Two seasons ago, the Hilltoppers wrapped up a miserable 1-8 campaign. But last fall, Chris Watt and company turned it around, and Glenbard West went 6-5 and earned a spot in the Illinois state playoffs.
This season, expectations are higher for the Chicago area school.
"Yeah definitely," the 6-foot-5, 280-pound Watt stated. The five-star offensive guard verbally committed to play college football at Notre Dame back in July. "We have an X on our back. We were picked to win conference, and last year we were picked to lose conference, so we have a lot more to win than to gain."
So far so good, as No. 16 Glenbard West improved to 2-0 by beating Leyden, 23-2 on Friday night.
Just like the Hilltoppers, Watt has an X on his back now that he is an Irish verbal commit.
"In our first game, they played me pretty much straight up, sometimes a man in motion to my side," Watt began. "The last game, they tried cutting me on every play. I'd shake the guy out. If he was trying to cut me, I'd push him down quickly because I knew he wasn't that athletic and go out to the second level. I think I had over 15 pancakes."
After Friday night's win, Watt got up early Saturday morning and made the drive in for Notre Dame's season-opening 21-13 victory over San Diego St. He got a chance to hang out with fellow commits Tyler Eifert and Zach Martin.
Watt and Martin, an offensive tackle from Indianapolis, have become fast friends.
"We text each other every other week or once a week to see how each of us are doing.
"The game was fun. (Notre Dame), they're going to be alright."
Because of his own high school football schedule, Watt won't be able to make it back to South Bend until the Irish host Stanford in October.
E.J. Banks: The 6-foot, 180-pound Banks was 14-of-25 passing for 164 yards and two touchdowns, but was also picked off twice, in a 20-12 upset loss to Highlands. The Montour High (1-1) star out of McKees Rocks, Pa., only rushed for 18 yards on 26 carries, after running for 117 yards and four touchdowns in the team's season-opening win last weekend.
Alex Bullard: The 6-foot-5, 280-pound Bullard helped Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy (2-1) rush for 250 yards in a 17-3 victory over McCallie. The offensive guard will be in South Bend this coming weekend, as the Irish host Michigan.
Tyler Eifert: Eifert and his Fort Wayne (Ind.) Bishop Dwenger teammates improved to 3-0 with a 29-19 win over North Side.
Dan Fox: Fox and the St. Ignatius (2-1) defense pitched a shutout, as the Cleveland area school went out of state to hammer Canisius (Buffalo, N.Y.), 40-0.
Zach Martin: Bishop Chatard, ranked No. 1 in Indiana's class 3-A poll, improved to 3-0 with a 16-8 win over Roncalli.
The 6-foot-5, 270-pound Martin and the rest of the Chatard offensive line paved the way for running back Ari Pappas to rush for 221 yards and both touchdowns.
Marlon Pollard: In his first game in a Cajon uniform, Pollard caught an 80-yard touchdown pass in a 26-13 season-opening victory over El Toro.
Pollard played his junior season at Valencia High before transferring to the San Bernardino, Calif. School following a family move.
Nicholas Taush: Taush made two extra points in Dallas (Texas) Jesuit's (1-1) 39-14 loss to Coppell.
Ben Turk: The future Irish punter wasn't needed much in St. Thomas Aquinas' 49-3 victory over Cardinal Gibbons. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., product averaged 42 yards on two punts, as the Raiders improved to 2-0.
Cierre Wood: The 6-foot, 196-pound Wood ran for 144 yards and three touchdowns, as Santa Clara opened the season with a 29-7 win over Mary Star of the Sea.
Wood, who didn't play much in the second half, and his teammates have won 10 games in a row dating back to last year's Mid-Valley Division Championship.
Wood got loose for scoring runs of 59 and 30 yards, as the Oxnard, Calif. school is making the move up to the more powerful Tri-Valley league this fall.