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  • Heights' Sutton, Esquibel post one-two finish in Schrag Invitational

    Rick Peterson


    Even though he fought back late in the season to advance to the Class 5A state meet for the second straight year, Kory Sutton was never himself in the 2020 cross country season.

    But the Shawnee Heights junior standout is healthy this fall and the results are proof of that.

    "I had an issue with the growth plate in my hip and it put me out for about a year before I was back to full strength and ready to run,'' Sutton said Saturday after taking the boys individual title in the Topeka West Joe Schrag Invitational at the Kanza Park Course, Sutton's second win in as many races on the year.

     E CRGppXEAgCJtWShawnee Heights junior Kory Sutton posted his second straight individual win of the year in Saturday's Joe Schrag Invitational. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Sutton made progress in the spring track season and now feels like he's 100 percent.

    "I never was 100 percent (in cross country) and I was just getting back into it right before track season,'' Sutton said. "But I feel great now.''

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers Sept. 6, 2021

    Rick Peterson


    Genna BergGenna Berg

    GENNA BERG, Washburn University

    A 5-foot-9 senior outside hitter from Blue Springs, Mo, Berg was named the Most Valuable Player in the Washburn Invitational volleyball tournament after helping lead the Ichabods to a perfect 4-0 tournament record. Berg recorded 19 kills and eight digs as No. 8-ranked Washburn ended its tournament run with a 3-1 win over No. 16 Northern State Saturday at Lee Arena. 

    CarterBrianCarter Brian

    CARTER BRIAN, Cair Paravel Latin

    Brian, a senior quarterback, completed 15 of 16 pass attempts for 298 yards and five touchdowns as the Lions opened their 2021 football season with a 60-14 victory over Kansas City East Christian Academy last Friday night at Highland Park.

    MadelineCarternewMadeline Carter

    MADELINE CARTER, Washburn Rural

    A returning Class 6A state medalist, Carter opened her junior cross country season with a dominating individual win in last Saturday's Manhattan Invitational at Warner Park. The reigning city champion, Carter clocked a five-kilometer time of 18 minutes, 52.6 seconds to win by just under 34 seconds and lead the Junior Blues to a tie with Manhattan for the team championship.

    Brooklyn DeLeyeBrooklyn DeLeye

    BROOKLYN DeLEYE, Washburn Rural

    A junior two-time All-Stater, DeLeye turned in a dominating performance as Washburn Rural's volleyball team improved to 5-0 on the season with a sweep of last Thursday's home-opening triangular against 25-time state champion Bishop Miege and Gardner-Edgerton. DeLeye, who has orally committed to NCAA national champion Kentucky, was a force at the net throughout the triangular while also recording five straight service aces during a nine-point run against Miege.

    TorreyHorakTorrey Horak

    TORREY HORAK, Rossville

    A returning All-State senior quarterback, Horak rushed for 211 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries and completed eight of 15 pass attempts for 77 yards and a TD as the defending 2A state-champion Bulldawgs opened their season with a 38-0 romp past traditional small-school power Centralia.

    TannerNewkirkmugTanner Newkirk


    The defending 4A individual state cross country champion, Newkirk made his 2021 debut with individual and team championships in last Saturday's Missouri Western Griffon Invitational at St. Joseph, Mo. A senior three-time state medalist, Newkirk won by more than a minute in a time of 16:25.18 while leading Hayden to the team title by a 30-48 margin over West Platte, Mo.

  • Friday night prep football roundup: Cair Paravel rolls to 60-14 win

    Rick Peterson


    Cair Paravel Latin got its 2021 football season off to a rousing start, riding a dominating second half to a 60-14 victory over Kansas City East Christian Academy at Highland Park.

    The Lions led by just a 14-8 margin at the end of the first quarter and 22-14 at halftime before outscoring KC East 32-0 in the third quarter and 38-0 in the second half.

     Carter BrianCarter Brian

    Noah HastertNoah Hastert

    Cair Paravel senior quarterback Carter Brian completed 15 of 16 pass attempts for 298 yards and five touchdowns while senior Noah Hastert had six catches for 132 yards and three touchdowns and sophomore Evan Will had four catches for 78 yards.

    Senior Max Colombo was the Lions' leading rusher with 50 yards and a touchdown on just two attempts and Colombo also registered a team-high five tackles.

    Sophomore Jesiah Bonura picked off two passes for the Lions, who were 5-5 in 2020.

