On The Fence
Bobby Leach "The Rooster" | 7/15/2015, 9:45 a.m.
With a little more than a month away from the start of another fantastic prep football season, the IHSA released an updated version of the top two hundred teams ranked in terms of total wins over the school's history. East St. Louis was ranked at the top of the list boasting 744 wins in their history which is very impressive regardless of how the rankings are determined. In addition to their impressive win total, their win percentage was tops in the state as well standing at 0.78314%.
Interestingly enough, no local team made the top ten and only three of our area schools made the top two hundred list at all, #11 Joliet Catholic with 642 wins, #146 Lockport with 402 wins and #172 Providence Catholic with 371 wins. While the list is a great reference point for football fans, the list changes when applying the method of ranking to win percentage.
For instance, Providence Catholic is ranked #172 which is the least of area schools on the list in win totals but their historic win percentage of 0.71032% pushes their rank to sixth all-time, surpassing Joliet Catholic whose all-time win percentage is 0.68143%. Lockport drops a few ranks as well when considering their all-time win percentage of 0.51677%.
There are newer schools that have no chance to make this list anytime soon but should be mentioned like Lincoln Way West who has only been active in the sport for six seasons but boasts an all-time win percentage of 0.677% and even Bolingbrook High School with an all-time win percentage of 0.680 but only showing 283 wins over a 40-year span.
All told, lists like the one published by the IHSA don't always tell the whole story for fans and while our area teams may not be dominate on this top two hundred win list, it doesn't mean that the area isn't among the very best in the state especially in the last 20 years or so. Like the old saying goes; "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". No matter how you stack it, the Joliet area is well represented with state championships and overall win percentages and that isn't going to change anytime soon. This season will once again showcase my belief that this is the toughest area to compete in hands down.