The 13th-seeded Friars travel to Crystal Lake on Saturday to take on fourth-seeded Prairie Ridge (8-1) for the first round of the playoffs. Fenwick’s play this season has been mediocre at best, but then again the Friars compete in the bruising Blue Division of the Chicago Catholic League, home to such powerhouses as Loyola, Mt. Carmel and St. Rita.

Does playing in such a division prep the Friars (5-4) for a team like Prairie Ridge, which didn’t lose a game in the Fox Valley Conference and averaged 42 points this season, while holding opponents to a total of 49?  

We say it does. If ever there is an upset in the making it’s this one. The Friars nearly defeated St. Rita (8-1) this season, falling 14-13 after missing a two-point conversion attempt in the closing minutes of the game. Yes, they nearly blew a win over lowly Hales (2-7) — they ended up winning 14-13 in that league cross-over contest — but much of the team was banged up at the time and they did come back the next week and down Brother Rice 23-7 to qualify for the playoffs.

Not only are the Friars battle-tested, they have another advantage in the fact that the game has been scheduled for Saturday afternoon. Prairie Ridge never played an afternoon game all season. Fenwick played seven games under the sun, winning four.

Fenwick head coach Joe DiCanio was dead-set on playing on Saturday. “I wouldn’t budge,” he said when the two sides discussed a date and time. 

Score: Do we dare predict 14-13, Friars? Hey, it’s close to Halloween and it would be a bit spooky if it ended up that way.

Now that we have weighed-in, tell us your prediction either here on the comment board or e-mail Brad Spencer at bspencer@wjinc.com 

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Brad Spencer

Brad Spencer has been covering sports in and around Oak Park for more than a decade, which means the young athletes he once covered in high school are now out of college and at home living with their parents...

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