Cubs

CSN kicks off its extensive on-air/online coverage of the 2015-16 Illinois High School season

CSN kicks off its extensive on-air/online coverage of the 2015-16 Illinois High School season

Season premiere of “High School Lites” (hosted by Kelly Crull) to debut Friday, August 28 at 11:00 PM CT

Homewood-Flossmoor -- last season’s Class 8A runner-up & pre-season ranked #1 in the state this year by CSN’s Preps Power Rankings -- to be the featured team this season on “DRIVE” 

“Edgy” Tim O’Halloran and Scott Phillips return for their third season as CSN’s local preps sports experts

Fans are urged to follow the brand new @CSNDrive Twitter handle for the latest Homewood-Flossmoor scores, analysis and photos, along with 24/7 state-wide IHSA updates via @CSNPreps 

CSN to once again televise 59 IHSA Championship events this scholastic year (over 160 hours total),

including LIVE coverage of all eight Football Championships & four additional playoff games, plus LIVE coverage of 32 Boys/Girls Basketball Championship games

Chicago, IL (August 12, 2015) – Comcast SportsNet, the television home of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Championships, is ready to bring its viewers another action-packed season of expert local preps sports coverage, featuring many of the very best student-athletes in the nation.

Now in its second year of its long-term partnership with the IHSA, Comcast SportsNet will once again carry a total of 59 IHSA Championship events this scholastic year (over 160 hours total), including LIVE coverage of all eight Football Championships & four additional playoff games, plus LIVE coverage of 32 Boys/Girls Basketball Championship games, which includes every semifinal, consolation and championship match-up, plus - 15 additional IHSA Championship events, including boys/girls soccer, girls volleyball, individual wrestling & competitive dance/cheer competitions among others. Note the following highlights/details for the upcoming IHSA preps season on Comcast SportsNet & CSNChicago.com:

HIGH SCHOOL LITES (Season premiere – Friday, August 28 at 11:00 PM CT)

Hosted by SportsNet Central anchor/reporter Kelly Crull, High School Lites will be THE weekly destination for all the thrilling highlights from the area’s biggest preps match-ups, along with post-game interviews featuring the area’s top coaches and players. In addition to in-depth video highlights and interviews, High School Lites will present its “Athlete of the Week” and “Team of the Week” features, a preview of key Saturday match-ups, along with a special flashback segment detailing great moments from games of the past.

Beginning this season, High School Lites will offer fans the chance to get interactive with the show by sending in highlights from local preps games they’re attending. Fans are encouraged to shoot video “horizontally” with their smart phones and then tweet out the video utilizing the Twitter hashtag #CSNWhatAGame. In addition, fans will also be given the opportunity to request the game that they wish to be featured on High School Lites by utilizing the Twitter hashtag #CSNPreps. The game that receives the most fan requests each week will be chosen as one of the games to be featured on the show.

NOTES: Every airing of High School Lites will also be streamed live on CSNChicago.com…the show shifts to Saturday nights in November to accommodate IHSA Football playoff match-ups…beginning Friday, December 4, High School Lites shifts its key focus to preps basketball.

DRIVE

In every weekly airing of High School Lites this season, preps fans can look forward to a brand new season of its acclaimed, behind-the-scenes, unprecedented all-access feature series entitled, “DRIVE.” This fall’s featured team will be the Homewood-Flossmoor Vikings, who were last year’s Class 8A runner-up and enter this season ranked #1 in the Chicago area by CSN’s Preps Power Rankings. H-F head coach Craig Buzea’s team features twin superstar running backs in brothers Deante and Devonte Harley-Hampton, along with standout wide receiver Kendrick Pryor, guard Desmond Bland, and quarterback Bryce Gray. NOTE: Every episode of “DRIVE” will be made available for viewing on CSNChicago.com immediately following its on-air debut.

“EDGY” TIM O’HALLORAN & SCOTT PHILLIPS

Veteran Illinois high school football sports writer/recruiting authority “Edgy” Tim O’Halloran (@EDGYTIM) returns for his third season as a contributing reporter for High School Lites. O’Halloran’s CSN Preps Power Rankings (@CSNPreps), players & coaches profiles and recruiting updates can be found at CSNChicago.com.  In addition, O’Halloran’s content is also featured on CSNChicago.com’s partner site, Rivals.com. Scott Phillips (@phillipshoops) also returns for his third season as a contributing reporter for High School Lites and will take center stage this upcoming basketball season. Phillips is also a key contributor to NBCSports.com’s “CollegeBasketballTalk.”

IHSA FOOTBALL PLAYOFF PAIRING SHOW

For the fourth-straight year, Comcast SportsNet and the IHSA will present the IHSA Football Playoff Pairing Show LIVE on Saturday, October 24 at 8:00 PM. Brackets will be unveiled as 256 Illinois teams, from 1A to 8A, will find out their first round opponent. This two-hour show will also be streamed live on CSNChicago.com and IHSA.tv.

IHSA FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS

For the fifth-straight year, Comcast SportsNet will carry the IHSA Football State Championships during Thanksgiving weekend LIVE from Huskie Stadium in DeKalb, IL. The Class 1A-4A games will take place on Friday, November 27, while the Class 5A-8A contests will be held on Saturday, November 28. Exact times/channel locations will be announced in early November.

