ONN Has Big Plans For Football Coverage

Ohio News Network has stepped up its commitment to sports coverage this fall. ONN plans to broadcast two high school football games each weekend and is also premiering a new Wednesday night show, Varsity Ohio, for high school athletics. The Grange Insurance Sports Site show returns each Friday. ONN is also adding programming each week for NFL coverage and Ohio State football.

With the Ohio high school football season firing up, our friends at Ohio News Network have some big plans.

They will be televising not one but two high school football games most weeks during the regular season, including two this weekend.

ONN is continuing its weekly coverage of Ohio high school football with the popular Grange Insurance Sports Site show, which airs each Friday night at midnight.

Plus, ONN remains the home network for all six state championship games. Those finals will be shown live Dec. 1-2 from Massillon and Canton.

But the network is also adding a new layer to its sports coverage with a block of shows each weeknight at 8 p.m., including a new show devoted to high school athletics and recruiting coverage.

Everything kicks off the with Sport Site Preview show Wednesday at 8 p.m. Host Dan DeCrow will be joined by our own JJ from JJHuddle.com as well as by Bucknuts contributor and former Ohio State linebacker Jerry Rudzinski. They will preview the races for each of the six divisional state championships and look ahead to the first big weekend of Ohio high school football.

Plus, they will reveal the first edition of the ONN/Ohio High Power Poll. (That poll will also be unveiled on JJHuddle.com Wednesday night.)

The festivities each Friday night will begin with the High School Sports Day show at 9:30 p.m. This will be an on-site pregame show featuring the communities and fans of the evening's Big Game.

Ohio's Big Game of the Week follows at 10 p.m. Each week, ONN will select an interesting match-up from around the state to feature on a tape delay basis. This Friday, the Big Game series gets under way with a David-vs.-Goliath game as Division VI powerhouse Delphos St. John's takes on Division I perennial contender Worthington Kilbourne.

Each week, the Big Game will also be re-aired at Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m.

The Grange Insurance Sports Site show returns at midnight each Friday night. It is the only statewide high school football recap show, featuring DeCrow, JJ and Rudzinski as the break down highlights from all across the state. They will focus on one featured game, called the Marquee Match-Up. They will also look ahead to Saturday action.

The Sports Site show will be replayed Saturday at 12:30 a.m., 3:30 a.m., 4:30 a.m., 5:30 a.m., 6:30 a.m., 9 a.m. and noon.

Then, at 9 p.m. Saturday night, ONN will air another game via tape delay for the Big Game Saturday series. The season opener for this series will feature rivals Cleveland Benedictine and Lakewood St. Edward.

The Big Game Saturday will be replayed at 9:30 a.m. Sunday.

New Sports Block

On Mon., Aug. 28, ONN will debut a new nightly sports block. This block includes a new show titled Varsity Ohio each Wednesday night.

On Varsity Ohio, DeCrow and JJ will recap the previous week's action and look ahead to the upcoming week.

Plus, members of the Ohio High and Bucknuts.com staff will make regular appearances during a special block of the show devoted to recruiting coverage. Topics ranging from Ohio State football recruiting to the state's top prospects and underclassmen and on to basketball recruiting will be discussed during the course of each show.

Here is a night-by-night look at ONN's featured sports programming for the upcoming season:


* Ohio Pro Football Insider, 8 p.m. -- A weekly half-hour "all-access" show that gives fans the inside look on Ohio's pro teams including the Monday press conferences of Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis and Browns head coach Romeo Crennel. The regular program also will feature inside looks and perspectives from the people who cover the team every day. (Ohio Pro Football Insider will replay at 11:30 p.m. and at 1 a.m. each Tuesday.)

* Scarlet and Gray Replay, 8:30 p.m. -- ONN relives the excitement with the best highlights, coach's comments and fan reaction from the weekend's Ohio State game.

* Spielman on Sports, 10 p.m. -- One of Ohio State's most favored sons, Chris Speilman brings his fast-paced, in-your-face radio show to television. Catch Chris and co-host Mike Ricordati as they break down the Buckeyes with some of the best insight in Ohio. This show will be taped on location from the "Sportsradio 1460 The Fan" studios.


Buckeye Blitz, 8 p.m. -- Ohio is crazy for the Buckeyes and this weekly preview features coach Jim Tressel's Tuesday afternoon media conference. This is the only place fans can see it statewide. The show also features special one-on-one interviews with players that help fans go beyond the call to find out the inside track on the team. Bucknuts.com editor Steve Helwagen will also appear as a weekly guest on this show. (Buckeye Blitz will replay Tuesday at 10 p.m. and at 1 a.m. each Wednesday.)


* Varsity Ohio, 8 p.m. -- High school sports are a mainstay in Ohio from the Friday night lights on the football field to some of the best athletes on the court, course, pitch and tracks. Each week, ONN will feature the best of the best varsity teams and playmakers and the unsung heroes that make high school sports so special. (Varsity Ohio will replay Wednesday at 11:30 p.m. and Thursday at 10 p.m.)


* Jim Tressel Call-In Show, 8 p.m. -- It's Ohio's forum to ask Coach Tressel any question they want and it's only on ONN. Host Paul Keels and Buckeye great Jim Lachey field questions from fans far and wide each Thursday night.


* High School GameDay, 9:30 p.m.

* Ohio's Big Game of the Week, 10 p.m.

* Grange Insurance Sport Site, midnight


* Big Game Saturday, 9 p.m.

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