IHSA looking for football playoff site


IHSA looking for football playoff site

Will the finals of the 2013 state football playoff be conducted at Illinois State, Northern Illinois, Southern Illinois, Toyota Park or Northwestern?

The question was raised when the University of Illinois, host to the state finals since 1999, informed the Illinois High School Association that, beginning in 2013, an every-other-year conflict in Big 10 scheduling will force the finals to be played at a different venue.

The championship games were first played at Illinois State's Hancock Stadium in 1974. From 1981 to 1984, the finals in the two largest classes at the time, 5A and 6A, were moved to Northwestern's Dyche Stadium. They returned to ISU in 1985, then moved to Illinois' Memorial Stadium in Champaign in 1999.

"We wouldn't have left ISU but we were asked to leave," Hickman said. "They thought they would be hosting playoff games in their division but it never happened. In fact, I think our situation at Illinois helped ISU to accelerate its plans to renovate and expand its stadium."

Hickman said the deadline for filing proposals is early April. He said he expects proposals from ISU, NIU and Southern Illinois. He said he "wouldn't be surprised" to see a bid from Toyota Park in Chicago, home of the Chicago Fire soccer team. The IHSA will make a decision in June. And Northwestern might make a proposal if the IHSA agreed to split the playoff as it did in 1981-84.

"If I had my choice, I would keep going to Illinois," Hickman said. "We have gotten spoiled with the renovations and facilities and accommodations and the convenience for parking. But, wherever we end up, it will be great."

To meet specifications to host the state finals, sites must agree to a five-year contract (2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2021), have seating for at least 12,000, artificial turf and lights.

White Sox manager Rick Renteria 'surprised' Melky Cabrera hasn't been traded

White Sox manager Rick Renteria 'surprised' Melky Cabrera hasn't been traded

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The White Sox have offloaded more pieces in the past eight months than that furniture store that always seems to be going out of business.

Everything. Must. Go.

Even so, the team hasn’t found any takers for veteran outfielder Melky Cabrera, who finished with four hits in Saturday night’s 7-2 White Sox loss to the Kansas City Royals. Cabrera finished a triple shy of the cycle and drove in two runs. That Cabrera still resides on the South Side is a surprise to White Sox manager Rick Renteria.

“Honestly yeah, to be honest,” Renteria said. “To me he’s a premier Major League baseball player who has been playing outstanding defense. And he has been for us one of the two or three guys who has been timing his hitting in terms of driving in runs when we need them, putting together really good at-bats when we need them. Just playing the game. Yeah, kind of surprised.”

Despite making their intentions known that everyone short of Tim Anderson and Carlos Rodon are available, Cabrera’s name has barely registered a blip on the radar when it comes to trade rumors.

Several factors have probably prevented Cabrera from being dealt, the biggest being his salary. Cabrera is still owed roughly $6.3 million of his $15 million salary, which makes him an expensive option.

Defensive metrics also don’t have much love for Cabrera despite his eight outfield assists. Cabrera’s lack of range has produced minus-6 Defensive Runs Saved and a minus-4.7 Ultimate Zone Rating.

Those figures likely would like have teams lean toward making Cabrera a designated hitter. While he’s been one of the team’s most consistent and prominent offensive performers, Cabrera’s .786 ranks only about 38th in the American League.

As FanRag’s Jon Heyman noted earlier Saturday, to trade Cabrera the White Sox would likely have to eat most of the outfielder’s remaining salary.

Wake-up Call: Comeback Cubs; White Sox lose eighth straight game

Wake-up Call: Comeback Cubs; White Sox lose eighth straight game

Kris Bryant ignites World Series nostalgia with Cubs' epic eighth-inning comeback

White Sox manager Rick Renteria 'surprised' Melky Cabrera hasn't been traded

Familiar problems for Fire in loss at New York City FC

After losing uncle, emotional Jon Lester pays tribute with Notre Dame rallying cry

Royals think White Sox have done 'phenomenal job' acquiring young talent

For the Blackhawks defense, change is the new normal

With Kyle Hendricks back in the mix, Cubs set rotation for Crosstown series with White Sox

What White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson is doing to combat second-year struggles

Blackhawks: Tommy Wingels fractures foot, will be ready for training camp

Freak of nature: Kris Bryant wows again with insane healing ability