One of the things I've been excited about since The Times (and as a result, the services of Your Friendly Neighborhood Sports Editor and the rest of our excellent Sports staff) was purchased by Shaw Media early last year was the additional football content we've been able to share with you, our good and loyal readers.

As a regular listener of 670 The Score and an avid NFL fan, I've been a fan of the work Hub Arkush has done over the decades covering the National Football League (even if it is a bit Bears-heavy for this Chargers fan's tastes). I was overjoyed at the content our being a sister publication —or maybe more accurately a cousin publication — of Pro Football Weekly would allow us to deliver to you in our award-winning Sports section and online at, and over the past year and four months I haven't been disappointed. Hopefully you haven't either.

Another benefit of our joining the Shaw Media family came in our ability to share content with our more traditional sister papers, publications in, say, Sterling or Morris or DeKalb, to name just a few. While that has presented its own obstacles to overcome (differing deadlines, new editorial software, coverage-area crossover, different newspaper sizes and story formats, last-minute schedule changes, just to name a few), it has allowed us more often than not to add more local content to the newspaper/website you're reading now, which in my mind is always a good thing.

If you've been reading our pages (be they paper or digital) closely, you may have noticed mention a few times over the past few weeks of something else I'm excited about, something called Friday Night Drive ... which as of this writing is up, running, and if I do say so myself, spectacular.

In a sentence, Friday Night Drive (located conveniently enough at, what are the odds?) is a one-stop shop for all of Shaw Media's high school football coverage. Ours. DeKalb's. Princeton's. Joliet's. Morris'. Crystal Lake's. Dixon's. Sterling's. Kendall County's. Batavia's. And a lot, lot more's.

Moving forward, all of our high school football coverage — including game stories and college signings and conference previews and features and everything else, including the story in today's pages on our local Shrine Game all-stars — is set to appear exclusively at Ditto for all of Shaw's other Illinois papers.

In addition to that, we'll also be producing additional prep football coverage on a daily basis ... some really good stuff, some of which (but certainly not all of which) might find its way into our print pages after publication on For example, the "Best Football Game I've Ever Covered" compilation and my deeper look into the rise of 8-man football, both of which have appeared in our pages over the past week, started and were first released as Friday Night Drive features.

If you enjoyed them, I assure you more of the same is on the way. (Did somebody say power rankings? Projected playoff brackets throughout and even before the start of the season? Deeper looks into what makes the state's top programs tick? Regular commentary from the one and only Steve Soucie?)

So now the sales pitch ... though odds are good if you're reading this, no further sale is necessary for you to enjoy all Friday Night Drive has to offer:

Are you already a Times and/or Shaw Media print or digital subscriber? We have great news. You get free access to! Just sign in with your current digital credentials and you'll get unlimited access. If you're a print subscriber and need to activate your digital account, go to to get started.

Not a current subscriber? You can sign up for Friday Night Drive for a limited-time subscription rate of just $2.49 per month (billed annually), a 40% savings.

So ... are you ready for some high school football?

Friday Night Drive is!