Rossville softball regional champs, headed to state

[Photo twitter]

Brittney Redmond has been named the Trojans' new head girls basketball coach

[Photo Submitted]

2022 Shawnee County Hall of Fame inductee, Dani (McHenry) Schmidt

[File Photo TSN]

6 individual state championships for Topeka West's Kadence Jeffries career

[File Photo /TSN]

Shawnee County Hall of Fame Class of 2022, Kaylee Manns

[File Photo/TSN}

Cair Paravel soccer goes lake to state after quarter final win

[Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

Aaron Crow, 2022 Shawnee County Hall of Fame inductee

[File Photo/TSN]

Elijah Brooks has been named Mr. Kansas Basketball by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association.

[File Photo/TSN]

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Cair Paravel soccer edges Hayden 2-1, advances to 4A-1A semifinals

Isaac Deer

By ISAAC DEER

TopSports.news

For the first time in Cair Paravel Latin's short history in the KSHSAA, the Lions' girls soccer team will take part in the Class 4A-1A state semifinals after knocking off Hayden in Tuesday's state quarterfinal game at the Bettis Family Sports Complex, 2-1.

Cair Paravel (14-3-0) has shown in the 2022 campaign that it deserves to be considered one of 4A-1A's top teams and on Tuesday, the Lions' victory proved that the moment wasn’t too big for its youthful squad. Out of its 22 players, only one player is a senior.

LewisCPLS2Cair Paravel freshman Zahra Lewis (3) celebrates the Lions' first goal with sophomore Katherine Keys in Tuesday's 2-1 state quarterfinal victory over Hayden. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

CPLSjubeCair Paravel soccer celebrates Tuesday's 2-1 Class 4A-1A state quarterfinal win over Hayden. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

Cair Paravel has now laid the foundation and is hoping that the state quarterfinal victory won’t be its last of the season.

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TSN to honor Rottinghaus, Letcher as WU outstanding athletes for 2021-2022

Rick Peterson

By RICK PETERSON

TopSports.news

TopSports.news will honor All-America volleyball player Faith Rottinghaus and All-America football player James Letcher Jr. as Washburn University's outstanding female and male athletes for 2021-2022 at the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards and Hall of Fame induction ceremonies on June 22 at Washburn's Memorial Union.

Shawnee Heights product Rottinghaus, who led the nation in digs, helped the Ichabods reach the NCAA Division II national championship match while Letcher earned five All-America awards last fall after leading Washburn to a 9-3 record and a berth in the NCAA Division II football playoffs.

dsc 5285 9704 1200 1200 100Former Shawnee Heights multi-sport standout Faith Rottinghaus will be honored by TSN as Washburn's outstanding female athlete for the 2021-2022 school year on June 22 at the Topeka Shawnee County sports awards banquet. [File photo/TSN]

James Letcher JrjpgWashburn All-American receiver/returner James Letcher Jr. will be honored on June 22 as WU's male outstanding athlete for 2021-2022. [Photo by Phil Anderson/Special to TSN]

TopSports.news will honor outstanding Washburn athletes for the second time in conjunction with the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards and Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.

In 2021 Andrew Beckler and Tyler Geiman were named Washburn co-outstanding male athletes and Virgi Scardanzan was honored as female athlete of the year. 

Washburn Athlete of the Year capsules:

JAMES LETCHER JR.

Letcher earned five All-America awards after a monster 2021 season for the Ichabods, who posted a 9-3 record and advanced to the NCAA Division II playoffs. Letcher earned first-team All-America honors on the Don Hansen NCAA Division II All-America squad, the Associated Press and the Division II Conference Commissioner's Association. All-American teams and was a second-team D2Football.com Elite 100 selection and a second-team pick on the American Football Coaches Association team. Letcher has received six All-America awards overall,  earning honorable mention on the Football Gazette All-American team in 2019.

Last fall, Letcher led the team with 68 receptions, 927 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns in 12 starts. Letcher also rushed 19 times for 106 yards. He had a single-game high 10 receptions for 132 yards against Emporia State and earned All-MIAA first-team recognition as a wide receiver and a returner and was named the MIAA Special Teams Player of the Year after taking 24 kickoffs for 685 yards and two touchdowns.

