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IHSA TV Network Changes & March Madness Broadcasters Announced

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The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) and When We Were Young Productions (WWWYP) recently announced the broadcast teams for the upcoming television broadcasts of America’s Original March Madness. Longtime IHSA TV Network mainstays Dave Bernhard and Lee Hall return to call play-by-play on all of the boys and girls action. IHSA girls basketball state champion Sarah Kwasinski will join Hall on the Class 1A and 3A girl’s broadcasts, while Bernhard teams with Big Ten Network analyst Patricia Babcock McGraw for the girl’s Class 2A and 4A games.

Color analyst Mark Lindo returns to work with Bernhard on the boy’s championships once again, as the tandem will cover the boy’s 2A and 4A contests. Hall will have different partners for the Class 1A and 3A boy’s games, as southern Illinois high school basketball legend Greg Starrick will be the analyst on the 1A broadcasts, while former state final coach Rocky Hill steps into the analyst role for the Class 3A tilts.

Guiding viewers through the month of high school hoops action will be NBC-Chicago host and WSCR 670 The Score personality Matt Rodewald, who will serve as the studio host and sideline reporter throughout all four weekends.

The action begins with the IHSA Class 1A & 2A Girls Basketball State Finals on Friday and Saturday, February 25-26 from Redbird Arena on the campus of Illinois State University in Normal. The girl’s finals continue from Redbird with the Class 3A/4A tournaments on Friday and Saturday, March 4-5. The action then shifts to Carver Arena inside the Peoria Civic Center for the 2011 IHSA Boys Basketball State Finals. The Class 1A/2A tourneys will unfold on Friday and Saturday, March 11-12, before the final high school games of the season are contested during the Class 3A/4A tournaments on Friday and Saturday, March 18-19.

The IHSA recently announced one significant change to the IHSA TV Network, as the contests in Chicagoland will now be carried by NBC Chicago on its digital channel Chicago Non Stop (Digital Channel 5.2, Comcast 341, WOW 130, RCN 50). In addition, Charter has returned as an IHSA TV Network carrier in the St. Louis area and will carry select contests (check local listings) on Charter’s local origination channel 8 for subscribers in the Illinois counties of Madison, St. Clair, Macoupin and Bond.

A brief bio on each broadcaster is available below:

Dave Bernhard has become the face of the IHSA TV Network over the course of the past 11 years, working the football playoff pairing show, football state finals and boys & girls basketball state final broadcasts. A retired teacher in the Lincoln-Way School District, Dave has covered high school athletics in Illinois on television, on the radio and in print for over 20 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. The Beecher High School graduate twirled four no-hitters during his high school career and went on to coach Lincoln-Way Central High School’s baseball team to a combined 161-66 mark over the course of seven seasons.

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 he was a co-captain on the baseball team with current New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi.

Patricia Babcock McGraw brings five total years of broadcasting experience to the IHSA state finals, including having served as the color analyst on television broadcasts for the WNBA’s Chicago Sky for the past two seasons. Since 1997, she has been a reporter and columnist for the Daily Herald, writing a weekly women’s sports column that is one of the few of its kind in the country. During basketball season, she is a game and studio analyst for women’s basketball games on the Big Ten Network. The 1990 Indiana Miss Basketball winner went on to play collegiately at Northwestern University, where she earned All-Big Ten and Academic All-Big Ten honors.

Sarah Kwasinski led Fenwick to the IHSA Girls Basketball State Finals twice during her prep career, helping the Friars to a third-place finish in 2000 as a junior and the Class AA title during the 2000-01 season. In six total IHSA state final tournament games, the 6-4 forward averaged 14.5 points, 10.8 rebounds and 4.3 blocks per game. Sarah then transitioned to a playing career at Northwestern University, where she earned Big Ten All-Freshman accolades and Academic All-Big Ten honors. After playing a year professionally in Luxemburg, Sarah worked as a broadcast and video production manager for the WNBA’s Chicago Sky and has served as an analyst on television broadcasts of high school and collegiate basketball, including the 2010 IHSA state finals.

Greg Starrick is an Illinois high school basketball legend, having achieved All-American and All-State honors while playing at Marion High School, where he averaged over 33 points per game as a senior and once scored 70 points in a game.  Greg was also one of the original inductees into the Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame. Greg played for legendary coach Adolph Rupp at University of Kentucky for one season, before transferring to Southern Illinois University, where he enjoyed a Hall of Fame career and was one of the all-time scoring leaders in Saluki history. Greg also held the NCAA record for career free throw percentage of .908 for over 30 years and ranks in the Top 5 all-time. Greg has enjoyed a long career calling high school and collegiate basketball on radio and television as a color analyst. He continues to serve as the radio and television analyst for Southern Illinois University basketball.

Mark Lindo was a high school basketball coach in Illinois for 27 years, reaching the Sweet 16 three times during his time leading Aurora Central Catholic and Naperville North. A member of the Illinois High School Basketball and Baseball Halls of Fame, Mark continues to serve as an assistant basketball coach at Aurora University. Mark has served as a color analyst on IHSA TV network broadcasts for nearly a decade and he also works as the color analyst for Northern Illinois University football games, as well as on select NIU basketball games. Mark has called numerous high school, collegiate and minor league basketball, baseball and football contests on radio and television.

Rocky Hill brings the perspective of a former state final coach to the analyst role, as he enjoyed a highly successful run leading the programs at Julian and Thornton. Rocky compiled a record of 272-124 in 14 total seasons, including three consecutive state final trips at Thornton from 1995 through 1997. Rocky’s Wildcats reached the Class AA state championship game in 2005 and 2006, falling to the famed Peoria Manual dynasty in the midst of its four straight titles, and also lost Manual in the 1997 semifinals en route to placing third. Rocky has been named Coach of the Year by a bevy of organizations throughout his career and has worked as an analyst on Chicago State University basketball broadcasts previously.

Matt Rodewald was a two-sport athlete at Geneva High School and went on to graduate from Indiana University’s School of Journalism. Matt has since gone on to become a media mainstay in Chicagoland, where he currently works as the Traffic and Transportation Reporter on WMAQ-TV's morning show NBC 5 News Today and also serves as an anchor and host for WSCR 670 The Score. Matt previously worked for ESPN Radio 1000 in Chicago, where he created and developed the weekly high school football program High School GameNight. Matt also hosts a weekly segment on NBC entitled Prep Destination of the Week, where he highlights top area and state matchups. Matt has worked in radio, television and print for media outlets all throughout Chicagoland, including the Chicago Tribune, Kane County Chronicle, Comcast, WKRS radio and CLTV.

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