Preps Talk

On The Farm: Dashing Towards The Playoffs

On The Farm: Dashing Towards The Playoffs

Thursday, Sept. 2, 2010
Posted: 9:45 p.m.
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com
WHITE SOXWinston-Salem A
The Dash continued their quest to make a clean sweep of the Carolina Leagues Southern Division on Thursday afternoon by topping Lynchburg, 11-0, at BB&T Ballpark. Winston-Salem, which has won seven consecutive games, improved its lead to 1 games over Kinston, which was scheduled to play Thursday night.

A trio of Dash pitchers allowed only five hits. Joe Serafin 3-4 picked up his second consecutive victory and 10th overall this season after scattering three hits over six innings. Ryan Kussmaul and Charlis Burdie each allowed a hit over the final three innings to preserve the victory.

Winston-Salem scored five times in the first inning, providing Serafin and Co. all they would need. Jon Gilmore had the third of three consecutive singles to lead off the inning, a liner to right that brought in the games first run. Nick Ciolli continued his tear since coming up from Kannapolis by rocking a two-run double to right before Luis Sierra added a two-run double of his own.

Ciolli finished 3-for-5 and has hit safely in all five games .478 in which he has played for the Dash. Winston-Salem finished with 15 hits and has outscored the Hillcats, 27-2, through the first three games of the series. ... Joe McEwing was named carolina League manager of the year on Thursday. Eduardo Escobar, Jon Gilmore, Brandon Short and Justin Greene were all named to the post-season All-Star team.
Kannapolis A
Andre Rienzo put quite the exclamation point on what was a marvelous season Thursday night in Kannapolis 8-5 victory at Delmarva.

Rienzo 8-4 improved to 8-0 in his last 11 starts dating back to July 7. He posted a 1.95 ERA over the 64 innings in that 11-game stretch. He allowed two earned runs or less in each of his last 10 starts.

Ryan Lee was 3-for-6 with an RBI while Kevin Dubler had two hits, two walks and drove in three.
In other action, Mike Aubreysthree-run homer in the bottom of the 13th gave Norfolk a 4-1 victoryover Charlotte. Carlos Torres started and allowed a run in seveninnings. Dayan Viciedo was 1-for-5. ... Birmingham blanked visiting Carolina, 8-0. Ricky Brooks scattered four hits and struck out eight over five innings to pick up the victory. Josh Phegley hit his first Double-A homer and drew a pair of walks while Chris Marrero had two hits and two RBIs.
CUBSDaytona A
The Cubs remained in the Florida State League playoff hunt Thursday night but are on the verge of elimination despite defeating Clearwater, 5-4, at Bright House Field. Daytona remains two games behind Tampa, which defeated Brevard County, with three games left in the regular season.

Rebel Ridling had a homer and three RBIs to pace the Cubs while DJ LeMahieu added a homer and two RBIs of his own. Nick Struck allowed three runs over 5 13 innings to pick up his first FSL victory. The Cubs close out the season with three games at Lakeland while Tampa will host Dunedin in a three-game set.
In other action, Tennessee dropped a 6-2 decision at Jacksonville. The Smokies managed only three hits. Rafael Dolis allowed four runs in 5 23 innings to take the loss. Tennessee manager Bill Dancy was named Southern League manager of the year on Thursday.

Kevin Czerwinski can be reached at ktczerwinski@gmail.com.

66 Days to Kickoff: Rich Central

66 Days to Kickoff: Rich Central

NBCSportsChicago.com preps reporter "Edgy" Tim O’Halloran spotlights 100 high school football teams in 100 days. The first 75 team profiles will focus on teams making strides across Chicagoland and elsewhere in the state. Starting July 30, we’ll unveil the @NBCSPrepsTop 25 Power Rankings, leading up to kickoff on Friday, Aug. 24.

School: Rich Central

Head coach: Terrell Alexander

Assistant Coaches: Quincy Woods (OC), Vince Brown (OL), Art Schuldt (ST), Les Hampton (DB), Jerrell Bibbs (DB), Steve Henley (DC), Jeff Spikner (WR), Derrick Goard (LB) William Pass (DL) Chuch Robinson (Skills), Guy Smith (RB) and Shawn Mitchell (Skills)

How they fared in 2017: 8-3 (4-1 Southland Conference). Rich Central made the Class 5A state football playoff field. The Olympians defeated Marion then lost to Dunlap in second round.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Aug. 24 @ Hillcrest

Sept. 1 vs Lemont

Sept. 7 @ Kaneland

Sept. 14 vs Rich South

Sept. 21 @ Crete-Monee

Sept. 28 vs Rich East

Oct. 5 vs Kankakee

Oct. 12 vs Bloom Township

Oct. 19 vs Christ the King

[MORE: 67 Days to Kickoff: Hillcrest]

Biggest storyline: The Olympians have reached the IHSA playoffs three consecutive seasons-- the first such streak in Rich Central history. Can they stay on a winning track and make a deeper playoff run this fall?

Names to watch this season: WR/S Mehki Miller (Miami of Ohio) and RB Sean Tyler (Western Michigan)

Biggest holes to fill: The Olympians will need to replace their entire starting offensive line from a season ago.

EDGY's Early Take: Rich Central and head coach Terrell Alexander has brought winning and stability to the Olympians football program.  The 2018 team has some firepower back in the aforementioned Miller and Tyler; however, the development of their underclassmen group this summer will determine just how far this team will go. The ingredients look to be there for another IHSA state playoff caliber team.

Maurice Jones-Drew ranks Jordan Howard in NFL's top-10 RBs

Maurice Jones-Drew ranks Jordan Howard in NFL's top-10 RBs

Chicago Bears RB Jordan Howard is entering an interesting season. He has just as good a chance of leading the NFL in rushing as he appears to have at losing reps to Tarik Cohen, a player some analysts feel is a better fit for coach Matt Nagy's system.

It's unfortunate that Howard isn't receiving the kind of praise a player like him deserves. He set the Bears' rookie rushing record with 1,313 yards in 2016. In 2017, he became the first running back in franchise history to start a career with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.

Howard's production suggests he should be the feature back in Chicago's ground game. In fact, according to NFL Network's Maurice Jones-Drew, it's a no-brainer. He recently ranked Howard in the NFL's top-10 running backs.

7. Jordan Howard (Bears)

Even with the plethora of offensive weapons thanks to some offseason additions, the Bears' offense still must run through Howard. After rushing for at least 1,100 yards in each of his first two seasons, Howard will be a key piece for first-year head coach Matt Nagy and will have to carry Chicago late in the season if the squad is going to make a playoff push.

Howard will be given every chance to prove he can thrive in Nagy's system early in the season. If he can prove reliable as a receiver, he could match Kareem Hunt's league-leading 1,327 yards last season. He'll have to be effective as a pass-catcher to keep Cohen from threatening for more touches.

Howard deserves this kind of respect for what he's done through two seasons as a pro. He may not be in the NFL's elite class just yet, but if he surpasses 1,200-plus rushing yards and threatens for 10 or more touchdowns again, it'll be an undeniable fact that Howard is a true franchise back.