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  • West's Njoroge sets PR, Heights boys win team crown in Schrag Invitational

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Obviously, the goal for Topeka West senior cross country star Lenny Njoroge is always going to be to win.

    But Saturday's Joe Schrag Invitational at Kanza Park was one day when Njoroge could be proud of a second-place finish.

    FcVfH6GXEAARLdRLincoln Prep junior Isaac Rivera (left) and Topeka West senior Lenny Njoroge finished one-two in Saturday's Joe Schrag Invitational at Kanza Park. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    For one thing, it took an outstanding performance, by Lincoln College Prep junior Isaac Rivera, to beat him, and even in defeat, Njoroge ran the best five-kilometer time of his career.

    Rivera clocked a 5K time of 15 minutes, 09.82, while Njoroge, running only his second race after missing the 2021 season with a broken leg, finished second in 15:24.61, 39 seconds in front of the third-place finisher.

    "He ran a heck of a race, he's impresssive,'' Njoroge said of Rivera.

    Njoroge admitted that the Missouri runner caught him somewhat by surprise. 

    "At the start of the race I was just like, 'OK, it's a home meet, it's probably going to just be me (out front),' and then the gun goes off and we get to 400 meters and I see somebody right next to me and I'm like, 'Where did he come from?' '' Njoroge said.

    Njoroge and Rivera ran together for a good chunk of the race before Rivera pulled away late, but Njoroge wasn't disappointed with his performance.

    "I felt awesome,'' said Njoroge, who doubles up in soccer for Topeka West. "As Donnie (Palmer, West coach) said I'm in the best shape of my life right now. And I'm having the best time of my life, too. It's incredible.

    "I'll take this and move on.'' 

  • A game by game look at Friday's Shawnee County football games

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer

    By RICK PETERSON
    TopSports.news

    (All kickoffs at 7 p.m.)

    HAYDEN (1-0) at SILVER LAKE (1-0)

    JCCummingsHayden senior JC Cummings (38) celebrates his second-quarter touchdown in last Friday's 21-7 Wildcat victory over Olpe. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Hayden is coming off of a 21-7 season-opening win over two-time defending Class 1A state champion Olpe, ending the Eagles' 26-game winning streak, while Logan Pegram made his debut as Silver Lake's coach with a 28-21 road win over Riley County. Hayden got pass interceptions from seniors JC Cummings and Dylan Foster while Cummings and senior Ethan Florence ran for touchdowns and sophomore quarterback Jett Wahlmeier hit sophomore Jensen Schrickel for a TD pass. Junior quarterback Tanner Martin accumulated more than 250 total yards and had a hand in all four Silver Lake touchdowns in the Eagles' season-opening win.

    LANSING (0-1, 0-1) at SHAWNEE HEIGHTS (0-1, 0-1)

    Shawnee Heights fell 31-20 to new United Kansas Conference member Piper in its season opener on the road, while Lansing dropped a 27-21 UKC decision to De Soto. Piper built a 24-0 advantage over Heights before surviving a late T-Bird rally. Heights junior Allen Baughman rushed for 92 yards on 17 carries while senior Nick Freeland completed six of 11 passes for 45 yards and junior Jayden Moore caught five passes for 65 yards. Defensively, junior Alex Dittman was in on eight tackles and senior Jaye Jones was credited with seven stops.

    LEAVENWORTH (1-0, 1-0) at TOPEKA WEST (0-1, 0-1)

    At Hummer Sports Park

    MalachiBergSeamanTopeka West standout senior quarterback Malachi Berg (left) and the Chargers will be looking to bounce back from a season-opening loss to Seaman. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Topeka West will be looking to bounce back from last Thursday's 58-14 United Kansas Conference loss to Seaman while Leavenworth is coming off a 61-0 UKC win over Kansas City-Turner. West senior quarterback Malachi Berg went 17 of 29 passing for 244 yards and two touchdowns while senior Xavier Alexander carried the ball 17 times for 102 yards and senior Kamen Jones caught five passes for 114 yards and a touchdown.

  • Cair Paravel product Hannah Woolery has record-setting day in ESU soccer win

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Emporia State senior Hannah Woolery, a former Cair Paravel Latin standout, set one school record and tied another as the No. 14-ranked Hornets soccer team rolled to a 5-1 victory at Minot State on Sunday afternoon.

