Cair Paravel LionsCair Paravel Lions

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  • Topeka Shawnee County HS Sports Awards: Winter Male Nominees


     ElijahBrooksmugElijah Brooks

    ELIJAH BROOKS | Topeka West

    PARENTS: Peter Brooks and Katesheius Anderson 

    SPORT: Basketball | GPA: 3.75

    Brooks was named Mr. Kansas Basketball by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association after a record-setting 2021-2022 season. Brooks averaged 25.3 points on the season after putting together a string of 30-point games with a high of 43 points. Brooks, the Shawnee County and Centennial League Player of the Year, led the Chargers to back-to-back Class 5A state tournament appearances, including a runner-up finish in 2021. Brooks is West's single-season record-holder (581 points) and career leading scorer (1,450 points). "Elijah has shown enthusiasm and work ethic that has been commendable and sincere,'' West coach Rick Bloomquist said. Brooks will play his college basketball at Division I North Dakota.

    RichardCartermugRichard Carter

    RICHARD CARTER | Topeka High

    PARENTS: Richard and Margaret Carter

    SPORT: Swimming | GPA: NA

    Carter was a varsity swimmer all four seasons at Topeka High, earning second-team All-City recognition two times. Carter competed in the Class 6A state tournament as a senior in the 400-yard free relay. Carter scored a total of 582 points during his swimming career for the Trojans. Carter competed primarily in the 50-yard freestyle, the 100 free, the 200 free and and the 100 butterfly. Carter plans to attend Grove City College.

    TrentDuffeynewTrent Duffey

    TRENT DUFFEY | Hayden

  • Topeka Shawnee County HS Sports Awards: Winter Female Nominees


    JaleyBarkleynewmug 2Jaley Barkley

    JALEY BARKLEY | Cair Paravel Latin

    PARENTS: Shane and Valerie Barkley

    SPORT: Basketball | GPA: 4.53

    "Jaley is a fantastic leader and worker,'' Cair Paravel coach Brian Ewing said. "She knew my expectations for her senior year and led the team through her dedication and desire. Jaley has always been a hard worker during the season but out of season as well. She put up tens of thousands of shots during COVID, which showed up in her stats this past season. Jaley loves to interact with, and encourage, the younger kids, especially the girls. She knows that eyes are on her for not only how she plays on the court but how she leads throughour her school day and practice.'' Barkey will play college basketball next season for Sterling College.

    CelesteGonzalez 2Celeste Gonzalez

    CELESTE GONZALEZ | Highland Park

    PARENTS: Raul Gonzalez and Clara Caro

    SPORT: Wrestling | GPA: 4.2

    Gonzalez posted a 17-7 record as a senior and was a two-year letter-winner for Highland Park's girls wrestling team. Gonzalez won the Centennial League indiviual championship at 191 pounds her senior season, qualified for the Class 6A-5A state meet with a runner-up regional finish and earned All-Shawnee County honorable mention. "She had a desire to demonstrate dominance on the mat but was friendly to everyone off the mat,'' Highland Park coach Shannon Keller said. Gonzalez, who also earned All-City honorable mention in soccer, plans to attend college at Washburn University.

     EmmaKruegernewmugEmma Krueger

    EMMA KRUEGER | Washburn Rural 

  • Eleven city standouts earn all-state soccer recognition from KHSSCA

    Rick Peterson


    Ten city girls soccer standouts have earned All-State recognition from the Kansas High School Soccer Coaches Association, led by Washburn Rural co-midfielder of the year Belle Kennedy and Junior Blue All-Class 6A first-team midfielder Reagan Allen.

     BelleKennedynew2Washburn Rural senior Belle Kennedy has received Class 6A midfielder of the year recognition for the second straight season. [File photo/TSN]

    ReaganAllenWashburn Rural senior Reagan Allen received first-team All-Class 6A honors from the KHSSCA. [File photo/TSN]

    Kennedy, who earned midfielder of the year honors for the second straight season, and Allen, both seniors, helped lead Washburn Rural to a runner-up finish in the 6A state tournament.

    Rural seniors Hunter McWilliams and McKenna Merrick both received second-team All-6A honors while Rural junior Mackinly Rohn, Topeka High senior Luxanna Sands and High sophomore Avery Zimmerman earned All-6A honorable mention.

    Shawnee Heights senior goalkeeper Tatum Hoge received second-team All-Class 5A recognition while T-Bird freshmen Isabell Van Fleet and Lailah Benz earned All-5A honorable mention.

    Cair Paravel Latin freshman Zahra Lewis was named to the All-4A-1A first team after helping lead the Lions to a fourth-place finish in the state tournament.

    Coaches have to be members of the KHSSCA to have players nominated and selected.

    CLASS 6A

  • Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards: Fall Male Nominees

    Editor's note:Over the next few days, will take a look at all of the nominees for the 2022 Topeka Shawnee County High School Sports Awards. All nominees will be recognized at the June 22 awards banquet, which will be held in conjunction with the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame induction at Washburn University's Memorial Union.


