Undefeated York, South Elgin headline playoff field
The royal season for York continued Saturday.
After waiting nearly 48 hours after their win over Oak Park on Thursday, the Dukes know where they will begin their playoff journey. York, who won the West Suburban Silver for the first time since 2006, will be part of the field of 256 teams which was announced by the Illinois High School Association Saturday night.
York, which had just its second unbeaten season in school history, will be one of four 9-0 teams in the 8A field. The Dukes are seeded second and will host 31st-seeded Oswego East in the opening round next weekend.
The IHSA will announce game dates and times on Monday.
"We are playing really well, and the kids are playing hard," York coach Mike Fitzgerald said. "It has been a collective effort from a lot of people. We have a great coaching staff and great parents and obviously great players who have bought in to what we are trying to do here. We are all pushing in the same direction. We have been consistent in our approach, and we are starting to reap the benefits of that."
Nine of the 32-team 8A hail from DuPage and Fox Valley. Here is a closer look:
South Elgin (9-0) has gone unbeaten in the Upstate Eight its last 24 games. The Storm were awarded a four-seed and will host 29th-seeded Belleville East,
"There is nowhere to hide in 8A," South Elgin coach Dragan Teonic said. "Everybody has a pedigree and there's very few teams that don't. You have your typical powerhouse teams that show up every year. At the end of the day, you have to play football."
Glenbard West (8-1) is making its 15 consecutive playoff appearance. The Hilltoppers knocked Hinsdale Central out of the playoffs on Saturday. Now Glenbard West, which has a five-seed, will host defending 8A champion and 28th-seed Lockport.
Neuqua Valley (7-2) won the DuPage Valley Conference but dropped a pair of games along the way. And in the competitive 8A field it pushed Neuqua to a 17th seed. They will play at 16th-seeded Lane.
Huntley (8-1) is back in the playoffs after a one-year absence. New head coach Michael Naymola takes his Fox Valley co-champion Red Raiders and their nine-seed to host 24th-seeded Andrew.
Glenbard East (8-1) has won its last seven. The Rams claimed a 10-seed and will host 23rd-seeded Minooka.
Naperville North (7-2) has won its last three and heads into the playoffs with some momentum. The Huskies have a 15th-seed and play 18th-seeded Marist, which was an 8A semifinalist last year.
Naperville Central (6-3) is coming off a loss to crosstown rival Naperville North on Thursday. The Redhawks, who have a 19th-seed, hope the extra day to prepare will help as they meet No. 14 Lyons.
Downers Grove South (6-3) won the West Suburban Gold and the Mustangs are making their third consecutive playoff appearance. The Mustangs picked up the 26th-seed and will sprint over to Palatine to play at the seventh-seeded Pirates.
St. Charles North (8-1) heads into the playoffs will all the momentum they could need. The North Stars have won eight in a row and won the DuKane Conference with a 32-31 win over Batavia on Friday. They earned a four-seed and will host 29th-seeded Maine West.
"It is great to be rewarded for our season," St. Charles North coach Rob Pomczak said. "It sets us for a nice run. We can't look past anybody. You would like to think that the DuKane conference prepares you for the rigors. If you are fortunate enough to get into the playoffs it prepares you for that atmosphere and that level of play."
Wheaton North (8-1) looks to defend its 7A title when the sixth-seeded Falcons play host to 27th-seeded Willowbrook (5-4). The Warriors picked up their fifth win in the final week of the season and were able to qualify for their sixth consecutive season.
Jacobs (8-1) finished in a three-way tie for the Fox Valley title. The Eagles picked up a 9th-seed and will be hosting 24th-seeded Brother Rice.
Downers Grove North (6-3) is back in the playoffs after a one-year absence. The Trojans lost to Lyons Saturday and were pushed down to the 17th-seed. They will play at 16th-seeded Lincoln Park.
Batavia (6-3) had its five-game losing streak broken with the 1-point loss to St. Charles North. Batavia fell to the 18th-seed and will play at 15th-seeded Rockford Guilford.
Geneva (6-3) is making back-to-back playoff appearances. The Vikings, who are seeded 21st, will play at last year's 7A state runner-up and 12th-seeded St. Rita.
Larkin (6-3) has won its last five games to qualify for the playoffs for the second year in a row. The Royals, who are seeded 22nd, will travel to Lake Zurich to play the 11th-seeded and North Suburban Conference champion Bears.
Kaneland (6-3) qualified for the fifth consecutive season by winning its final three games. The Knights, who picked up a 7th seed, will host 10th-seeded Riverside-Brookfield.
Crystal Lake South (5-4) is battle tested the past two weeks after losses to Prairie Ridge and Huntley. They will be tested again when the Gators, who are seeded 15th, play at second-seeded Prairie Ridge. The Wolves beat Crystal Lake South in a shootout 48-41 in week eight.
Glenbard South (7-2) is back in 5A and keeps its playoff steak at 11. The Raiders are seeded 6th and have drawn 11th-seeded Nazareth Academy.
St. Francis (8-1) looks to re-energize themselves in the playoffs after losing Friday to IC Catholic Prep. The Spartans, who have qualified the last four seasons, come into the playoffs this year as a three-seed. They will host 14th-seeded Marengo.
Wheaton Academy (8-1) has won its last three games as Warriors are looking to make a deep run in the playoffs. The Warriors, who are four-seed, will host Providence, who comes in at a tough 13-seed.
IC Catholic Prep (8-1) is looking for a long run in the playoffs again this year. The Knights, who lost in the 3A semifinal last year, are on track again this season. They were given a three-seed and will host 14th-seeded King from the Chicago Public League.
Aurora Christian (5-4) is making its fourth consecutive appearance. The Eagles are a 13th-seed and will travel to Fulton.