The Chicago Catholic League conducted a realignment of its football conferences last year. Consequently, Montini and St. Francis left the CCL Green (Fenwick's division) for the Blue and White, respectively. Their replacements were Mount Carmel from the Blue and St. Laurence from the White.
Fenwick, which has won its conference division four of the past six years including 2017,welcomes back a solid defense with leaders like Konrad Skowrya, Max Forst and Solomon Singleton. Junior quarterback Danny Cronin, a Division I college prospect, leads the offense, which lost standouts Michael O'Laughlin (now playing college football at West Virigina) and Jason Ayers to graduation. While the team appears fairly solid across the board, a relatively untested offensive line (only one starter returns) will need to develop.
Tradition-rich Mount Carmel had a controversial offseason. In an unexpected move that drew tons of criticism, the school fired legendary head coach Frank Lenti and replaced him with one of his former players, Jordan Lynch. The transition may be initially bumpy under Lynch, but the Caravan returns plenty of talent from a team that reached the Class 7A semifinals in 2017. Mount Carmel stars like running back Kyle Davis (Western Michigan recruit) and offensive lineman Marcelo Mendiola (Cincinnati) lead the preseason favorite to win the CCL Green.
However, there are several potent challengers. De La Salle (which upset Mount Carmel last year) has a good defense and possibly the best quarterback/wide receiver tandem in the conference in seniors Rob Simental and Tom Coates.
St. Laurence, which in an ironic twist recently hired Lenti as a special advisor to the football program, has been a strong Class 5A or 6A title contender the last three years. However, the Vikings do need to replace a bevy of starters from a 2017 6A quarterfinalist.
Marmion is capable of beating any team in a given week. The Cadets' veteran coach Dan Thorpe is known for getting the most out of his players.
TOP 5 PLAYERS:
Danny Cronin, QB (JR), Fenwick
Kyle Davis, RB (SR), Mount Carmel
Marshall Foerner, OT/DT (SR), Marmion
Marcelo Mendiola, OL (SR), Mount Carmel
Rob Simental, QB (SR), De La Salle
GAMES TO WATCH:
Fenwick at De La Salle – Sept. 21
Mount Carmel at St. Laurence – Oct. 12
Fenwick vs. Mount Carmel at Gately Stadium – Oct. 19
PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH: Mount Carmel, De La Salle, Fenwick, St. Laurence, Marmion
Answer Book 2018
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