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Coach Big Pete's 2023 Classes 1A-8A IHSA Playoff Talk - IHSA Releases Playoff Pairings Reaction

Lets Go #IHSA Football Family... The second season has begun as all 8 classes fight for their spot in glory and to be in the IHSA history books. We had crazy regular season; you can see by 6 4-5 teams making the IHSA playoffs. Also, again I remind coaches if you use me as bulletin board material, I would like a cut of your paycheck for the help. HA!!! Again, there is a reason we play this the most beloved game!!! With the way the season has gone, there is no doubt in my mind that this playoff season will truly entertaining. Let's first show the pairings below and will provide a Dark Horses, Favorites, ETC....


IHSA Class 1A Playoff - Coach Big Pete's Take - Lena Winslow has been on fire just like last year. In a turn of events, a contender from Southern Illinois in Althoff Catholic has risen ready to challenge. Chicago Hope let me down last year, but they have rebounded with a nice youth movement. Camp Point Central could quietly slip into the semifinals with coaching mastermind Coach Dixon. Sesser-Valier is on a hot hand, but they need some help when get in the quarterfinals. Beating top BDC rivals has made them sort of the second big time from that region. Big welcome back belongs to Heyworth ending a 10-year playoff drought.

Favorite- Lena Winslow & Altfhoff Catholic

Dark Horses- Marquette & Aurora Christian

Watch Out For- Chicago Hope, Sesser-Valier, Camp Point Central

Great Story- Sesser Valier

Why? - Another Forreston vs Marquette Matchup

IHSA Class 2A Playoff - Coach Big Pete's Take - Maroa Forsyth and ALAH seem to be the favorites but to me ALAH has tough test ahead if they reach the quarterfinals. Seneca is the hot team in 2A, but they got some tough ones in their bracket. Athens seems more battle tested in the southern bracket. Wilmington is chomping at the bit for a rematch and revenge against Seneca. Tri-Valley to me is one of those teams that got cold but could heat up in 2A. 4-5 Quincy Notre Dame team scares the ever-living crap out of me.

Favorite- Maroa Forsyth vs Athens Championship Game

Darkhorses- Mater Dei & Farmington

Great Story- Seneca

Watch Out For - Seneca, Shelbyville, Wilmington

Big Question- Can we get another run from Johnston City like we did last season?

IHSA Class 3A Playoff - Coach Big Pete's Take - Montini this, Montini that, Montini is going to win it all and no one has chance because it's a private school that's all I hear, and yes Montini spent a season against high level competition. Montini still hasn't played small football, and small school football in IHSA is a different beast. I live in the area and that is all I hear but come on people we play the game for the reason don't overlook these teams in 3A. Byron has been kicking ass and taking names and not to make them a favorite would be mind blowing. Let us not forget as well DuQuoin is undefeated for a reason after getting a huge Week 9 win over Murphysboro. DUPEC is another team that could make huge run in 3A as well. Princeton is Princeton and they got the fire to burn down the whole bracket.

Favorite - Byron

Darkhorses - Eureka, Stillman Valley, Williamsville

Watch Out For- Montini, DUPEC, Mt. Carmel, Roxana, DuQuion, Greenville, Princeton

Great Story- Roxana

Big Question: Can Montini be smart enough not overlook their opponents?

IHSA Class 4A Playoff - Coach Big Pete's Take -

We have been waiting for this to happen. ICCP has shot to take on Rochester in a title game. Rochester has a tough test with the southern Illinois teams chomping at the bit to take down the rockets. Boylan Catholic could be huge shocker in the north bracket. St. Laurence is another school to be reckoned with in the northern bracket.

Favorites: Rochester vs ICCP Title Game (PLEASE FOOTBALL GODS GIVE US THIS GAME)

Dark Horses: Wheaton Academy, Geneseo, Coal City, Boylan

Teams That Could Catch Fire- Breese Central, Cahokia, Phillips

Great Story- Sandwich & Dyett

Teams You Need To Watch: Richmond-Burton. Murphysboro, Carterville, St. Laurence, Dixon, Mt. Zion, Boylan


IHSA Class 5A Playoff - Coach Big Pete's Take - Nazareth lucked out and got in with 4-5 which is bad news for other teams. Prairie Ridge is strong with run attack and defense as always but even more motivated than last season. Morgan Park is a talented squad trying to bring home a title to Chicago. Morris is a strong contender bid for the state title and running rough shot over their conference. Joliet Catholic has been up and down but could catch momentum. SHG is strong but they need to get the losing streak off their backs.

Favorites: Morgan Park, Prairie Ridge, Morris

Great Story: TF North

Two Teams That Could Catch Fire: Glenbard South & Sycamore

Darkhorses: Carbondale, Providence Catholic

Teams You Need To Watch: Glenbard South, St. Francis, Rochelle, Payton, SHG, Sycamore, Nazareth

Everyone will say East St. Louis is going to win this no doubts. Please take a time and check out Kankakee, do not sleep on the Kays. Cary-Grove could also be East St. Louis and Kankakee's kryptonite. Geneva could be a huge sleeper in this 6A Class. Washington gave Kankakee a game in Week 2, and this Panther squad is hungry for a title and sending their Head Coach out on top. Lake Zurich has been impressive in the NSC, but the main question is how will the defense handle 6A competition.

Favorites: Cary-Grove, East St. Louis, Cary-Grove

Darkhorses: Richards, Crete-Monee, Geneva, Kaneland

Great Story: Grant & Highland Park

Teams That Could Catch Fire- Lake Forest & Kaneland

Teams You Must See: Washington, Lake Zurich, Normal West, Wauconda

IHSA Class 7A Playoff - Coach Big Pete's Take -

Here is the weird thing about this Class. Never have I seen so many different scenarios that can play out. Sure, I could say Batavia, Mount Carmel, Normal, or Hersey. This class is really enigma wrapped in a question. I feel as if we are not talking enough about Normal Community and Quincy this season. Both teams have proven to big dogs in this Class. Let us also not forget about Hononegah who has answered every test put in their way.

Favorite: NONE

Chicagoland Fans Don't Sleep On: Normal Community & Quincy

Great Stories: Lincoln Way Central, West Chicago, Quincy, Maine West

Teams That Could Catch Fire: Brother Rice, Yorkville, Hoffman Estates

Teams Highly Favored By Media- Mount Carmel, Batavia

Record Doesn't Show How Good They Could Be: Kenwood, St. Charles North, Jacobs

IHSA Class 8A Playoff - Coach Big Pete's Take -

Loyola Academy and Lincoln Way East are the favorites in the class. I have no doubt about this in the Class. Both teams have passed the regular season eye tests with high flying colors. Barrington could be the third team in this Class with much impressive 9-0 Record. Maine South and Glenbard West are my wild card teams that have caught fire that could lead them to state. Stevenson, Minooka, Naperville Central could be surprising runs but it all depends on their defense. South Elgin could be a huge sleeper in this class again, that offense is a doozy for opposing defenses. Huntley to me is a team that people need to pay more attention to, they could easily make run towards the quarterfinals. Edwardsville is scary, and I mean they have the potential to put a damper on the Loyola vs LWE party in 2023.

Favorite: Loyola Academy vs Lincoln Way East AGAIN

Dark Horses: Naperville North, Sandburg, St. Ignatius

Teams That Could Catch Fire & Burn The Class: Glenbard West, Maine South

Great Story: Joliet West

Teams To Watch: South Elgin, Naperville Central, Warren Township, Edwardsville, Maine South



Remember Deep Dish Football Is Just Not About Recruiting

But About The Love Of The Game Of IHSA Football





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