Letcher has appeared in 37 games overall, compiling 148 receptions for 1,916 yards and 19 touchdowns while averaging 12.9 yards per catch. Letcher has scored three kickoff-return touchdowns, the most in program history and has averaged 27.2 yards per kickoff return, which is second all-time at Washburn for a career.

A Piper High School graduate, Letcher starred in football for the Pirates and also played basketball and ran track. As a senior Letcher earned all-league football recognition at running back, defensive back and kickoff returner. Letcher earned All-State recognition at running back and defensive back as a senior, recording 10 interceptions and rushing for 1,562 yards and scoring 27 touchdowns. Letcher was also a standout for the East in the Kansas Shrine Bowl.

FAITH ROTTINGHAUS

A Shawnee Heights graduate, Rottinghaus helped lead the Ichabods to a second-place finish in the NCAA Division II Volleyball Championships, leading the nation with 833 total digs and earning second-team All-America honors from the American Volleyball Coaches Association and the Division II Conference Commissioner's Association.

Rottinghaus earned All-MIAA first-team honors for the third straight season and earned the NCAA Elite 90 Award, becoming the first Washburn student-athlete and MIAA volleyball player to receive the prestigious academic honor. She was named the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-American Volleyball Team Member of the Year and received her third consecutive Academic All-America first-team honor.

Rottinghaus was voted to the all-tournament team in all five tournaments Washburn competed in and played in all 127 sets for the Ichabods. Rottinghaus became Washburn's all-time digs leader in the regular-season finale against Northwest Missouri. Rottinghaus scooped up 51 digs in a 3-1 victory at then-ranked No. 7 Central Missouri, tying Washburn's single-match record and setting the program record for most digs in a four set match. She had 24 matches with 20 or more digs and successfully received 394 service attempts, committing just eight errors for a .980 reception percentage. Rottinghaus led the team with 33 service aces and tallied 88 assists. A kinesiology major, Rottinghaus was named to the MIAA Academic Honor Roll and also received MIAA Scholar Athlete and MIAA Academic Excellence honors, closing out her career with a perfect 4.0 grade point average.

A rour-year letter-winner in volleyball, basketball and softball at Shawnee Heights, Rottinghaus helped lead the T-Birds to three Class 5A volleyball tournament berths, including the 2016 state championship her senior year. Rottinghaus was a two-time All-State first-team selection as an outfielder in softball, helping the T-Birds win the school's state softball title in 2017.

Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame class of 2022 to include Aaron Crow, Kaylee Manns, Dani Schmidt

Rick Peterson

By RICK PETERSON

TopSports.news

Local sports greats Aaron Crow, Kaylee Manns and Dani (McHenry) Schmidt will join the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame on June 22, the 16th induction class into the local shrine.

TopSports.news, in conjunction with University of Kansas Health Systems St Francis Campus, A-1 Lock and Key and Washburn University, will host the induction and Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards ceremonies at the Washburn University Memorial Union.

AaronCrowTwitter2Former Washburn Rural star and Royals All-Star Aaron Crow is a member of the 2022 Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame class. [Twitter]

Manns Kaylee Oklahoma2009 10 3Former Washburn Rural multi-sport star and Iowa State All-American Kaylee Manns will be inducted into the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame on June 22. [Cyclones.com]

DaniMcHenry2Shawnee Heights product and Washburn All-American volleyball player Dani (McHenry) Schmidt will be inducted into the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame on June 22. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

Crow is a Washburn Rural High School graduate who went on to become the NCAA Division I college pitcher of the year at Missouri and an American League All-Star for the Kansas City Royals.

Manns, a Rural graduate, was a standout for Washburn Rural in volleyball, basketball and soccer before earning All-America volleyball honors at Iowa State and embarking on a long professional career.

A Shawnee Heights graduate, (McHenry) Schmidt was a volleyball and basketball star for the T-Birds and earned All-American volleyball honors at Washburn University while also playing on WU's national championship basketball team.

Shawnee County's top senior high school student-athletes will be honored for the 16th time on June 22nd.

