Former Rural multi-sport state champ, OU national champ Carey headlines Best of the Best women's softball list

Rick Peterson


From top to bottom, the Best of the Best Shawnee County Top 25 list for women's softball may be the most balanced of any sport in the series.

The list includes national champions at multiple-levels and is chock full of former All-Americans and members of various halls of fame.

The softball is also an extremely diverse list, including players who played in the 1950s as well as players whose careers are still very much on the upswing.

Lisa Carey [Submitted]Lisa Carey

In the end, former Washburn Rural star Lisa Carey, who went on to lead Oklahoma to an NCAA championship, got the nod as the No. 1 while rising stars Lauren Mills and NiJaree Canady garnered the next two spots.

 Lauren MillsLauren Mills

NiJareeCanadyregional2NiJaree Canady

Mills, who helped lead Seaman to a Class 5A state championship as a high school player, is currently a standout for a Wichita State team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament this past season while Canady helped lead Topeka High a perfect 25-0 season and the school's first-ever 6A state softball title.

TaylorZordelTaylor Zordel

Former Washburn Rural multi-sport star and Emporia State All-American Taylor Zordel won the Readers Choice Award, with the current Washburn University assistant coach receiving more than 1,000 votes.

Topeka High product Jaryn Benning ranked No. 2 in reader votes while Mills was third, former Topeka High standout Ellena Cott-Laurie fourth and current Washburn standout Jaycee Ginter fifth. 

Here's a look at the Top 25 and Readers Choice Awards:


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Rural All-American Halsey takes top spot on men's soccer Top 25

Rick Peterson


An All-American at Washburn Rural who went on to turn in an outstanding career at Baker University on the field and in the classroom, Austin Halsey garnered the No. 1 spot in on the TopSports.News Shawnee County Best of the Best Top 25 for men's soccer.

Halsey finished his high school career as the most prolific goal scorer in Washburn Rural history, including 30 goals as a senior when he led the Junior Blues to a runner-up finish in the 2014 Class 6A state tournament.

Halsey, who finished with 57 career goals from '11-14, was the Gatorade Kansas Soccer Player of the Year as a senior and was selected to play in the High School All-American game.

 AustinHalseyAustin Halsey []

Halsey went on to play 83 career games for Baker, including the NAIA National Tournament, and was named the 2018 Champions of Character Award after earning multiple Academic All-America awards.

Former Hayden state champ Connor Beck, who scored 32 goals in his senior season and four in the 2012 state championship game, sits No. 2 on the Best of the Best list while young phenom Nati Clarke, one of the nation's top prospects, earned the third spot and Rural's Joah Hickel and Ross Boyd round out the top five.

Ross BoydRoss Boyd [FHSU Athletics]

Boyd ran away with the Readers Choice Award by more than 100 votes while Clark finished second and 2021 Washburn Rural graduate Ethan Hensyel third.  

Here's a look at the Top 25 and Readers Choice Awards:


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