Playoffs kick off with conference battle

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Playoffs kick off with conference battle

By Tashara Parker

CSNChicago.com Contributor

Its that time again: The Illinois High School Football Playoffs will kick off all across Illinois this weekend and there is no better way to get a good dose of Illinois culture than to watch a game or two.

Theres only one thought on many of the teams mind and thats taking it deep into the playoffs and hopefully making it to the state championship game this year.

Not only will the matchups be exciting, but we may see teams come up with plays that weve never seen before. Theres obviously a finality to the postseason, so coaches and players are going to give it all they got to make each game worthwhile.

The question remains, will the greater Chicago-area produce a state championship high school football team in 2012?

Perhaps the best chances reside to the west, south, and northwest suburbs in communities where the high school is the talk of the town.

The truth of the matter is no one really knows how things will unfold in high school football, its a matter of who makes the least mistakes offensively and puts up the most points during the game.

One predictable thing about the postseason is that its unpredictable and the first weekend of the playoffs may prove to be just that.

Class 8A will see the most action tonight, theyll have 10 games kicking off with four ranked teams looking to fight for a chance to see round two. Perhaps the most exciting of the four is the Bolingbrook-Sandburg (Raiders-Eagles) game.

Both teams are 7-2 and are familiar opponents to one another. The Eagles took on the Raiders just three weeks ago and beat them out 13-6 so, were sure the Raiders are looking for revenge tonight.

Not only are they seeking a win, but they have some renewed confidence with the hopeful return of their starting QB Aaron Bailey, who has been out since a Week 6 lost against Lincoln-Way East.

Bolingbrook head coach John Ivlow tells MySurburbanLife.com, he doesnt know if Bailey will be ready today, tomorrow or next week.

Class 7A will have nine teams facing elimination this Friday night, followed by class 6A who will have eight teams looking to advance past the first round.

One thing for sure is gridiron greatness will be renewed this weekend and many teams are looking to advance to the most important weekend of this football season, Nov. 24-25.

Let the games begin!

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Do Blackhawks need to make a trade now?

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: Do Blackhawks need to make a trade now?

In the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast, Laurence Holmes (670 The Score), George Ofman (WBBM Newsradio 780/105.9) and Jordan Bernfield join Kap on the panel.

Jimmy Butler says he doesn’t care about the All-Star Game right now. That can't be true, right?

Jonathan Toews is slumping. Do the Blackhawks need to make a trade to get the captain going?

Also, the guys discuss whether Antonio Brown’s Facebook Live broadcast will distract the Steelers and motivate the Patriots.

Plus, a Hawk Harrelson alarm clock??? You gotta be… bleepin’ me!

Check out the SportsTalk Live Podcast below.

Bulls' Taj Gibson a late scratch with ankle injury vs. Mavericks

Bulls' Taj Gibson a late scratch with ankle injury vs. Mavericks

Just when you think the Bulls are back at full strength for one of the few times this season and able to hit the reset button halfway through the year, someone goes down with an injury.

Taj Gibson will miss Tuesday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks with a left ankle injury that he apparently suffered Sunday night in the Bulls’ win against Memphis.

This comes on the day Nikola Mirotic has recovered from his strep throat and apparently the flu bug that made its way through the locker room has finally run its course.

Paul Zipser, the Bulls’ rookie second-round pick, will start in Gibson’s place. Zipser has played in 12 games so far, starting in two of them.

"It's something that kind of popped up,” Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg said. “I don't know exactly the time. He did have a little bit of soreness in the game. Again, it's not to the point where you're saying this is something that holds him out a while.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]

Gibson did have ankle surgery on his left ankle in June 2015, but he’s been an iron man this year, starting every game to this point and averaging 12 points with 7.3 rebounds.

Hoiberg said he’s not sure if Gibson will need an MRI or if this injury is somehow related to the ankle surgery that cost Gibson several months in the 2015 offseason.

It seems Hoiberg will start off with Zipser and then use Mirotic and Bobby Portis as reserves against the Mavericks team that gave the Bulls a 25-point whipping in Dallas on Dec. 3, their second-worst loss of the year.

“Again, we hope to sit him tonight, have a couple days off to rest and get him back in the lineup in the next one,” Hoiberg said. “We felt it was best to hold him out tonight."