    HannahWoolery1Former Cair Paravel Latin soccer standout Hannah Woolery (10) set one Emporia State school soccer record and tied another in Sunday's 5-1 win at Minot State . [Photo courtesy of Emporia State Athletics]

    Woolery, who had a goal and three assists in the victory, broke a tie with Adie Hayden (14 assists from 2001-04) for Emporia State career assists records and now has 17 assists at ESU.

    With Sunday's three assists, Woolery tied Wendy Dunn (three assists vs NWMSU on Sept 5, 2004 and vs Mo. S&T on Oct. 15, 2004) for the Hornets' single-game assist record.

    Mackenzie Dimarco scored her 39th and 40th career goals on Sunday and is now Emporia State's career leader for goals..

    The Hornets will take on Washburn at 6 p.m. Friday in Topeka for the first Turnpike Tussle of the season.

     

  • Friday Prep FB roundup: Hayden outlasts state champ Olpe, 21-7

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Editor's note:Shawnee County varsity coaches in all fall sports are encouraged to report their game/event results by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. TopSports.news will post regular prep roundups throughout the season.

                                    ----------------------------------------------

    Hayden's football team got the test it expected from two-time defending Class 1A state champ Olpe in Friday night's season-opener, but the Wildcats combined some timely offense with stingy defense to end the Eagles' 26-game win streak with a 21-7 win at Hayden.

    JCCummingsHayden senior JC Cummings (38) celebrates his second-quarter touchdown in Friday's 21-7 Wildcat victory over Olpe. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Haydendefense2Hayden's defense brings down Olpe quarterback Truman Bailey in Friday's 21-7 Wildcat win at Hayden. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Hayden got a pair of interceptions from seniors JC Cummings and Dylan Foster and also recovered a fumbled punt before taking a 7-0 halftime lead on a 20-yard touchdown run from Cummings to cap a three-play scoring drive with 31 seconds left in the opening half. 

    The Wildcats boosted their lead to 14-0 on their first drive of the second half, with sophomore quarterback Jett Wahlmeier hitting sophomore Jensen Schrickel on a deep post pattern for the TD. 

    Hayden finished its scoring with an 83-yard scoring run from senior Ethan Florence with 8:56 left in the game.

    Olpe used a long 14-play drive to get on the scoreboard late in the game on a 2-yard quarterback sneak from Truman Bailey.

    Unofficially, Wahlmeier passed for 118 yards on a 10 of 12 performance with one interception while Hayden rushed for more than 230 yards.

    Hayden's defense limited Olpe to 77 rushing yards while Bailey passed for 86 yards with two interceptions.

    WASHBURN RURAL 49, WICHITA EAST 42 -- Both offenses ruled the night, combining for 91 points, but it was a late defensive stand that allowed Washburn Rural to escape with a hard-earned 49-42 non-league road win.

    Washburn Rural trailed on four diffferent occasions, including 42-33 late in the contest, but the Junior Blues scored the final 16 points to pull out the victory.

    Junior JC Heim blocked a punt and senior Walker Thompson pounced on the ball in the end zone to give Rural an early 6-0 advantage.

    Junior quarterback Branton DeWeese hit senior Lukas Hanks for a touchdown pass and junior Titan Osborn caught a 2-point conversion pass to put Rural in front 14-8 at tne end of the first quarter.

    The game was knotted at 22 at the half and the scorefest continued in the second half.

  • Prep parade: Lions embracing challenge of stepping up to KSHSAA ranks

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Editor's note: TopSports.news finished its tour of preseason football practice at all 10 Shawnee County high schools on Friday and will post preview stories over the coming days leading into the opening games of the 2022 season Sept. 1-3.

                                                                             -------------------------------------------

    Cair Paravel Latin football coach Doug Bonura knows his team faces a big challenge in its first season as a full member of the Kansas State High School Athletics Association.

    But its a challenge that Bonura and his Lions are excited to face.

    FakKmnNXgAAoARPCair Paravel Latin football coach Doug Bonura talks to his team, 11-0 last season, during Thursday's practice session. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Cair Paravel, which is coming off a perfect 11-0 record and a Kansas Christian Athletic Association state championship, make the jump to KSHSAA this fall and will compete in the Eight-Man Division I ranks in District 2.

