Dinkel takes No. 1 spot on TSN Top 25 list of county football elite

Rick Peterson



With a list of candidates that includes 11 Shawnee County football players that made it to the National Football League, three that played in the Super Bowl and numerous other college standouts as well as two of the most prolific high school stars in Kansas history, picking a No. 1 for' Best of the Best Top 25 was a arduous task.

In the end, the guy that helped put local football on the map back in the 1970s, former Shawnee Heights/Kansas star and longtime Cincinnati Bengal linebacker Tom Dinkel, gets the nod.

TomDinkel2Tom Dinkel [Submitted]

Dinkel, who helped the Bengals reach the Super Bowl after the 1981 season, played seven seasons in the NFL and also played in the USFL for the Jacksonville Bulls after being drafted in the fifth round by Cincinnate in the fifth round of the '78 draft.

Troy WilsonTroy Wilson [1994 Fleer Cards]

Taking the next two spots on the Top 25 were Super Bowl alums Troy Wilson (Shawnee Heights) and Michael Wilhoite (Highland Park), who both put together extended pro careers, while former NFL players Kyle McNorton (Seaman) and Trey Lewis (Washburn Rural) round out the top five, just ahead of Chicago Bears rookie Teven Jenkins (Topeka High), New York Jets third-year play Corey Ballentine (Shawnee Heights) and Cincinnati Bengals rookie Wyatt Hubert (Shawnee Heights).

Ky ThomasnewKy Thomas [TSN file photo]

Topeka High product Ky Thomas and Rossville's Tucker Horak, who carved out history-making high school careers, went one-two in the Readers Choice Awards, combining for more than 500 reader votes. Horak is currently a senior running back at Pittsburg State while Thomas is a redshirt freshman back at Minnesota.

Former Rossville and Kansas standout lineman Duane Zlatnik, currently an assistant coach for Washburn Rural, also received considerable reader support, finishing No. 3 in Readers Choice balloting.

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


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Rural star, D-I standout Morgan tops TSN Top 25 men's XC list

Rick Peterson



Jacob Morgan proved himself over and over again as one of the all-time great distance runners in Shawnee County history, establishing himself as a superstar at Washburn Rural before going on to excel at the NCAA Division I level for both Colorado State and Kansas.

A two-time Class 6A state champion and four-time top-10 finisher for the Junior Blues, including an undefeated senior season, Morgan went on to compete in the NCAA Championships for both Colorado State and KU, twice earning All-Big 12 and All-Region honors for the Jayhawks.

 JacobMorganKUJacob Morgan [KU Athletics]

And while the Shawnee County Best of the Best Top 25 list is crowded with outstanding runners dating back to the 1960s, Morgan's impressive resume earned him the No. 1 spot.

Former Topeka West great Rob Hays, a two-time state champion for the Chargers and a standout at Kansas State, takes the No. 2 spot on the Best of the Best list while two-time state champion Grant Cain of Seaman, current Hayden star and state champ Tanner Newkirk and former Silver Lake state champ Chad Brake round out the top five.

Tegan MichaelmugTegan Michael [Saint Mary Athletics]

Topeka West two-time state placer Tegan Michael, No. 17 in the No. 25, was a runaway winner in the Readers Choice Awards, garnering more than 750 votes, while Morgan and Newkirk finished two-three in reader votes. 

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


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