It seems like every year North Lawndale has to prove itself and every year they deliver. This year, the Phoenix seem to be in a similar situation as they go into this season with a lot of questions despite coming off a pretty good season that included wins against Rich East, Taft, Dunbar, Payton, Morgan Park (forfeit), and Raby. In all of those games, I actually had North Lawndale as an underdog. Yet they prevailed. But last year they had a premier athlete in all-city Wendell Anderson, who led the team in passing yards and rushing yards. Defensively, they will also have to replace Michael Tucker-another all city type of linebacker.
This means players like Lindsey Terrance(sr, RB/LB), Kevin Harris (#4, RB/DB, sr), and Saybein Williams(sr, RB) will need to step up. Terrance is NLCP's returning leading tackler. NLCP will also need a capable QB to replace Anderson. Some candidates could include junior Jason Russell or even sophomore Timothy Simmons.
Admittedly, it is a bit difficult at this stage to project how NLCP will do this year due the to questions after they were hit with graduation. I do know they have a quality coach in Zontavius Johnson, who has proven he can win. NLCP is the smallest school in the Illini Red Bird conference with an enrollment of 820. The next smallest- Dunbar has over twice the enrollment. NLCP can finish as high as 3rd or as low as last place. Their key games will be against conference foes Lane Tech, Dunbar, and Whitney Young. They open at Rich East then play at Westinghouse in week 2. NLCP opens conference play against Whitney Young in week 4 and play Lane to end conference play.