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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    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 TopSports.news high school senior sports awards

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    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.

    TopSports.news, 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]

    TopSports.news 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 topsports.news.

    TOPEKA SHAWNEE COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS AWARDS NOMINEES

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    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

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    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 TopSports.news' 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

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    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]

    LIONS TO PLAY FOR THIRD

    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

    By ISAAC DEER

    TopSports.news

    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.

  • Prep roundup: Hayden, Cair Paravel advance to soccer quarters; Rossville softball earns state berth

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Cair Paravel Latin and No. 7 Hayden captured Class 4A-1A regional girls soccer championships on Thursday, setting up a state quarterfinal matchup between the Lions and the Wildcats next Tuesday at the Bettis Family Sports Complex.

    CPLSsoccerCair Paravel Latin hoists its Class 4A-1A regional championship trophy after Tuesday's 9-0 win over Bishop Seabury. [Photo by Jan Pabitzky/Special to TSN]

    Hayden soccer poses for a team picture after winning a Class 4A-1A regional title with a 1-0 win at Louisburg on Thursday. [Photo/Hayden soccer]Hayden soccer poses for a team picture after winning a Class 4A-1A regional title with a 1-0 win at Louisburg on Thursday. [Photo/Hayden soccer]

    Cair Paravel rolled to a 9-0 win over Bishop Seabury in its regional final Thursday at Bettis while Hayden earned a 1-0 road victory at Louisburg.

    With the victory Cair Paravel improved 14-3-0 on the season.

    Junior Sloane Sims scored the game's only goal in the first half and Hayden made it stand up the rest of the way.

    Senior Abby Dodd was credited with the assist on Sims' goal as Hayden improved to 10-6-1 on the season.

    Next Tuesday's quarterfinal will be played at 4:30 p.m. at Bettis.

    The winner of that game will move on to the 4A-1A state tournament Mary 27-28 at Hummer Sports Park.

    Other 4A-1A state quarterfinals will pit Bishop Miege (12-5-1) against Baldwin (10-5-2), Mulvane (14-3-1) against Buhler (10-7-1) and McPherson (14-3-1) against Circle (12-5-1).

    ROSSVILLE SOFTBALL COMPLETES REGIONAL RUN

    Rossville softball wrapped up its suspended Class 3A regional final on Thursday in Sabetha, taking a 9-3 win over Nemaha Central to earn a berth in next week's Class 3A state tournament at the Twin Oaks Complex in Manhattan.

    RossvillesoftballregionalRossville softball poses for a team picture after earning a Class 3A state berth with a 9-3 win over Nemaha Central Thursday at Sabetha. [Submitted]

    The Bulldawgs, now 20-3 on the season, will be the No. 6 seed in the state tournament and will open their state tournament bid at 7 p.m. next Thursday against No. 3 Council Grove (21-2).

    Also on the same side of the bracket with Rossville and Council Grove are No. 2 Scott City (20-1) and No. 7 Prairie View (19-4).

    On the other side of the 3A bracket, No. Hoisington/Central Plains (22-1) will face No. 8 Santa Fe Trail (19-4) and No. 4 Kingman/Norwich (21-2) will take on No. 5 Frontenac (20-3).

    The state semifinals will be played at 11 a.m. next Friday, followed by the championship game at 1:30 p.m.

     

     

  • TopSports.news to host 2022 Topeka Shawnee County sports awards/Hall of Fame induction

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    TopSports.News, in conjunction with the University of Kansas Health System St Francis Campus, A-1 Lock and Key and Washburn University, will host the 17th annual Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards/Hall of Fame induction ceremony on June 22, 2022 at Washburn's Memorial Union.

    For the second straight year TopSports.news will serve as host for the sports awards/Hall of Fame banquet, a longstanding tradition for the Topeka and Shawnee County sports community.

    The ceremony will highlight Shawnee County high school senior student-athletes’ achievements throughout the 2021-2022 school year along with the induction of the 2022 Topeka Shawnee
    County Hall of Fame Class.

    b card logo 2

    Schools have been asked to submit nominees with a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average for both female and male candidates for the fall, winter and spring seasons as well as nominees for most inspirational athlete. Over-all outstanding male and female athletes for 2021-2022 will also be named.

