High School Sports Weekly

By High School Sports Weekly

State football playoff matchups, predictions and more

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High School Sports Weekly
Good morning,
It’s playoff time. For the first time in two years there are brackets to pour over and meaningful, win-or-it’s-over games.  
This will be a new experience for most of the football players, which could lead to some unpredictable results. That’s pretty much what we’ve seen most of the season. 
I predicted the Class 8A bracket for Sunday’s paper. Deadline was tight so they were just gut decisions. Most years that would be it for the predictions, but this year I’m going to dive in and do predictions for Class 7A, 6A and 5A as well. Those will roll out over the next few days. 
Enjoy the weekend. If you’re lucky enough to live in a town with a playoff team, get to the game and enjoy that special buzz that we’ve missed the past two years.
Michael O'Brien, High School Sports Editor

Super 25 rankings
Brother Rice’s Jack Lausch (8) and Luke Niksic (22) celebrate Niksic’s touchdown against Marist. | Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times
Brother Rice’s Jack Lausch (8) and Luke Niksic (22) celebrate Niksic’s touchdown against Marist. | Kirsten Stickney/For the Sun-Times
Now that the path to a state title has been revealed, it is easy to overlook what happened in Week 9. Not here in Super 25 world. Week 9 matters.
Glenbard West, Marist, Prospect and Glenbard North all took losses and drop out of the rankings. That’s likely to be pretty controversial in Glen Ellyn and at Pulsaski and 115th, but you can’t coast on being a historical power forever.
The Hilltoppers were shut out on Saturday and don’t have a marquee win this season. It’s the same for Marist. All three of the RedHawks’ losses are to CCL/ESCC Blue teams, but they weren’t really in any of the games at the end. Meanwhile, teams like St. Ignatius and Fenwick have battled those same teams tough and even pulled off some wins.
I’ve given Glenbard North the benefit of the doubt most of the season. I think the DuKane might be better than most people thought early on.
Naperville North, which is just 6-3 but has beaten Naperville Central and split a pair of games with Neuqua Valley, jumps into the rankings for the first time this season.
Also joining are three undefeated teams on the outskirts of the coverage area that deserve some recognition for stellar seasons: Kankakee, Richmond-Burton and Morris.
1. Loyola (9-0) 1
2. Joliet Catholic (9-0) 2
3. Brother Rice (7-2) 3
4. Maine South (8-1) 6
5. Cary-Grove (9-0) 5
How the Super 25 fared in Week 9
Four Downs: News and notes from Week 9 in high school football
Brother Rice wins Pulaski Road Super Bowl, makes a defensive statement
Playoff matchups and Class 8A preview
The IHSA announced all of the pairings for the start of the 2021 postseason, which include a record 24 teams from Chicago Public Schools, over the weekend. Check out our stories with details for all eight classes below.
Also as I briefly mentioned before, make sure to check out my full preview of the Class 8A bracket, where the big question is whether anyone will be able to stop the Ramblers.
Previewing and predicting the Class 8A state football playoffs
More high school sports news
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