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By RICK PETERSON

TopSports.news

Hall of Famer Ron Slaymaker didn't really know what to expect when he recently took over as Topeka High's girls basketball coach.

But whatever Slaymaker's expections were, the Trojans have already surpassed them in just a little over a week of summer workouts.

RonSlaymakerTHnew 1Hall of Fame basketball coach Ron Slaymaker has been impressed with his Topeka High girls team in early summer workouts. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

Topeka High went through four days of practice as a team last week and went through a controlled scrimmage against USD 501 rival Topeka West Tuesday at The Dungeon.

"I tell you what, I've been coaching girls for 10 years -- seven years over at Chase County and three years at Olpe -- and I walk in here not having a clue and I am excited,'' said the 87-year-old Slaymaker, best known for a successful 28-year run as Emporia State's men's coach.

"Their attitude is awesome. Walking in here with not too much in terms of expectations, their attitude has just been really good.''

Slaymaker finished his Emporia State career in 1998 with 463 wins, a national coach of the year honor in 1986, six NAIA District 10 Coach of the Year awards, five Central States Intercollegiate Conference championships, four District 10 titles and four appearances in the NAIA National Tournament.

In 1987, Emporia State inducted him into its Athletic Hall of Honor, while Slaymaker is also a member of the Kansas Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame, the NAIA Hall of Fame and the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame. On Feb. 28, 2013 Emporia State re-named the White Auditorium court in Slaymaker's honor.

After retiring from ESU, Slaymaker put together a lengthy career as an official before eventually returning to coaching as the girls coach at Chase County followed by his stint at Olpe.

Slaymaker led both Chase County and Olpe to state tournaments, including back-to-back state appearances at Olpe the past two seasons, before stepping down at Olpe and accepting the Topeka High job.

RonSlaymakerTHnew 4Kansas coaching legend Ron Slaymaker watches his Topeka High Trojans during Tuesday's scrimmage against Topeka West. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

Slaymaker takes over a Topeka High team that posted a 5-15 record last season while going through a coaching change at midseason and not having a senior on the roster.

But Slaymaker, the Trojans' third coach in four seasons, returns numerous players with varsity experience, led by junior to be Keimara Marshall and sophomore Ahsieryhuajh Rayton, who both received All-Shawnee County honorable mention last season.

"There is some talent,'' Slaymaker said. "Not deep talent, but there's some talent. We have a freshman or two that have come in and they're going to play.

"I like what I'm seeing.''

 

 

 

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