CSNCHICAGO.COM

Fans are urged to visit CSNChicago.com’s dedicated Preps section (csnchicago.com/preps) for the latest Preps Power Rankings, Athlete/Team of the Week video features, the latest IHSA news, game highlights and recaps, special mid-week segments previewing the upcoming week’s action from the network’s “AT&T U-verse Lounge,” featuring detailed analytical breakdowns from “Edgy Tim” O’Halloran and Scott Phillips, and much more.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Beginning this season, social media fans can follow the network’s new @CSNDrive Twitter handle for the latest Homewood-Flossmoor scores, highlights, players & coaches interviews, and analysis. CSNChicago.com digital reporters Scott Changnon (@ScottyChag) and Mark Strotman (@markstrot) will provide up-to-the-minute Vikings news all season long, plus – H-F fans can follow the school’s football Twitter handle (@HF_Football), along with the school’s dedicated football website (hffootball.com). In addition, @CSNPreps will provide fans with the latest statewide updates throughout the scholastic year, which will include Power Rankings, scores, analysis, and viewer/reader Twitter photos from game day.

When Kyle Schwarber met new Cubs hitting coach Chili Davis: 'I don't suck'

When Kyle Schwarber met new Cubs hitting coach Chili Davis: 'I don't suck'

MESA, Ariz. — The first thing Kyle Schwarber told his new hitting coach?

"His first statement to me is, 'I don't suck.'"

The Cubs hired Chili Davis as the team's new hitting coach for myriad reasons. He's got a great track record from years working with the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics, and that .274/.360/.451 slash line during an illustrious 19-year big league career certainly helps.

But Davis' main immediate task in his new gig will be to help several of the Cubs' key hitters prove Schwarber's assessment correct.

Schwarber had a much-publicized tough go of things in 2017. After he set the world on fire with his rookie campaign in 2015 and returned from what was supposed to be a season-ending knee injury in time to be one of the Cubs' World Series heroes in 2016, he hit just .211 last season, getting sent down to Triple-A Iowa for a stint in the middle of the season. Schwarber still hit 30 home runs, but his 2017 campaign was seen as a failure by a lot of people.

Enter Davis, who now counts Schwarber as one of his most important pupils.

"He's a worker," Davis said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago. "Schwarbs, he knows he's a good player. His first statement to me is, 'I don't suck.' He said last year was just a fluke year. He said, 'I've never failed in my life.' And he said, 'I'm going to get back to the player that I was.'

"I think he may have — and this is my thought, he didn't say this to me — I think it may have been, he had a big World Series, hit some homers, and I think he tried to focus on being more of a home run type guy as opposed to being a good hitter.

"His focus has changed. I had nothing to do with that, he came in here with that focus that he wants to be a good hitter first and let whatever happens happen. And he's worked on that. The main thing with Kyle is going to be is just maintaining focus."

The physically transformed Schwarber mentioned last week that he's established a good relationship with Davis, in no small part because Schwarber can relate to what Davis went through when he was a player. And to hear Davis tell it, it sounds like he's describing Schwarber's first three years as a big leaguer to a T.

"Telling him my story was important because it was similar," Davis said. "I was a catcher, got to big league camp, and I was thrown in the outfield. And I hated the outfield. ... But I took on the challenge. I made the adjustment, I had a nice first year, then my second year I started spiraling. I started spiraling down, and I remember one of my coaches saying, 'I'm going to have to throw you a parachute just so you can land softly.' I got sent down to Triple-A at the All-Star break for 15 days.

"When I got sent down, I was disappointed, but I was also really happy. I needed to get away from the big league pressure and kind of find myself again. I went home and refocused myself and thought to myself, 'I'm going to come back as Chili.' Because I tried to change, something changed about me the second year.

"And when I did that, I came back the next year and someone tried to change me and I said, 'Pump the breaks a little bit, let me fail my way, and then I'll come to you if I'm failing.' And they understood that, and I had a nice year, a big year and my career took off.

"I'm telling him, 'Hey, let last year go. It happened, it's in the past. Keep working hard, maintain your focus, and you'll be fine.'"

Getting Schwarber right isn't Davis' only task, of course. Despite the Cubs being one of the highest-scoring teams in baseball last season, they had plenty of guys go through subpar seasons. Jason Heyward still has yet to find his offensive game since coming to Chicago as a high-priced free agent. Ben Zobrist was bothered by a wrist injury last season and put up the worst numbers of his career. Addison Russell had trouble staying healthy, as well, and saw his numbers dip from what they were during the World Series season in 2016.

So Davis has plenty of charges to work with. But he likes what he's seen so far.

"They work," Davis said. "They come here to work. I had a group of guys in Boston that were the same last year, and it makes my job easier. They want to get better, they come out every day, they show up, they want to work. They're excited, and I'm excited to be around them.

And what have the Cubs found out about Davis? Just about everyone answers that question the same way: He likes to talk.

"I'm not going to stop talking," he said. "If I stop talking, something's wrong."

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

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USA TODAY

Podcast: Which Blackhawks could be on the move before trade deadline?

On the latest Blackhawks Talk Podcast, Adam Burish and Pat Boyle discuss which Blackhawks could be on the trading block and what players are building blocks for the Hawks future.

Burish also shares a couple memorable trade deadline days and his “near” return to the Blackhawks in 2012. Plus, he makes his bold trade deadline prediction for the Hawks.

Listen to the full Blackhawks Talk Podcast right here: