By RICK PETERSON
Hayden's Klaus Kreutzer and Washburn Rural's Brian Hensyel, who have led multiple teams to state championships, lead the list of contenders for the No.1 spot on the TopSports.news Shawnee County Best of the Best Coaches list in soccer while four other former and current local coaches have also notched state titles.
Kreutzer has led the Hayden boys to Class 4A state championships in 2000 and '12 and added 4A-1A girls titles in 2012, '13 and '15 while Hensyel has led Washburn Rural's boys to 6A state crowns in 2009 and '12 while the Junior Blues have also posted seven state runner-up finishes (four girls, three boys), including seconds in both the boys and girls tournaments in 2021-2022.
Former Topeka High coach Joe Waldron led the Trojans to a 6A state championship in 1997 and a pair of second-place finishes while Lionel Saurez coached Washburn Rural to the 6A boys title in 2002.
Former Topeka West coach Tim Collins led the Chargers to the 5A-1A girls championship in 2001 while former Shawnee Heights coach Marc Serrano led the T-Birds to the 5A-1A title in 2004 and a pair of runner-up finishes.
Eleven candidates are listed at https://linkto.run/p/2LH96HJB while readers also have the option of writing in a name.
Other candidates include former Shawnee Heights coaches Mike Balint and Steve Loy, former Seaman coach Louis Di Leonardo, former Topeka West coach Chris McGinnis and current Cair Paravel Latin coach Doug Woolery, whose Lion girls posted a fourth-place finish in 4A-1A this past season.
Balint's Heights boys reached multiple state finals while McGinnis' West girls also played for a state title.
Vote as many times as you wish, with the only requirement that eligible candidates must have served as a head coach or assistant at one of the county's high schools.
Final selections will be based on reader vote as well as input from TSN contributors and current and past local sports media professionals.
Votes will be accepted through July 15 before TSN publishes our Best of the Best lists in July and August.
NEXT UP: Softball (Ballot will be posted on July 5).