Topeka High School will induct its inaugural class into the Sports Hall of Honor on Thursday night.

An invitational only recognition ceremony will be held on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the Topeka High student cafeteria and inductees will also be recognized during halftime of Friday's home boys basketball game between the Trojans and Hayden.

A permanent Hall of Honor display will be placed in the West Hall, adjacent to the THS main gym.

Inductees were nominated and selected in five categories:

• Trojan Award -- Athletes with great accomplishments during high school and possibly beyond.

• Black and Gold Award -- Post graduation achievement award who attained their athletic success after graduating Topeka High.

• Hoy Hoy Award -- Topeka High coaches who achieved great success while coaching at Topeka High.

• Spirit Award -- Teams who achieved great success at Topeka High.

•Three Cheera Award -- Support staff who make extraordinary contributions to the success of a team, athlete and/or Topeka High athletics.

Topeka High Hall of Honor capsules:

Trojan Award -- Athletes

JudyDyerTHighHOF 1Judy Dyer, a 1968 Olympian, will be inducted into Topeka High's Hall of Honor on Thursday night. [Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame]

JUDY DYER (Class of 1966)

Though Dyer was an excellent all-around athlete, her specialty was track and field. Dyer competed in track and field before Topeka High had a women's progrm and held Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) records in the 50-yard dash, 75-yard dash and the long jump.

Prior to college Dyer ranked eighth in the nation in the long jump with a leap of 18 feet, 5 inches. She went on to compete at Texas Southern and became one of the most decorated female athletes of her time. She was a member of the conference record-setting  4x100 and sprint medley relay teams.

Her highest accomplishment came while competing in the hurdles, placing third in the 1968 Olympic Trials to earn a berth in the '68 Olympics in Mexico City. Dyer was the first female athlete inducted into the Texas Southern Sports Hall of Fame and the first Texas Southern female ahlete inducted into the Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame.

In 2001 Dyer was inducted into the Southwestern Athletic Conference Hall of Fame and in 2016 she was inducted into the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame. 

FredSlaughterTHighHOF 1The late Fred Slaughter, a former national champion at UCLA, will be part of Topeka High's inaugural Hall of Honor class. [Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame]

FRED SLAUGHTER (Class of 1960)

Slaughter participated in football, basketball and track and field at Topeka High, leading the Trojans to a runner-up state finish in track in 1958 and winning the 100-yard dash in 9.9 seconds.

Slaughter went on to concentrate on basketball in college, playing for legendary Hall of Fame coach John Wooden at UCLA. Slaughter earned the Seymour Armour Memorial Award as the nation's Most Valuable Freshman and in 1964 helped lead the Bruins to a 30-0 record and it's first-ever NCAA national championship. Slaughter finished as the second-leading rebounder in UCLA history with 791. He also served as the UCLA Senior Class President during the 1963-1964 school year.

He earned a Master's Degree in Business Administration and a Juris Doctor Degree from Columbia University Law School. Slaughter would serve as the Assistant Dean of Admissions and Student Affairs at ULCA and later became a sports agent and attorney for professional athletes.

Slaughter is a member of the UCLA Hall of Fame, the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame and the Topeka High Hall of Fame.

PrestonCarringtonTHighHOF 1Preston Carrington, now Syed Mutfi, will be part of Topeka High's inaugural Hall of Honor class Thursday night. [Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame]


Known in high school as Preston Carrington, he was an outstanding athlete in basketball and track and field for Topeka High. Carrington was an All-State basketball player as a senior and was also the state high jump champion at 6 feet, 83/4 inches.

He started his college career at Butler County Community College where he became a two-time track and field All-American. Carrington transferred to Wichita State where he was a two-year starter in basketball and an All-American in track and field. He triple-jumped 48-3/4, ran the 100 dash in 9.5, ran the 120-yard hurdles in 14.0 and placed third in the 1970 NCAA Championships in the long jump and finished fifth in 1971.

