Best of Fred: No. 5 — Top 25 lists

For much of the past 12 years, I’ve written weekly or biweekly lists on a variety of topics, most of which were sports-related.

These selections are my 25 favorites, including the dates they were published in the newspaper.

There’s one list that’s not a top five. It’s a top one.

I don’t have a favorite athlete, but I do have a favorite athlete’s name.

SJO top sports moments

A look back the year in sports at St. Joseph-Ogden High School.

2014-15: Preps Year in Review

1. Unity boys’ track and field. Class 1A state champions had nine athletes with first-place medals, either individually or as part of a relay.

2. Centennial baseball. Made a statement postseason run, reaching the Elite Eight for the first time in Class 3A.

2014-15 Preps Year in Review: Monthly highlights

July 14, 2014: Maroa-Forsyth announces its intentions to leave the revamped Okaw Valley Conference in two years, to join the Sangamo Conference. When the Okaw league reformed, schools had agreed not to move within the first five years.

Area School of the Year: St. Joseph-Ogden

ST. JOSEPH — It wasn’t just one sport. Nor was it one group of athletes.

St. Joseph-Ogden’s return to the top of The News-Gazette Area All-Sports Standings was a cumulative effort of contributions from a significant portion of the student body.

Last fall, nearly 35 percent of all SJ-O students (160 of 462) participated in a sport.

Building home field

CHAMPAIGN — After years of shuttling teams to Savoy, Rantoul and anywhere else with a free field, Judah Christian's athletes will soon have their own turf to call home.

The Gene A. Salmon Field of Dreams, now weeks away from completion, cost $3 million to build and comes more than three decades after the private Christian school opened.

After class changes, who's moving up?

The Illinois High School Association’s “success adjustment” was successfully delayed a full school year, but that came to an end this week. Non-boundaried schools with too many state trophies in a four-year span are now bumped up a class. Staff writer SCOTT RICHEY looks at that, and four other enrollment/classification tidbits that caught his eye:

Playoff tweak intrigues area coaches

Area coaches and administrators are in agreement: welcome changes are coming to IHSA postseason tournaments.

The Bloomington-based state high school organization this week announced it is altering course for establishing postseason pairings in team sports such as volleyball, soccer, basketball, baseball and softball.

All Area Softball 2015

The News-Gazette's 2015 All Area Softball team. Photos taken at Eichelberger Field on UI campus in May 31, 2015.

All-Area Softball: Lists, stats, top 10 and more

All-Area First Team

Karli Allen    Tuscola    Jr.    DH
Lindsey Andrews    Bismarck-Henning    Jr.    OF
Sophie Catlin    Monticello    Sr.    P