Phillips and Simeon have talent all over their roster and should be competitive for years to come. Pictured above is 6-4, 225lb jr defensive end Devin Jones of Phillips. Jones - despite his height, size, and skill does not even start for Phillips. For over 90% of CPS schools, a talent like Jones would be a definite starter.
No team, I don't care who you are makes it to the state finals every year. Even Simeon's basketball team got bounced out of the state playoffs last year before making it downstate.
So the expectation should be not to win state every year, but to field and prepare your team, so your team is in the hunt. Phillips and Simeon have built their program so that their varsity level is ready every year. They may not advance to the semi-finals of state every year, but if they keep up their program, they will be in the picture to advance in the state playoffs every year.
This year, Phillips and Simeon are a "story". The CPS seems to be gaining momentum in the right direction. If we keep putting the effort, there could be a day (soon) when the CPS advances two teams to the state semi-finals and it is not a major story.
King, Curie, and other programs seem to be headed in that direction. Others like Harper, Hubbard, Morgan Park, North Lawndale, Payton, and the other CPS schools will have an opportunity this off season to keep moving in the right direction.
William Walton #56, a 6'1 280 Offensive Lineman also the starting Center of Dunbar Is transferring to Simeon.
"The coaches will help me get better at my position. And I get to play with my past teammates that I played with at Odgen Park when we won the mum bowl in 2010," said Walton.
Walton, is coming from a Dunbar program that has a very disciplined line. They are very well coached and seldom make false starts. They really work on repeating the snap and making sure it is perfect. The line is a big reason why the Dunbar run game has been very effective for years.
Simeon already has an impressive line that features 4 all-city lineman. Keevan Agee (6-3, 255, JR) and Terrell McClain-Dupree (6-5, 315, JR) return for Simeon next year. Simeon is keeps stockpiling quality players.
Simeon and Phillips Both Advance to the State Semi-Finals
Phillips hung on with a 14-13 win over #1 Rockford Lutheran (RLFB photo)
With Simeon's 34-20 win over defending state champion Naperville Central in class 8A and Phillips 14-13 win over #1 and undefeated Rockford Lutheran, the CPS advanced two teams to the state semi-finals in the same season for the first time in history.
The good thing about high school kids is that they usually aren't hampered by limitations of the past. They don't know or are not affected by the fact that previously only 4 CPS teams have even made it to the state semi-finals in football. No matter what so called experts say about predicting future performance by past results, the only thing that matters is on field results right now. And right now both Phillips and Simeon are performing.
Forget about what old timers say. Forget the myth that the CPS is only a basketball conference. In the last several years Mather and Washington have won state in boys soccer, Jones won state in boys cross country, Dunbar and Kelvyn Park finished in the top 6 at state in boys track, and now Phillips and Simeon have already made a huge breakthrough in football.
The CPS is definitely making strides in other sports besides basketball. The results are speaking for themselves.
Class 8A Simeon 34 Naperville Central 20 Down by 7 in the 3rd quarter, Simeon went on a 28-0 run to stun defending state champion Naperville Central. Simeon quarterback Timon Watkins(sr, QB) was a very efficient 13 of 19 passing for 117 yards and gained 58 yards rushing. Simeon's defense came up big again as they held Naperville Central star running back Kevin Clifford to 41 yards on 18 carries. Simeon also won the turnover battle 3-0.
Class 4A Phillips 14 Rockford Lutheran 13 Phillips took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on a 33 yard touchdown catch by Quavon Skanes and an 18 yard run by QB Dewayne Collins. Rockford Lutheran missed a potential game tying extra point with 1 minute 27 second left in the game to preserve the win. Rockford Lutheran missed a 25 yard field goal attempt in the 2nd quarter. This was a classic well played game by both teams.
Simeon and Phillips advance to the state semi-finals for the first time in school history.
Class 8A State Football Playoffs Quarterfinals Simeon vs Naperville Central Sat, Nov. 15, 2:00pm @ Naperville Central
Simeon has made it to the state quarterfinals 3 times (1990, 1992, and 2011). In 2011 they beat a highly regarded Schaumurg team 55-50 in the 2nd round before falling 17-14 to Lake Zurich in the quarterfinals. This Saturday, they try to make school history by advancing to the state semi-finals. Standing in the way is defending state champion Naperville Central. Naperville Central knows what it takes to get past this round as many of their players played on last year's state championship team.
In my opinion, the 2011 Simeon team has a slightly better offense than this year's team- as the 2011 was led by Purdue bound QB Robert Gregory and all-city running back Haratio Banks. That duo of Gregory and Banks had an unstoppable running game. However, I feel that what really separates this year's team from their 2011 team is their defense. Their defense has looked dominant all year including state playoff wins against Downers Grove South 28-7 and Hinsdale Central 55-17.
Simeon vs Downers Grove South Saturday, Nov 1, 2014, 7:00pm @ Gately Simeon (along with Phillips) is the pride of the Public League. Simeon is proven that they can play with anyone. They beat Wheaton North and lost by two points to St. Rita earlier this season. Simeon also has some state playoff success. Last year they beat Lyons Township in the first round before falling 27-20 to Nequa Valley in the 2nd round. This year's Simeon team does not have the big name senior DI stars like they have had in the past. Neverthless, I see them playing very competitive against a 6-3 Downers Grove South team. Downers Grove South strength is their offensive line that features 6-5, 310lb Michigan comitt Erik Swenson. DGS has a balanced pass/run offense. I see this as a close game with Simeon coming out on top late.
Curie starting quarterback Michael Goldsmith.
Taft vs Curie Friday, October 31, 2014, 7:00pm @ Lane Stadium I am saying it bluntly, this will not be a pretty game for Taft. I expect Curie to fully dominate this game. Taft will have nobody to stop Curie's athletes. It starts with running back Chris Baldwin(jr). Baldwin has been tearing it up all year. Against mostly Illini conference opponents, Baldwin- a junior- had to average over 150 yards/game rushing. In addition to Baldwin, Curie has a boatload of talent like dangerous kick returner/RB Macio King, serviceable QB Michael Goldsmith, and a big line featuring Ronald Smith ((who I estimate to be 6-3, 290lbs). If Chicago Big Shoulders champion Taft stays within 30 points of Curie I will be very surprised.
One of the biggest storylines to start this season is Simeon's 42 game win streak versus CPS opponents. A couple teams came close to snapping that streak last year as Simeon got by King 20-14 in the CPS semi-finals and Dunbar 23-14 in the CPS finals. But for the most part, scores have been like Simeon's 60-13 win over Lane, 50-0 win over CVS, and 44-0 over Foreman.
Simeon looks strong once again this season and should be favorite to win against every CPS opponent. Toughest CPS opponents will be Brooks in Week 2 and DUnbar in Week 7.
Here is Simeon's schedule this year.
Week 1 @ St. Rita Week 2 @ Brooks Week 3 vs Wheaton North Week 4 vs Lane Week 5 Curie Week 6 CVS Week 7 Dunbar Week 8 @ Whitney Young
Two more Chicago Public Schools products from the 2014 class, Pontraille Gray (Hubbard Safety/Linebacker - 6'1 205 lbs) and Dia Betts Jr. (Simeon Safety - 5'10 185lbs) have also decided to take a post-graduate year and play for Midwestern Preparatory Academy, this upcoming season. Pontraille, pictured to left with his parents and head coach Marques Sullivan, will be playing in this weekend's CPS All-Star game. Dia is pictured to the right with former New York Jet, Ryan Yarborough, who serves as wide receivers coach. To find out more information about Midwest Prep, please visit www.midwestprepacademy.com
I'm already hearing predictions of big things for Marquise "Kezo" Brown- an 8th grader from Ariel Elementary Community Academy on 46th street. Is he the next big baller in Chicago? Heres a YouTube video to help you decide. (btw...he's going to Simeon...of course!)
1st annual D Reed "ULTIMATE TEAMMATE" Football Camp.
This camp is in memory of Demarius Reed (JR. EMU football WR) who was tragically killed at his off campus apartment in October, 2013. This is a FREE football camp for “Ballers”, grades 5th-8th, and 9th-12th, with an emphasis on the improvement of technique and fundamentals. The camp will be held at the Chicago Forest Preserve (Grove 4) on Sunday, June 22nd 2014. The camp will include offensive and defensive drills, 1-on-1’s, and a 7-on-7 tournament. At the conclusion of the camp athletes will participate in a family style picnic; complete with food, beverages, commemorate photos, balloon release, face painting, and more…
Demarius was a perfect example of what hard-work, integrity, and perseverance is all about. He was a fierce competitor that didn’t hesitate when it came to sacrificing for the greater good of the team. These characteristics made him the ULTIMATE TEAMMATE; not only on the field, but off the field as well. Are you the “ULTIMATE TEAMMATE”? If so, “SHOW UP & SHOW OUT”. See you on the gridiron!!!!
