Scouting the IC Catholic Prep Knights
For those who followed IC Catholic Prep's 2017 journey to a repeat Class 3A title, the names roll off the tongue.
Purdue commit Khali Saunders and his twin brother, Khalil. Ricky Mysliwiec, Koby Reed, Michael Johnson, Kemon Reese, Ryan Kenneally, Jacob Lytton, Max Cook, Kevin Akins, Kevin Cooke, Steven Crady, Sean Hipskind, David Vargas. And more.
All are back this season, and if one thinks the effort and expectations are diminished, Knights coach Bill Krefft and his staff won't allow for that.
"We've said each year if we're not better than in the past then we're failing," Krefft said.
Should IC Catholic reach the playoffs -- with about 20 positions representing returning full- or part-time starters it should -- the Knights will face a major challenge in Class 4A thanks to the Illinois High School Association's success adjustment.
They'll cross that bridge when they get there. ICCP focuses on winning battles day-by-day, drill-by-drill.
Aside from all the skill, depth, coaching and pure heft -- Mysliwiec, Reed and sophomore lineman Julian Vega all are listed at 310 pounds -- there will be a couple new contributors.
Quarterback C.J. West's graduation means a new signal caller. Junior Tommy Ryan and senior Khalil Saunders will initially vie for the job. Each veer more toward a running style than the pocket-passing type.
"We could look a little bit different," Krefft said.
The graduation of scatback Lazerick Eatman thrusts Kyle Franklin and Crady atop the tailback corps. Last season in spot duty Franklin ran for 927 yards, 11 touchdowns.
Pressure to win a third straight title? Not exactly.
"We have a pressure to be as good as we can be," Krefft said.
One to watch: Week 1 against powerful Althoff will get ICCP quickly up to Class 4A speed.
Coach: Bill Krefft (seventh year, 55-16).
2017 record: 13-1, 5-0, first in the Metro Suburban Blue.
Top players: Kevin Cooke (LB, 5-11, 195, jr.), Steven Crady (RB-DB, 6-1, 175, sr.), Kyle Franklin (RB, 5-9, 175, so.), Sean Hipskind (WR-DB, 6-1, 180, sr.), Ryan Kenneally (OL-DL, 6-0, 220, sr.), Ricky Mysliwiec (OL-DL, 6-3, 310, sr.), Kobe Reed (OL-DL, 5-11, 310, jr.), Kemon Reese (OL-LB, 5-11, 205, sr.), Khali Saunders (WR-LB, 6-4, 220, sr.), Khalil Saunders (QB-WR-DB, 6-1, 185, sr.).
-- Dave Oberhelman
IC Catholic Prep
Fri, 8/24, IC Catholic Prep vs. Althoff Catholic, 7:15 p.m. at Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington
Fri, 8/31, Joliet Catholic Academy at IC Catholic Prep, 7:15 p.m.
Fri, 9/7, IC Catholic Prep at Wheaton Academy, 7:15 p.m.
Fri, 9/14, Bishop McNamara IC Catholic Prep, 7:15 p.m.
Fri, 9/21, IC Catholic Prep at Aurora Christian, 7 p.m.
Fri, 9/28, IC Catholic Prep at Aurora Central Catholic, 7:15 p.m.
Fri, 10/5, IC Catholic Prep at St. Edward, 7:15 p.m.
Fri, 10/12, St. Francis at IC Catholic Prep, 7:15 p.m.
Fri, 10/19, Riverside-Brookfield at IC Catholic Prep, 7:15 p.m.