News

West's Brooks earns TopSports.news Winter Male Athlete of the Year honor

Rick Peterson

 By RICK PETERSON

TopSports.news

Recent Topeka West graduate Elijah Brooks, honored as the 2021-2022 Mr. Kansas Basketball by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association after a record-setting 2021-2022 season, was named the Topeka Shawnee County Winter Male Athlete of the Year Wednesday night at Washburn.

ElijahBrooksWRFormer Topeka West star Elijah Brooks was named the Topeka Shawnee County Winter Male Athlete of the Year Wednesday night after a record-setting senior season. [File photo/TSN]

Brooks averaged 25.3 points during his senior season and put together a string of 30-point games with a high of 43 points.

Brooks, the TopSports.news Shawnee County and Centennial League Player of the Year, led the Chargers to back-to-back Class 5A state tournament appearances, including a runner-up finish in 2021.

Brooks is West's single-season record-holder (581 points) and career leading scorer (1,450 points).

"Elijah has shown enthusiasm and work ethic that has been commendable and sincere,'' West coach Rick Bloomquist said.

Brooks will play his college basketball at Division I North Dakota.

Other candidates:

RichardCartermugRichard Carter

RICHARD CARTER | Topeka High

PARENTS: Richard and Margaret Carter

SPORT: Swimming | GPA: NA

Carter was a varsity swimmer all four seasons at Topeka High, earning second-team All-City recognition two times. Carter competed in the Class 6A state tournament as a senior in the 400-yard free relay. Carter scored a total of 582 points during his swimming career for the Trojans. Carter competed primarily in the 50-yard freestyle, the 100 free, the 200 free and and the 100 butterfly. Carter plans to attend Grove City College.

TrentDuffeynewTrent Duffey

TRENT DUFFEY | Hayden

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Two-time state champ Krueger TopSports.news Winter Female Athlete of the Year

Rick Peterson

By RICK PETERSON

TopSports.news

Former Washburn Rural basketball standout Emma Krueger was named the TopSports.news Topeka Shawnee County Winter Female Athlete of the Year Wednesday at Washburn University during the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards banquet and Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

EmmaKruegerAwardWashburn Rural product Emma Krueger (right) was named the Topeka Shawnee County Winter Female Athlete of the Year during Wednesday's awards banquet at Washburn. [File photo/TSN]

Krueger was a four-year starter for Washburn Rural, winning Class 6A state championships as a freshman and senior.

"Emma has a work ethic second to none,'' Washburn Rural coach Kevin Bordewick said. "She is one of a handful of athetes that truly plays hard all the time. Emma is a great leader. She leads by her example and holds teammates accountable to the same work ethic.

"She took pride in being our defensive stopper and did whatever it took for our team to succeed.''

As a senior Krueger averaged 8.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.6 steals.

Also a soccer standout, Krueger will play college basketball at Grand Canyon University.

Krueger finished high school with a 4.15 grade point average.

Other candidates:

JaleyBarkleynewmug 2Jaley Barkley

JALEY BARKLEY | Cair Paravel Latin

PARENTS: Shane and Valerie Barkley

SPORT: Basketball | GPA: 4.53

"Jaley is a fantastic leader and worker,'' Cair Paravel coach Brian Ewing said. "She knew my expectations for her senior year and led the team through her dedication and desire. Jaley has always been a hard worker during the season but out of season as well. She put up tens of thousands of shots during COVID, which showed up in her stats this past season. Jaley loves to interact with, and encourage, the younger kids, especially the girls. She knows that eyes are on her for not only how she plays on the court but how she leads throughour her school day and practice.'' Barkey will play college basketball next season for Sterling College.

CelesteGonzalez 2Celeste Gonzalez

CELESTE GONZALEZ | Highland Park

PARENTS: Raul Gonzalez and Clara Caro

SPORT: Wrestling | GPA: 4.2

Gonzalez posted a 17-7 record as a senior and was a two-year letter-winner for Highland Park's girls wrestling team. Gonzalez won the Centennial League indiviual championship at 191 pounds her senior season, qualified for the Class 6A-5A state meet with a runner-up regional finish and earned All-Shawnee County honorable mention. "She had a desire to demonstrate dominance on the mat but was friendly to everyone off the mat,'' Highland Park coach Shannon Keller said. Gonzalez, who also earned All-City honorable mention in soccer, plans to attend college at Washburn University.

rylee 002Rylee Murray

RYLEE MURRAY | Seaman 

PARENTS: TJ and Sonya Murray

SPORT: Wrestling | GPA: 3.34

Murray was Seaman's first Centennial League girls wrestling champion as a junior and the first Viking to secure her place on the state podium in her final season of wrestling, finishing fifth in Class 6A-5A. Murray posted a two-year record of 40-10, with 29 wins coming by pin. Murray is also a softball standout for the Vikings and will play softball at North Central Missouri College. "Rylee is a multi-sport athlete who gives absolutely nothing but her best in everything she does,'' Seaman girls wrestling coach Jordan Best said. "Her commitment to leadership is second to none and she gained respect by pushing everyone to be their best while keeping a smile on her face and lifting the spirits of her teammates as well.''

MacySmithnewmugMacy Smith

MACY SMITH | Hayden

PARENTS: Rob and Cindi Smith

SPORT: Basketball GPA  3.86

Smith missed most of her junior season with an ACL injury, but returned to turn in a solid senior season for the Wildcats. "Macy was the primary ball-handler for our team and was relied heavily upon to score for us,'' Hayden coach Carvel Reynoldson said. "She tore her ACL her junior year so she had a comeback season of sorts. As the knee got stronger she played a bigger role and improved defensively.'' Smith averaged 12 points and was also a team leader in assists. Smith earned All-Shawnee County Top 10 honors and was a second-team All-Centennial League pick, Smith was also a soccer standout for Hayden. 

TaeThomasSr.PicTalayah Thomas

TALAYAH THOMAS | Topeka High

PARENTS: Tobian and Stephanie Thomas

SPORT: Basketball | GPA: 3.71

Thomas was a three-sport standout for Topeka High, handling place-kicking duties for the Trojans in football and starring as point guard in basketball and as a forward in soccer. "She has made some historical memories at Topeka High,'' said Hannah Alexander, Thomas' basketball coach at High. "She has led our girls basketball program to the state tournament all four years of high school. She has an 88-8 record overall. She is a true leader on and off the floor. She is destined for greatness.'' A first-team All-Shawnee County selection, Thomas averaged 14.5 points, 2.9 assists and 2.9 steals as a senior. Thomas will play college basketball at Northwestern Oklahoma.  

Umscheid Kendra 002Kendra Umscheid

KENDRA UMSCHEID | Topeka West

PARENTS: Kevin and Shelly Umscheid

SPORT: Bowling | GPA: 3.725

Umscheid helped Topeka West reach the Class 5A-1A state bowling tournament as a senior. "Kendra is a great team player,'' Topeka West coach Alyx Nash said. "She sets high goals for herself and those around her. She creates a positive mindset and a supporting environment to motivate herself and team to their goals. She represents herself on the lanes, in the classroom and in her everyday actions to the best of her abilities. Her accomplishments are and will continue to be a reflection of this.'' Umscheid plans to study computer science at Wichita State University.