Please include your name, grade, age, school, and position when registering. Please use the following link to register, thanks!!
I just wanted to update you on another CPS Player that won MVP for the DB's at the NUC Combine this weekend. His name is Damani Reed, 9th grader, Simeon HS. Damani is the younger brother Demarius Reed who was tragically killed while attending EMU in October of 2013. D. Reed started as a True Freshmen at EMU and was a Pre-season all MAC selection going into his sophomore year.
Matt Fleming(jr) of Simeon leaps his winning 23'4" long jump on his first attempt. After he made that leap, a big crowd began to gather at the long jump pit. He could not get more than 24-4", but that was good enough to win the event. Fleming participated in his first varsity CPS track meet championship. Last year he was the CPS sophomore meet champion with a leap of 19'9". By the way 23-4 would have been good enough to score at the class 3A state meet.
NO PAYNE NO GLORY!
Dontel Payne(sr) of Mather broke through with a 22'-0" effort to come in 2nd. After his 22 feet leap, he was extremely estatic. I could see why. His previous PR was 19-7. His 22 feet leap came almost out of nowhere as Payne is more known as a distance runner. He was a top 5 varsity runner for Mather's CPS meet runner up cross country team.
....Shortly after his high jump, Payne was running a leg on Mather's 4x800 team that I believe finished 3rd. In addition to long jumping and being on a city runner up cross country team, Payne is also a Sun Times Honarable Mention all-city basketball player. I WANT THIS MAN ON MY TEAM!
Jordan Diamond(Simeon class of 2012) was an all-state and Parade All American offensive lineman at Simeon. He had offers from a lot of schools including Miami (FL), Mississippi, Ohio State, Oregon, Tennessee, and more. He eventually decided to play for Auburn of the SEC. It is rare for a CPS player to play in the SEC - the top college football conference in the nation.
Jordan Diamond is shown here with his Auburn uniform. (Au family photo).He wears #76, the same number he wore in high school. After redshirting his first year, he played as a back up Offensive Lineman last year. He played for an Auburn team that had one of the greatest turnarounds in modern college history. They went from 3-9 (0-8 in the SEC) in 2012- including a 49-0 to rival Alabama - to 12-2 (7-1 in the SEC) last season. They also beat #1 Alabama and lost only 34-31 to Florida State in the national championship game. Diamond has positioned himself to be compete for a starting spot on Auburn's offensive line. At Auburn, being a starter is a serious deal. Auburn has 15 NFL draft prospects this year including 6 lineman.
Payton's program took a step in the right direction by finally winning the Chicago Great Lakes Conference. They will be elevated this season to an Illini conference (likely to the Illini Land of Lincoln with King, Phillips, Raby, Harlan, and Julian). They open against a tough opponent St. Ignatius.
The Chicago Catholic League Preseason Kickoff Classic will be on Sunday, August 31, 2014. The venue has been changed from Soldier Field to what I think is a better location Toyota Park.
The first game pits class 8A state cahmpion Mt. Carmel vs St. Joseph Prep, the class 4A Penssylvania state champion.
The 2nd game features an improving Payton program vs St. Ignatius. (I don't like Payton's chances in this game).
The final game has CPS champion Simeon playing St. Rita in a rematch of last season's Prep Bowl. St. Rita won that game 35-20.
Schedule for Chicago Catholic League Preseason Kickoff Classic
12 p.m. -- St. Joseph Prep PA vs. Mount Carmel 3 p.m. -- St. Ignatius vs. Walter Payton Prep 6 p.m. -- St. Rita vs. Simeon
One reason why they may have moved the games from Soldier Field to Toyota Park is because One Direction is playing in concert August 29 and 30 at Soldier Field.