    ROSSVILLE 38, CENTRALIA 0 -- The defending Class 2A state champions got the '21 season off to impressive start, riding an outstanding night from senior star quarterback Torrey Horak to a 38-0 shutout over traditional state stalwart Centralia.

    TorreyHorakTorrey Horak

    Horak rushed for 211 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries and completed eight of 15 pass attempts for 77 yards and a TD.

    Senior Corey Catron rushed for 98 yards and two TDs on 14 attempts while senior Tagen Kippes caught four passes for 45 yards and a touchdown.

    Rossville opened up a commanding 28-0 halftime lead and tacked on 10 more points in the third quarter to account for the final margin.

    HAYDEN 22, EMPORIA 2 -- Coming off a 7-2 season in 2020, 3A Hayden rode a stingy defense to Friday night's season-opening 22-2 win over 5A Emporia at Hayden.

    SILVER LAKE 34, ROCK CREEK 28 -- Perennial state power Silver Lake, which has won eight state championships, survived a tough test from Rock Creek to open its season with a 34-28 win over the Mustangs.

    LEAVENWORTH 20, SHAWNEE HEIGHTS 13 -- Host Shawnee Heights was in the game until the end, but fell to United Kansas Conference foe Leavenworth 20-13 in its season-opener at Wetter field.

  •' Shawnee County football players to watch

    Rick Peterson


    TylanAlejosTylan Alejos

    Tylan Alejos, Topeka High

    A 5-foot-9, 195-pound senior running back and strong safety, Alejos was a standout on both sides of the ball for Topeka High in the 2020 season, earning All-City honors at running back while receiving All-Centennial League honorable mention.

    E TJMpXXIAINwEhCamden Barta

    Camden Barta, Seaman

    A senior quarterback/free safety, Barta played free safety for the 7-2 Vikings last season and backed up All-City Top 11 quarterback Reid Cowan. Barta is expected to move into the starting quarterback position for Seaman this fall. 

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    Malachi Berg, Topeka West

    Still just a junior, Berg is starting his third season as Topeka West's starting quarterback. The 6-3, 195-pound Berg received All-City honorable mention last season and will be looked on to provide leadership for the Chargers this fall.

    RobbyBolinRobby Bolin

    Robby Bolin, Washburn Rural

    A 6-2, 190-pound senior wide receiver/safety, Bolin was an All-City Top 11 selection last fall, catching 29 passes for 863 yards and eight touchdowns. Bolin received second-team All-Centennial League recognition on offense and honorable mention on defense and also received All-6A honorable mention.

  •' 2022 Shawnee County football players to watch

    Rick Peterson


    TrentonBarkerTrenton Barker

    Trenton Barker, Rossville

    Barker, a senior running back/ linebacker, is one of four returning starters on defense for Rossville, which is coming off a second straight 13-0 season and a second straight Class 2A state championship. Barker earned All-Mid-East League honorable mention on offense as a junior.

    EliBarnesEli Barnes

    Eli Barnes, Silver Lake

    A junior wide receiver/defensive back, Barnes is part of a strong returning nucleus for Silver Lake, which is coming off a 9-3 record and a Class 2A semifinal berth in the 2021 season.

    FavqaXfXkAE69igCallen Barta

    Callen Barta, Seaman

    A 6-foot, 160 junior, Barta saw extensive action for Seaman as a sophomore, helping the Vikings post a 6-4 record. Barta earned honorable mention last fall as well as All-Centennial League honorable mention on defense.

    MalachiBergnewmugMalachi Berg

    Malachi Berg, Topeka West

    Berg, a 6-2, 190 senior is starting his fourth season as Topeka West's starting quarterback. Berg received TSN All-Shawnee County Second 22 recognition and All-Centennial League honorable mention last season. Barg  has also helped Topeka West to back-to-back Class 5A state tournament berths in basketball.

    FawhpplXEAI4SC2Packson Bettis

    Packson Bettis, Washburn Rural

    Bettis, a 6-foot-3, 225-pound junior defensive end, was named the TSN All-Shawnee County defensive newcomer of the year last season and earned Second 22 all-county honors after helping lead the Junior Blues to an 8-2 record and a share of the Centennial League title. Bettis received All-Centennial League honorable mention.

    JachinBonuraJachin Bonura

    Jachin Bonura, Cair Paravel Latin

    Bonura, a senior wide receiver/returner/defensive back, helped lead Cair Paravel to a perfect 11-0 record and the Kansas Christian Athletic Association state title last fall. Bonura earned All-Shawnee County Second 22 recognition and KCAA first-team honors as a receiver and kick returner and a second-team spot as a defensive back.

    IanBrianIan Brian

    Ian Brian, Cair Paravel Latin

    A senior, Brian was a first-team KCAA selection as an offensive lineman and linebacker last season after helping lead Cair Paravel to a perfect 11-0 season and the KCAA state championship. Brian earned TSN All-Shawnee County honorable mention.

    BJ CanadyBJ Canady

    BJ Canady, Topeka High

    Canady, a 6-5, 240 junior, is a returning starter on both sides of the ball for Topeka High, which is coming off a 2-7 record last fall. Canady has seen action at tight end and quarterback on offense and defensive end on defense for the Trojans. Also a standout basketball player, Canady received All-Shawnee County and All-Centennial Leaue honorable mention in 2021.

  •' Best of the Best project hits high gear

    Rick Peterson


    Nearly 29,000 reader votes have been received since kicked off its Best of the Best project in early July.

    Now it's time to honor Shawnee County's all-time greats in a series of lists over the month of August.

    More than 500 current and former county athletes received Best of the Best votes in 23 different sports/categories, including 44 men's bowlers, 36 baseball players, 34 women's bowlers and football players, 33 men's cross country runners, 31 women's soccer players and 30 men's tennis players.

    Eight sports compiled more than 1,200 reader votes, while four sports topped the 2,000-vote mark, two topped 4,000 votes and women's bowling led the way with more than 9,300 votes.

    Melvin DouglasMelvin Douglas

    Dajia AndersonnewDajia Anderson

    Chris BarnesChris Barnes

  • Shaffer-Dahl gets nod as Best of Best in loaded women's hoops field

    Rick Peterson


    Narrowing down the list of women's basketball candidates for' Best of the Best list to 25 was a tough task.

    Picking a No. 1 out of a talent-heavy group of Shawnee County legends was even tougher.

    The TSN Top 25 list is jam full of high school stars and state champs, many who went on to earn All-America collegiate honors as well as recent multi-sport superstars like Carly Bachelor of Washburn Rural and NiJaree Canady of Topeka High, who ran away with the Readers Choice title despite still having a season of high schoolnbasketball remaining.

    With more than a handful of candidates that were legitimate contenders for the top spot, the Best of the Best nod, by the slighest of margins, goes to former Shawnee Heights and Washburn University legend Brenda Shaffer-Dahl.

    BrendaShaffer DahlBrenda Shaffer-Dahl

    Nadira HazimNadira Hazim 

    Shaffer-Dahl, a 1986 Heights graduate, led the T-Birds to an undefeated state championship as a senior and went on to set 24 Washburn basketball records from '86-'90. Shaffer-Dahl is Washburn’s all-time leading scorer (2,613 points) and all-time leading rebounder (1,106) and earned All-CSIC honors four seasons and was a two-time NAIA and Kodak/WBCA All-American.

    Shaffer-Dahl, a member of the Washburn and Topeka Shawnee County halls of fame, also set school records for most games played (126), best scoring average for a season (23.9, 1989-90) and a career (20.7), and most single-game rebounds (23), among others.

    Former Topeka West star Nadira Hazim, who scored 42 points in a Class 6A state tournament game, holds down the No. 2 spot, while Seaman and Washburn star Shelley Foster, Cair Paravel Latin and Kansas State product Peyton Williams and Washburn Rural and Notre Dame star Jeneka Joyce round out the top five in the TSN Top 25.

    NiJareeCanadyRuralNiJaree Canady

    As mentioned earlier, Canady, who will also be a strong candidate in softball and the multi-sport division, was a clearcut winner in Readers Choice voting, garnering more than 1,700 votes while former Seaman and Fort Hays State star Tatyana Legette also received strong support from readers.

    Shaffer-Dahl was third in reader voting while Williams and former Washburn Rural and WU standout Erika Lane tied for fourth.

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


  • Former Heights, WU star Mainz tops TSN women's soccer list

    Rick Peterson


    Narrowing down candidates for the Shawnee County Best of the Best women's soccer list was a tough chore.

    Picking the Top 25 was even tougher, but in the end former Shawnee Heights and Washburn University star Jessica Mainz got the nod as No. 1 at the top of a a talent-heavy group of athletes.

    Mainz scored 97 goals and dished out 44 assists for Shawnee Heights, helping lead the T-Birds to a state team championship in 2004 and a runner-up finish in '05, before going on to become an All-American and a two-time MIAA player of the year while setting 14 career records and 15 single-season records.

    Jessica MainzJessica Mainz [Washburn Athletics]

    Also a basketball standout for WU, Mainz was the first Washburn soccer player to be inducted into the school's Hall of Fame.

    Another former T-Bird, Leea Murphy, sits No. 2 on the Top 25 after starring for Heights and helping North Carolina win the '03 NCAA national championship, while perennial city, Centennial League and Class 6A state power Washburn Rural earned the next five positions and earned 11 spots overall, led by No. 3 Kaira Houser, No. 4 Darby Hirsch and No. 5 Kelly Lemke.

    More than 4,200 votes were cast in Readers Choice Awards balloting, with two athletes receiving more than 1,400 votes and five receiving more than 100 votes.

    KellyLemkeKelly Lemke [Twitter]

    Lemke ended up No. 1 in the Readers Choice voting with nearly 1,900 votes while Washburn Rural alum Kate Schroeder was No. 2 and former Seaman standout Chelsea Hopkins third.

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


  • National champ, college stars highlight TSN volleyball candidates

    Rick Peterson


    EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the coming weeks, will recognize hundreds of Shawnee County's all-time greats in 25 sports/categories as part of our Best of the Best project. Readers will have the opportunity to vote through July, with the Top 25 in all categories announced in August. To cast a vote for the Best of the Best, click on: votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


    Shawnee County has been a hotbed for outstanding women's volleyball, with county high schools combining for 24 state championships while a long list of local products have gone on to achieve success at the collegiate level.

    That makes picking the top player in county history a formidable task.

    Shawnee Heights products Jazz Sweet, Megan Cooney and Faith Rottinghaus teamed up to help lead the T-Birds to a Class 5A state championship before Sweet went on to help Nebraska win a NCAA national championship, Cooney made it to the NCAA Final Four for Illninos and Rottinghaus has earned All-MIAA honors for Division II power Washburn.

    Jazz SweetJazz Sweet []

    Dani McHenryDani McHenry [Washburn Athletics]

    Kaylee MannsKaylee Manns [Iowa State]

  • Women's basketball next up in TSN's Best of the Best project

    Rick Peterson


    EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the coming weeks, will recognize hundreds of Shawnee County's all-time greats in 25 sports/categories as part of our Best of the Best project. Readers will have the opportunity to vote through July, with the Top 25 in all categories announced in August. To cast a vote for the Best of the Best, click on: votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


    There may not be a clearcut favorite when it comes down to picking the top women's basketball player in Shawnee County history.

    Or to lock at it another way, there's a whole bunch of favorites.

    The list of candidates includes former Kansas State stars like Nadira Hazim, Kristie Bahner and Peyton Williams as well as former Washburn University stalwarts Brenda Shaffer-Dahl, Shelley Foster, Nikki Olberding, Latisha Yarnell, Kelly Jennings, Lorie Roenbaugh, Jessica Mainz and Erika Lane.

    Jeneka Joyce was a NCAA national champion for Notre Dame, while Crystal Kemp was an All-Big 12 pick for the Jayhawks, Cierra Ceazer made her mark at Grambling and Indiana State and both Deana Alexander and the late Tisharria Huggins played at Wichita State.

     BrendaShaffer DahlBrenda Shaffer-Dahl

    TatyanaLegette1Tatyana Legette

  • TopSports to take on task of picking county's Best of the Best, with a lot of help from our friends

    Rick Peterson


    Shawnee County athletes have long distinguished themselve in a multitude of sports at the high school, collegiate, high amateur and professional levels, with county high schools producing Super Bowl and World Series champs, national individual and team champions, Olympians, local and national Hall of Famers and even U.S. Open champs in a pair of sports.

    And while you're familiar with a lot of those local legends, there are others who have carved out impressive careers in their chosen sports that you aren't as familiar with, and some you've probably never head of.

    Over the next several weeks, we'll try to change that.

    Beginning this week and continuing through the summer, will attempt to honor hundreds of the county's all-time greats in some 25 sports/categories as part of our Best of the Best project, and we're counting on a lot of help from our readers to make that happen.

    We want to know who you rate as the best athletes in the history of the county and not just in marquee sports like football, basketball and baseball but in a plethora of other sports, including many that don't normally get the same attention. plans to publish Top 25 Best of the Best lists in all 22 male and female sports offered by the Kansas State High School Activities Association that Shawnee County High Schools participate in as well as an at-large list to cover sports like shooting, handball and any other sport that local athletes past and present have distinguished themselves in as well a list of the county's all-time multi-sport athletes.

