Here’s what to watch for in the Midwest this weekend:
Clash of the titans
This might be the most intriguing high school game of the 2011 season, and it is finally here. Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, N.J.), ranked No. 1 in the ESPN Fab 50, and St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio), ranked No. 6 will meet at on Saturday at Fordham in New York City. Both teams are loaded with Division I talent and are arguably the two best teams in the country. In fact, this could be a pseudo-national championship game. It would be hard to find a reason St. Edward shouldn’t be the new No. 1 if it beats Bosco. The key matchup could be four-star tackle Kyle Kalis of St. Edward’s against four-star defensive end Darius Hamilton of Bosco.
Can Illinois keep it going?
It seems just when Ron Zook’s job security is on life support, he pulls out a season like the one he is having right now. At 5-0, the Fighting Illini’s schedule sets up nicely and they have a realistic shot at being 10-0 going into a Nov. 19 date against No. 4 Wisconsin. However, this Saturday’s game against 1-4 Indiana is the type of game Zook has been known to lose. A loss to a bad Hoosiers team and all the momentum the Illini have -- on the recruiting trail, too -- goes out the window. Four-star in-state prospects Jordan Diamond and Faith Ekakitie have both visited the Illini this season, and with each win, those two have to start looking at the Illini that much harder.
Breneman in position to prove his worth as blocker
Already regarded as arguably the top junior tight end in the state of Pennsylvania, scouts already know about Adam Breneman’s skills as a pass-catcher. The Cedar Cliff (Camp Hill, Pa.) prospect already has offers from the likes of Alabama, Florida State, Michigan and Notre Dame, among others. On Friday, Breneman will have a chance to show his ability as a blocker, too. He’ll be going up against Bishop McDevitt’s Noah Spence, ranked No. 4 in the ESPNU 150, early and often. Breneman and Spence are friends, but there will be no love loss on the field. It’ll be a great learning experience for Breneman, who, if he chooses to head south to Alabama, Florida or another SEC school, will see physical freaks at defensive end such as Spence every week in the SEC.
Royalty on the field in Michigan
Basketball has “King” James on the hardwood, and now football has its queen on the gridiron. Brianna Amat, a senior at Pinckney Community High School in Michigan, was elected Homecoming Queen during halftime of the school’s game last Friday. She topped that experience by kicking the game-winning field goal in a 9-7 win. Amat has received national attention, but she declined an in-studio appearance on NBC’s “Today” Show so she can focus on school and her upcoming opponent, her hometown paper the Daily Press reported. If she kicks another game-winning field goal against Milford on Friday, her position as queen might get extended at least another week.
A return to the sideline for Ginn Sr. hopefully
There are some sad rumors coming out of Cleveland regarding the health of legendary city coach Ted Ginn Sr., the leader of Glenville’s football team. Ginn didn’t coach in last Friday’s loss and declined comment as to why, according to the Plain-Dealer. Rumors are swirling that Ginn’s health is in decline and that this could be his final season. In my first experience with Ginn in early September, Ginn was nothing but gracious and helpful despite a frustrating loss. He never once berated or yelled at his team in the locker room, only saying he still wouldn’t trade his team in for Camden County (Kingsland, Ga.), which beat Glenville and his ranked No. 19 in the Fab 50. Here’s hoping Ginn is back on the sideline soon.