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Final Super 25 football rankings after state championship weekend

High School Sports Weekly
Thank you for subscribing to the High School Sports Weekly newsletter! Here’s the latest from our staff after the conclusion of the football postseason.
Good morning,
It’s not every year that the football season ends and four teams have a legitimate claim to the No. 1 ranking in the Super 25. All four teams (Cary-Grove, Joliet Catholic, Wheaton North, Lockport) had tremendous, special seasons. 
Attention now turns to postseason honors. The Sun-Times will reveal the All-Public League team this week. That’s selected by a panel of Chicago Public Schools coaches. I’ll start work on the All-Area team and Player of the Year the next few days. Coaches and athletic directors, please email your nominations to
Basketball is in full swing. The Chicago Elite Classic is this weekend at UIC and there is a major shootout Sunday at Ridgewood. That will be my first look at top-ranked Glenbard West. It should be interesting.
Michael O'Brien, High School Sports Editor

Final Super 25 football rankings
Cary-Grove’s captains accept the trophy for the Class 6A state championship in DeKalb. | Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times
Cary-Grove’s captains accept the trophy for the Class 6A state championship in DeKalb. | Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times
Eight state football champions were crowned Friday and Saturday in DeKalb.
There was Fenwick as the debutant, winning its first title. Joliet Catholic, the king of Illinois high school football, added to its state-record trophy haul.
Lockport and Wheaton North returned to glory for the first time in many years, and Cary-Grove continued the Fox Valley’s recent tradition of excellence.
One thing that wasn’t settled is the matter of No. 1. Maine South entered as the top-ranked team, based on its résumé. But the Hawks were beaten soundly by Lockport and lost their claim to the No. 1 spot.
Fenwick had two losses during the regular season, and the Class 5A field didn’t provide significant opportunities for it to improve its résumé. So set the Friars aside.
That leaves Lockport, Wheaton North, Joliet Catholic and Cary-Grove as the contenders for the spot on top of the final Super 25.
Some years there will be a reporter (OK, probably me) who asks coaches and players whom the No. 1 team is. That didn’t happen this past weekend. But one coach gave his opinion without being asked.
‘‘We told our kids on Monday we thought we were the best team in the state of Illinois,’’ Cary-Grove coach Brad Seaburg said Saturday. ‘‘And I think we did everything today to prove that’s certainly a possibility, if not a definite thing.’’
Seaburg is right. East St. Louis was considered the best team in the state all season long by everyone who does any form of rankings or spouts an opinion publicly.
East St. Louis, loaded with probably a dozen or more future FBS college players, just couldn’t stop the Trojans’ double-option.
Cary-Grove’s full-season résumé isn’t as strong as Lockport’s. The Porters defeated Bolingbrook, Glenbard West, Glenbard North and Loyola. That’s a terrific season. They also showed they were clearly better than Maine South in the title game.
But the Porters have a blemish on their résumé: They lost at home to Lincoln-Way East. Starting quarterback Hayden Timosciek handled punting duties in the game but was too injured to play quarterback. That’s obviously a factor, but other teams managed to pull out victories this season while missing injured stars.
Joliet Catholic’s case is also strong. The Hilltoppers dominated on their run to the Class 4A title and had impressive regular-season victories against Brother Rice, Crete-Monee and Cardinal Ritter of St. Louis.
Wheaton North saved its best performance for the Class 7A title game, dominating St. Rita a week after beating Brother Rice. But the Falcons’ résumé has a blemish, as well: They lost at Batavia in overtime in Week 3.
Any of the four teams can make a legitimate claim to the top spot. But I agree with Seaburg: Cary-Grove’s performance Saturday at Huskie Stadium proved it to me. The Trojans are No. 1.
1. Cary-Grove (14-0) 12
2. Lockport (13-1) NR
3. Joliet Catholic (14-0) 7
4. Wheaton North (13-1) 9
5. Maine South (12-2) 10
Latest on the basketball season
This is probably the most teams I’ve ever knocked out of the Super 25 basketball rankings in the opening week. That’s pretty much what I expected. This will likely be a wildly unpredictable season.
None of the teams that were dropped this week had disastrous results, they just picked up one or two losses that they weren’t expected to and a solid group of teams went undefeated and won tournaments so I made some moves.
Super 25 high school basketball rankings for Nov. 28, 2021
Dropping out: St. Ignatius, Bloom, Oak Park, Barrington, Clark, Rolling Meadows, DeKalb.
New additions: Lake Forest, Marian Catholic, Riverside-Brookfield, Oswego East, Lyons, Evanston, Proviso East.
All of the new teams were firmly on the top 40 radar in the preseason, there hasn’t been a major surprise crop up yet.
St. Ignatius losing to Lake Forest and Loyola was unexpected. The Wolfpack has high expectations for this season and that’s a rough start.
The Scouts were always destined to join the rankings this season. Asa Thomas is the top junior in the state and Phil LaScala is an excellent coach.
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