Scouting Week 1, Lake County

  • Round Lake quarterback Isaiah Nixon, toting the ball, and teammates, from left, Kevonne Peterson, Remorrian Gordon and Deonte Walls, begin the season by hosting Proviso East.

      Round Lake quarterback Isaiah Nixon, toting the ball, and teammates, from left, Kevonne Peterson, Remorrian Gordon and Deonte Walls, begin the season by hosting Proviso East. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

Daily Herald report
Updated 8/23/2018 9:28 PM

NONCONFERENCEMundelein at Maine WestWhen: 7 p.m., today

Last year's records: Mundelein (2-7), Maine West (7-3)


Skinny: It was a breakout season last year for Maine West, which had its first winning season in 12 years. The Warriors were also the co-champions of the Central Suburban North conference and earned just the fifth playoff berth in school history. Expectations are high as 13 starters from that team, including five all-conference selections, return. All five starting offensive linemen return and present a massive front. They will be blocking for returning running back Jake Bellizzi. Mundelein would love to find a way to pull a Maine West this year. The Mustangs have also struggled over the years to gain traction but numbers are good as 50 players tried out for varsity, and some young talent, including quarterback Isaac Wellman and running back Shawn Patrick, has looked intriguing.

Next week: Grayslake Central at Mundelein

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

Vernon Hills at Grayslake CentralWhen: 7:15 p.m., today

Last year's records: Vernon Hills (2-7), Grayslake Central (3-6)

Skinny: Vernon Hills got off to a great start last season with a win over visiting Grayslake Central (28-12) but then lost six games in a row. Grayslake Central lost again in Week 2 to Deerfield but then went on to win three of its next five games. Vernon Hills is anchored by returning quarterback Derek Jarrell. Running back Jake Morris is back for his third year on varsity. Grayslake Central lost a lot of seniors to graduation but will be led by the versatile Nick Paul, who could play quarterback, running back and wide receiver, all in the same possession. Ben Vogeler returns as the Rams' starting QB.

Next week: Vernon Hills at Waukegan; Grayslake Central at Mundelein

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

Lake Forest at AntiochWhen: 7:15 p.m., today

Last year's records: Lake Forest (6-5), Antioch (9-1)

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Skinny: Antioch has a new Opening Night opponent after starting against Kenosha Tremper each of the last five years. The Sequoits stayed in Lake County for their 2018 opener, and Lake Forest promises to provide a tough challenge. The Scouts have qualified for the state playoffs eight straight years and boast junior defensive end Rylie Mills (6-5, 265), who has scholarship offers from Clemson, Notre Dame, Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Oklahoma, Penn State and Wisconsin, among others. Quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis makes his debut for Antioch after starting for Carmel's varsity as a freshman last year. Wide receiver Dino Kaliakmanis (Athan's brother) also transferred from Carmel, and RB/LB Nick Wiley came over from Hersey. The Sequoits have gone undefeated in the regular season each of the last two years. They graduated a large senior group, but the returnees include RB Ben Nauman and DE Chase Becker.

Next week: Antioch at Woodstock North; Lake Forest hosts Wheaton North

-- Joe Aguilar

Bradley-Bourbonnais at GrantWhen: 7:15 p.m., today

Last year's records: Bradley-Bourbonnais (2-7), Grant (2-7)

Skinny: Grant has a new Opening Night opponent after starting against Crystal Lake Central each of the last five years -- and starting 0-1 each time. The Bulldogs last won a season opener in 2012, when they beat Johnsburg 42-7 en route to a 8-3 campaign. Chris Robinson, a Grant alumnus, begins his second season as head coach. The Bulldogs' returning players include junior RB Noah Lautner, who made the all-conference team last year. Junior Tyler Elfering starts at QB after playing receiver on varsity last year.

Next week: Grant at Glenbrook North

-- Joe Aguilar

Dundee-Crown at Grayslake NorthWhen: 7:15 p.m., today

Last year's records: Dundee-Crown (1-8), Grayslake North (7-4)


Skinny: Grayslake North split with Willowbrook on Opening Night the last two years, losing last season's game 42-0, but the Knights rebounded under first-year coach Sam Baker to win six of their next seven and eventually reach the second round of the state playoffs. Grayslake North has one of the best QBs in Lake County in senior Austin Martineau, who's been the starter each of the last two years. Martineau has offers from Butler and Valparaiso. Zach Carter is a two-time all-conference LB for the Knights. Dundee-Crown has won just seven games in the last four years. All-Fox Valley Conference quarterback Josh Raby (6-5) returns to lead the Chargers.

Next week: Grayslake North at Deerfield

-- Joe Aguilar

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

Last year's records: Deerfield (5-5), Lakes (9-2)

Skinny: Lakes has had two competitive games against Deerfield in each of the last two seasons on Opening Night. The Eagles won 14-8 last year after losing 27-20 in 2016. Lakes went on to win its first six games under first-year coach Jordan Eder, before losing to Antioch in Week 7. The Eagles return a trio of all-conference players in WR/S D'Lo Hardy (first team), CB Dylan Keilwitz (first team) and LB Dylan DeAngelo (second team). Deerfield went 5-5 for the second year in a row last season and qualified for the state playoffs for the third year in a row.

Next week: Deerfield hosts Grayslake North; Lakes at Highland Park

-- Joe Aguilar

Proviso East at Round LakeWhen: 7:15 p.m., today

Last year's records: Proviso East (0-9), Round Lake (2-7)

Skinny: Round Lake looks to duplicate its 2017 start, when the Panthers beat Proviso East 34-26 in a Saturday matinee in Maywood. The Panthers won again in Week 2 but didn't capture another victory the rest of the season. They graduated more than 20 seniors, and this year's squad is young. Sophomore Isaiah Nixon starts at QB and looks to get a boost from WR Kevonne Peterson, who's a transfer from Iowa. RB/LB Brandon Kisiel is the Panthers' only player who started last season.

Next week: Round Lake hosts Maine East

-- Joe Aguilar

Richmond-Burton at WaucondaWhen: 7:15 p.m., today

Last year's records: Richmond-Burton (7-4), Wauconda (2-7)

Skinny: Wauconda wants to get off to a good start after losing to Richmond-Burton 27-14 on Opening Night last year and starting the season 0-6. The Bulldogs, who went to the state playoffs in 2015 and 2016, return all-conference LB Anthony Concialdi and OT Chris Carlsen (6-3, 270), who has offers from Benedictine and Augustana. Richmond-Burton has a new coach in former McHenry and Glenbrook South coach Mike Noll (224-71 record in 28 seasons). Noll's staff includes former Grayslake North coach Steve Wood, who has 2 sons in R-B's program, and former Grayslake North offensive coordinator Brian Johnson. The Rockets have been to the playoffs 11 consecutive seasons.

Next week: Wauconda at Riverside-Brookfield

-- Joe Aguilar

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

Last year's records: Barrington (10-1), Warren (7-4)

Skinny: Warren lost last year's season opener to Barrington (34-20), but then went on to win five of its next six games. Both teams advanced into the second round of the Class 8A playoffs with Barrington losing to Minooka (41-34) and Warren losing to Maine South (47-13). After relying on a string of top-shelf quarterbacks with experience over the last several seasons, the Broncos will be led this season by first-year quarterback Tommy Fitzpatrick. But a veteran does return in the backfield in Michael Curran, who rushed for more than 700 yards last season. Warren is young but experienced. Seven players started as sophomores last year and return confident. Running back Martin Walker Jr. rushed for more than 1,000 yards in 2017 and quarterback Phil Hird is a sophomore.

Next week: Warren at Glenbard North

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

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

Last year's records: Fremd (1-8), Lake Zurich (13-1)

Skinny: Fremd struggled last season but eight of its nine games were against playoff teams, including Lake Zurich, which advanced all the way to the Class 7A state championship game. Some experience returns for Fremd in the backfield in junior quarterback Andrew Saxe and senior running back Nicky Rattin. But both players suffered injuries last year, and that was a common problem on team, which was one of the reasons Fremd finished with one of its worst records in school history. Lake Zurich returns eight starters on a defense that pitched three shutouts last year and allowed only five opponents to score more than 10 points. Luke Dwyer and Austin LePage headline the defense. New quarterback Matt McGraw is a senior transfer from Grant and has all kinds of talented receivers to throw to, including Jack Moses, Michael Gallus, Marek Enters and James Piggot.

Next week: Nazareth Academy at Lake Zurich

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

Highland Park at LibertyvilleWhen: 7:30 p.m., today

Last year's records: Highland Park (5-5), Libertyville (5-5)

Skinny: Highland Park got a new look at the top last spring when David Lindquist, a former standout at Highland Park, was hired to take over as head coach. Lindquist, a 2004 graduate, played college football at the University of Illinois as a defensive lineman. He was a captain his senior year. He inherits a program that pushed its way into the playoffs last year after a rough 0-3 start. Libertyville dealt Highland Park its first loss in the 2017 season opener, 27-14. Libertyville was up and down last season as well and, like Highland Park, qualified for the playoffs on points. The Wildcats have made some changes on both offense and defense and are anxious to test out their new look on Highland Park. The off-season also saw a quarterback battle at Libertyville between junior Thomas Monken and sophomore Blake Ellingson.

Next week: Libertyville at Waubonsie Valley

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

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

Last year's records: Palatine (7-4), Stevenson (6-4)

Skinny: Stevenson pulled out a 14-7 victory at Palatine last year and then went on to win four of its next five games. Palatine lost only twice more during the regular season and played two playoff games with a very talented and veteran team. Now, the shelves are being restocked at Palatine. The Pirates return only two starters from last year. However, 77 boys went out for the varsity this year so Palatine has more depth and more competition at every spot than usual. Stevenson boasts an experienced returner in the backfield in junior JM Etienne, who had a breakout sophomore year with more than 1,000 rushing yards. Cole Okmin is back at quarterback and the defense is headlined by Maema Njongmeta, who had 11 sacks last year.

Next week: Stevenson at Neuqua Valley

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

Carmel at Oak Creek (Wis.) (1-0)When: 7:30 p.m., today

Last year's records: Carmel (1-8), Oak Creek (7-4)

Skinny: After an uncharacteristic 1-win season last year, Carmel shifted gears and brought in a new head coach: former NFL player Blake Annen. Annen has been busily preparing his team to get back on the right track. He will rely heavily on senior running back Sean Lynch. The team and its new look will be tested right out of the gate as Oak Creek was a playoff team last season in Wisconsin. Oak Creek, which has already won a game in 2018 last week in its season opener against Wisconsin Lutheran (31-13), has produced two NFL players since 2006.

Next week: St. Charles East at Carmel

-- Patricia Babcock McGraw

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