Here are my five thoughts from the high school football weekend.
1. That’s some offense: I had my first chance to catch Lincoln-Way East up close on Friday. After watching the Griffins defeat Homewood-Flossmoor 38-21, I can say for certain that has to be one of the state’s premier offenses. Quarterback Blake Winkler has a big arm and knows the offense inside and out in his second year as a starter. Jason Robertson is among the state’s best wide receivers. He has speed and size and can make guys miss, as he showed on Friday. Plus, Lincoln-Way East has other capable receivers and a solid running game. It’s going to take a special defense to stop the Griffins.
2. Lenti’s legend: One of my favorite aspects of last week was being able to talk to Mount Carmel coach Frank Lenti about his career. Lenti set the state record for coaching wins on Saturday, and he spoke earlier in the week with me about the record, his career and more. If you get a chance, check it out.
3. Time is flying by: I can’t believe it’s already Week 5 and we’re about to pass the halfway point of the regular season. After four weeks, I think we have an idea about some teams -- Maine South, Glenbard West, etc. -- but there are still plenty of teams, especially unranked ones, who we still need to feel out. I think teams like Antioch, Aurora Christian, Barrington, Brother Rice, Conant, Marian Central and Sandburg, among others, will be ones watch to in the coming weeks.
4. Player of the Year talk: It’s probably a little too early to talk about the ESPNChicago.com Player of the Year, but what the heck. I think some of the early leading candidates have to be Downers Grove South running back Josh Williams, Glenbard West defensive lineman Tommy Schutt, Montini wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp, Joliet Catholic running back Ty Isaac, Loyola quarterback Malcolm Weaver, Lincoln-Way East quarterback Blake Winkler and Maine South quarterback Matt Alviti.
5. Improving coverage: We’re constantly talking at ESPNChicago.com about how to improve our preps coverage. We’d love to hear from you, too. If you have any general or specific story ideas, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also if you have any high school football questions, send those on, too. I’ll try to answer them in coming blogs.