    "We're going up against some really good programs and it's going to be a great test to see where we are, if we have been able to move in the direction we want to be able to compete,'' Bonura said. "In our district we have Madison-Hamilton, Burlingame, Chase County, and then Lyndon, which has come down out of 11-man, and all those teams have been deep in the playoffs over the years, so we're going against solid programs and we play (defending Eight-Man Division II state champion) Axtell out of the gate.

    "We recognize that there's no gimme here and our boys are excited. We really don't know what to expect fully but we know it's going to be a lot of hard work and it's going to be competition.''

    Cair Paravel graduated star quarterback Carter Brian and star tight end/defensive end Noah Hastert, who have moved on to play college football after earning TopSports.news All-Shawnee County Top 22 honors last fall.

    FajEuKIWAAELm pThe Cair Paravel Lions go through a drill at Thursday's practice session. The Lions are coming off an 11-0 season entering their first season competing in KSHSAA Eight-Man Division I. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    But the Lions' cupboard is far from bare.

    "We lost a lot of athleticism and leadership from last year, but the nice thing was that it was a small (senior) class, so we're returning 11 starters,'' Bonura said. "Really, for all these guys it's just another year for them after playing last year.

    "The big question for us this year is going to be quarterback -- who is going to step up and take that position -- but then as far as our backs I think we're just reloading this year.''

  • Shawnee County high schools confirm 19 new head coaches for 2022-2023

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Silver Lake's Logan Pegram and Washburn Rural's Brad Johnston, who are taking over retiring Kansas coaching legends C.J. Hamilton and Kevin Hedberg, are part of a group of 19 new varsity head coaches who have been announced by Shawnee County high schools for the 2022-2023 school year.

    BradJohnston1Brad Johnston will take over as Washburn Rural's tennis coach in 2022-2023, replacing Kevin Hedberg who retired after 32 years at the school. [File photo/TSN]

    825193F2 0FA2 4486 AE6F 66D359D80844Logan Pegram

    AlexHutchinsmugAlex Hutchins

    Pegram, a former Silver Lake standout, takes over as the Eagles' head football coach for Hamilton, the state's winningest football coach, who retired after 47 years at the school, while Johnston is the new Washburn Rural girls and boys tennis coach, replacing Hedberg, who led the Junior Blues to five state team championships in 32 seasons and coached a total of 43 years at Seaman and Rural.

    Joining Johnston as a new head coach for Washburn Rural is former Hays boys basketball coach Alex Hutchins, who is taking over as the Junior Blues' boys basketball coach from Kevin Muff. 

  • TopSports.news' Best of the Best Coaches project rolls into high gear

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    More than 29,000 reader votes have been received since TopSports.news kicked off its Best of the Best Coaches project in late June.

    Voting will conclude Friday night before TSN honors Shawnee County's all-time coaching greats in a series of Best of the Best lists.

    JaredGoehringCurrent Washburn Rural boys and girls golf coach Jared Goehring has led the Junior Blues to five Class 6A state championships. [File photo/TSN]

    KathyStreckerFormer Hayden and current Rockhurst coach Kathy Strecker won six state cross country team titles with the Wildcats. Hayden Schools]

    Derick Hammes has coached Rossville to five state football championships, including the past two straight. [File photo/TSN]Derick Hammes has coached Rossville to five state football championships, including the past two straight. [File photo/TSN]

    LorenZieglerFormer Silver Lake coach Loren Ziegler led the Eagles to five girls state basketball titles. [Silver Lake Schools]

    More than 240 current and former county coaches have received Best of the Best votes in 14 different sports, including 24 men's basketball coaches and 23 baseball and football coaches.

  • Multi-time state champs Kreutzer, Hensyel headline TSN Best of Best soccer list

    Rick Peterson

     

    By RICK PETERSON                                                                                                  TSN MVPs Shannon Nichol Ad

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the coming weeks, TopSports.news will recognize Shawnee County's all-time coaching greats in 14 sports as part of our Best of the Best project. Readers will have the opportunity to vote through July 15, with the Top 10 in all categories announced in July and August. To cast a vote for the Best of the Best soccer coach click on https://linkto.run/p/2LH96HJB while email votes/nominations will be also accepted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

                                                                                   -------------------------------------------------------

    Hayden's Klaus Kreutzer and Washburn Rural's Brian Hensyel, who have led multiple teams to state championships, lead the list of contenders for the No.1 spot on the TopSports.news Shawnee County Best of the Best Coaches list in soccer while four other former and current local coaches have also notched state titles.

