Glenbrook South and New Trier meet again in the first round of the playoffs after playing in Week 6. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media.
In the old days, the IHSA football playoffs started on Wednesday and then the next round was held Saturday. There was nothing better than having a half day of school on Wednesday to see a football game in the afternoon.
When there were more Chicago Public League teams involved, it was easier to see possibly three or four different games in Round 1. Because of stadium situations without lights in the CPS, there were more games played on Friday and Saturday afternoons.
Those days are long gone, but Round 1 is still exciting with 256 schools believing they still have a shot to win it all.
You never know what the IHSA’s computer will spit out as it helps produce the pairings in each class. In Class 8A, Glenbrook South and New Trier will meet again for the second time this season after the Central Suburban League South rivals met in Week 6 in Glenview. GBS won 21-10.
On the conference watch, the West Suburban Silver sent five of its seven teams to the playoffs: Glenbard West, Hinsdale Central, York, Lyons and Proviso West. The DuPage Valley has five of eight: Wheaton Warrenville South, Wheaton North, Naperville North, Naperville Central and Glenbard North.
Here’s one look at the playoffs from Class 8A to Class 6A:
Defending champ: Maine South
The favorite: Loyola
A darkhorse: Marist
Intriguing first round matchups:
No. 12 New Trier (6-3) at No. 5 Glenbrook South (7-2), 7 p.m. Friday: Kevin Schroeder had a big rushing day for the Titans in the first meeting. The Trevians are making their 16th playoff appearance in the last 17 years. The winner plays No. 4 Bartlett (7-2) or No. 13 Lyons (5-4)
No. 12 Homewood-Flossmoor (6-3) at No. 5 Marist (7-2), 7 p.m. Friday: Only 12 miles separates these South Side schools, but the big question is whether Marist can keep its amazing offensive run going late in the season. The RedHawks have scored at last 52 points in three of their last four games. The winner plays No. 4 Simeon or No. 13 Lockport.
Defending champ: WW South
The favorite: Glenbard West
A darkhorse: Oswego
No. 9 Providence (6-3) at No. 8 WW South (6-3), 7 p.m. Friday: Both teams have combined to win 16 state championships (nine for Providence) and each team is coming off a big win to end the season (WW South over Wheaton North and Providence over Mount Carmel). The winner plays No. 1 Lincoln-Way East (9-0) or No. 16 Plainfield South (5-4).
No. 13 Conant (6-3) at No. 4 Elk Grove (8-1), 1 p.m. Saturday: Grenadiers coach Brian Doll is 22-8 in his third season with at least seven wins each year. Can he return Elk Grove to its glory days under the late Don Schnake? Schanke won seven or more games for four consecutive years from 1976-79. The winner plays No. 5 Harlem (8-1) or No. 12 Rockton Hononegah (6-3).
No. 11 Carmel (6-3) at No. 6 Addison Trail (8-1), 7 p.m. Friday: The Blazers knocked off perennial West Suburban Gold champion Downers South and will be looking for more in the postseason. I would love to see Addison Trail coach and Glenbard West grad Paul Parpet Jr. face his alma mater in the semifinals. Parpet Jr. is the first coach to lead the Blazers to back-to-back playoff appearances since his dad, Paul Sr., did it in 1999-2000. Last year, Addison Trail lost to eventual state champion Rockford Boylan in the first round of Class 6A. This winner plays No. 3 Crystal Lake South (8-1) or No. 14 Streamwood (6-3).
Defending champ: Boylan
The favorite: Crete-Monee
A darkhorse: Prairie Ridge
No. 5 Oak Forest (6-3) at No. 4 T.F. North (6-3), 6:30 p.m. Friday: Like the Titans-Trevians, these South Suburban Blue foes already met in Week 5 in Calumet City. The Bengals won 42-12. The winner plays No. 1 Lemont (9-0), the South Suburban Blue champ, or No. 8 Morgan Park (4-5).
No. 9 Fenton (7-2) at No. 8 Lake Forest (7-2), 7:30 p.m. Friday: Fenton had the weakest schedule in Class 6A with a combined record of 31-59 for its opponents. The Bison played one playoff team, Metro Suburban champion Glenbard South, and owns a 2-10 record in the postseason. Guess which team had the third easiest schedule in Class 6A? Lake Forest’s opponents were 39-51 on the season. Only Antioch squeezes in at No. 2 with 38 wins for its opponents. The next round may not be so easy. The winner plays No. 1 Batavia (9-0) or No. 16 Notre Dame (5-4).