Preseason vs End of Season: 7 Places I Went Right and 7 Places I Went Wrong

Preseason rankings mean absolutely nothing. That’s why you play the games and is also why I’m going to have some fun comparing my preseason vs end of season top 25 teams. Made some bold calls this season, some panned out and some didn’t. Just the way she goes.

Where I Went RIGHT

Preseason Current School Reasoning
1 1 Loyola This one was pretty easy. Best team in the state from last year, returned a ton of talent, were favored to win it all again this year and could very well do so.
5 2 Homewood Flossmoor Another pretty easy one. Multiple D1 offerees. Only qualm was that they played in a loaded conference with Lincoln Way East. They still managed to come out undefeated.
7 3 East St. Louis I was very confident in this pick. Not only does this team have ton of talent, but because last season was cut short due to a teacher’s strike. I knew the Flyers were going to come out with a fire under their belly this season and they did not disappoint.
8 7 Marist This may be the best defense in the state and were favored to win their conference. Tons of talent and very well coached by Pat Dunne and crew. Lost big to Brother Rice in week one, but haven’t given up more than 14 points and have gone 8-0 since then.
12 4 Prairie Ridge Coach Chris Schremp’s triple option again proved almost unstoppable this regular season. Cary Grove and Huntley were the only to 2 teams to come within 12 points of the Wolves this year. This team will go deep into the playoffs.
11 6 Brother Rice 8-1 or maybe 7-2 is where I figured they’d end up. This team is dynamic on both sides of the ball. Very well could have been 9-0 if not for that team in Wilmette.
10 11 Cary Grove Almost hit the nail on the head with this one. Cary Grove’s only loss came in week 1 against rival Prairie Ridge otherwise teams never game close to touching this squad. If things go right, they could see a rematch with the Wolves in the state semifinals. I’m pretty confident that will happen.

Where I went WRONG

Preseason Current School Reasoning
6 N/R Montini Perhaps I was a bit too high on the Broncos to open the season. If I’ve learned anything in high school football, its that you can never count out coach Chris Andriano and Montini. After a 1-3 start I was looking dead wrong, but the Broncos then rattled off 5 straight wins to put themselves in the playoffs. While I may have ranked them a bit to high in the preseason, this team is hot right now I’m confident they can make a deep playoff run.
9 N/R Mount Carmel I don’t think anyone saw this coming. Yes, the Caravan play in a loaded Chicago Catholic league, but its crazy to think Mount Carmel finished 4-5 and won’t be in the playoffs this year. They return studs Alek Thomas, Verdis Brown and Terrance Taylor next year.
16 N/R Maine South I don’t think this was a bold call, rather I was just slightly higher on Maine South than most. Yes, they still finished well at 6-3, but could have been 8-1 with games against Loyola and New Trier slipping away from them at the last minute. Still, Nick Leongas, Fotis Kokosioulis, Kevin Jarvis and company are talented. Keep an eye on this team in the playoffs they may surprise some people.
17 N/R Libertyville Coming off a great season last year, I figured the Wildcats would finish 7-2 or 8-1 this year. While finishing 5-4 and making the playoffs isn’t bad, my prediction on them was off this year. I still think they’re talented and have a chance to upset Bradley Bourbonnais in the first round of 7A playoffs.
18 N/R Bolingbrook I knew this one would be a wild card. Bolingbrook had a ton of talent, and flashed it at times, but could never completely get things going over the course of the 9 game season. They ended up finishing 4-5 just missing the playoffs.
23 N/R Bishop McNamara Coach Zinnani’s squad started off 0-4 and I couldn’t believe my eyes. They played 4 pretty darn good teams in Immaculate Conception, Bolingbrook, Marmion and St. Laurence. Good news is they finished winning 4 of 5 to end up at 4-5 on the season. This call was a bit more bold than the others.
N/R 13 Immaculate Conception I liked this IC Catholic team coming into the year, but wasn’t as high as others. I didn’t expect them to go 9-0, but after this regular season I realized Jordan Rowell is the real deal and this is the team to beat in 3A.