    The project will conclude with TSN's list of the Top 100 Athletes in Shawnee County history (all sports combined).

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    Shawnee County Olympians Melvin Douglas (wrestling), Preston Carrington (track and field) and Margaret Murdock (shooting), former Major League Baseball stars Mike Torrez and Ken Berry, U.S. Open golf champion Gary Woodland, PBA Hall of Fame and U.S. Open champion  bowler Chris Barnes, Super Bowl participants like Tom Dinkel, Troy Wilson and Michael Wilhoite and Silver Lake and Kansas State basketball star Lon Kruger are likely to receive a lot of support from their fans as are national college champions like Lisa Carey (softball), Tom Meier (basketball) and Fred Slaughter (basketball) and Topeka West tennis great Sheri Norris

    But don't forget about the late Steve Tilford, one of the greatest cyclists in United States history, and athletes like boccia champ Austin Hanson, handball star Max Gaither or polo's Jack L. Bybee, Paralympian Dan Cnossen or multi-sport Cair Paravel Latin and K-State star Peyton Williams.

    Or... well, who knows? The possibilities are too numerous to mention, so you tell us.

    To cast a vote for the Best of the Best, simply visit and participate in our polls. Nominations/votes will also be accepted by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    You can vote as many times as you wish, with the only requirement that eligible candidates must have grown up in Shawnee County or attended one of the county's 10 high schools.

    Over the coming days/weeks we will post a poll for each of our categories and list some of the top candidates to pick from while also giving readers the option of writing in other names.

    Final selections will be based on reader vote as well as input from contributors and current and past local sports media professionals.   

    We will accept votes through July 31 before publishing our Best of the Best lists in August.

    So, who you got?

    FIRST UP: Baseball (ballot will be published on on July 6).

    Related Stories and Videos

  • Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards: Fall Male Nominees


    E4xlOZLX0AAvRYHEliseo Barreno

    ELISEO BARRENO | Highland Park

    PARENTS: Ruben and Yohanna Barreno

    SPORT: Soccer | GPA: 4.36

    Barreno was a standout player for Highland Park's boys soccer team while also establishing himself as a team leader. "Eliseo has always been a hard worker, both on and off the soccer field,'' Highland Park soccer coach Colin Moriarty said. "He is one who leads by example. He seeks excellence in all that he does. He always wanted to know how he was doing and what he could improve on. From a coach's perspective, you couldn't ask for more from a true student-athlete.'' Barreno, who plans to attend Wichita State University, also played tennis for the Scots and was a Class 5A state qualifier in doubles.

    EthanHensyelmugEthan Hensyel

    ETHAN HENSYEL | Washburn Rural

    PARENTS: Brian and Sherri Hensyel

    SPORT: Soccer | GPA: 4.31

    Hensyel scored 23 goals as a senior last fall (second most in Washburn Rural history) and led the Junior Blues with 12 assists, earning first-team All-City, All-Centennial League and All-State (Class 6A) honors and being named the Centennial League player of the year as Rural posted a fourth-place state finish. "Ethan made more improvements as a player from his freshman year to his senior year than any player I've ever coached,'' Rural coach Brian Hensyel said. "He was a good player, but no one expected the leap he made his senior year.'' Hensyel will play collegiate soccer at Baker University. 

    RobbieKeysSenior 054Robbie Keys

    ROBBIE KEYS | Cair Paravel Latin

    PARENTS: Robert and Bev Keys

    SPORT: Soccer | GPA: 3.98

    Keys was the leading scorer for Cair Paravel in the Lions' first season as a full Kansas State High School Activities Associaiton member, earning All-City honorable mention. "Robbie is the type of leader that every coach desires to have on their team and lead their team,'' Cair Paravel soccer coach Doug Woolery said. "He not only was one of the hardest working players, but also led by example both on and off the field. I felt comfortable playing him in any position, knowing he would give his best effort no matter what. Keys was voted team captain as a junior and senior. He will attend John Brown University.

    Mehrens JulienMehrens Julien

    JULIEN MEHRENS | Topeka West

    PARENTS: Andre and Allison Mehrens

    SPORT: Football | GPA: 3.29

    Mehrens was a standout wide receiver as a senior in West's abbreviated 2020 season, catching 18 passes for 190 yards and 3 touchdowns. "Julien has displayed the characteristics and work ethic that we strive for our student-athletes at Topeka West to show,'' Charger football coach Ryan Kelly said. "Julien is an incredible teammate, has a contagious personality and leads both vocally and by example. He is an excellent young man and a joy to be around.''  Mehrens was also a member of West's basketball team that finished second in the Class 5A state tournament. He will attend Washburn University.

    JeronPoteete2Jeron Poteete

    JERON POTEETE | Seaman


    SPORT: Soccer | GPA: NA

    Poteete turned in an outstanding senior season for the Vikings, earning All-City, All-Centennial League and All-Class 5A recognition. "Jeron has been a three-year starter for our program,'' Seaman coach Jacob Kirmer said. "He has been our leading scorer in his junior and senior seasons. He has an incredible gift of speed and intelligence. He is a leader by example and works relentlessly to play the best he can. He creates not only for himself, but for his teammates.'' 

    DesmondPurnellDesmond Purnell


    PARENT: Etoi Purnell 

    SPORT: Football | GPA: 3.32

    Purnell was a four-year varsity letterman in football and also played basketball and baseball during his high school career. Purnell was a two-time All-City Top 11 selection and earned All-Class 3A honors as a senior while being named the Wildcats' Most Valuable Player and selected to play in the Kansas Shrine Bowl. "Desmond Purnell is a natural athlete with a team-oriented attitude that makes everyone around him better,'' Hayden football coach Bill Arnold said. "He's not only an outstanding athlete, but an even better person with a good heart.'' Purnell will play his college football at Kansas State.

    BoReevesmugBo Reeves

    BO REEVES | Rossville

    PARENTS: Todd and Karol Reeves

    SPORT: Football | GPA: 3.8

    A four-year starter who played wide receiver and defensive back and kicked, Reeves helped lead the Bulldawgs to the Class 2A state championship last fall. Reeves was an All-2A selection and was also picked to play in the Kansas Shrine Bowl. "Bo had a tremendous presence on the football field as Rossville claimed its fourth state championship in the last seven years,'' Rossville coach Derick Hammes said. "In the hallways of Rossville High School, Bo is known for being polite, outgoing and respected by his peers and staff.'' Also a standout baseball player, Reeves will play his college football at Central Missouri. 

    AddisonSiggAddison Sigg

    ADDISON SIGG | Topeka High

    PARENTS: Chad Sigg and Michelle Criqui

    SPORT: Cross country | GPA: 3.90

    Sigg was a Class 6A state qualifier his senior cross country season and was a two-time All-City selection. "Addison trained religiously through the summer and the cross country season,'' Topeka High cross country coach Ken Bennett said. "He made the new people on the team feel like they were included. Addison worked hard to be the best in practice and in the meets. (He) was consistent in maintaining the No. 1 spot on the guys team for four years.'' Sigg also played for Topeka High's baseball team and plans to play college baseball at Highland Community College.

    HunterWohlerHunter Wohler

    HUNTER WOHLER | Shawnee Heights

    PARENTS: Brian and Jami Wohler

    SPORT: Football | GPA: NA

    Wohler, a quarterback, was a first-team All-United Kansas Conference selection as a senior and finished his career with 2,875 passing yards and 19 touchdown passes and 1,322 rushing yards and 24 TDs. Wohler, who also played baseball for the T-Birds, finished his career in the top five at Shawnee Heights in seven rushing and passing categories. Wohler was a three-year starter at quarterback for the T-Birds and was named the city offensive newcomer of the year his sophomore season. Wohler plans to attend Northwestern College in Iowa, where he will play football and possibly double up in baseball.







  • Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards: Spring Female Nominees


    OliviaBrunomug2 2Olivia Bruno

    OLIVIA BRUNO | Washburn Rural

    PARENTS: Tom and Shawna Bruno

    SPORT: Softball | GPA: 3.8

    Bruno, who is headed to Kansas to play softball, was a three-time All-Centennial League and Class 6A All-State honoree and was named the Centennial League player of the year this spring. Bruno is tied for the No. 1 spot on Rural's all-time list with 25 home runs despite having her junior season canceled due to COVID-19 and is also tied for the No. 1 spot with a career batting average of .545. Bruno ranks No. 2 at Rural in career doubles and third in runs batted in. "She started for us as a freshman and played every game for us on the varsity field since,'' former Rural coach Tricia Vogel said. "She was a big part of our third and second-place finishes at state.''

