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Comcast SportsNet Chicago Brings Fans 2012 IHSA Football State Championships in HD

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For the second straight year, Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox, will be airing live coverage of the 2012 Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Football State Championships on Friday, November 23 & Saturday, November 24 from Memorial Stadium in Champaign.

Illinois prep football fans can look forward to seeing every action-packed championship battle starting with the Class 1A contest on Friday morning at 10:00 a.m., leading up to Class 8A on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m.. Plus, for the first time in IHSA history, every championship game will be telecast in High Definition (HD).

Interested viewers are urged to visit the IHSA’s channel finder or CSNChicago.com’s special Comcast SportsNet Channel Location section.

IHSA TV veterans Dave Bernhard and Lee Hall return in 2012 to bring viewers play-by-play, while three newcomers with Illinois ties join another longtime IHSA TV contributor in Jack McInerney as analysts on the broadcasts. Glenbard West graduate/CSNChicago.com contributor Matt Bowen will provide analysis for the 7A and 8A title games, while the pride of Canton, James “Boomer” Grigsby, will be the analyst for the 3A and 4A games. Former University of Illinois gridiron standout Michael Young will provide insight on the 1A and 2A games, while McInerney serves as the analyst for the 5A and 6A games. Matt Rodewald joins the IHSA football broadcast team for the first time after serving as the studio host and sideline reporter for the IHSA’s March Madness tournament telecasts the past two years and will serve in the same role in Champaign. In addition, CSN Chicago anchor/reporter Susannah Collins and FS Wisconsin social media reporter Sophia Minnaert will rotate as sideline reporters throughout the weekend.

CSNChicago.com & IHSA.tv will also be providing fans with a live stream of every IHSA Football championship post-game press conference. In addition, CSNChicago.com will have a special IHSA page set up that will feature highlight packages from all games throughout the weekend, along with week-long coverage & scouting reports from veteran Illinois preps sports writer Taylor Bell and a Twitter module aggregating all #IHSA tweets. Plus, Comcast SportsNet viewers can look forward to a special “IHSA Championship” edition of High School Lites on Saturday, November 24, live at 10:30 PM for a complete rundown of all games, including expanded highlights and player/coaches interviews.

Bios on each broadcaster are located below:

DAVE BERNHARD – CLASS 3A, 4A, 7A, 8A PLAY-BY-PLAY
Dave Bernhard has become the face of the IHSA TV Network over the course of the past decade, working the football playoff pairings show, football state finals, boys & girls basketball and baseball state final broadcasts. The Beecher High School grad has covered high school athletics in Illinois on television, the radio and in print for nearly 30 years. Dave was inducted into the Media Wing of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2009 and has earned two local Emmy and two Cable Ace award nominations for his work on IHSA events.

MATT BOWEN – CLASS 7A & 8A ANALYST
Matt Bowen starred at quarterback during his prep career at Glenbard West, before switching to safety after he arrived in Iowa City to play for the University of Iowa. He earned All-Big Ten and All-American honors as a Hawkeye and was drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft. His NFL career spanned seven seasons and included stops with the Green Bay Packers, Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills. One of the best in business at talking X’s and O’s, Matt is a staff writer for the National Football Post and is a regular contributor to the Chicago Tribune and WSCR 670 The Score, where he also hosts Chicago Bears pre-game radio.

SUSANNAH COLLINS - 3A, 4A, 7A 8A HOST, SIDELINE REPORTER
Susannah Collins officially kicked off the 2012 IHSA Football postseason as the host of the Playoff Pairings reveal show and now the Comcast Sports Net Chicago anchor/reporter will join the IHSA state final broadcasts for the first time. The Downers Grove North High School graduate served as a correspondent for Showtime Sports’ weekly programs Inside the NFL and Inside NASCAR. In addition, she has also been a contributor for the NFL Network, NBC, CBS and WCBS in New York.

JAMES “BOOMER” GRIGSBY – CLASS 3A & 4A ANALYST
Boomer Grigsby led Canton High School to the quarterfinals of the IHSA playoffs as a junior and senior in 1998 and 1999, respectively, and then went on to an All-American career as a linebacker at Illinois State University. He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2005 NFL Draft and would also spend time with the Miami Dolphins and Houston Texans during his NFL career. The Canton High School and ISU Hall of Famer has served as the color analyst on ISU football television broadcasts the past two seasons and previously hosted his own weekly radio show during his time with the Chiefs.

LEE HALL – CLASS 1A, 2A, 5A, 6A PLAY-BY-PLAY
Lee Hall first joined the IHSA TV network in 1994 and has since gone on to cover IHSA state final events in the sports of basketball, football, baseball, softball, volleyball and track & field. Lee has served as the Sports Director at WEEK in Peoria since 1988 and has been a fixture on the Peoria Sports scene, calling television play-by-play for Bradley University Men’s Basketball, Peoria Rivermen hockey, Peoria Chiefs minor league baseball and Peoria Pirates arena football. Lee is an alum of Academy of Our Lady/Spalding Institute High School in Peoria, where the IBCA Hall of Famer was a co-captain on his high school baseball team with current New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi.

JACK MCINERNEY – CLASS 5A & 6A ANALYST
Jack McInerney has been a color analyst on IHSA football state championship contests for over 20 years and also works as an analyst on several high school football broadcasts in Chicagoland during the regular-season and playoffs. Jack coached high school football in Illinois for 36 years, making stops at Carbondale High School, Immaculate Conception, Westmont High School, Lyons Township, Oak Park High School and Downers Grove South High School along the way. The Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Famer was a part of the Downers Grove South coaching staff in 2001 when the Mustangs claimed the IHSA Class 8A title. The Fenwick graduate played college football at Southern Illinois University and later started the first 7-on-7 passing league in the state in 1984.

SOPHIA MINNAERT - 1A, 2A, 5A 6A HOST, SIDELINE REPORTER
Sophia Minnaert has served as a sideline reporter for the telecasts of high school football state championship games in three different states in the Midwest and will be part of the IHSA state finals for the third time in 2012. Minnaert has worked several other state finals for IHSA TV and PlayOn! Sports and served as Fox Sports Wisconsin’s Social Media reporter for the all home Milwaukee Brewers games during the 2012 season.

MATT RODEWALD – HOST, SIDELINE REPORTER FOR ALL GAMES
Matt Rodewald is an Emmy Award winning reporter and a sports radio mainstay for the last decade in Chicago. Matt has been an innovator in high school sports coverage in Northern Illinois, including the creation of the successful "High School GameNight" post-game show while at ESPN 1000. Matt is also the founder of NBC 5's "Prep Destination of the Week," a ground-breaking segment that saw unprecedented success with social media interaction. Matt currently serves as an anchor/host at 670 The Score, while contributing to CN100, High School Cube, and PlayON! Sports during high school game broadcasts. An experienced play-by-play announcer with WKRS, WBIG, and ESPN 950 in Indianapolis, the Geneva High School grad has also covered high school sports for the Chicago Tribune and the Kane County Chronicle.

MICHAEL YOUNG – CLASS 1A & 2A ANALYST
Voted the best player in school history at St. Louis’ Hazelwood East High School, Michael Young played collegiate football at the University of Illinois following a high school career that included an MSHSAA state title. Michael was a standout linebacker for the Fighting Illini before moving on to the NFL in 2000. He played two seasons for the Arizona Cardinals before turning his focus to broadcasting. He is a graduate of the NFL Broadcast Boot Camp program and currently calls Illinois and Missouri high school football, as well as college games, on Fox Sports Midwest. Young also serves as an analyst on St. Louis Rams post-game radio.

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