Scouting the ESC/CCL Green football season
Montini2019 record: 8-3, Class 5A second round
Coach: Mike Bukovsky (fourth season)
Worth noting: Montini returns some significant size on the offensive line with a trio of seniors in Dagen Miller (6-5, 300), Colin Baker (6-1, 245) and Demond Butcher (6-foot, 280). Baker was a state-qualifying wrestling in 2020 and helped Montini win its third consecutive dual team state title. ... Sophomore QB Tre Jones left Montini for a high school in Georgia in the fall but returned to Illinois in October and has been cleared to play by the IHSA, according to Bukovsky. Jones has college offers from South Florida and Arizona State. ... Another sophomore QB Cole Teschner transferred in from Schaumburg. ... WR/CB Jalen McBride and RB/WR/S DiAndre Harris are returning starters on both sides of the ball.
Niles Notre Dame2019 record: 8-3, Class 8A second round
Coach: Mike Hennessey (34th season)
Worth noting: Senior QB Anthony Sayles, a solid two-sport athlete who also excels on the basketball court, will quarterback the Dons for one more season. ... Senior OT Jonathan Kahn (6-4, 245) is committed to Tulane. Joining him on the line is junior OT Tom Shipman (6-6, 285), who is drawing interest from colleges as well. Senior OL Richie Szorc will play college ball at Division III Wisconsin-Platteville. ... LB Matthew Olivella and S Jordan Geroulis are two experienced senior defenders. ... Senior RB Jimmie Fidanzia can do a little bit of everything. ... Senior DL Hugh Keany is expected to play a big role on the defensive line. ... Hennessey is excited about this year's senior class, which he called excellent and experienced.
Providence2019 record: 8-4, Class 6A quarterfinals
Coach: Mark Coglianese (15th season)
Worth noting: Even with an 0-3 finish in the division in 2019, Providence still made the postseason and then won its first two games. ... Senior QB Kevin Conway brings experience to the quarterback position. Conway is committed to play at a prep school in Texas next year. ... Seniors WR/DB Michael Alvarado, TE/DE Jameson Geers, DB/WR Dakota Straight and LB Andy Degner all return with varsity experience. ... Geers (6-5, 230), a three-star recruit according to 247Sports, is committed to Minnesota as a tight end. ... The Celtics are a little inexperienced on the offensive and defensive lines but optimistic about some up-and-coming linemen, including senior Kevin Spelman and juniors Aidan Mack, Adam Jostes and Daniel David, among others.
St. Rita2019 record: 10-4, Class 5A state runner-up
Coach: Todd Kuska (23rd season)
Worth noting: Junior RB Kaleb Brown has offers from more than 20 Division I college programs. He totaled 1,967 rushing yards on 254 carries in 2019 to go along with 317 receiving yards on 20 catches ... Junior OL Valen Erickson weighs in at 6-foot-6, 275 pounds and is sure to draw interest from colleges. He already holds an offer from Purdue. Fellow OL Bodie Turner, a senior, is committed to Illinois State. ... The Mustangs have two experienced quarterbacks. Junior QB Tommy Ulatowski started the final six games of 2019 and is committed to play baseball at Creighton. Senior QB Brian Johnson started the first eight games. ... Senior LB Michael Gaughan had 169 total tackles, two sacks and three interceptions last season and was a Class 5A All-State performer.
FIVE PLAYERS TO WATCH
Tre Jones, Montini, QB, so.: Jones is a dual-threat quarterback with two Division I college offers and a bright future ahead.
Anthony Sayles, Notre Dame, QB, sr.: A two-sport star with multiple college basketball scholarship offers, Sayles will be fun to watch at QB.
Jameson Geers, Providence, TE/DE, sr.: A three-spot athletes (football, basketball and track), Geers is a dangerous two-way player for the Celtics.
Kaleb Brown, St. Rita, RB, jr.: Brown is a jack of all trades. He scored 35 total touchdowns in 2019.
Michael Gaughan, St. Rita, LB, sr.: Gaughan is one of the top tacklers in the state. He will play Division I lacrosse at St. Joseph's in Philadelphia.
FIVE CAN'T MISS MATCHUPS
Week 1 -- Loyola at St. Rita: Right off the bat, the CCL/ESCC provides a monster matchup in Week 1.
Week 2 -- Montini at St. Rita: This early matchup will have big implications on the division title race.
Week 5 -- Notre Dame at Nazareth: Another great inter-division game.
Week 6 -- Montini at Providence: With four fairly evenly-matched teams, Week 6 could potentially have the division title on the line for all four teams.
Week 6 -- St. Rita at Notre Dame: There's intrigue in every one of these Green division matchups.