    Alyssa Carlson Alyssa Carlson

    ALYSSA CARLSON | Cair Paravel Latin

    PARENTS: Mike and Connie Carlson

    SPORT: Soccer | GPA: 3.52

    A first-team All-Shawnee County selection, Carlson was a star defender for the Lions as Cair Paravel earned a Class 4A-1A regional championship in its first season as a full Kansas State High School Activites Association member. Carlson was a four-year starter for the Lions and plans to play collegiately at Emporia State. "(Alyssa) is a true leader both on and off the field,'' Cair Paravel soccer coach Doug Woolery said. "During the offseason Alyssa led a group of athletes in a strength and conditioning program to be better prepared for the season. She was stronger, faster and more physical than at any point in her career.''

  • Nominees set for 2021' high school senior awards

    Rick Peterson


    All 10 Shawnee County high schools have nominted multiple senior athletes for the 16th annual Topeka Shawnee County High School Sports Awards, which will be presented on June 30 at the Capitol Plaza Hotel's Maner Conference Center Sunflower Ballroom., in conjunction with Envista Credit Union and A-1 Lock and Key, will present awards to 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 of nominees is listed below.

    ZoeCarylHRTopeka High's Zoe Caryl (right), who helped lead the Trojans to the Class 6A state softball title, is a nominee for the 2021 Topeka Shawnee County High School Sports Awards, which will be presented on June 30. [File photo/TSN]

    Alex ShereractionRossville's Alex Sherer, who captured the Class 3A-1A state singles tennis title, is a nominee for the 2021Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards. [File photo/TSN]

  • Frustrating '20-'21 HS sports year still produced plenty of highlights

    Rick Peterson


    The 2020-21 high school sports year began last fall with a great deal of uncertainty due to COVID-19 and ended late last month with general optimism about the future.

    In between there were a lot of frustrating times as administrators, coaches, athletes and fans were forced to deal with a school year like none other, but '20-'21 also produced moments that all 10 Shawnee County high schools can be proud of, particularly in light of the circumstances.

    Shawnee County schools combined to claim four state team championships while 15 county standouts, including eight underclassmen, claimed 18 individual titles.

    And while a case could 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 stories of '20-'21:

     Ruraljube 2Washburn Rural's boys wrestling Coach Damon Parker delivered the news that the Junior Blues had clinched their first-ever state team title during the Class 6A state tournament in February. [Photo by Jeff Jacobson/Action Images Photography]

    1. RURAL RULES -- Washburn Rural became the first school in Kansas to win girls and boys state wrestling championships in the same season while producing five state individual champs. The Junior Blue girls won their second straight Division I championship by a 100-74 margin over Wichita North while Rural win its first-ever Class 6A boys title in a 159.5-112 margin over Olathe North after finishing second two of the previous three seasons.

    GeivonniiRossville junior quarterback Torrey Horak helped lead the Bulldawgs to the Class 2A state championship, the school’s fourth state title since 2014. [File photo/TSN]

    2. DAWG DOMINANCE -- Derick Hammes’ Rossville Bulldawgs captured their fourth state football title since 2014, capping a perfect 13-0 season with a 27-20 win over previously-unbeaten Hoisington in the Class 2A state championship game. Rossville had earlier won three straight state championships in '14, '15 and '16. 

  • Rural puts five players on All-Shawnee County girls soccer team

    Rick Peterson

    E3DIywUXEAcg HMThe 2021 All-Shawnee County girls soccer team: Front row, from left -- Hailey Beck, Washburn Rural; Hunter McWilliams, Washburn Rural; Belle Kennedy, Washburn Rural; Brynn Fitzgibbons, Washburn Rural; Alyssa Carlson, Cair Paravel Latin. Middle row, from left -- Riley Cowan, Seaman; Brooklyn Yingling, Seaman; Katherine Keys, Cair Paravel Latin; Coach Doug Woolery, Cair Paravel Latin; Avery Zimmerman, Topeka High; Luxanna Sands, Topeka High. Back row, from left -- Abby Dodd, Hayden; Kate Roeder, Hayden; Tatum Hoge, Shawnee Heights; Kyler Bowman, Shawnee Heights; Emma Manrose, Shawnee Heights. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]


    Washburn Rural, which won the Centennial League championship and finished third in the Class 6A state tournament, dominated voting for the All-Shawnee County girls soccer team, earning five first-team berths.

