Final Super 25 football rankings for 2018

Nazareth brings home the Class 7A state championship trophy. Nazareth fans hug players after winning the Class 7A state championship. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.
Nazareth brings home the Class 7A state championship trophy. Nazareth fans hug players after winning the Class 7A state championship. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

With the state champions crowned over the weekend, it’s time for the final Super 25 rankings of the 2018 season. Nazareth (13-1), the Class 7A champion, earned the No. 1 spot after it capped a thrilling year with a 31-10 victory over St. Charles North (10-4) in the championship game.

The Roadrunners, led by Player of the Year finalist and All-Area team honoree Michael Love, hung near the top of the rankings all season. They survived a brutal playoff slate including games against previously unbeaten Simeon and Batavia, then flexed their muscles in an impressive victory over the North Stars.

Loyola (11-3) is the only other state champion inside the top five. The Ramblers pulled off an incredible turnaround this season after dropping to 3-3 in September by rattling off eight consecutive wins, including an upset of unbeaten Lincoln-Way East (12-1) in the Class 8A semifinals and a 14-3 win over top-seeded Brother Rice (13-1) in the championship game.

The Ramblers finished No. 2 in the Super 25 to beat out LWE, Brother Rice and fifth-ranked Marist (11-2), which lost in the Class 8A semifinals to the Crusaders.

Here’s a look at the final Super 25 rankings for the 2018 Chicago-area high school football season. Congratulations to the state champions and everyone who participated in another exciting year.

With record and last week’s ranking

1. Nazareth (13-1) 2

2. Loyola (11-3) 3

3. Lincoln-Way East (12-1) 4

4. Brother Rice (13-1) 1

5. Marist (11-2) 5

6. Batavia (12-1) 6

7. Cary-Grove (14-0) 8

8. Maine South (10-2) 15

9. St. Charles North (10-4) 7

10. Mount Carmel (11-2) 9

11. Homewood-Flossmoor (10-2) 10

12. IC Catholic (14-0) 16

13. Simeon (11-1) 12

14. Crete-Monee (10-4) 13

15. Richards (12-1) 14

16. Joliet Catholic (10-4) 21

17. Montini (12-2) 11

18. Phillips (9-3) 17

19. Willowbrook (11-1) 18

20. Naperville Central (7-4) 19

21. Hinsdale Central (8-3) 20

22. Notre Dame (10-2) 22

23. Warren (10-2) 23

24. Oswego (10-1) 24

25. Oak Park River Forest (8-3) NR

Satchel Price contributed to this report

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  • where'sthelove

    Cary-Grove should have finished at least 5th. They proved that the level of competition they play they were at least as good or better than the likes of Batavia and Marist. It is clear that Beth Long has no love for CG over this year and the past. CG is not a flashy team and possibly thats why. They just ground and pound.


    It’s more about culture and commitment than anything else. Kids like to play for a winner and they go to Loyola because of the tradition and Holecek. He has a genius defensive football IQ and demands excellence. His staff is also top notch, a few could be head coaches as well.

  • Frank

    are you at all winded after huffing and puffing at all that straw?

  • One Rambler

    To Leegs1…Not a connection, but LA parents get to do BOTH!!
    Pay property taxes AND tuition….perhaps they find this combination
    more motivating as they provide a better education than your sorry
    a@#$ schools and provide a winning culture that you can’t!!

    • Leegs1

      Taught at Bolingbrook high over thirty years. Pretty good winning culture there. Children went to Joliet Catholic. Could have gone to Lockport. It was their choice after attending Catholic grade school. In my opinion, overall, Lockport and Bolingbrook had a better teaching staff for numerous reasons including pay. In any case, I never complained about paying tuition and property taxes. Parental support and guidance is the key to a child’s development.

    • Pirate Sleeved Jersey

      One Rambler, my guess is you are already wishing you didn’t post that.

      Might need to change your name to “PrivatePowerhouses”.

      If we want to compare academics/education, one measure is to take a look at the past
      ICTM High School Math Contest results and you’ll wonder why you opted to pay that tuition as well as your RE tax bill. Hard to overlook the public school domination.

      I love our neighbors and appreciate that although we are in one of top school districts in the state (the reason my we moved to our town), our neighbors are devout and send their kids to private school. That works out well for us w/ more $ spent on my kids at fill in the blank (New Trier, Stevenson, Naperville North, Hinsdale Central…).

      As for this past football season, just bcz the private schools had a banner year in football this past season, winning 3 of the top 4 classes (like 201-15), please remember that in both prior seasons 2016-17 & 2017-18 the private schools did not win a single title in 5A-8A. Overall it been very even the past 10 years in 5A-8A w/ 22 titles to the public schools and 18 to the private schools.

      Send your kids to the school of your choosing and support them when they are there. Root for your school, or for the team playing your rival, but most of all have fun commenting on Sun-Times HS football articles bcz somebody on the internet is wrong.

  • ConfusedRambler

    Guys – in the end it has little to do with recruiting or property taxes. It has everything to do with culture and coaching. Year in, year out, Loyola has very little D1 talent – maybe 1-2 kids. This year might be a bit different, but in the end you need those 2 things to be successful. Look at the successful Chicago hs b-ball teams. Sure WY and Simeon get great players, but the coaches have built a culture that works for their programs.

