Preps Talk

NBC Chicago Nonstop Digital 5.2 and CSN to carry live coverage of IHSA Football Championships

NBC Chicago Nonstop Digital 5.2 and CSN to carry live coverage of IHSA Football Championships

NBC CHICAGO NONSTOP DIGITAL 5.2 AND COMCAST SPORTSNET TO CARRY LIVE COVERAGE OF IHSA FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS

Networks to jointly televise this weekends Class 1A-8A IHSA Football Championships LIVE in the Chicago market only; Games will also be televised everywhere on DIRECTV & DISH Network

Viewers outside the Chicago market are encouraged to visit IHSA.com for exact broadcast networkchannel location information in their area

CSNChicago.com to air highlight packages of all games throughout the weekend;

IHSA.tv to live stream every game
Chicago, IL (November 21, 2011) -- NBC Chicago Nonstop Digital 5.2 (NBC5s 247 local news and entertainment channel) and Comcast SportsNet (the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox) have jointly announced the two networks will be airing LIVE coverage of the 2011 Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Football Championships on Friday, November 25 & Saturday, November 26 from Memorial Stadium in Champaign, IL. Chicago preps fans can look forward to every action-packed championship battle starting with the Class 1A contest on Friday morning at 10:00 AM, leading up Class 8As highly-anticipated match-up between Bolingbrook and Loyola Academy on Saturday night at 7:00 PM. The 2011 IHSA Football Championships will be produced by the IHSA & When We Were Young Productions.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Both NBC Chicago Nonstop Digital 5.2 and Comcast SportsNets televised coverage of all eight IHSA Football Championship games can only be seen in the Chicago market. Please note the following providerchannel location for both stations in the Chicago area:

NBC CHICAGO NONSTOP DIGITAL 5.2 COMCAST SPORTSNET

Digital Channel 5.2 Comcast Cable37 & 200

Comcast Cable341 AT&T U-verse741 & 1741

RCN50 RCN370 & 1685

Wide Open West130 Wide Open West38, 65 & 220

In addition, all eight IHSA championship match-ups will also be televised everywhere on DIRECTV channel 665 & DISH Network channel 429. Viewers outside the Chicago are urged to consult their on-screen channel guide to verify the channel broadcasting the game in their area or to simply visit IHSA.org for complete broadcast stationchannel location information throughout the state.

IHSA.tv will also be providing a live stream of every game and CSNChicago.com will be featuring highlight packages from all games throughout the weekend. Plus Comcast SportsNet viewers can look forward to special IHSA Championship editions of High School Lites on both Friday, Nov. 25 & Saturday, Nov. 26 live at 10:30 PM for a complete rundown of all games, including expanded highlights and playercoaches interviews.

The following schedule details NBC Chicago Nonstop Digital 5.2 and Comcast SportsNets coverage of the 2011 IHSA Football Championships airing this Thanksgiving weekend (play-by-playcolor analyst announce teams are included below):

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 25

10:00 AM Class 1A: TUSCOLA vs. DAKOTA (Lee HallJack McInerney)

1:00 PM Class 2A: CASEY-WESTFIELD (Casey) vs. MORRISON (Lee HallJack McInerney)

4:00 PM Class 3A: MT. CARMEL (Chicago) vs. AURORA CHRISTIAN (Dave BernhardDanan Hughes)

7:00 PM Class 4A: ROCHESTER vs. RICHMOND-BURTON (Richmond) (Dave BernhardDanan Hughes)

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 26

10:00 AM Class 5A: JOLIET CATHOLIC vs. MONTINI (Lombard) (Lee HallDanan Hughes)

1:00 PM Class 6A: RICHWOODS (Peoria) vs. PRAIRIE RIDGE (Crystal Lake) (Lee HallDanan Hughes)

4:00 PM Class 7A: WHEATON-WARRENVILLE SOUTH (Wheaton) vs. BOYLAN CATHOLIC (Rockford) (Dave BernhardJack McInerney)

7:00 PM Class 8A: BOLINGBROOK vs. LOYOLA ACADEMY (Wilmette) (Dave BernhardJack McInerney)

High School Lites Week 9 football roundup

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High School Lites Week 9 football roundup

High School Lites featured plenty of great action on Friday night as NBC Sports Chicago had highlights of many of the area's top matchups. Some playoff dreams came to fruition while others crashed and burned. 

Watch tomorrow as the IHSA playoff brackets are revealed tomorrow on NBC Sports Chicago+ at 8 p.m. Be sure to also follow us on Twitter @NBCSPreps for all of the latest IHSA football scores and highlights. 

