News set to honor top senior Shawnee County student-athletes

Rick Peterson

By RICK PETERSON will honor outstanding Shawnee County high school senior student-athletes in 10 different categories at Wednesday's 17th annual Topeka Shawnee County High School Sports Awards banquet, which will be presented in conjunction with the induction of the 2022 Hall of Fame class.

PolterBB 1Recent Seaman graduate Aidan Polter (22), who played baseball and football for the Vikings, is nominee for the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards, which will be presented Wednesday night at Washburn's Memorial Union. [File photo/TSN]

TannerNewkirktrackFour-time state champ Tanner Newkirk of Hayden is a fall and spring candidate for the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards, which will be presented Wednesday night at Washburn's Memorial Union. [File photo/TSN]

NiJareeCanadyregional2 1Topeka High graduate NiJaree Canady, who has led the Trojans to back-to-back Class 6A state softball titles, is a nominee for the Topeka Shawnee County Female Spring Athlete of the Year award. [File photo/TSN]

Krueger BB 002Recent Washburn Rural grad Emma Krueger helped lead the Junior Blues to a pair of Class 6A state basketball titles in her high school career. Krueger is a nominee for the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards. [Submitted photo], in partnership with the University of Kansas Health Systems St Francis Campus, A-1 Lock and Key and Washburn University, will host the 6 p.m. event at the Washburn University Memorial Union..

Awards will be presented to top female and male athletes in the fall, winter and spring seasons, as well as overall female and male athletes of the year and the most inspirational female and male.

A complete list of nominees is listed below.

To be eligible, an athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.0. Athletes were nominated by their schools' athletic directors and coaches.

In addition to the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards, James Letcher Jr. and Faith Rottinghaus will be honored as Washburn University Athletes of the Year and Aaron Crow, Kaylee Manns and Dani (McHenry) Schmidt will be inducted as the 2022 Topeka Shawnee County Hall of Fame class.

A  committee of local media members selected the 2022 high school winners, including the selection of overall female and male athletes of the year. 


FALL FEMALE — Kate Roeder, Hayden; Grace Unruh, Seaman; Camilla Ossola, Silver Lake; Anna Newcome, Topeka West; Khloi Bird, Washburn Rural.

FALL MALE — Carter Brian, Cair Paravel Latin; Tanner Newkirk, Hayden; Torrey Horak, Rossville; Jace Moore, Seaman; Jarin Sanders, Shawnee Heights; Tylan Alejos, Topeka High; Jaq'Son Birdwhistle-Bush, Topeka West; Porter Schafersman, Washburn Rural.

WINTER FEMALE — Jaley Barkley, Cair Paravel Latin; Macy Smith, Hayden; Celeste Gonzalez, Highland Park; Rylee Murray, Seaman; Talayah Thomas, Topeka High; Kendra Umscheid, Topeka West; Emma Krueger, Washburn Rural.

WINTER MALE — Noah Hastert, Cair Paravel Latin; Trent Duffey, Hayden; Juan'Tario Roberts, Highland Park; Ty Henry, Seaman; Brock Ferguson, Shawnee Heights; Richard Carter, Topeka High; Elijah Brooks, Topeka West; Nathen Trachta, Washburn Rural.

SPRING FEMALE —  Carly Stuke, Hayden; Vanesa Quinones, Rossville; Gabby Grace, Seaman; Tatum Hoge, Shawnee Heights; Taryn Burkhardt, Silver Lake; NiJaree Canady, Topeka High; Kadence Jeffries, Topeka West; Campbell Bagshaw, Washburn Rural.

SPRING MALE — Tanner Newkirk, Hayden; Torrey Horak, Rossville; Dagen Brewer, Seaman; Caden Walker, Shawnee Heights; Daigan Kruger, Silver Lake; Zander Putthoff, Topeka West; Zach Sulzen-Watson, Washburn Rural.

MOST INSPIRATIONAL FEMALE — Celeste Gonzalez, Highland Park; Drew Baxter, Seaman; Taryn Dial, Shawnee Heights; DayShauna Wiley, Topeka High; Trenna Whitmore, Washburn Rural.

MOST INSPIRATIONAL MALE — Corey Catron, Rossville; Aidan Polter, Seaman; Carter Olson, Shawnee Heights; Richard Carter, Topeka High; Aidan Boline, Washburn Rural.

Shawnee Heights Battle of the Bigs puts spotlight on the guys in the trenches

Rick Peterson


When high school football practice begins in mid-August, linemen will go back to laboring in relative obscurity.

FVvMazUXwAUkh3fShawnee Heights junior Rykan Carver, who finished second individually, competes in the obstacle course during Monday's Battle of the Bigs Lineman Challenge at Shawnee Heights. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

But Monday's Battle of the Bigs Lineman Challenge at Shawnee Heights was all about the men in the trenches.

Fifty-nine linemen from Shawnee Heights, Topeka West, Washburn Rural, Basehor-Linwood, Blue Valley and Royal Valley took part in the Battle of the Bigs, competing in a variety of drills/activities while competing for individual and team prizes.

"We do it because the skill guys get to have fun all summer and the linemen, all they do is push sleds and work in the weight room, so we see this as kind of a way to reward the linemen and kind of create that unity in their unit,'' Shawnee Heights coach Jason Swift said. "They always say they have a great time.'' 




Participating athetes took part in nine measured events:

• 40-yard scoop and score.

• Tractor tire flip.

• Pro agility drill.

• 10-yard sled pull.

• 185-pound bench press for reps.

• Medicine ball toss.

• 10-yard sled drive.

• Pursuit drill.

• Obstacle course.

"We wanted to do something fun for the linemen,'' Swift said. "Linemen are always like, 'How come we don't get to do 7 on 7, how come we don't get to do stuff?' So that's why we put this together: 'Let's make it a fun day, non-contact, but competitive. More importantly we want to help build that brotherhood inside the trenches.''

Top 8 Individuals

Zach Pombo – BVHS – 208

Rykan Carver – SHHS – 205

Lukas Hanks – WRHS – 202

Cooper Veit – BVHS – 197

Caleb Seelbach – SHHS – 196

Kyrece Robinson – TWHS – 196

Logan Gail – BLHS – 194

Lincoln Stueve – BVHS -193

Top 4 Teams

Blue Valley High School                  984

Shawnee Heights High School     956

Basehor-Linwood High School     932

Washburn Rural High School       911