    On Giving Tuesday, I give to you a few public school football powerhouses – Maine South, Glenbard West, Stevenson, WWS, East SL, Phillips the last few years. Maine South is the perfect example of school with great culture and great coaching. Their record speaks for itself. My guess is that when Inserra leaves, there will be a drop off. Same with LA and Holocek.

  • Marcus D

    I’m a bit confused. When I see these Catholic league powerhouses in the playoffs every year, I wonder if they were playing under the same restrictions as their public counterparts, would they still hold the same dominance? Doesn’t seem like an even playing field to me. Also, if Joliet Catholic beat an undefeated team to reach the state championship, why no mention? Or is it just good to hear the same names that seem to appear every year? If you’re a school with double digits state championships you’d have to question at some point are we that good, or is our competition that bad? Either way it should make you want to seek truth.

    • Go Ramblers

      The IHSA implemented the “multiplier” against private schools (due to no geographic boundaries) in order to “level the playing field.” As such, private school enrollment is multiplied by 1.67, so you have smaller private schools playing up against much larger public school, e.g. NAZ. I believe they have approximately 300 boys enrolled at NAZ and SCN has approximately 1,000. Playing field not even enough for ya???

      • Tim

        Let public schools recruit like the Catholic league and we’ll see a level playing field.

        • Go Ramblers

          Some already do…Also, let’s see public school folks shell out thousands of dollars a year in tuition in addition to paying property taxes. How does that sound?

          • Leegs1

            Enlighten me. What’s the connection between paying tuition and paying property tax? Are you saying that if you pay tuition for private school education, you should be exempt from paying property tax? Again, enlighten me.

        • Frank K

          LOL. In the last 2 years alone, Xavier Pinson transferred from St. Patrick to Simeon, Maurice Commander from Marist to Curie, Chase Adams from Marian Catholic to Orr and Marquise Walker from St. Joseph to Curie.

          Do you honestly thing there was no “recruitment” going on there?

          • tim

            Oh you poor people that have to pay to go to Loyola AND pay property taxes!! You might have to drive a BMW instead of a Benz. It’s ok, when Naz cheats the minority schools are told to sit there, don’t make noise and take it. When one kid transfers to a subpar football program in the city, it’s whoa man that ain’t right.

  • ConfusedRambler

    Not gloating. Just pointing out the facts. Playing tough out of state opponents is great. Loyola plays 1 out of state team every year. Marquette from Milw, Bishop Amat from California, Rockford MI, Dallas Jesuit. They even schedule teams like Phillips, MS and Edwardsville in non-conference. Some teams play the same teams every year, weak out of conference, etc. This year Phillips played on ESPN and got thumped by a great team. I bet it made them better in the long run.
    The class thing will never happen, but remember Phillips beat LA last year and Montini did this year. The good 5a and 6a teams can play with anyone.
    As to the recruiting, let’s just look at the kids that play year in year out and see where they went to grade school. It is not even close to the HS b-ball transfer BS that happens every year. I mean that Steward kid leaves Fenwick to go to WY and is eligible right away. Happens every year. Probably happens in football too!

  • CPS

    Big time * for Naz, was looking for” that ref” on the sidelines for the title game,surely if he done no wrong like the IHSA states why he didn’t keep it up and continue doing what he did the previous game in question? Just a question?

  • Ralphie

    Hey confused Rambler quit gloating You won. It will help you with next years recruiting class

  • SouthSide Johnny

    Couldn’t agree more. I still believe LWE is the best team the state has seen in quite a long time but there is no doubt that LA was playing the best football during this years playoff run. They were clicking on all cylinders, balls were bouncing their way and that Defense was just spectacular. Wouldn’t it be great to have the champions from each class play one another to come up with a top 4 champions bracket (8A vs 7A and so on)? Would also like to see Illinois top programs (LA, LWE, etc.) schedule games with top programs in FL, TX and CA. Short of a program going on a 30+ game win streak, this is the only way Illinois High School Football can earn the respect it deserves nationally. Sure is fun to watch and follow……..Happy holidays to all you HS football junkies…..

  • ConfusedRambler

    So let me get this straight. Per Beth’s predictions, Loyola was going out after round 1 only to smoke Minooka at Minooka. Then the Ramblers take down the #3 team in your poll in Oswego – in a shutout no less. The next week they head to Maine South and dominate in another shutout. I think MS was #6 in your poll at the time. Then a #1 ranked and nationally ranked LWE team riding a 26 game win streak comes to town. Loyola put up more points than any other team did all season and held them to their lowest point total all season. So that moved Brother Rice to #1 and we all know what happened Saturday. So LA takes out #3, 6, 1 and 1 in successive weeks.
    Look at the Loyola loses. Mount Carmel – semis of class and final top 10 ranking. Montini – 5a finalist and #17 final ranking and Brother Rice. All great teams playing in the semis or finals of their class.
    Go look at the playoff seeding/points. LAs opponents had a 56-25 record which was the best in 8a and 7a and probably all classes. I think Naz had 44-37. Six of LAs opponents made the playoffs not including the MI team. Only 4 of Naz’s opponents made the playoffs. The numbers do not lie. In the end the LA boys got what they wanted…the trophy and as I understand it the Trib has them at the top of their final rankings.

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