59 Days to Kickoff: Bishop McNamara


NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting Aug. 5, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 30.

School: Bishop McNamara

Head coach: Rich Zinanni

Assistant coaches: Jack Roney, Al Rood, Kurt Belisle, Mike Vickery, JJ Hollis, Mike Yarborough, Curt Crossley, Chris Lamore, Kurt Quick and Brent Dolliger

How they fared in 2018: 12-2 (4-1 Metro Suburban Blue Conference). Bishop McNamara made the Class 4A state playoff field. They defeated Richland County, Murphysboro, Effingham and Rochester. They lost to IC Catholic Prep in the state title game.
2019 regular season schedule:

Aug. 30 vs Bloom 
Sept. 6 @ Coal City 
Sept. 13 @ Riverside Brookfield 
Sept. 20 vs IC Catholic Prep
Sept. 27 vs St. Francis 
Oct. 3 @ Wheaton Academy 
Oct. 11 vs Aurora Christian 
Oct. 18 @ Aurora Central Catholic
Oct. 25 vs Elmwood Park

[MORE: 86 Days to Kickoff - St. Francis]

Biggest storyline: Bishop Mac is one of the most consistent programs in the state as far as wins and postseason appearances are concerned. And they might have been an undefeated state champion if IC Catholic didn't come calling (Mac lost to them twice last year). Can the Fighting Irish get back into the state title game and win it all in 2019?

Names to watch this season: QB Tyler Hiller (Sr.) and OL Isaac Ruder (Sr.)

Biggest holes to fill: The Fighting Irish will welcome back 12 returning starters from a season ago but the overall numbers and depth can always be better.

EDGY's Early Take: Bishop McNamara's Hall of Fame head coach Rich Zinanni will enter his 45th season at the helm (353-140 record, five state titles) with a lot to look forward to in 2019. Senior QB Tyler Hiller is a multi-year starter and is surrounded by plenty of speed and skills. If the Fighting Irish can replace a handful of graduated linemen from a season ago this team can undoubtedly challenge for another state title this fall. 

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