TSN 2021

As we complete our first year at TopSports.News and roll into 2022, we would like to re-introduce our TSN team.  But, most importantly, we would like to say THANK YOU to every one that has clicked, read, commented and followed us throughout this year.  Stay tuned, much more to come! 

Rick PetersonRick Peterson, Director of Content, Feature Writer, Editor 

Rick has been a sportswriter for more than 40 years, moving to The Topeka Capital-Journal in 1989. The first sportswriter to become a two-time winner of the Kansas State High School Activities Association's Oscar Stauffer award and a five-time winner of the National Sports Media Association Kansas Sportswriter of the Year award. Has also received sportswriter of the year awards from the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association, the Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association, the United States Tennis Association Missouri Valley Region, and other organizations as well as writing awards from the Kansas Press Association. 

K Haskin new mugKevin Haskin, Contributor  

A six-time winner of the National Sports Media Association Kansas Sportswriter of the Year award. He began his career as a sportswriter with stints at the Iola Register and Kansas City Kansan before moving to The Topeka Capital-Journal. Kevin has spent more than 30 years as a beat writer and columnist.

Isaac Deer mugIsaac Deer Contributor
Isaac is currently a Journalism student at Washburn University. Prior to joining TopSports.News, Isaac was a freelance journalist for several Minor League Baseball affiliates. He joined the Topeka Golden Giants as the President of Baseball Operations/General Manager of the team; also, has served as a League Executive for Mid-Plains League Collegiate Baseball. He has served as a play-by-play radio broadcaster for the Mid-Plains League and contributed sports articles for KSNT News in Topeka. 

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Rural wrestling, High softball headline TSN list of top girls prep stories of 2021

Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer


Two of the Kansas' most dominant girls athletic teams of 2021 call Shawnee County home.

So not surprisingly, those two teams -- Washburn Rural girls wrestling and Topeka High softball -- hold down the top two spots on' list of the Top 10 Shawnee County girls sports stories of 2021.

Washburn Rural has dominated girls wrestling in the state since the Kansas State High School Activities Association made it an official sport in the 2019-2020 school year, winning back to back state team championships and producing three individual champs, while Topeka High is coming off its best softball season in school history, going wire to wire for a perfect 25-0 season and the school's first state title in the sport.

And while the Junior Blues and Trojans were the only Shawnee County girls teams to capture state team championships in '21, five others posted top-three state team finishes while county athletes won nine individual titles in four different sports.

Here's a look at' top 10 Shawnee County girls prep stories of 2021:

FHWjqtSWYAIgDS8Washburn Rural's girls wrestling team poses for a team picture after winning its second straight state team championship last February. [File photo/TSN]

1. TWO FOR TWO  -- Washburn Rural made history when it won the first official girls wrestling state title in 2020 and Damon Parker's Junior Blues were even better in 2021. Led by individual champs Dajia Anderson and Rebekah Smith and finalist Addison Broxterman, the Junior Blues rolled to championship No. 2 by a commanding 100-74 margin over Wichita North and became the first school in state history to win girls and boys titles in the same season.

ZoeCarylSeaman2 1Zoe Caryl, now at Illinois, was a star senior catcher for Topeka High's Class 6A state championship softball team last spring, with the Trojans posting a 25-0 record. [File photo/TSN]

2. QUEENS OF THE DIAMOND -- Shawnee County has long been known for its softball prowess, with seven county teams winning state championships. With pitching and hitting star NiJaree Canady and fellow Division I recruits Zoe and Adisyn Caryl helping lead the way, Shane Miles' 2021 Topeka High team staked its claim as one of the best ever, capping a perfect season with a 7-1 win over Olathe North in the state championship game.

KadenceJeffriesTopeka West senior Kadence Jeffries is a four-time Class 5A-1A state swimming champion going four for four in her individual races in the state meet. [File photo/TSN]

3. STREAK CONTINUES -- There was a year in between due to COVID-19, but Topeka West swimming star Kadence Jefferies kept her streak intact of never losing an individual race in the Class 5A-1A state meet. Jeffries swept the 200 and 500-yard freestyle state titles as a freshman  in 2019. Then, after the entire '20 season was canceled, Jeffries, who recently signed with Division I Nebraska-Omaha, swept the same two events in '21, winning the 200 in 1 minutes, 53.08 seconds and the 500 in 5:03.13.

Dajia AndersonactionDajia Anderson was a two-time state wrestling champion for Washburn Rural, helping lead the Junior Blues to a pair of state team titles. [File photo/TSN]

4. TREND SETTERS -- Dajia Anderson became the first city girls wrestler to win a KSHSAA state title in 2020 when she captured the 235-pound crown to clinch Washburn Rural's first state team crown. Anderson made history again last February when she became the city's first two-time state champ, winning at 191, and had company on the victory stand from senior teammate Rebekah Smith as Rural rolled to its second straight title.

Seaman's doubles team of Grace Unruh and Lauren Sweeney went 36-0 last fall en route to a Class 5A state title. [File photo/TSN]Seaman's doubles team of Grace Unruh (left) and Lauren Sweeney went 36-0 this past fall en route to a Class 5A state title. [File photo/TSN]

5. QUEST COMPLETE -- Seaman tennis stars Grace Unruh and Lauren Sweeney were one of the state's best doubles teams in 2020, finishing fourth in Class 5A, but were determined to finish their quest for a state championship in '21. Done! Unruh, a senior, and Sweeney, a junior, swept city, Centennial League and regional championships for the second straight season before finishing off a perfect 36-0 season with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Andover Central's Maya Chon and Bryer Geoffroy in the state final.

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