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.

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 31st homer in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 31st homer in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

Sosa's 18th homer of June and 31st of the season came off the Tigers in the Cubs' brief 2-game Interleague series in Detroit. 

Sosa connected in the first inning off Tigers starter Seth Greisinger, going back-to-back with Mickey Morandini. 

The Cubs wound up getting out to a 5-0 start in the game but still lost 7-6 on a Gabe Alvarez single in the bottom of the 11th.

The aforementioned Morandini homer was only the 3rd of the season for the Cubs second baseman. He finished with 8 homers on the year and 224 total bases on 172 hits in what was a very good offensive season. Yet it paled in comparison to Sosa, who had nearly 200 more total bases (416) and a slugging percentage nearly 200 points above Morandini's (.647 to .471), a testament to how truly incredible Sosa's season was.

Fun fact: Tony Clark was the Tigers' cleanup hitter that day. Clark is now the head of the MLB Players Union.

Fun fact No. 2: Paul Bako was the Detroit catcher in the game. He later became the Cubs backup catcher in 2003 and 2004, when he posted a .611 OPS in 119 games over the two years.

Mitch Trubisky jersey sales trending in right direction

Mitch Trubisky jersey sales trending in right direction

Positive press about the Chicago Bears' offseason is having a strong impact on the jersey sales for the team's highest-profile player, Mitch Trubisky.

According to Dick's Sporting Goods, Trubisky's No. 10 is the fifth-most popular jersey among offensive players over the last 30 days. He's No. 6 among all players, regardless of position.

The Bears' offseason has been full of superlatives since their aggressive approach to free agency. The signings of Allen Robinson, Trey Burton and Taylor Gabriel put the spotlight on Trubisky and the potentially surging passing game. The second-round selection of Anthony Miller and word of Kevin White's offseason emergence has turned positive momentum into higher-than-anticipated expectations for Trubisky this season.

For Chicago to have any chance at meeting those expectations, Trubisky, who's entering his first full season as a starter with a new head coach and offensive system, has to thrive. Fans must be confident that he will, considering the investment they're making in his jersey.

Trubisky ended his rookie season with four wins in 12 starts, throwing for 2,193 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He completed 59.4 percent of his passes. He should have a much more productive season in 2018 with his new arsenal of skill players and an innovative coaching staff, led by coach Matt Nagy and offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich.