An inside look at sports happenings from the local scene to the professional ranks by the sports staff at The Courier News.

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National signing day is upon us and St. Charles East touts a number of talented athletes who are prepared to compete on the collegiate level at notable institutions.

Decorated track athlete Liz Hynes, football standouts Pat Friel and Wes Allen and soccer player Cesar Morales will all formally make their college commitments during a series of signing ceremonies Wednesday afternoon.

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Last weekend it was the "Night of Legends" at St. Charles North. This weekend it's the Lifetime Achievement ceremony at St. Charles East.

The Saints will introduce the school's four 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award recipients in a ceremony prior to Saturday's non-conference game against neighboring Geneva.

This year's honorees are...
Matt Bartlett, Class of 1988, 1987 state wrestling champion
Tim Carlson, Class of 1992, 1991 individual state golf champion
Casey Dodson, Class of 1996, All-Upstate Eight and IBCA All-Star boys basketball
Billy Ryan, Class of 1970, All-Upstate Eight basketball and football

There will be a reception for the honorees at 4 p.m. at St. Charles East's Little Theatre. That will be followed by a dinner and award presentation at 4:20 p.m.. The Hall of Fame ceremony is scheduled to begin around 5:45 p.m. in the main gym at the conclusion of the boys sophomore game.

As for Saturday's varsity game, the Saints will be trying to beat the Vikings for the third straight year.

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St. Charles North knocked off rival St. Charles East for third time in four meetings Saturday with a 53-42 victory at North.

It was a festive night as the two teams honored longtime St. Charles High coach Ron Johnson and two of his assistants, Jim Parker and Chuck Rachow. In a show of unity, the Saints and North Stars wore the same warm-up uniforms with the names of the three coaches inscribed on the back. The coaching staff for both schools also wore matching pullovers with the initials of the three coaches on the sleeve.

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A press release recently came across my desk announcing that the St. Charles North and St. Charles East boys basketball teams will honor three longtime basketball coaches at their Jan. 24 game at St. Charles North.

Girls BB rankings (4)

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At the halfway point, St. Charles North (9-4) remains at the top of The Courier News area girls basketball rankings after a respectable 2-2 showing at the Dundee-Crown Charger Classic. St. Charles East (9-4) moves into the Top 5, bumping out South Elgin, after beating the Storm 58-40 in head-to-head play on Saturday.

Inside: View the entire Top 5 with team comments ...

Girls BB rankings (1)

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Class 2A St. Edward has earned the top spot in the first edition of The Courier News' girls basketball rankings.

Check out the rest of the Top 5:

Inadvertent omission

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I would like to personally apologize to St. Charles East freshman Meghan Niski (if she cares) for leaving her off the Honorable Mention list when the All-Area Volleyball team was published last week. That was purely a inadvertent omission -- probably one of a few -- on my part.

She definitely deserved recognition. In all honesty, she was among the final cuts for the 2nd Team and I just forgot to add her back to the Honorable Mention list.

For some reason that has really been bugging me and I felt I needed to say something.

Niski played a big part in the Saints' success this season, racking up 293 kills and 277 digs during the regular season. She continued to play a major role for the title-winning Saints all the way through the state tournament.

The Honorable Mention list should have read like this:

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This page is an archive of recent entries in the St. Charles East category.

South Elgin is the previous category.

St. Charles North is the next category.

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