The Crete-Monee football team started off 0-2 after losses to T.F. South and Lincoln-Way West.
Both are 4-0. Crete beat King and Rich East and is 2-2 and 1-0 in the Southland Athletic Conference as it hosts Kankakee at 6 p.m. Friday.
"Some of our seniors are stepping up, and I mean by that, last year they were in a different role, and we have some inexperience out there at different positions," Verde said. "We know we have to get better each week."
Kankakee is 1-3 and 0-1 in the SAC. It lost to Rich South last week, but Verde knows they will be ready.
"They had some injuries, but we know they are going to be tough," Verde said. "We have to come out and play hard and really just go about our business."
Back to business | Thornridge fell to Lincoln-Way West, and Falcons coach Mike Morrissey said his team needs to get re-focused. There was concern with the rumor the school would become a freshman academy next season, but that was no excuse.
"We have to play football," the first-year coach said. "Saturday, we have to come out and execute and get things done against a tough Bradley-Bourbonnais team."
The Boilermakers handed then Times No. 1 Thornton its first loss last week.
Thornton (3-1, 1-1 SouthWest Suburban Red) hosts unbeaten Lincoln-Way North at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Chance for redemption | As part of its season-ending five-game losing streak in 2009, T.F. North got blanked 28-0 by Hillcrest. The Meteors can redeem themselves Friday when they meet up with a Hawks squad that is vastly different than last year's eight-win model.
Hillcrest has yet to taste victory in 2010, but North coach Artie Rogers is more concerned about what's going on with his guys. While the Meteors did beat Bremen 26-20 last Friday, the performance was by no means flawless, nor were the practice sessions leading up to the contest.
"Sometimes we don't go quite as hard or we lose focus for a while," Rogers said. "We've got to fight through that. This is gut-check time."
South Suburban Blue meet | T.F. North and T.F. South will compete Monday in the South Suburban Blue meet at Broken Arrow.
Boys cross country
Just having fun | Annual success in cross country is almost a given at Illiana Christian. The Vikings' latest pace setter is junior Matt Hall, whose most recent win came at last Saturday's Illiana Invitational.
So what's the key to the Vikings' success? According to coach Jim Piaskowy, it's something very simple.
"Keeping it fun," he said. "That's it. We play a lot, (and) we don't hurt 'em.
"We don't have fun, because we win; we win, because we have fun. We don't go to any races trying to win, but we have plans and strategies, and we have fun doing it. If we have the lowest score, that's great."
News and notes
Bloom will dedicate the floor of M'Cann Gym in honor of former boys basketball coach, the late Wes Mason. The dedication is at noon Saturday. It's part of the school's 110th anniversary.
Wes Mason coached the Trojans from 1967-1982 and won 13 regionals, five sectionals and two supersectionals.
His 1973-74 and 1974-75 teams finished second in the Class AA tournament, and he was 317-122.
Times sportswriter Ken Karrson contributed to this report.