1. Providence Catholic (0-0): Yep, it must be time to play ball. Providence opens with games against Plainfield East and Joliet Central on Monday and Tuesday. Then, ex-Celtic coach Joe Rodeghero and Lemont come calling on Wednesday. Last week: No. 1.
2. Andrew (0-0): Busy first week. T-Bolts open with games against Kankakee and Minooka on Tuesday and Wednesday, then head to the Lenz Field Invite in Jacksonville on Friday and Saturday. Last week: No. 2.
3. Oak Forest (0-0): Let the countdown begin. Bengals and slugger Tim Barry open with a game at Joliet West on Tuesday—where the wind is known to blow during the springtime. But Barry doesn’t need any help to hit out one out of the ballpark. He needs eight homers to tie an IHSA career mark. Last week: No. 3.
4. Lincoln-Way North (1-0): Perhaps they will call him “Big Papa” in Frankfort. And why not? Phil Papaioannou went 1-for-3 and drove in a run in the Phoenix’s season-opening 4-2 victory over Brother Rice on Saturday. Jake Harper pitched four innings and struck out eight. Last week: No. 4.
5. Sandburg (0-0): Eagles’ opener still is a week away (March 28 vs. Oak Lawn). Then, it’s three games in four days, including enticing matchups against Lyons Township and Andrew. So, Sandburg will learn where it stands in a hurry. Last week: No. 5.
Next best (in alphabetical order): Chicago Christian, Homewood-Flossmoor, Lincoln-Way Central, Lincoln-Way East, Richards.
(Covering the following Patch communities: Chicago Heights, Evergreen Park, Frankfort, Homewood-Flossmoor, Mokena, New Lenox, Oak Forest, Oak Lawn, Orland Park, Palos, Tinley Park and the neighboring private schools that draw students from those communities).