By Michael O'Brien

Recently in Football Category

Preseason Prep Bowl pairings set

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The pairings have been finalized for the 2011 Preseason Prep Bowl, a football tripleheader in Week 1 at Soldier Field.

Two of the matchups are repeats of 2010: Simeon vs. Mount Carmel at noon and Morgan Park vs. Providence at 6:30 p.m. The middle game at 3:15 will match Young against St. Ignatius.

With the teams, pairings and times are all set, the date - either Saturday or Sunday - won't be determined until the Bears' preseason schedule is released.

Semifinal football times, dates released

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The times and dates for the IHSA football state semifinals have been released:

Class 8A
Maine South (10-2) at Loyola (11-1), 1 p.m. Saturday
Homewood-Flossmoor (10-2) vs. Mount Carmel (10-2) at Gately Stadium, noon Saturday

Class 7A
St. Rita (11-1) at Lake Zurich (11-1), 7 p.m. Saturday
Wheaton Warrenville South (12-0) at Belleville East (10-2), 5 p.m. Saturday

Class 6A

Prairie Ridge (11-1) at Boylan (12-0), 1 p.m. Saturday
Marmion (11-1) at Danville (12-0), 3:30 p.m. Saturday

Class 5A
Montini (10-2) at Kaneland (12-0), 5 p.m. Saturday
Richwoods (12-0) at Chatham Glenwood (9-3), 1 p.m. Saturday

Class 4A
Sandwich (11-1) vs. Alleman (12-0) at Augustana College, 2 p.m. Saturday
Metamora (11-1) at Rochester (12-0), 6 p.m. Saturday

Class 3A
Tolono Unity (11-1) at Stillman Valley (12-0), 2 p.m. Saturday
Mt. Carmel (11-1) at Illini West (12-0), 1 p.m. Saturday

Class 2A
Sterling Newman (12-0) at Deer Creek-Mackinaw (12-0), 2 p.m. Saturday
Casey-Westfield (12-0) at Maroa-Forsyth (10-2), 1:30 p.m. Saturday

Class 1A
Lena-Winslow (11-1) at Lewistown (12-0), 2 p.m. Saturday
Tuscola (11-1) at Brown County (12-0), 2 p.m. Saturday

Updated Public League pairings out

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The Public League has updated its football playoff schedule, and five teams remain in the running for the conference's berth in the Prep Bowl.

Morgan Park and Robeson came back into the city playoffs after losing in the second round of the IHSA playoffs, joining Curie, Orr and Dunbar.

The only quarterfinal game will match Curie and Orr at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Lane Stadium. Dunbar, Morgan Park and Robeson drew byes into the semifinals, which will be on Monday, Nov. 15 at Gately Stadium.

The Public League final will be on Saturday, Nov. 20, with the winner advancing tro the Prep Bowl against the Catholic League representative on Friday, Nov. 26 at Soldier Field.

ESPN3.com picks up football finals

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The IHSA announced on Monday that the state football finals will be carried live not only on a statewide TV network, but on ESPN3.com.

According to the IHSA, this will be ESPN's first venture into carrying a prep state final on any of its numerous platforms.

The games will be played on Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 26-27, at the University of Illinois' Memorial Stadium in Champaign. They'll be available live at www.espn3.com, and will be available later at www.ihsa.tv.

The Chicago-area TV outlet for the football state finals is WPWR (Channel 50). It also will carry the boys and girls basketball state tournaments.

Second-round pairings for Public League playoffs

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The Public League has announced second-round pairings for its football playoffs:

Orr receives a bye

Dunbar vs. Harper at Gately, 3:30 p.m. Friday

Curie vs. Hubbard at Gately, 7 p.m. Friday

Three Illini Conference teams (Simeon, Morgan Park and Robeson) have advanced to the second round of the IHSA playoffs. If they lose in the state playoffs, they may be eligible to slide into the Public League playoff bracket.

Catholic League playoffs to start

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The road to the Prep Bowl for the Catholic League begins this week when Leo travels to St. Laurence Friday night. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m.

The Catholic League title game will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19 at Toyota Park, with the winner advancing to the Prep Bowl at Soldier Field on Friday, Nov. 26.

Arena Rush signs former H-F star Freddie Barnes

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From a Rush release ...

The Chicago Rush signed wide receiver Freddie Barnes for the 2011 season. Barnes, who attended Homewood-Flossmoor, where he played football and basketball, set an NCAA record with 155 receptions his senior year at Bowling Green.

"Freddie is a hard worker with NFL talent," head coach Bob McMillen described. "His speed and toughness will make him a nightmare for defenses next year."

Barnes finished the 2009 season at Bowling Green with 155 catches for 1,770 yards and 16 touchdowns. His record breaking season earned him All-American accolades, and a spot as a Biletnikoff award finalist.

Barnes was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Bears on April 24 before being released on September 3.

Maine South's Victor Nelson commits to Boston College

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According to a press release from Maine South, 6-7 senior right tackle Victor Nelson has given an oral commitment to Boston College.

Naperville North linebacker Nick Lifka committed to BC earlier this year.

Dusty, Deek, and Mr. Do-Right

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Check out Taylor Bell talking high school football on the WGN News.

http://www.wgntv.com/news/middaynews/wgntv-author-taylor-bell-dusty-deek-mr-doright,0,5522704.story

Three from area join the Parade

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Parade Magazine's All-America football team is out and there are three local players on it.

Proviso West's Kyle Prater is of six receivers on the 58-member team, Maine South's Matt Perez is one of nine running backs honored and Fremd's Christian Lombard is one of 18 linemen cited.

MaxPreps honors McDonagh

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Mark McDonagh's monster receiving season for Riverside-Brookfield continues to bring him honors.

MaxPreps.com named the senior, who had a national-record 165 catches in 10 games, to its Medium Schools All-American second team. He's the only Illinois player on the first or second team for schools with enrollments of 1,000 to 2,000.

-- Mike Clark

King's McKee heading to UConn

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King offensive tackle Greg McKee, a 6-7, 295-pounder, has committed to UConn, according to UConnReport.com.

The web site reported that McKee also had scholarship offers from Eastern Michigan and Northern Illinois.

-- Mike Clark

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