Hoffman gets nod as TSN Best of the Best men's tennis player

Rick Peterson


Topeka High product Joel Hoffman, who excelled at the high school, Division I and professional level, headlines the Best of the Best Shawnee County Top 25 list for men's tennis. 

Hoffman won the state singles championships in 1976 (Class 6A-5A) and '77 (5A), including an undefeated season, for Topeka High before going on to star at the NCAA Division I level for nationally-ranked Houston, receiving the school's top student-athlete award as a senior captain for the Cougars.

After college Hoffman played professionally three years on the International ATP men's circuit and was ranked as high as 127th in tne world in doubles and 329th in singles.

JoelHoffmanJoel Hoffman [Submitted]

JohnGranthamJohn Grantham [File photo]

TommyHunterTommy Hunter [Washburn Athletics]

Topeka High grad John Grantham, the city's first three-time state singles champ and an individual and Big 8 team champ at Kansas, earned the No. 2 spot on the Top 25, while the city's only four-time state champion, former Hayden star Tommy Hunter, sits No. 3.

Former Topeka High and Division I standouts Tim Clark (Arkansas) and Kevin Hedberg (South Florida) round out the top five, while Mark Nordstrom (Topeka High), Jeff Benson (Topeka West), Dick Mechem (Topeka High), Randy McGrath (Topeka High) and Junior Brown (Topeka High) earned the next five positions of the Top 10.

Nine of the Best of the Best Top 10 are members of the Topeka Tennis Association Hall of Fame.

Danny WilliamsDanny Williams

Danny Williams claimed the Readers Choice award with more than 800 votes while Sumeet Patel finished second and the Davids brothers, Austin and Andrew, finished third and fourth in reader votes.

Williams was a high school standout and an All-American at Johnson County Community College while Patel was a 6A doubles champ and three-time team champion at Washburn Rural. Both Williams and Patel went on to become teaching professionals.

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


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Norris, Hill, Hunter earn top three spots on TSN women's tennis list

Rick Peterson


Sheri Norris was Shawnee County's first girls tennis super star, winning back-to-back Class 6A state singles championships for Topeka West while putting together a 103-2 record and not losing a match as a junior and senior.

Norris went on to become a three-time All-American at Arizona State, advanding to the NCAA semifinals, and played on the professional circuit for three seasons, ranking as high as 189 in the world and playing in some of tennis' biggest tournaments.

A member of various halls of fame, including the Arizona State, Topeka Tennis Association and Topeka Shawnee County shrines, it's probably not a big surprise that Norris landed the top spot on Shawnee County Best of the Best Top 25 list for women's tennis.

 Sheri NorrisSheri Norris [Submitted]

 Madeline Hill [Washburn Athletics]Madeline Hill [Washburn Athletics]

Former Washburn Rural star Madeline Hill, who was a state champion in high school, a participant in the NCAA Division I Championships and a Division II national champion, sits No. 2 on the Top 25 list while Hayden four-time state champion Brooklyn Hunter ranks No. 3.

Danielle Knipp, a two-time team champ at Rural and a Big 8 Conference champ at Oklahoma, and Meg Griffin, a former Topeka West singles and team state champ and All-ACC standout at Maryland, round out the top five.

 BrooklynHunterBrooklyn Hunter []

Hunter, who won a total of seven state championships in tennis and volleyball at Hayden, is the Readers Choice Award winner after receiving more than 100 reader votes while Hill ended up second and the Norris sisters, Sheri and Linda, third and fourth in reader votes.

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


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