Carrington qualified for 1972 Olympic Trials in the long jump and placed third with a jump of 26-31/2. He competed in the 1972 Olympics in Munich Germany, playing fifth at 26-113/4.

He is a member of the Wichita State Sports Hall of Fame and the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame.


Arguably one of the most multi-talented athletes in Topeka High history it was in track and field where JaNelle could literally do it all. She finished her high school career as a six-time Class 6A track and field individual champion, participating primarily in the hurdles and high jump. Wright Casson holds the all-time state record in the 100-meter hurdles in 13.62 seconds and is fourth all-time in the high jump at 5-103/4.

Wright Casson shares the school record in the high jump with Rita Graves, who preceded JaNelle at Kansas State and was a multi-time All-Big 8 and NCAA All-American. While at Kansas State Wright Casson became a four-year letter-winner, a two-time All-American, the 2004 Indoor Big 12 Indoor Pentathlon champion and a multi-time All-Big 12 honoree.

She finished her college career with the second-highest Pentathlon score in school history with 4,173 points and particpated in the 2004 Olympic Trials in the heptathlon.

Wright Casson was ranked No. 80 on the list of the Top 100 All-Time Athletes in Shawnee County history.

Black And Gold Award -- Post-Graduate Achievement

RUTH FAIRBANK (Class of 1937)

Well before girls were allowed to participate in high school and even collegiate athletics, Fairbank became a Kansas legend. She was prodigious in softball, basketball and later tennis. Fairbank was named an All-American in 1935 in club basketball and was a multi-time All-Star softball player.

While attending Washburn University, Fairbank continued to play for softball and basketball teams sponsored by local businesses such as Capper's, Ed Marling's Furniture and Santa Fe Railway, playing well into her 30s. As a softball player, Fairbank's teams won multiple state championships and participated in the national tournament.

Fairbank picked up the sport of tennis later and won multiple city championships in singles, doubles and mixed doubles while becoming a major contributor in establishing tennis as a flourishing sport in Topeka.

Fairbank participated in multiple sports while also working for Santa Fe Railway for 40 years after graduating from Washburn University. 

JANET NUZMAN (Class of 1949)

A pioneer in women's sports, Nuzman attended Topeka High prior to girls sports in high school. She was an active member and leader of many extracurricular clubs and activities. Nuzman was a member of the Senior Girls Council, Honor Pep Club and Senior Leader of Girls in Green, a club promoting girls physical education and sports.

Nuzman went on to graduate from Kansas State with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education then earned a Master of Science Degree in Education/Physical Education from the University of Kansas.

After a brief stint teaching at Highland Park, Nuzman joined the Washburn University women's physical education department in 1962. It was at WU where Nuzman became a true pioneer in women's sports by organizing, developing and becoming the head coach of multiple sports -- gymnastics (1968-70), field hockey (1968-70), basketball (1969-70), softball (1970-71) and volleyball (1969-81). 

Nuzman is a member of the Washburn University Athletic Hall of Fame and the Highland Park Teacher's Hall of Fame and was recognized posthumously by both the NCAA and MIAA as a Title IX Champion. 

DeanSmithTHighHOFThe late Dean Smith, former legendary North Carolina basketball coach, will be past of Topeka High's inaugural Hall of Honor class on Thursday. [North Carolina Athletics]

DEAN SMITH (Class of 1949)

Known primarily as a collegiate basketball coaching Hall of Famer, Smith attended Topeka High his junior and senior years after previously attending Emporia High. During his high school career Smith was a four-year letterman in basketball and an All-State pick as a senior. Smith also played quarterback in football and was a catcher in baseball.

During his time at Topeka High Smith felt strongly that the all-black team known as the Ramblers should be integrated with the all-white Trojans. Smith and his Ramblers friend, Jack Alexander, worked together to convince the administration to merge. The year after Smith and Alexander graduated the two teams were integrated.

Smith went on to play basketball at Kansas, helping the Jayhawks win the 1952 NCAA national championship and post a runnerup finish in 1953. In 1961 Smith became the head coach at North Carolina and went on to compile a record of 879-254 with two NCAA national championships, 11 Final Four appearances, 13 ACC tournament titles, 17 ACC regular-season championships and one NIT title.

