The Matchups are in! See who’s playing in the IHSA State Championship Games and Meet the Broadcasters
This Friday and Saturday, The U and CW26 are your homes for the Class 1A-8A Championships games LIVE from Memorial Stadium at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Watch the 1A-4A Championship games Friday, November 25 LIVE on The U, then stay tuned Saturday, November 26 for the 5A-8A Championship games on CW26.
The teams are officially in! Check out the schedule below and cheer on your favorite high school football teams.
The U can be seen on Channel 48.1 and WCIU, Channel 26.2, XFINITY 230|360, RCN 610, WOW 170, Dish 48, Spectrum Charter 191 and U-Verse 24.
CW26 is seen on WCIU, Channel 26.1, XFINITY 183|1026, RCN 6/606, WOW 10/207, Dish 26, Direct TV 26, Spectrum Charter 22/616 and U-Verse 10/1010.
The IHSA State Championship Schedule
Now that you know who's playing, it's time to meet the broadcasters! The U and CW26 are proud to have a legendary team of broadcasters giving you the play-by-play for these highly-anticipated IHSA State Championship games. Check out their profiles below:
Dave Bernhard enters his 23rd consecutive year as the play-by-play announcer for the IHSA Football Championships. For 25 years, he has hosted the IHSA Football Playoff Pairings Show on statewide television. In addition to football, Bernhard has been the play-by-play announcer for the boys and girls basketball championships on the IHSA TV Network since 2000, as well as state baseball championships for the NFHS Network.
As a TV/radio announcer, Bernhard has announced over 500 state championship games and nearly 1500 high school radio and television broadcasts in Illinois, while also covering over 500 events as a print media member. In 2016, Bernhard was chosen for the IHSA Distinguished Media Service Award. Bernhard is a member of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.
Chris Highland returns to IHSA State Football coverage for the first time since 2017. Chris has been the color commentator for Illinois State Football as well as various IHSA Football broadcasts since 2015. Highland played in two IHSA Football State Title games in high school, placing second in 2007 and winning the 4A State Title in 2008 with Central Catholic High School. Highland was a 2x All-American Long Snapper at Illinois State University and spent parts of two seasons with the New Orleans Saints in the NFL after graduation and is a current member of the Central Catholic High School football coaching staff.
Don Johnson has worked for nearly 40 years as a sports journalist covering professional, college and high school sports.
Johnson’s love of high school sports began with a football coaching stint at Libertyville High School, and he has covered countless games on TV and radio. Johnson began his broadcast work on ESPN’s Black College Today and also worked sidelines for Fox Sports Net’s College Football Saturday.
Johnson is an Evanston native and earned All-State honors in football as a tailback his senior season and also excelled as a high school hockey player before committing to football at Northwestern. There he earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Medill School of Journalism.
Darius Joshua joins the IHSA TV Network team from Weigel Broadcasting’s Milwaukee affiliate, WDJT-TV CBS58, where he serves as a sports reporter covering college and professional sports in Wisconsin. Joshua’s work includes extensive reporting from the NBA finals, MLB and NFL postseason games, and many NCAA men’s basketball tournaments, along with high school sports games and a wide range of other fascinating stories from donkey basketball to motocross racing.
Previously, Joshua worked for WSYR-TV in Syracuse, New York and KTVO-TV in Ottumwa, Iowa. He is a graduate of Syracuse’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.
Mark Krueger is enjoying his 33rd season of announcing Illinois high school sports and his 15th season with Weigel Broadcasting’s WCIU-TV.
Krueger has excelled in various roles as a play-by-play broadcaster, analyst, sideline reporter and studio host, continuing a passion for sports from his time as a collegiate athlete.
A 1989 graduate of North Central College in Naperville, IL, Krueger pitched for the North Central Cardinals from 1985-1989 and was a member of the 1987 team that placed 5th in the national Division III College World Series. Krueger was selected to the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame for his media work.
Mark Lindo is a veteran analyst on IHSA TV network broadcasts and is in his 38th year of serving as color commentator for Northern Illinois University Football.
Lindo coached basketball for 27 years at Aurora Central Catholic High School and Naperville North High School, earning over 400 wins, 11 IHSA regional titles and three “Sweet 16” appearances. Lindo also served as an assistant coach at Aurora University, his alma mater, where he played four years of varsity baseball. On the baseball diamond, Lindo coached Aurora Central Catholic to the 1983 IHSA Class A state championship and served as a longtime assistant coach at Naperville North.
Lindo is a member of the Illinois Basketball Coaches and Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Halls of Fame, along with the Halls of Fame for Aurora Boys Baseball and Aurora Central Catholic.
Jack McInerney has been in the broadcast booth for IHSA football games for over 30 years, following a legendary career as a coach.
McInerney led the Downers Grove South football team to the IHSA 8A State Championship in 2001, part of a 35-year teaching and coaching career that included serving as President of the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association and earning the prestigious Ray Eliot Award from the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association.
McInerney is a former football player and United States Marine, and is a graduate of Fenwick High School and Southern Illinois University.
Kenny McReynolds has worked on Weigel Broadcasting’s WCIU-TV sports coverage since 1997, including serving as the station’s sports director, hosting the “Sports Edition” program and providing analysis on broadcasts of local high school football and basketball.
Over a long career in Chicago that started in radio on WVON-AM, McReynolds has worked for multiple broadcast outlets including WFLD-TV, WTTW-TV, the Big Ten Network, Comcast, WGCI-FM, WBMX-FM and WVAZ-FM.
McReynolds also served as an assistant basketball coach at DePaul University in the 1980s and worked as a scout for the Golden State Warriors, Orlando Magic and Charlotte Bobcats of the NBA.
Chicago native and star high school track athlete, McReynolds has earned multiple Emmy Awards and was inducted in 2017 to the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame. He was also named to the Chicago Public League Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Matt Rodewald is an Emmy Award-winning anchor and reporter who spent nearly 20 years in local news television and sports radio outlets such as NBC 5 Chicago and 670 The Score. For the last 10 years, Rodewald has called play-by-play for a variety of IHSA State Championship events including football, basketball, soccer, and volleyball. As varsity boys track & field coach at Yorkville, Rodewald oversaw the Foxes' highest team finish at the IHSA State Meet in 34 years and was a three-sport athlete at Geneva in football, basketball and track & field.
Kacy Standohar is a Chicago-based sports broadcaster and sideline reporter who has covered NCAA Men's Basketball on ESPN+, Big East Softball and Field Hockey on FS1/FS2. She also works for CHGO Sports, a new sports media company covering all Chicago pro teams. Standohargraduated from Youngstown State University in Ohio, and her previous experienceincludes covering Illinois high school sports for Comcast.