Simeon 55 Evergreen Park 14 Class 2A Dual Team Wrestling Sectionals. Simeon and Geneseo face each other in the state quarterfinals this Saturday at Bloomington. A CPS team has not gotten past the state quarterfinals since Lane Tech in 2000. Lane and Bowen has come close the last few years, but Lane lost 34-32 vs Harlem in 2011, Bowen lost 37-33 to Antioch in 2012, and Bowen lost to 31-27 to Antioch last year. Simeon will faces a challenge against a good Geneseo team that placed 5 wrestlers at the indivual state tournament.
Anthony Kowalczyk(sr; 6-3, 230lbs, ILB/TE/P) of Steinmetz signed with St. Xavier.
Denzel Ward(sr, 6-9,320lbs, OL) of Simeon signed with Syracuse. He had offers from Vanderbilt, South Florida, Ohio State, UCLA, Florida, Oklahoma, and more. Ward cited the good Communication program offered by Syracuse as a major factor in picking Syracuse.
Dakota Reid(sr, 5-8,176lbs, DB/RB)(DR photo) of Morgan Park signed with North Dakota State. He originally was going to sign with Western Illinois, but after visiting North Dakota State, he changed his mind. Reid has a 31 inch vertical. North Dakota State has had some success from the CPS in the past. Joe Mays, a linebacker for the Houston Texans of the NFL, played at North Dakota State and is a graduate of Hyde Park High School.
Aaron Harris(sr, 6-3, 300lb, OG) of Curie signed with Southern Illinois. He officially visited the Salukis on 1/17/2014 and made a verbal comittment soon thereafter.
Daniel Johnson(sr, 6-4, 210lbs, QB) of Harlan signed with University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire. Johnson - a basketball and football star for Harlan, led Harlan to an upset win over Hubbard in the CPS football playoffs. Played QB in high school but may not in college.
Malik Sanders(sr, 6-5, 193lbs, WR) of Harlan signed with Army. Big, physical receiver; likes to block.
Simeon hung in with St. Rita for a half as the score was tied 7-7 with 3 minutes left in the first half.
A consolation prize for St. Rita who is the only team to beat Loyola Academy - who is in the state finals. St. Rita lost a tough game to Mt. Carmel in the 2nd round of the state playoffs. Mt.Carmel is also playing in the state finals.
Dunbar is making it's first city championship appearance since 2002. Dunbar is fresh off an upset of Brooks in the semi-finals. Simeon is coming off its worse game of the season against King in a game which they won by only 20-14.
I'm hearing unconfirmed reports from various sources that defensive lineman Eddie Randle(6-7,250lbs, sr) from Simeon has picked up two offers; one from Mississippi State and the other from Tulsa. His father Eddie Randle Jr played for Tulsa.
Randle transfered from St. Rita to Simeon for his senior year. I think that is why I have not heard word much about Randle prior to this season. He was named to the Sun-Times All Public League Team.
Jayton Doresey(sr, QB/DB/KR) had 2 interceptions and scrored the game winning touchdown to propel Dunbar to its first city championship since 2002.
Simeon 20 King 14 QB Timon Watkins threw a 3 yard pass to Chris Jones with 5 seconds remaining to give Simeon a 20-14 win over King.
Dunbar 26 Brooks 20 -2OT Demoria Harris scored on a 33 yard touchdown run for Dunbar with 18 seconds left in the 4th quarter to send the game into overtime. There Jayton Doresey scored a 1 yard TD on 4th and goal to give the Mighty Men and win.
What really hurt Simeon in this game was 2 blocked punts and 14 penalties for 95 yards. Despite the miscues, the game was close the entire way. Only a Nequa Valley touchdown with 32 seconds left gave them the 27-20 lead.
Despite the loss, there I saw a lot of promise in the Simeon team. Mistakes like blocked punts and penalties are correctable. It gives the coaching staff something to improve on. If they can do that, Simeon is a team capable of taking it to the next level.
This is a Simeon team stocked with young talent. For example, I like the potential of two of their defensive players in Maurice Burton(6-0,232lbs, DL, jr) and Jarrod Greenfield(6-0,200lbs,jr,LB/DL). Burton has been playing and been a big time contributor on Simeon's varsity team since freshman year. Greenfield is a fast rising player. I predict both will be Division One prospects.
The loss sends Simeon back to the CPS playoffs where they are a heavy favorite to win the CPS title and play in the Prep Bowl (where St. Rita may likely await).