2002 Mid-Season Recap
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2002 Mid-Season Recap

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With week four over and week five on it's way we are officially mid-way through the regular season of Illinois high school football. And while most recaps focus on the top schools and the surprise 4-0 teams our mid-season recap is going in a different direction, we're going to look at the bottom of the barrel. That's right the 0-4 & 1-3 teams.

For this 2002 Mid-Season recap, IHSFW.com will be looking at the teams that haven't won a game and the teams that might be able to pull out a playoff appearance by winning the rest of their remaining games. As well as looking at the teams with the toughest schedules.

Orland Park (Sandburg)(0-4) - Sandburg could definitely be one of the better 0-4 teams in the state. A annual addition to the playoff bracket for the last 18 years. The last time Sandburg missed the playoffs was 1983. Although Sandburg was a preseason favorite in 2001, a lackluster 2001 season and the return of only one starter (QB James Ward) kept them off of most polls. It's a given that smaller schools would have a tough time with this 8A powerhouse, but in the SICA (Blue) the Eagles have to play with playoff contenders every other week. On top of a SICA Blue schedule that pits them against Big 30 ranked #23 Lockport (Twp.), #25 Frankfort (Lincoln-Way East) & previously #17 Harvey (Thornton). The Eagles faced #3 Chicago (Hubbard) & #24 Roselle (Lake Park) in their two non-conference games. With other games coming up versus Flossmoor (Homewood-F.) (3-1) in week three & an improvedChicago Heights (Bloom Twp.)(3-1) in week seven we'll see if Sandburg takes flight and goes 5-4 making the playoffs or goes head to head with Joliet (Township) (1-3) so it doesn't have the worst record in the SICA Blue. One things for sure the Eagles need to muster more than 14 total points for the season if they don't want to go winless for the season.

Lake Forest (H.S.) (0-4) - The Scouts haven't been able to surprise anyone so far this year. After going 5-4 in the regular season under new coach Willie Snead the Scouts made the playoffs for the first time since 1996. But games against Big 30 ranked #6 Oak Lawn (Richards) (4-0), previous ranked Vernon Hills (3-1), Deerfield (2-2) & Zion (Z.-Benton) (3-1) Lake Forest has gone 0-4. With conference play starting against #16 Lincolnshire (Stevenson) (4-0), 8A 2001 quarter finalist Gurnee (Warren) (4-0), Mundelein (H.S.) (4-0) & Libertyville (3-1) Lake Forest is going to have to surprise one of the top teams in the burbs. The week 5 matchup withAntioch (1-3) could be the only loosing team that Lake Forest faces this season. Although unlike Orland Park (Sandburg), Lake Forest has been able to put a few points on the board, 20 against Richards defense, but their defense hasn't been able to keep the other team under 20 points. Look for the Scouts to put a surprise in one of the winning conference teams listed above, but don't look for a repeat of last years 35-47 round 1 playoff scare of 7A Runner-up Edwardsville (H.S.).

Addison (Addison Trail)(0-4) - The Blazers have started off 0-4, but facing three teams ranked in the preseason Big 30 (Downers Grove (South) (4-0), Wheaton (North) (4-0), & Hinsdale (Central) (4-0)) could help put most teams down 0-4. The good news for the Blazers is the rest of their schedule pits them against teams who's winning percentage so far is .500 or under. If any team will pull off a 5 game winning streak from 0-4 A-T will be that team. This is still a long shot though. The Blazers have been shut out in three games so far. Of course most teams would get shut down by three of the top defenses in the state.

Wilmette (Loyola Academy)(1-3) - The Ramblers have one of the toughest names in Illinois & one of the toughest schedules to go with it. Loyola has already faced & lost toChicago (St. Rita), Mundelein (Carmel) &Joliet (Catholic). The then #2 ranked Joliet Catholic team was held to just 7 points. With games coming up against Catholic Powerhouse & 2002 Prep Bowl ChampsChicago (Mt. Carmel)(3-1) & an improvedChicago (Brother Rice). The Ramblers will be looking to make every game count, with 2 more losses being the difference between the playoffs or the basketball season.

Marion (H.S.) (1-3) - Last season the Wildcats made the playoffs for the first time since 1989. This season they only returned a handful of starters from last year and although the Wildcats are 1-3, all three losses were by no more than a touchdown, including the overtime game against 4-0West Frankfort (Frankfort) . Marion faces 4-0Belleville (Althoff) in week #6 & Herrin (4-0) in week 9. Marion fans might want to watch that last game, there's a good possibility that the Cats might be 4-4 as they travel to Herrin.

By Vincent Johnson






























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