DRIVE: Prairie Ridge: Episode 10

Wintrust Athlete of the Week: Back of the Yards QB Jeremiah Harris

St. Xavier Team of the Week: De La Salle Meteors

Friday's Top 25 Games

No. 1 Lincoln-Way East 18, No. 19 Bolingbrook 14 

No. 2 Prairie Ridge 55, Dundee-Crown 14

No. 3 Maine South 56, Niles West 9

No. 4 Marist 42, Joliet Catholic 14

No. 5 Lake Zurich , Mundelein

No. 6 Phillips 53, Clark 0

No. 9 Homewood-Flossmoor 50, Sandburg 14

No. 10 Barrington 40, Conant 19

No. 11 Huntley 45, McHenry 7

No. 12 Naperville Central 35, Lake Park 21

No. 13 Hinsdale Central 42, Hinsdale South 14

No. 24 St. Charles North 35, No. 14 Batavia 28

No. 16 Wheaton North 20, Waubonsie Valley 10

No. 17 Crete-Monee 52, Cahokia 8

No. 18 St. Rita 47, Marmion 14

No. 20 Lyons 31, Oak Park-River Forest 14

No. 21 Nazareth 48, Marian Catholic 7

No. 22 Oswego 30, Plainfield Central 0

Mount Carmel 35, No. 23 Providence 34

Other Highlights

Tinley Park 29, Evergreen Park 0

T.F. South 21, Oak Forest 14

Glenbard North 24, Neuqua Valley 14

St. Edward 29, Wheaton Academy 28

Marian Central Catholic 44, St. Patrick 21

Saturday's Top 25 Games

No. 7 Loyola vs. Brother Rice

No. 8 Glenbard West vs. Proviso West

Cubs will be open for business as Theo Epstein weighs trading hitters for pitching

Cubs will be open for business as Theo Epstein weighs trading hitters for pitching

Theo Epstein answered questions from the Chicago media for more than an hour on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field, but the most interesting part might have been what the Cubs president didn’t say, something along the lines of: These are our guys.

Or at least Epstein didn’t give the same full-throated endorsement of The Core that he delivered after engineering the Jose Quintana trade with the White Sox this summer, getting an All-Star pitcher without giving up anyone from the big-league roster.

Whether it’s the way the Los Angeles Dodgers dominated the Cubs throughout the National League Championship Series that ended Thursday night, the inconsistencies and frustrations during a 43-45 first half of this season or the reality of losing 40 percent of the rotation, you walked out of that stadium club press conference thinking big changes could be coming.

“We’re going to pursue all avenues to get better,” Epstein said.

The Cubs already understood this would be a challenging time to dramatically reshape their pitching staff, with Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta, Big Boy John Lackey and All-Star closer Wade Davis about to become free agents.

The Cubs don’t really have many (any?) high-end, headliner prospects left to trade after borrowing heavily from their farm system to acquire Aroldis Chapman for last year’s World Series run and get Quintana to help solidify the rotation through 2020.

All of Major League Baseball is looking beyond this winter and preparing for the monster free-agent class that will hit the open market after the 2018 season.

Meaning it’s time for the Cubs to make some difficult decisions about all these young hitters they’ve collected.

“It may or may not be,” Epstein said. “Those choices, they’re not unilateral things. You can’t sit there and decide: ‘Hey, this guy, we’re moving him.’ Because you don’t know what the return might be. You don’t know how the different moving parts might fit together.

“I think going into the offseason prepared to make some tough choices and execute on them — and keeping an open mind to anything — is appropriate under the circumstances where we have some obvious deficits and we have some real surplus with talented players who are really desirable.”

Let’s assume All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo, MVP third baseman Kris Bryant and catcher Willson Contreras are essentially untouchable.

The Cubs used the ninth overall pick in the 2015 draft on Ian Happ with the explicit idea that the college hitter should be on a fast track and could be flipped for pitching later: Is it time to sell high after the rookie just put up 24 homers and an .842 OPS?

During an exit meeting with Albert Almora Jr., Epstein said he couldn’t promise an everyday job in 2018, though the expectation would be more responsibilities: Think anyone else would be interested in a potential Gold Glove center fielder who’s already playoff-tested?

Do you want Addison Russell or Javier Baez as your everyday shortstop for the next four years? Is there an American League team willing to bet big that Kyle Schwarber will crush 40 homers a year as a designated hitter?

The Cubs have to ask themselves those types of questions, which could mean getting outside of their comfort zone and taking on some riskier pitching investments and sapping the strength that has turned them into the dominant force in the NL Central.

“We’ve really benefitted from having two or three extra — and ‘extra’ in quotes because they’re not really extra — starting-caliber players on the roster,” Epstein said. “That helped us win 97 games in ’15, 103 last year, 92 this year. That’s as big a part of the club as anything.

“Having an Addison Russell go down and being able to move Javy Baez to shortstop — that’s an obvious example of it. But those things show up every week for us. There’s a day where someone can’t make the lineup and someone else slides in and you’re still starting eight quality guys. That’s huge.

“Sooner or later, you reach a point where you have to strongly consider sacrificing some of that depth to address needs elsewhere on the club. There’s no sort of deadline to do that. But I think we’re entering the phase where we have to be really open-minded to that if it makes the overall outlook of the team and organization better.”

Translation: The Cubs are open for business. Make your best offer.