    KlausKreutzerLongtime Hayden soccer coach Klaus Kreutzer has led the Wildcat boys and girls teams to five state championships. [File photo/TSN]

    FWysIl7XwAE Aw3Washburn Rural soccer coach Brian Hensyel has led the Junior Blues to a pair of Class 6A boys titles and seven total state runner-up finishes. [File photo/TSN]

    Kreutzer has led the Hayden boys to Class 4A state championships in 2000 and '12 and added 4A-1A girls titles in 2012, '13 and '15 while Hensyel has led Washburn Rural's boys to 6A state crowns in 2009 and '12 while the Junior Blues have also posted seven state runner-up finishes (four girls, three boys), including seconds in both the boys and girls tournaments in 2021-2022.

  • TopSports.news to tackle challenge of picking county's Best of the Best prep coaches

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Last summer TopSports.news took on the task of honoring hundreds of Shawnee County's all-time great athletes in more than 20 sports as part of our Best of the Best project.

    As rewarding as that project was, however, there was something missing -- the high school coaches, both head coaches and assistants past and present -- who have helped hundreds if not thousands of county athletes achieve athletic greatness.

    Logo 3

    KevinBordewickWRWashburn Rural's Kevin Bordewick has coached nine Class 6A state championship teams in volleyball and girls basketball. [File photo/TSN]

    CraigCoxBBCurrent Seaman basketball coach Craig Cox has led five teams to state championships in basketball and baseball, including the Class 5A basketball title this past season. [File photo/TSN]

    Ben MesekeFormer Hayden coach Ben Meseke (right), talking with former Wildcat coach and athletic director Jerry Simecka, coached Hayden to 12 state titles in basketball and cross country. [File photo/TSN

    BrendaHoladayBrenda Holaday coached Washburn Rural to multiple Class 6A state softball championships before moving on to a successful career at Washburn University. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

    This summer we will try to correct that ommision, with TopSports.news planning to publish Best of the Best coaches lists in 14 different sports.

    As was the case a year ago, TSN will rely heavily on our readers for their input in rating the best coaches in the history of the county.

  • Bulldawgs' Horak named TopSports.news Fall Male Athlete of the Year

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Former Rossville star Torrey Horak, who helped lead the Bulldawgs to back-to-back Class 2A state football championships, was named the TopSports.news Topeka Shawnee County Fall Male Athlete of the Year during Wednesday's awards banquet and Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Washburn University.

    Horak2Former Rossville star Torrey Horak, the TSN Fall Male Athlete of the Year, helped lead the Bulldawgs to back to back undefeated Class 2A state football championships. [File photo/TSN]

    A star quarterback and defensive back, Horak was a four-year starter for the Bulldawgs, helping lead Rossville to 13-0 records as a junior and senior.

    Horak was the TopSports.news Shawnee County co-offensive player of the year as a senior after completing 85 of 132 pass attempts for 1,337 yards and 12 touchdowns and rushing for 1,008 yards and 14 TDs on 102 attempts despite missing time with a shoulder injury.

    "Torrey will go down as an all-time great performer in is a rich football history at Rossville,'' Bulldawg football coach Derick Hammes said. "However, Torrey's personal attributes may outshine his onfield accomplishments. Torrey has displayed an uncanny maturity throughout his career.''

    Horak has signed a football letter with Central Missouri. 

    Horak had a cumulative high school grade point average of 3.8.

    Other candidates:

    Alejos 002Tylan Alejos

    TYLAN ALEJOS | Topeka High

    PARENTS: Evan and Tia Alejos 

    SPORT: Football | GPA: 3.10

     A 5-foot-9, 190-pound running back/defensive back, Alejos was an All-Shawnee County Top 22 and  All-Centennial League first-team selection after rushing for 1,327 yards on 202 carries and scoring 18 total touchdowns lat fall. Defensively Alejos recorded 40 tackles (16 solo) and had a pass interception. Alejos rushed for 400 yards and scored eight touchdowns in a Centennial League victory over Highland Park. Alejos will play his college football at the University of Kansas after accepting a preferred walk-on offer from the Jayhawks.

