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The following previews for each sectional site contain pertinent information about the state playoffs in addition to a variety of truly random facts. Note #1...the team listed as The Favorite is the #1 seed, the teams listed as The Contenders are the #2, #3, and #4 seeds, and the teams seeded #5, #6, and #7 are considered Sleepers. Note #2...This section contains NO predictions.



The Favorite: Fremd

The Contenders: Schaumburg, St Viator, Hersey

Sleepers: Conant, Barrington, Hoffman

Best First-Round Game: (3) St Viator vs (6) Barrington

The Play-In: (8) Elk Grove vs (9) Rolling Meadows

Sectional Final Time: 4:00pm

The X-Factor: St Viator joins the regular cast of Mid-Suburban League teams at the Barrington Sectional. Can the Lions throw a wrench into the plans of top-seeded Fremd, who rolled through the MSL with a perfect record in 2011? Can emerging teams like Schaumburg, Hersey, or Conant put things together at the end of the season to get to the sectional finals? Does a sleeper team like Barrington take advantage of playing in their home pool in the opening round against St Viator? So many questions...

Artistic Alumni: Actress Marlee Matlin (Hersey). Tim McIlrath, lead singer of Rise Against (Meadows). Mystic River, Flags of our Fathers, and Letters from Iwo Jima producer Robert Lorenz (Fremd). Rock musician Ted Nugent (St Viator). Smashing Pumpkins' guitarist James Iha (Elk Grove). Midwest underground rapper Double A (Hoffman). Office Space and Pineapple Express actor Gary Cole (Meadows). Horror film actor Bill Moseley, who starred in House of 1000 Corpses/The Devil's Rejects (Barrington). Plain White T's drummer De'Mar Hamilton (Conant).


The Favorite: Fenwick

The Contenders: Oak Park, Resurrection, York

Sleepers: Curie, Maria

Best First-Round Game: (4) York vs (5) Curie

The Play-In: None

Sectional Final Time: 12:00pm

The X-Factor: Fenwick showed a chink in their armor when they lost last weekend to Loyola in the MCAC Tournament. Can they bounce back to win their own sectional this weekend? Who will emerge from the quarterfinal round games, as teams like Curie, Maria, and Lindblom will try to pull an opening round upset over the top seeds?

Artistic Alumni: The voice of Homer Simpson, Dan Castelleneta (Oak Park). OK Go drummer Dan Konopka (York). D-List actress Kathy Griffin (Oak Park). Trauma and Spanglish actress Aimee Garcia (Fenwick). Reno 911 actor Thomas Lennon (Oak Park).


The Favorite: Loyola

The Contenders: Evanston, New Trier, Prospect

Sleepers: Glenbrook North, Glenbrook South, Maine South

Best First-Round Games: (4) Prospect vs (5) Glenbrook North

The Play-Ins: (8) Maine East vs (9) Maine West

Sectional Final Time: 12:00pm

The X-Factor: Loyola is riding high after beating Fenwick last weekend. Can they carry that momentum into the postseason, as they enter the GBN Sectional as the top seed? Will Evanston or New Trier have enough gas left in the tank if they meet in the semifinals and have to turn around and play in the sectional finals? Will Prospect continue their successful season with a couple of wins to get to the title game? Will sleeper teams like GBN, GBS, or Maine South be able to pull off a first-round upset?

Artistic Alumni: Rainn Wilson, who plays Dwight on The Office (New Trier). Actors John Cusack and Jeremy Piven (Evanston). Famous 80's film director John Hughes (GBN). Harrison Ford (Maine East). Actors Chris O'Donnell, Bill Murray, and William Petersen (Loyola). Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz (New Trier). American Idol winner Lee DeWyze (Prospect). Tron actor Bruce Boxleitner (Prospect).


The Favorite: Homewood-Flossmoor

The Contenders: Bremen, Lincoln-Way East, Andrew

Sleepers: Marian, Lincoln-Way Central, Lincoln-Way North

Best First-Round Game: (4) Andrew vs (5) Marian

The Play-In: (8) Bradley vs (9) Lincoln-Way West

Sectional Final Time: 12:00pm

The X-Factor: The LWN Sectional is loaded, with several teams ready to challenge top-seeded H-F for a state berth in 2011. It probably doesn't help to look too far ahead, since anything could happen in the quarterfinal round with teams like Andrew, Marian, LWC, and LWN posing a serious threat to the top seeds on Wednesday. H-F did beat second-seeded Bremen this year, but that was back in Week 1, so the Red Jaguars will be looking to avenge that loss if the two make it to the sectional finals. The main question remains...can anyone beat Homewood-Flossmoor?

