SouthtownStar’s three things to know

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1. Parity reigns supreme in the Southland. The area seems more up for grabs than ever before. Close matches are the norm and upsets are commonplace. In the past week, Illiana Christian and Marist knocked off Lincoln-Way Central, Lincoln-Way North topped Bloom and Shepard beat Reavis. Homewood-Flossmoor earned big wins over Shepard and Tinley Park. Don’t expect the rest of the season to be predictable.

2. The South Suburban Red will be a dogfight. With conference play kicking off last week, it’s clear that the Red race will be an exciting one to follow. Shepard, under new coach Tim Eyer, has shown it will be a factor. Reavis, 7-3 overall, has key wins in hand over Blue powers Tinley Park and T.F. United. Defending champion Eisenhower isn’t going anywhere, either. Oak Lawn and Argo are capable of surprising.

3. Lincoln-Way East can light up the scoreboard. The Griffins primarily relied on defense during last year’s run to the SouthWest Suburban Blue title, but have a different look this season. They scored 14 goals in three matches last week, going 3-0 in pool play of the Lincoln-Way Invitational. Seniors Alan Hernandez (6 goals) and Bryan Dillberg (5 goals, 3 assists) have led the way. East has a big match Thursday vs. Bloom in a Lincoln-Way Invitational semifinal.

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