Prep football season kicks off

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Are you ready for some football? Well, the wait is just about over. Friday, the 2008 local high school football season gets underway with a full slate of games. The highlight of the first weekend of action will be Saturday when the annual Kickoff Bowl tak

Are you ready for some football? Well, the wait is just about over. Friday, the 2008 local high school football season gets underway with a full slate of games.

The highlight of the first weekend of action will be Saturday when the annual Kickoff Bowl takes place at Soldier Field. It will be a triple-header showdown between Catholic League and Public League teams.

At the 10 a.m. opener, the Caravans of Mt. Carmel will take on the Curie Condors. That will be followed by a clash between Fenwick and Lane Tech at 1 p.m. The final game of the day will feature defending Public League champion Morgan Park taking on perennial Catholic League powerhouse Brother Rice at 4 p.m.

The game with the Crusaders will be the first of three tough tests for Mustangs. On Sept. 5, they travel to Oak Lawn to take on Richards, and on Sept. 12, they’ll bus to Bolingbrook.

“This is football, not tennis,” said Morgan Park head coach Lexie Spurlock. “We have to be ready. When you play tough teams like this to start the season, it can only make you a better team.”

The Mustangs graduated several key players from last season’s team that won the Public League title. However, they have several key returnees, including all-state defensive end Craig Drummond, running back Dominique Bell and quarterback Victor Scott.

“We lost some very good players from last season’s team, but we have some returning players that saw a lot of playing time,” Spurlock said.

The high school season begins Friday and one of the biggest games will be a battle between the Panthers of Dusable and the Wildcats of Phillips.

It’s one of the oldest and most competitive rivalries in the city.

Other Friday games will find CVS busing to Marist, Dunbar and Foreman battling at Gately Stadium, De La Salle hosting Fenger and Simeon traveling to Lincoln-Way Central.

Also on Friday, Marshall goes to Rick Island, Hope entertains Hales Franciscan and Leo takes on Gordon Tech.

Leo could be one of the surprise teams in the area. Head coach Michael Holmes’ Lions feature three of the top players in the area in defensive lineman Lendell Buckner, offensive lineman Leon Hill and quarterback Darwin Rogers.

In addition to the triple header at Soldier Field, other Saturday contests feature Hubbard taking on Brooks at Stagg Stadium, King battling Hyde Park at Gately, Harper meeting Crystal lake at Gatey, Leo battling Gordon Tech, Lindblom huddling up against Payton at Eckersall and Crane meeting Raby at Hanson Stadium.

Head coach Elton Harris’ Hubbard Greyhounds should chase Morgan Park in the Public League’s Prairie State Conference. Leading the way for Hubbard is safety/wide receiver Darrius Moffett.

In Sunday action, it’s a twin bill at Gately with Harlan taking on Bowen and Julian clashing with Robeson in their annual season opening tilt.

Despite losing standout players Johnny Johnson and Brandon Green to graduation, Robeson looks to be tough again and should be the class of the Public League’s Land of Lincoln Conference.

Returning for head coach Fabray Collins are 6-6, 285-pound lineman Jamal Sampson and running back Christopher Session.

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Copyright 2008 Chicago Defender. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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