12 in 2014 and 29-26 in 2013. ... Antioch had a winning season last year but missed out on the postseason due to a lack of playoff points (31). The Sequoits boast a great weapon in kicker/punter Ben Gutke, who also starts at linebacker. Branden Gallimore, who broke his collarbone in the season opener last year, starts at quarterback.

-- Joe Aguilar

Grant at Crystal Lake CentralWhen: 7 p.m., today

Last year: Crystal Lake Central won, 48-12.

Skinny: Crystal Lake Central has beaten Grant each of the last four years, the last three to open the season. The Tigers won 48-12 last year, 42-6 in 2014, 29-15 in 2013 and 30-13 in Round 2 of the 2012 playoffs. Grant enters its third year under coach Vito Andriola (5-13 first two seasons) with sophomore Matt McGraw getting the start at quarterback. Ricky Allen, an all-NSC selection last year for the Bulldogs, moves from defensive to offensive line. ... Crystal Lake Central boasts jumbo linemen Wyatt Blake (6-3, 308) and Dan Berg (6-5, 270). Blake, a junior, has offers from five Division-I schools, including Northwestern and Missouri.

-- Joe Aguilar

Vernon Hills at Grayslake CentralWhen: 7:30 p.m., today

Last year: Vernon Hills won, 41-14.

Skinny: Grayslake Central enters the season with a 19-game losing streak and young roster. Three-year varsity starter Mikey Andrews is expected to play running back and linebacker, but Rams coach Jason Schaal is trying to avoid having kids play on both sides of the ball. ... Vernon Hills went to the playoffs last year for the first time since 2010. The Cougars boast a pair of returning all-conference players in linebacker/offensive lineman Chick Smith and Kyle Hull, who moves from running back/wide receiver to quarterback.

-- Joe Aguilar

Willowbrook at Grayslake NorthWhen: 7:15 p.m., today

Last year: Teams did not play each other.

Skinny: Grayslake North has a new Opening Night opponent after starting the season the last five years against Lakes. It's uncertain how much Knights running back Dami Oladunmoye will play after the senior sprained his ankle playing lacrosse this summer. Last season, Oladunmoye rushed for more than 1,800 yards and scored 26 touchdowns in helping his team reach the second round of the playoffs. Senior Hunter Ambre is expected to start at quarterback for the Knights, who have reached the postseason four years in a row.

-- Joe Aguilar

Deerfield at LakesWhen: 7:15 p.m., today

Last year: Teams did not play each other.

Skinny: It's a new Opening Night opponent for Lakes after facing Grayslake North to open the season the last five years. The Eagles boast Northwestern-bound Cameron Ruiz, a three-year varsity regular who will start at running back and defensive back. Brandon Khan, who played wide receiver last year before getting hurt and seeing his season end prematurely, gets his first varsity start at quarterback. ... Deerfield went to the state playoffs last year for the first time since 2011. The Warriors are expected to throw the ball more this year with quarterback Jonah Silverglade and Charlie Jones leading the way.

-- Joe Aguilar

Round Lake at WoodstockWhen: 7 p.m., today

Last year: Woodstock won, 37-3.

Skinny: Round Lake begins its second season under coach Cristo Garza, who will field a veteran lineup after mostly juniors played last fall. Quarterback Tabieas Young had a good summer and figures to be improved in his second season, while 2015 all-conference selection Alan Espinosa moves from wide receiver to running back. The defense will be led by Alexander Valladares and Brendon Matallanes. Jonathon Sanchez and Brett Herdman give the Panthers a pair of veteran linemen. ... Woodstock, once a perennial playoff team, has missed the postseason six years in a row. Blue Streaks coach Tommy Thompson is also in his second season.

-- Joe Aguilar

Wauconda at Richmond-BurtonWhen: 7 p.m., today

Last year: Richmond-Burton won, 28-21.

Skinny: Wauconda is coming off its first playoff season since 2012 but graduated a great senior class. Athletic senior Antonio Acosta makes his first varsity start at quarterback for the Bulldogs, who will run a spread option again. The leaders of the defensive include veteran linebackers Tyler Stankiewicz and Alex Machon. ... Richmond-Burton is led by two-way lineman Dalton Wagner (6-9, 312), who committed to Arkansas this summer. Joey St. Pierre (6-10), who's received Division-I interest for basketball, is playing football for the first time in high school and is expected to play tight end and defensive line. The Rockets have been to the state playoffs nine years in a row.

-- Joe Aguilar

Lyons at WarrenWhen: 7:30 p.m., today

Last year: Warren lost to Lyons 24-0.

Skinny: Mistakes and turnovers cost Warren last year against a quality Lyons team that went 5-5 and now seems to have the makings of a playoff team for this year. The Lions boast eight players back on defense and a talented wide receiver and running back return. On top of that, Lyons quarterback Ben Bryant has already received offers from Wisconsin and Central Michigan. "He is 6-foot-2 and he has a quick release and he is accurate," Warren coach Bryan McNulty said of Bryant. "He's a good quarterback." Warren will counter with one of the best receiving tandems in the Chicago area in Jalin Tolbert and Micah Jones.

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

Fremd at Lake ZurichWhen: 7:30 p.m., today

Last year: Lake Zurich lost to Fremd, 10-7.

Skinny: There wasn't much offense in last year's game between Fremd and Lake Zurich. But there was plenty of muscling on both sides. "They were very physical with us," Lake Zurich coach Dave Proffitt said of Fremd. "I think it will be a very tight game again. I know they have a number of good players back." Lake Zurich returns eight players on defense and will ride veteran running back Kyle Roth on offense.

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

Libertyville at Elk GroveWhen: 7:30 p.m., today

Last year: Libertyville def. Elk Grove, 55-28.

Skinny: It was a little bit of an unfair fight last year. Libertyville featured one of its best teams ever, an eventual Class 7A state championship game team, and one of its best players in school history in quarterback Riley Lees. Meanwhile, Elk Grove was in its first year under new coach John Sigmund. The Grens wound up going 2-7 last year. Libertyville coach Mike Jones expects a different kind of game this time. "They will be much better than last year," Jones said of Elk Grove. "Their coach came from Glenbard West, so it's that type of offense and they will be better in technique, scheme, everything. It will be a much bigger challenge."

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

Mundelein at Larkin When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last year: Mundelein def. Larkin, 49-25.

Skinny: Mundelein's season opener against Larkin last year set the tone for one of its best starts in school history. The Mustangs ran off to a 3-0 start, with wins against Elgin and North Chicago as well. It was quite a beginning for new coach Larry Calhoun. "That (start) helped a lot," Calhoun said. "I think at this point we know that we can be competitive every time we step on the field. There are no easy games on the schedule, but we will be competitive." Larkin, also under a second-year coach in Dragan Teonic, is working on its own turnaround. The Royals went 0-9 in 2014 and 1-8 last year. "They are going to be much better," Calhoun said of Larkin. "They are similar to us. They will use their athleticism to stretch the field."

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

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