Smith served as the head coach in the 1976 Olympics and led the USA to the gold medal. Smith was an eight-time ACC coach of the year and is a member of the FIBA Hall of Fame, the Basketball Hall of Fame and the College Basketball Hall of Fame. In 2013 Smith was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Smith is also a member of the Topeka Shawnee County Hall of Fame.

MikeTorrezTHighHOF 1Former World Series champion Mike Torrez will be inducted into Topeka High's Hall of Honor Thursday night. [Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame]

MIKE TORREZ (Class of 1964)

The year that Torrez began his high school career was the same year baseball was dropped by USD 501 schools until the late 1980s when it was reinstated. Torrez excelled on the basketball court for the Trojans and starred in baseball on the summer circuit. Shortly after his high school graduation Torrez signed with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Torrez made his Major League debut in 1967 and became a full-time player in 1969. In addition to the Cardinals, Torrez pitched in the majors for the Montreal Expos, Baltimore Orioles, Oakland Athletics, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and New York Mets. 

Torrez won two games in the 1977 World Series for the world-champion Yankees, striking out 15 batters. Torrez ranks 130th all-time in Major League Baseball in innings pitched and recorded wins over every team in the majors while compiling a career record of 185-160 and recording 1,404 strikeouts.

Torrez is a member of the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, the Kansas Baseball Hall of Fame and the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame.

SteveTilford 4The late Steve Tilford will be inducted into the Topeka High Hall of Honor on Thursday. [Submitted photo]

STEVE TILFORD (Class of 1978)

From a very early age the late Tilford rode bicycles and he won the Kansas State Road Cycling Championship at the age of 14. Tilford was named to the U.S. Junior National Cycling Team in 1978, the same year he graduated from Topeka High.

Tilford became a permanent resident at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in 1981 and began competing internationally for the U.S. team. In 1983 he won the U.S. National Cyclocross Bike Championships and the U.S. National Mountain Bike Championship.

Tilford turned professional in 1986 and placed second in the Olympic Mountain Bike Trials. He went on to finish in the top 20 at the World Mountain Bike Championships five times. He was the Professional Cyclocross national champion in 1991 and 1992 and won the World Masters Mountain Championships five times and the World Masters Cyclocross champion twice.

He is a member of the U.S. Mountain Bike Hall of Fame and is a member of the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame.

ChrisBarnesTHighHOFPBA bowling Hall of Famer Chris Barnes will be inducted as part of Topeka High's inaugural Hall of Honor class on Thursday. [File photo/PBA]

CHRIS BARNES (Class of 1988)

Bowling was not a high school sport when Barnes attended Topeka High, but he participated in basketball, football, track and golf. Barnes played on the Trojans' 1986 state championship basketball team.

Barnes went on to bowl at Wichita State and turned professional in 1988 and was named the Professional Bowlers Association Rookie of the Year. Barnes has gone on to become one of the leading bowlers in PBA history, earning Player of the Year honors in 2007 and 2008. Barnes has won the triple crown of professional bowling, winning the U.S. Open in 2005, the PBA Tournament of Champions in 2006 and the PBA World Championship in 2010.

Barnes has won five PBA50 titles, including two majors, and 28 PBA Regional titles. Overall Barnes has won 19 PBA Tour titles and has bowled 55 perfect 300 games. He has also competed internationally for Team USA. He was the World Tenpin Masters champion in 2006, has been a four-time gold medalist in the American Zone Championships and was team captain in the 2019 Weber Cup vs. Team Europe.

He is a member of the PBA Hall of Fame and the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame.

Hoy Hoy Award -- Coaching 

LARRY REID (1959-1970)

Reid was a Topeka High alum, lettering in football, basketball and track and field and serving as a team captain in football and basketball. He went on to become the starting tight end in football for Washburn University while also lettering in basketball.

