Stan Bergman has coached volleyball players who've gone on to collegiate careers, but the Centennial coach never has had a senior group like his current one.
"Not in the exact same class," Bergman said.
Before the Chargers open the season tonight at Lincoln, six athletes from the Class of 2013 know where they will play. Next year.
Prep sports coordinator Fred Kroner contacted every volleyball coach from conferences in our area for their thoughts about the upcoming season. Here they are, league by league:
Big 12 Conference
Preseason Coaches Poll
(81 points maximum; first-place votes in parentheses)
Centennial (8) 79
Bloomington 2, STM 1. Lexi Wallen had 18 kills and 14 digs for visiting St. Thomas More in a 23-25, 25-18, 25-11 loss. Hannah Murray contributed 20 assists and 12 digs for the Sabers.
TOLONO — A feel-good night concluded with a happy ending.
With Hall of Fame coach Liz Osborn watching from the bleachers — on the evening the Unity High School gymnasium was named in her honor — the Rockets rallied from a one-set deficit Tuesday to top LeRoy 13-25, 25-15, 25-11 in the volleyball opener for both schools.
TOLONO — Her father was an Olympic champion and a man regarded as one of the premier athletes of the first half of the 20th century.
Her own passion was with Girl Scouts, where she hoped to make her life's work.
What a school year! State championship teams, state championship individuals, top-ranked teams. Underclassmen who have already committed to Division I universities. Athletes who are being wooed by Division I coaches. Some memories are still vivid in our minds. Some had almost been forgotten.
Last year, schools such as Clinton, Danville, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley, St. Thomas More and Tuscola were among the ones upset with the IHSA's postseason assignments, which are based on enrollments.
This year, Danville and Monticello are among the ones unhappy with how the enrollment breaks worked out.
MONTICELLO — The Okaw Valley Conference will start its 87th year of competition in August.
It won't be the last year for the venerable league, but it likely will be the next-to-last in its current 12-school setup.
Eight from area in Shrine game
BLOOMINGTON — The 37-player East roster for the annual Shrine all-star high school football game features eight former area athletes.
TUSCOLA — Sophomore Broc Smith, from Tuscola, left last week's News-Gazette Honor Roll meet as the winner of the 200-meter dash. A day later, he learned his time was a meet record.