Artistic Alumni: Red Hot Chili Pepper's drummer Chad Smith (H-F). Hip-hop artist Shawnna (H-F). The Mentalist, The Craft, and Prison Break actress Robin Tunney (Sandburg). Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes (Marian).


The Favorite: Lyons

The Contenders: Sandburg, Mother McAuley, Richards

Sleepers: Stagg, Morton

Best First-Round Game: (4) Richards vs (5) Stagg

The Play-Ins: (8) R-B vs (9) Argo; (7) Morgan Park vs (10) Shepard

Sectional Final Time: 12:00pm

The X-Factor: The latest rankings show the top three seeds at #8, #9, and #10. All of their regular season games were closely-contested, so if they can all make it to the semifinals, things should be very interesting over the weekend. Lyons has the benefit of playing at home and would get to wait for whoever emerges from the semifinal round, but they shouldn't overlook a dangerous Richards team if the two meet in the semifinals on Friday afternoon.

Artistic Alumni: Actor David Hasselhoff (Lyons). Irish dancer Michael Flatley (Brother Rice). Step Brothers and Talladega Nights actor John C. Reilly (Brother Rice). REO Speedwagon lead singer Kevin Cronin (Brother Rice). Joe Mantegna, actor and voice of Fat Tony on The Simpsons (Morton). Umphrey McGhee keyboardist Joel Cummins (Lyons).


The Favorite: Naperville Central

The Contenders: Waubonsie Valley, Naperville North, Neuqua Valley

Sleepers: Metea Valley, Hinsdale Central

Best First-Round Game: (4) Neuqua Valley vs (5) Metea Valley

The Play-In: (8) STC North (9) Lockport; (7) Hinsdale South vs (10) STC East

Sectional Final Time: 12:00pm

The X-Factor: Anything can happen in the quarterfinal round of the Neuqua Valley Sectional, where teams like Metea Valley and Hinsdale Central could spring an opening round upset over the favorites. The hosts have the obvious advantage of playing in their own pool if they get to face top-seeded Naperville Central in the semfinals, while individual players like Waubonsie Valley goalie EB Keeve, NN's Audrey Chien, or Neuqua's Tricia Bannister could help carry their teams to the sectional final game. The ultimate question, though, is can anyone beat Naperville Central this year? None of the teams in this sectional have done so in over a year, so dethroning the defending champions could prove to be a difficult task.

Artistic Alumni: Mr. Show actor and comedian Bob Odenkirk (Naperville North). Parvesh Cheena, actor on NBC's Outsourced (Waubonsie Valley). Matt Walsh, actor in films that include Step Brothers, Role Models, The Hangover, Due Date, and Bad Santa (Hinsdale South).


The Favorite: St Ignatius

The Contenders: Lane, Northside, Latin

Sleepers: Young, Payton

Best First-Round Game: (4) Latin vs (5) Young

The Play-In: None

Sectional Final Time: 1:30pm (at University of Chicago)

The X-Factor: Lane has won twenty-five games in a row after two early-season losses. If they can get past Juarez, they will have to beat Northside for the second weekend in a row for a possible chance at a state berth? Also, can St Ignatius continue their late season momentum after winning the Catholic League title on Saturday night?

Artistic Alumni: The Wachowski Brothers, directors of The Matrix and V For Vendetta (Young). The founder of House music, Chip E. (St Ignatius). Andre Braugher, actor on Homicide and the film Glory (St Ignatius). Craig Robinson, who plays Darrell on The Office and was in Hot Tub Time Machine and Pineapple Express (Young).


The Favorite: Mundelein

The Contenders: Stevenson, Wheeling, Vernon Hills

Sleepers: Libertyville, Lake Forest, Deer Park

Best First-Round Game: (4) Hersey vs (5) Deerfield

The Play-In: (8) Buffalo Grove vs (9) Palatine

Sectional Final Time: 12:00pm

The X-Factor: Top-seeded Mundelein has beaten rival Stevenson twice this season, but the last time they met was in Week 6 and a lot has changed since then. If they meet in the final game, will the third time be the charm for the Patriots, or can the top-seed make it three in a row? There are also several dangerous teams in the fold in 2011, as the likes of Wheeling, Vernon Hills, Libertyville, or Lake Forest could make some noise in the quarterfinal round.

Artistic Alumni: Actor Gary Sinise (Highland Park). Actor Vince Vaughn (Lake Forest). Actor Marlon Brando (Libertyville). Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello (Libertyville). Kill Hannah lead singer Mat Devine (Lake Forest).

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