    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


    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 All-Shawnee County honors, throwing for 2,515 yards and 51 touchdowns. Brian plans to play football at Ohio Northern University. 

  • State runner-up Washburn Rural leads All-City soccer with five first-teamers

    Rick Peterson


    Washburn Rural, which went undefeated against city competition en route to a Centennial League championship and a runner-up finish in the Class 6A state tournament, put a city-high five players on the 2022 All-City girls soccer team, selected by city coaches.

    BelleKennedyregionalWashburn Rural senior Belle Kennedy (left), a first-team repeat pick, is one of five Junior Blues named to the 2022 All-City girls soccer team. [File photo/TSN]

    TatumHoge 1Shawnee Heights senior goalkeeper Tatum Hoge earned first-team All-City soccer honors for the second straight season after helping lead the T-Birds to a 13-5-0 record in 2022. [Submitted photo]

    KatherineKeysactionCair Paravel Latin sophomore Katherine Keys (1) earned All-City girls soccer first-team recognition for the second straight season after helping lead the Lions to a fourth-place finish in the Class 4A-1A state tournament. [File photo/TSN]

    HunterMcWilliamsAll CityWashburn Rural senior Hunter McWilliams (left) earned first-team All-City girls soccer honors for the second straight season after helping the Junior Blues post a second-place finish in Class 6A. [File photo/TSN]

    RoederZimmerman 1Topeka High sophomore Avery Zimmerman (2) and Hayden senior Kate Roeder (15) are both first-team All-City girls soccer repeat picks. [File photo/TSN]

    LuxannaSands 1Topeka High senior Luxanna Sands (right) earned a spot on the All-City soccer first team for the second straight year after helping lead the Trojans to a 12-6-0 season this spring. [File photo/TSN]

    BrooklynYingling 3Seaman junior Brooklyn Yingling (near) earned first-team All-City soccer honors for the second straight year after helping the Vikings post an11-6-1 record this spring. [File photo/TSN]

    The Junior Blues, who went 17-3-1 on the season, are represented on the first team by seniors Reagan Allen, Belle Kennedy, McKenna Merrick and Hunter McWilliams and freshman Kate Hinck while Junior Blues coach Brian Hensyel was named the city coach of the year.

    Cair Paravel Latin, which posted a fourth-place finish in the 4A-1A state tournament, put sophomore Katherine Keys and freshman Zahra Lewis on the first team after the Lions posted a 15-5-0 record and earned their first final four berth.

  • Nominees set for the 2022 high school senior sports awards

    Rick Peterson


    All 10 Shawnee County high schools have nominated multiple senior athletes for the 17th annual Topeka Shawnee County High School Sports Awards, which will be presented on June 22 along with the induction of the 2022 Hall of Fame class., in conjunction with the University of Kansas Health Systems St Francis Campus, A-1 Lock and Key and Washburn University, will host the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards and Hall of Fame induction ceremonies at the Washburn University Memorial Union.

    Recent Topeka High graduate NiJaree Canady, who has helped lead the Trojans to back-to-back Class 6A softball state titles, has been nominated for the 2022 Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards, which will be presented June 22 at Washburn University's Topeka High star NiJaree Canady, who helped lead the Trojans to back-to-back Class 6A softball state titles, has been nominated for the 2022 Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards, which will be presented June 22 at Washburn University's Memorial Union. [File photo/TSN]

    FTxrICqXoAAeFbtHayden product Tanner Newkirk, a three-time state champion in the 2022 state track meet, is a nominee for the 2022 Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards, which will be presented on June 22 at Washburn University. [File photo/TSN] will present awards to the top female and male athletes in the fall, winter and spring seasons, as well as overall female and male athletes of the year and the most inspirational female and male. A complete list of nominees is listed below.

    To be eligible, an athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.0. Athletes were nominated by their schools' athletic directors and coaches.

    In addition to the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards, James Letcher Jr. and Faith Rottinghaus will be honored as Washburn University Athletes of the Year and Aaron Crow, Kaylee Manns and Dani (McHenry) Schmidt will be inducted as the 2022 Topeka Shawnee County Hall of Fame class.

    A  committee of local media members will select the 2022 high school winners, including the selection of overall female and male athletes of the year. 

    General admission tickets for the Topeka Shawnee County sports awards banquet are $26 per person and include dinner.

    Ticket information is available at


  • Repeat champs, Newkirk headline top county boys stories of 2021-2022

    Rick Peterson


    It's always tough paring down a whole year of sports stories to the top two or three.

    Do team accomplishments get the edge over individual accolades and does one particular sport get the edge over any of the others?

    My answer to both those questions is no. All accomplishments and sports should be judged on their own merit while realizing that no matter how many of these lists you put together you're not always going to be right.

    That was especially true when looking at the 2021-22 sports year for Shawnee County high school boys teams, but after changing the order a time or two or 12 here's my version of the Top 10 Shawnee County boys prep stories of '21-'22:

  • T-High softball heads '21-'22 girls HS sports year loaded with champs

    Rick Peterson


    How successful was the 2021-22 sports year for Shawnee County high schools? Good enough that girls and boys individuals/teams deserve their own lists.

