Hogle, Purnell earn top Topeka Shawnee County honors for 2021


Recent Silver Lake graduate Ellington Hogle and Hayden product Desmond Purnell earned the top honors in Wednesday's Topeka Shawnee County Spors Awards banquet at the Maner Convention Center.

Hogle, a three-sport standout for the Eagles was named the 2021 Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year while former Hayden football star and Division I signee Desmond Purnell was the Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year honoree.

HogleoverallSilver Lake's Ellington Hogle receives her award as 2021 Topeka Shawnee County Female Athlete of the Year from Hall of Fame inductee Michael Wilhoite. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

PurnelloverallFormer Hayden football star Desmond Purnell talks with master of ceremonies Bruce Steinbrock after being named Topeka Shawnee County Male Athlete of the Year Wednesday night. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

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T-Birds' Hicks honored as Most Inspirational Male Athlete


Shawnee Heights product Aidan Hicks was honored as' Topeka Shawnee County Most Inspirational Athlete of the Year Wednesday after bouncing back from major heart surgery early last fall to end his high school career as a state medalist in track and field.

DSC 5248Shawnee Heights product Aidan Hicks does is interviewed by Bruce Steinbrock after being named the Topeka Shawnee County Most Inspirational Male Athlete Wednesday night. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

"In September, Aidan found out he had major leakage in two of his four heart valves,'' Shawnee Heights football coach Jason Swift said. "He had major heart surgery and was told his football career was over, but with tremendous rehab he might be able to throw in track in the spring.

"Aidan took care of his body, worked hard on recovery and rebuilding the 20 pounds he lost and had a great senior year in track.'' 


Hicks capped his senior season with a fourth-place state finish in the Class 5A boys javelin throw and plans to compete in track and field at Emporia State.

Other Most Inspirational Male nominees:

Dawson Adams mugDawson Adams


PARENTS: Ryan and Melissa Adams

SPORT: Cross country and track and field | GPA: 3.46

A two-time All-City pick in cross country, Adams was a Class 4A state placer in both cross country and track and field. "Without Dawson we don't accomplish what we did as a boys team this season,'' Hayden cross country and track coach DeJuan Gardenhire said. "Dawson would be the first one to practice and the last to leave. Dawson would always be there for everybody to cheer them on and made sure everybody had a positive mindset no matter if it was practice or a meet. Many of our newcomers would look up to Dawson and would ask him about race strategy, motivation or anything related.'' Adams plans to run in college at the University of Saint Mary's.

KaidenBrown 2Kaiden Brown

KAIDEN BROWN | Rossville

PARENTS: Christopher and Michelle Brown

SPORT: Football | GPA: 3.3

Brown was an All-Class 2A linebacker for the state-champion Bulldawgs and a two-time state-champion powerlifter while also establishing himself as a leader in his school. "As a new administration took over at Rossville High School, students were sought for their leadership ability to establish a positive culture within our building,'' Brown's nomination form stated. "As a freshman, Kaiden was identified as a student who not only could lead, but would accept the responsibility to lead by example. With Kaiden you get the student who will stand up for what's right even when it isn't popular among his peers.'' 

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