By RICK PETERSON
Local sports greats Kyle McNorton, Kyle Weems and Michael Wilhoite will join the Topeka Shawnee County Hall of Fame on June 30, 2021, the 15th induction class into the local shrine.
TopSports.news, in conjunction with Envista Credit Union and A-1 Lock and Key, will host the induction and Topeka Shawnee County sports awards ceremonies at the Capitol Plaza Hotel's Maner Conference Center Sunflower Ballroom.
McNorton is a 1978 Seaman High graduata who went on to become a star linebacker for the University of Kansas before playing in the NFL for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Weems is a 2007 graduate of Highland Park, where he earned All-State basketball honors before going on to become the Missouri Valley player of the year and embark on a long and continuing professional career overseas.
Wilhoite is also a graduate of HIghland Park, where he was a basketball teammate of Weems. Wilhoite went on to star at Washburn University and played six seasons in the National Football League before being an assistant coach in the NFL.
Both Weems and Wilhoite were coached in high school by Ken Darting, a 2015 inductee into the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame.
The most recent Topeka Shawnee County banquet was held in 2019 before last year's ceremonies were canceled due to COVID-19.
General admission tickets are $25 per person and includes dinner. Ticket information is available on topsports.news.
Shawnee County's top senior student-athletes will be honored for the 16th time while TopSports.news will also honor an oustanding female and male athlete from Washburn University for the first time.
Shawnee County high schools Cair Paravel Latin, Hayden, Highland Park, Rossville, Seaman, Shawnee Heights, Silver Lake, Topeka High, Topeka West and Washburn Rural will be 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 will also be asked to nominate a female and male candidate for most inspirational athlete.
A committee of local media members will select the 2021 winners, including the selection of overall female and male athletes of the year.
The winners of Washburn's outstanding male and female awards and the nominees for this year's high school awards will be announced in the near future.
The most recent Hall of Fame class in 2019 included Washburn Rural coaching legend Ron Bowen, 17-time state cross county and track champion Trisa Nickoley of Shawnee Heights and the late Pete Goering, who served The Topeka Capital-Journal as a sports reporter, columnist and editor for in a 35-year career at the paper.
Hayden's Brooklyn Hunter and Washburn Rural's Carly Bachelor were named co-outstanding female athletes of the year in 2019 while Rural's Jordan White was named the male outstanding athlete.
Hall of Fame class of 2021 capsules: