Joliet Herald-News sports editor Steve Soucie brings more than two decades of Illinois high school football knowledge to Shaw Media. Follow him on Twitter @thesouc and check out his Week 13 state power rankings here. (Record and previous ranking in parentheses.)
25. Oswego (10-1, 21): At the time, it looked like the No. 3 seed may have underachieved by being knocked out by the No. 19 seed. But clearly that No. 19 seed (Loyola) wasn’t your typical No. 19 seed. Up next: Season complete.
24. Gurnee Warren (10-2, 18): Warren emerged as the top team in the North Suburban this season, will it be able to keep that going? Up next: Season complete.
23. Willowbrook (11-1, 17): Clearly took another step up this season, it will be interesting to see if it is sustainable. Up next: Season complete.
22. Phillips (9-3, 16): It’s going to be interesting to see what some of Phillips senior standouts do at the next level. Up next: Season complete.
21. Niles Notre Dame (10-3, 23): It shouldn’t be all that surprising that the Dons gave Cary-Grove all it could handle in the semifinals. Up next: Season complete.
20. Hillcrest (12-1, 12): Things came completely unraveled in their semifinal game with Joliet Catholic, put unfortunate cap on what was really a spectacular campaign for the Hawks. Up next: Season complete.
19. Bishop McNamara (12-1, NR): Weren’t given much of a chance to dethrone Rochester in its semifinal, responded by hanging 52 points on the Rockets. Up next: Class 4A state championship vs. No. 16 IC Catholic.
18. Homewood-Flossmoor (10-2, 14): Vikings were overshadowed by others this season but still a strong program in a solid league. Up next: Season complete.
17. East St. Louis (9-3, 13): Still notable that only one loss came to a team in Illinois that ultimately ended the Flyers' season. Up next: Season complete.
16. IC Catholic (13-0, 20): The Knights flirted with disaster in the first half of its semifinal then threw the throttle down. Up next: Class 4A state championship vs. No. 19 Bishop McNamara.
15. Simeon (11-1, 11): Late injunction filed by the Wolverines likely won’t be granted, unfortunate that this will be the last memory of a great year. Up next: Season complete.
14. Maine South (10-2, 10): Looks like the shutout at the hands of Loyola was a little more telling about the strength of the Ramblers than originally thought. Up next: Season complete.
13. Joliet Catholic (9-4, 25): After squeaking into the playoffs, the Hilltoppers have had an incredible postseason run that they aren’t ready to quit on just yet. Up next: Class 5A state championship vs. No. 8 Montini.
12. Richards (12-1, 9): Came up just short in quest to reach 6A finals. Odds are this isn’t the last we’ve heard from the Bulldogs. Up next: Season complete.
11. Crete-Monee (10-3, 22): Such an impressive comeback from an 0-3 start. The Warriors have been locked up in some close battles in the playoffs and are eager for one more. Up next: Class 6A State Championship vs. No. 5 Cary-Grove.
10. Mount Carmel (11-2, 5): The Caravan made some strides under first-year coach Jordan Lynch and came within a whisper of a state title game berth. Up next: Season complete.
9. St. Charles North (11-3, 19): It has truly been a Cinderella run for the Stars, but do they have one more massive effort left to give? Up next: Class 7A state championship vs. No. 3 Nazareth.
8. Montini (12-1, 15): The playoff field hasn’t exactly been rigorous for the Broncos to date, but you have to play what is put in front of you. Up next: Class 5A state championship vs. No. 13 Joliet Catholic.
7. Batavia (12-1, 4): Program has really raised the bar over the past few years to make bowing out in the semifinals seem like a disappointment. Up next: Season complete.
6. Marist (11-2, 3): Two losses on the season, both to Brother Rice. Hard to quibble with the quality of this team. Up next: Season complete.
5. Cary-Grove (13-0, 6): It maybe took a little bit more effort than most thought to put down Niles Notre Dame, but the Trojans are more than happy just to move on. Up next: Class 6A state championship vs. No. 11 Crete-Monee.
4. Lincoln-Way East (12-1, 1): Putting the semifinal loss aside, the Griffins still put together a tremendous season. Up next: Season complete.
3. Nazareth (12-1, 7): The Roadrunners have shown flashes of awesome offensive potential, they picked a great time to crank it up to full throttle. Up next: Class 7A state championship vs. No. 9 St. Charles North.
2. Loyola (10-3, 8): Just a solid all-around team that puts it all together when it matters most. A long way from the 3-3 record the Ramblers owned midway through the season. Up next: Class 8A state championship vs. No. 1 Brother Rice.
1. Brother Rice (13-0, 2): Defense is truly dominant. Do the Crusaders have one more big effort in them? Up next: Class 8A state championship vs. No. 2 Loyola.