    Birdwhistle Bush JaqSon 002Jaq'Son Birdwhistle-Bush

    JAQ'SON BIRDWHISTLE-BUSH | Topeka West

    PARENTS Dr. Christopher and AliShia Bush 

    SPORT: Football | GPA: 3.415

     "Jaq'Son has been an excellent example of character, leadership and work ethic as a student-athlete at Topeka West,'' said Ryan Kelley, who coached Birdwhistle-Bush at West. "In four years of being his football coach, Jaq'Son never missed a workout or practice, summer or fall. Even through tough times where the program struggled to experience success in terms of wins and losses Jaq'Son remained positive and worked hard every day. We at Topeka West are extremely proud of Jaq'son.'' Birdwhistle-Bush caught 12 passes for149 yards and a touchdown as a senior. Birdwhistle-Bush will attend Kansas State University.

    CarterBrianmugCarter Brian 

    CARTER BRIAN | Cair Paravel Latin

    PARENTS: Tom and Susan Brian

    SPORT: Football | GPA: 4.27

    Brian was the Lions' quarterback as a junior and senior, leading Cair Paravel to a perfect season and the Kansas Christian Athletic Association state title last fall. "He is a determined individual who is not afraid of difficult possibilities and that effort created the building blocks for a very successful senior season,'' Cair Paravel coach Doug Bonura said. "Carter's leadership at the quarterback position helped secure his team's undefeated season. Brian earned TopSports.news All-Shawnee County honors, throwing for 2,515 yards and 51 touchdowns. Brian plans to play football at Ohio Northern University. 

    JaceMooremug 2Jace Moore

    JACE MOORE | Seaman

    PARENTS: Russ and Jana Moore

    SPORT: Cross country | GPA: NA

    "Jace led our cross country team in every competition of his senior year,'' Seaman coach Luke Wiens said. "Jace is a fiery and passionate leader and an intense competitor who chose to compete in our sports (cross country and track) despite having the skills and athleticism to contribute in a variety of other sports.'' Moore was an All-Shawnee County pick in cross country last fall and was the Centennial League champion in the 3,200 meters in track as a senior. Moore plans to compete in track and cross county for Washburn University.

    TannerNewkirkmugTanner Newkirk

    TANNER NEWKIRK | HAYDEN

    PARENTS: Kevin and Nealy Newkirk

    SPORT: Cross country | GPA: 3.84

    Newkirk was a four-time state medalist in Class 4A cross country for the Wildcats, including top-three finishes his final three seasons. Newkirk finished second in 4A as a sophomore, won the state title as a junior and finished third individually his senior season. A two-time city champ in cross country, Newkirk also won three state championships and set two Class 4A state meet records as a senior in track and field. Newkirk will run track and cross country at the University of Kansas. "Tanner Newkirk is a one of a kind athlete,'' Hayden cross country and track coach DeJuan Gardenhire said. "What makes Tanner so special is his ability to want to get better. Tanner is always trying to find a way to get better at some thing and is never satisfied.''

    JarinSandersJarin Sanders

    JARIN SANDERS | Shawnee Heights

    PARENTS: Robbie and Courtney Sanders

    SPORT: Football | GPA: 3.7

    Sanders was a star running back for the T-Birds as a senior, cracking Shawnee Heights' top five in several rushing categories. Sanders ran for 1,142 yards and 12 touchdowns last season and also caught 31 passes for 240 yards and four TDs. Sanders carried the ball more than 30 times in big wins over De Soto and Blue Valley Southwest. Sanders was a team captain and earned first-team All-Shawnee County and United Kansas Conference honors. Sanders was also a two-year starter at point guard for Shawnee Heights' basketball team, earning All-United Kansas Conference honorable mention. 

    Porter 002Porter Schafersman

    PORTER SCHAFERSMAN | Washburn Rural

    PARENTS: Scott and Autumn Schafersman

    SPORT: Soccer| GPA: 3.53

    Schafersman helped lead Washburn Rural to a second-place finish in the Class 6A state tournament, scoring 23 goals on the season, which tied for second in school history, en route to earning first-team All-City, All-Centennial League and All-6A recognition. Schafersman, who also had 13 assists, was the Centennial League player of the year and the 6A forward of the year. "Porter had one of the best individual seasons in Washburn Rural soccer history, which was instrumental in one of the best seasons in school history,'' Rural coach Brian Hensyel said. Schafersman registered five three-goal hat tricks as a senior, all in Centennial League play, as the Junior Blues recorded just their second-ever undefeated regular season.