Reid earned his teaching degree and started his teaching career at Effingham in 1948 while also coaching there. Reid returned to Topeka and began teaching and coaching at Roosevelt Junior High from 1950-1954. In 1954 he began teaching and coaching at Topeka High, becoming the head football coach in 1959. In 1960 Reid was named the city coach of the year. In addition to coaching football, Reid became the Trojans' head tennis coach.

Reid coached four state singles champions in tennis and his coaching success led to being named one of the Top 10 Shawnee County Best of the Best Tennis Coaches.

Later Reid served as president of the Topeka Tennis Association and was inducted into the Topeka Tennis Hall of Fame in 2016.

WillieNicklinnew 4The late Willie Nicklin will be inducted into Topeka High's inaugural Hall of Honor class on Thursday, while his 1973 state championship team will also be inducted. [File photo]

WILLIE NICKLIN (1970-1994)

A 1947 graduate of Horton High School, Nicklin served in the United States Army in 1950-1951. After his Army days Nicklin attended the University of Kansas and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education in 1956. Nicklin earned a Master's of Science Degree in Education from Emporia State Teacher's College.

After stints at three other schools Nicklin began teaching at Topeka High in 1965 and also became an assistant coach in basketball, football and track and field. In 1970 Nicklin became the head boys basketball coach and golf coach at Topeka High. During his 24-year head coaching career in basketball Nicklin's teams accumulated a won-loss record of 359-160 while winning seven Topeka Invitational Tournament championships, two Sunflower League titles and 12 consecutive I-70 League championships.

Nicklin's teams made 11 trips to the state basketball tournament and played in five state championship games with state titles in 1973 and 1986. Nicklin finished with a career coaching record of 501-241.

Nicklin is a member of the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame. 

Spirit Award -- Teams


Willie Nicklin was the Trojans' head coach while Don Reed and Ted Juneau served as assistant coaches and Mike Renfro and Jim Swenson were student managers.

Team members included Steven Bryant, Alonzo Canady, Mike Cunningham, Garry Cushinberry, James Lewis, Mark Lowes, Gerry Lee, Randy Oakes, Dennis Olds, Clark Smith, Jim Swenson, Bobby Washington, Ed Whitlock and Dan Wieser.

Topeka High posted a 21-2 record and also won a league championship. The '73 title was the first of two state championships under Nicklin. 

The title was Topeka High's first boys state championship since 1932.


Ted Juneau was Topeka High's head coach while Mary Moak and Ted Hunt served as assistant coaches. 

Team members included Terri Baylor, Mary Burnett, Tracy Crawford, Angela Herman, DeAnna Kinmon, Kim McMillon, Stacey Perkins, Alicia Revely, Elaine Stewart, Lisa Swopes, Jill Williams and Cathy Willis.

The Trojans posed a 23-1 record, beating Kansas City-Washington for the state championship.

Topeka High also won the Topeka Invitational Tournament, the I-70 League title and a 6A sub-state title.


Coaching staff included Arthur Capelton, Lloyd Kistler, James Parks and Merrill Ross.

A partial list of Ramblers players include Jack Alexander, D. Anderson, Blackwell, William Booth, Orville Brown, J. Brunt, Bunch, Irving Burton, Davis, Charles Douglas, Richard Douglas, Hagen, Hardy, Harvey, High, Hutchinson, Earl Jackson, Jackson, Leonard Johnson, Jolly, Knight, Ed Love, Morehead, Stewart Newman, Sheridan Parks, Sherman Parks, Thayer Phillips, Price, Robert Reed, A. Shinn, J. Shinn, Forrest "Count'' Slaughter, M. Stevens, Harold Washington, Wayne Wheeler, Willis Wheeler, P. Wilson and R. Wright.

The legacy of the Rambers has had an everlasting impact on Topeka High and Topeka Public Schools. The Ramblers were organized in 1935 to afford African-American students an opportunity to participate in high school basketball.

The Ramblers represented Topeka High in a separate league that included other all-Black teams in the area.
















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