Shawnee County high schools Cair Paravel Latin, Hayden, Highland Park, Rossville, Seaman, Shawnee Heights, Silver Lake, Topeka High, Topeka West and Washburn Rural have been asked to nominate one female and male candidate with a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average as outstanding student-athlete nominees for the fall, winter and spring seasons. County high schools have also been asked to nominate a female and male candidate for most inspirational athlete.

A  committee of local media members will select the 2022 winners, including the selection of overall female and male athletes of the year.

Hayden's Desmond Purnell and Silver Lake's Ellington Hogle were named the overall athletes of the year in 2021

The nominees for this year's high school awards will be announced in early June after the conclusion of the spring high school season.

Hall of Fame class of 2022 capsules:

AARON CROW

A 2005 Washburn Rural graduate Crow was a standout for the Junior Blues before posting a 23-8 record with a 3.27 earned run average in three seasons for Missouri.

As a sophomore or the Tigers, Crow went 9-4 with a 3.60 ERA, earning first-team All Big 12 honors. Crow went 13-0 as a junior with a 2.35 ERA, threw four complete-game shutouts and struck out 10.65 batters per nine innings. He was named the Big 12 Conference Pitcher of the Year and earned the Roger Clemens Award as the NCAA Division I College Baseball Pitcher of the Year.

Crow was selected by the Washington Nationals in the first round of the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft with the ninth overall selection. After playing for the Fort Worth Cats in 2009 Crow was selected with the 12th pick in the first round of the 2009 MLB Draft by the Kansas City Royals. Crow signed a contract with the Royals on September 15, 2009. 

Crow made his first Major League appearance on March 31, 2011, which was Opening Day, facing four Angels batters and striking out three. Crow was named to the 2011 American League All-Star team. He played four seasons with the Royals and also had stints with the Miami Marlins and Chicago Cubs before serious elbow and rotator cuff injuries cut short his MLB career. Crow finished his professional career in the Mexican Baseball League, retiring after the 2018 season.

KAYLEE MANNS

Manns was a three-sport standout in volleyball, basketball and soccer at Washburn Rural, leading the Junior Blues to their first-ever Class 6A state volleyball championship in 2004.

Manns went on to a stellar career at Iowa State, where she led her team to three consecutive NCAA Sweet 16 appearances. Manns was an American Volleyball Coaches Association second-team All-American in 2008 and 2009, a Volleyball Magazine first-team All-American in 2009 and earned All-Big 12 first-team honors in 2008 and 2009.

Manns was named the Iowa State Female Student-Athlete of the Year in 2008 and was inducted into the Iowa State Hall of Fame in 2021. She finished her career as the Cyclones'; career assists leader and fourth all-time in assists in the Big 12. Manns was the first player in Big 12 history to record 5,500 assists, 1000 digs, 300 kills and 300 blocks in a career. Manns was one of 24 players selected for the U.S. Women’s National Training Team.

A member of the Kansas Volleyball Association Hall of Fame, Manns has put together a long pro career, playing for teams in Switzerland, Germany, Norway, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Turkey, and Brazil. She has also played in the USA Professional Volleyball League and Athletes Unlimited.

DANI (McHENRY) SCHMIDT

Dani (McHenry) Schmidt led Shawnee Heights' volleyball team to back-to-back Class 5A state titles in 1999 and 2000. Schmidt earned first-team All-Centennial League recognition all four years and was the league player of the year her sophomore, junior and senior years. A member of the Kansas Volleyball Association Hall of Fame, Schmidt was named to the 5A All-State team her sophomore, junior, and senior years and was the Kansas Sports Magazine Player of the Year in 2000.

Dani (McHenry) Schmidt became the first AVCA All-American in Washburn history when she earned honorable mention in 2003. The next year she was named a third-team All-American selection. McHenry played volleyball three years at Washburn after transferring from Kansas and recorded 1,491 kills, which was sixth all-time at Washburn. She helped lead the Lady Blues to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2002. Schmidt earned All-MIAA first-team honors three times.

After having 23 double-figure kill matches her first year for Washburn she had more than 30 each of her last two seasons as a Lady Blue. Her 558 kills her junior year was the third-highest season total in Washburn history. She also finished her career first all-time in career kills per set with 4.01.

McHenry also played basketball under her father, Ron McHenry, for four years at Washburn and helped the Lady Blues to a NCAA Division II national championship and four MIAA regular- season titles.