    The Junior Blues, who capped a 17-3-1 season with a 3-1 win over Manhattan in the 6A third-place game, is represented on the first team by sophomore goalkeeper Hailey Beck, senior forward Brynn Fitzgibbons, junior midfielders Belle Kennedy and Hunter McWilliams and senior midfielder Joy Ngibuini.

    JoyNguibiniStateWashburn Rural senior Joy Ngibuini (left) is one of five Junior Blues named to the All-Shawnee County girls soccer team. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Cair Paravel Latin, which won a regional championship in its first season competing as a full Kansas State High School Activities Association member, is represented on the all-county team by senior defender Alyssa Carlson and freshman forward Katherine Keys while Cair Paravel coach Doug Woolery was named coach of the year after leading the Lions to an 11-6-0 record.

    Shawnee Heights (10-7-1) is represented by senior midfielder Kyler Bowman, junior goalkeeper Tatum Hoge and senior defender Emma Manrose.

    Seaman (11-6-1) put senior defender Riley Cowan and sophomore forward Brooklyn Yingling on the first team while Hayden (10-8-0) is represented by junior defender Abby Dodd and junior forward Kate Roeder and Topeka High by junior midfielder Luxanna Sands and freshman midfielder Avery Zimmerman.

  • Cair Paravel soccer makes history with regional championship

    Rick Peterson


    In may take awhile for what Cair Paravel Latin's girls soccer team accomplished Friday to fully sink in.

    But suffice it to say, the Lions know that their 9-0 win over Kansas City Christian at the Bettis Family Sports Complex was big.

    Friday's romp gave the Lions a regional championship and a berth in next Tuesday's Class 4A-1A state quarterfinals in the school's first season as a full Kansas State High School Activities Association member. 

    “Honestly, I have nothing to compare it to,” Cair Paravel coach Doug Woolery said about the win. “Our girls soccer program has been pretty successful over the years, but we’ve never had the opportunity to compete at this level, so it’s really exciting for us. It probably hasn’t really set in yet.” 

    Cair Paravel senior Alyssa Carlson said the regional title is definitely something to be proud of.

    “It’s been a joy to do things we’ve never done before and get an award that we’ve never had before,'' Carlson said. 

     E197qpfWUAAQgi0Cair Paravel Latin celebrates its Class 4A-1A regional soccer championship Friday at the Bettis Family Sports Complex. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

  • Baseball, softball, soccer regionals on tap this week

    Rick Peterson


    With some cooperation from Mother Nature, Shawnee County high school teams in baseball, softball and soccer will get the opportunity to vie for state tournament berths this week.

    Here's a look at regional pairings in those sports: 



    CLASS 6A

    West Regional 3

    At Manhattan

    Games Tuesday — Topeka High (6: 14-6) vs. Junction City (11: 9-11), 2 p.m.; Manhattan (3: 16-4) vs. Hutchinson (14: 6-14), 4 p.m.; Championship, 6 p.m.

  • to host 2021 Topeka Shawnee County sports awards/Hall of Fame induction

    Rick Peterson


    TopSports.News, in conjunction with Envista Credit Union and A-1 Lock and Key will become the new host of the 16th annual Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards/Hall of Fame induction ceremony, continuing a longstanding tradition for the Topeka and Shawnee County sports community on June 30, 2021 at the Capitol Plaze Hotel's Maner Conference Center Sunflower Ballroom.

    RonBowenWashburn Rural coaching legend Ron Bowen (center) was inducted into the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame in 2019. will host the 2021 sports awards banquet and Hall of Fame ceremony on June 30. [Submitted]

    General admission tickets are $25 per person and includes dinner.

    The most recent Topeka Shawnee County banquet was held in 2019 before last year's ceremonies were canceled due to COVID-19.

    TopSports.News is proud to preserve and continue this annual event, which recognizes Shawnee County's top senior student-athletes while also continuing to add to the prestigious Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame. For the first time, TSN will also honor an oustanding female and male athlete from Washburn University.

  • WNBA champion Storm invite Topekan Williams to training camp

    Rick Peterson


    Topekan Peyton Williams' basketball career has taken her from Cair Paravel Latin to Kansas State to a sport on Team USA for the Pan American Games to her professional debut in Moscow, Russia.

    Now the 6-foot-4 Williams will attempt to take the next step in her banner career after being invited by the reigning WBNA-champion Seattle Storm to attend their training camp for the 2021-2022 season.

    PeytonWilliams2Peyton Williams

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