    First up is' look at the county girls year in review, which will be followed by a look at the boys successes of the past year.

    Shawnee County schools claimed three state girls team championships and several others came up just short while 10 county standouts claimed individual titles in four different sports.

    While a case can always be made for any number of stories to sit at the top of the list, here's one opinion on the Top 10 Shawnee County girls prep stories of '21-'22: 

     THighjubetitleTopeka High celebrates its second straight Class 6A state softball title after last Friday's 2-1 win over Washburn Rural. [Photo by Isaac Deer/TSN]

    1. TROJAN RERUN -- After claiming the school's first Class 6A state softball championship in 2021, Topeka High made it two titles in a row last Friday against a familiar foe, with the Trojans edging past city and Centennial League rival Washburn Rural, 2-1, in the championship game. After leading High to a perfect 25-0 record as a junior, Stanford signee NiJaree Canady came up big again in the pitching circle and at the plate last weekend, leading the Trojans to the title.

    Ruralteam6A 1Washburn Rural won its second Class 6A state basketball championship since 2019, taking a 40-23 win over Derby in the state final. [Submitted]

    2. RURAL RULES --Washburn Rural's girls basketball team celebrated a 6A state championship for the second time since 2019, completing a 23-2 season with a 40-23 romp past Derby in the state final at Wichita State's Koch Arena. And while the basketball crown was the lone title for the Lady Blues in '21-'22, they threatened in sport after sport, finishing second in the state in golf, soccer, wrestling and softball and turning in strong cross country, volleyball and bowling campaigns.

    KadenceJeffriesjube2Topeka West junior Kadence Jeffries ended her high school swimming career with a sweep of the Class 5A-1A 200 and 500 freestyle events for the third straight season. [File photo/TSN]

    3. CHARGER IN CHARGE --The only thing that stopped Topeka West swimming star Kadence Jeffries during a dominating high school career was COVID-19. After sweeping the 200-yard freestyle and 500 free Class 5A-1A state titles as a freshman, Jeffries had her sophomore season wiped out by the pandemic beore returning to sweep the same two events as both a junior and senior to complete a six for six performance in state individual events. Seaman sophomore Avery Walz joined Jeffries as a 5A-1A state champ this past season, winning the 100-yard breaststroke and earning four state medals overall as the Vikings finished fourth as a team.

  • Rural soccer advances to 6A title game with 3-2 win; Cair Paravel to play for third

    Rick Peterson


    Washburn Rural's girls soccer team advanced to the Class 6A state championship game for the fourth time in school history, taking a 3-2 semiinal decision over Olathe Northwest on Friday at the College Boulevard Activity Center.

    The Junior Blues, who improved to 17-2-1, got goals from Belle Kennedy, Reagan Allen and Hunter McWilliams while Kennedy also picked up an assist.

    Washburn Rural will play for the state championship at 2 p.m. Saturday against four-time defending 6A champion Blue Valley West (15-3-1), a 5-1 win over Manhattan. 

    Manhattan (15-4-1) will face Olathe Northwest (14-5-1) in the third-place game at 12 p.m.

    CPLSjubeCair Paravel Latin celebrates its goal in Friday's 2-1 Class 4A-1A semifinal loss to Buhler on Friday at Hummer Sports Park. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

     DSC69131889Cair Paravel freshman Zahra Lewis attempts a shot in Friday's Class 4A-1A state soccer semifinal against Buhler. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]


    Cair Paravel Latin, making the first final four appearance in school history, dropped a tough 2-1 semifinal decision to Buhler in Friday's Class 4A-1A state tournament at Hummer Sports Park.

    The Lions, 15-4-0, will now play play McPherson (15-4-1) in the 12 p.m. third-place game Saturday.

    Buhler (12-7-1) will play state power Bishop Miege (14-5-1) for the 4A-1A championship at 2 p.m. 

    Bishop Miege advance with a 2-1 semifinal win over McPherson, taking a 5-3 decision in penalty kicks. 

  • Cair Paravel soccer edges Hayden 2-1, advances to 4A-1A semifinals

    Isaac Deer


    For the first time in Cair Paravel Latin's short history in the KSHSAA, the Lions' girls soccer team will take part in the Class 4A-1A state semifinals after knocking off Hayden in Tuesday's state quarterfinal game at the Bettis Family Sports Complex, 2-1.

    Cair Paravel (14-3-0) has shown in the 2022 campaign that it deserves to be considered one of 4A-1A's top teams and on Tuesday, the Lions' victory proved that the moment wasn’t too big for its youthful squad. Out of its 22 players, only one player is a senior.

    LewisCPLS2Cair Paravel freshman Zahra Lewis (3) celebrates the Lions' first goal with sophomore Katherine Keys in Tuesday's 2-1 state quarterfinal victory over Hayden. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    CPLSjubeCair Paravel soccer celebrates Tuesday's 2-1 Class 4A-1A state quarterfinal win over Hayden. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Cair Paravel has now laid the foundation and is hoping that the state quarterfinal victory won’t be its last of the season.