    Also recognized will be an outstanding female and male athlete from Washburn University.

    The three-member 2022 Hall of Fame class and the '22 Washburn University Athletes of the Year will be announced on TopSports.news on Monday morning.

    The high school nominees for the 10 Shawnee County high schools will be announced in June after the conclusion of the spring sports season. A  committee of local media members will select the 2022 winners, including the selection of overall female and male athletes of the year.

    This year TopSports.news will also introduce a new award, along with the Topeka Officials Association, spotlighting the dedication and contribution of these men and women that are integral to high school athletics.

    The June 22 event kicks off in the Memorial Union with a Hall of Fame reception at 5 p.m., followed by dinner at 6 p.m. and the presentation of awards.

    Each nominee will receive a complimentary ticket. Tickets are $26 per person, prior to June 18, 2022, and are required for admission. Tickets include dinner.

    For more information or to purchase tickets go to www.TopSports.news or call 785-633-8448 

    The 2021 Hall of Fame class included former NFL linebacker and current Chargers assistant coach Michael Wilhoite, former Missouri State and longtime professional basketball player Kyle Weems and Kyle McNorton, a former Kansas star linebacker and NFL player for the Kansas City Chiefs.

    Wilhoite and Weems are Highland Park graduates and McNorton a Seaman grad.

    HogleoverallSilver Lake graduate Ellington Hogle receives her award as 2021 Shawnee County girls athlete of the year last June from 2021 Hall of Fame inductee Michael Wilhoite. [File photo/TSN]

    PurnelloverallFormer Hayden football standout Desmond Purnell is interviewed by Bruce Steinbrock after being named the 2021 Shawnee County male athlete of the year last June. [File photo/TSN]

    Silver Lake's Ellington Hogle and Hayden's Desmond Purnell were named outstanding female and male athletes in 2021.

    Hogle is now playing softball at Washburn while Purnell is playing football at Kansas State.

  • Four Shawnee County soccer teams state-ranked by the KHSSCA

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Four Shawnee County teams earned spots in the latest Kansas High School Soccer Coaches Association girls state rankings.

    Washburn Rural, currently 9-2-0, is ranked No. 2 in Class 6A while Shawnee Heights, 9-1-0, is No. 8 in 5A.

    Both Hayden and Cair Paravel Latin are ranked in 4A-1A, with Hayden (7-2-1) No. 3 and Cair Paravel (9-3-0) No. 5.

    KHSSCA COACHES POLL

    WEEK 5

    Records as of April 27

    CLASS 6A

    1. Blue Valley West                     7-1-0

    2. Washburn Rural                      9-2-0

  • Prep roundup: West tennis wins Central title; Newkirk cracks top 15 all-time

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer

    By RICK PETERSON                                                                                                              

    TopSports.news

    Topeka West's boys tennis team won the team championship in Saturday's Salina Central Invitational, led by junior doubles champions Miles and Ian Cusick.

    The Cusicks, who won their third tournament on the week, took an 8-3 win over Arkansas City in the championship match.

    Cusicks 002Topeka West's Miles Cusick returns a shot as Ian Cusick looks on Saturday in the Sallina Central Invitational. The Cusicks win the doubles title, leading the Chargers to the team championship. [Submitted]

    Chavez Cool Emporia 002Topeka West's Gavin Chavez (left) and Carter Cool finished third in doubles in Saturday's Salina Central Invitational, helping the Chargers win the team title. [Submitted]

    Senior Gavin Chavez and junior Carter Cool posted a third-place finish, bouncing back from a semifinal loss to teammates Cusick and Cusick to win the third-place match.

    Sophomore James  Maag added a fourth-place finish in singles for the Chargers.

    • Topeka West finished second as a team to Wichita Classical in Friday's Emporia Invitational, with Miles and Ian Cusick claiming the championship in an all-West doubles final.

    The Cusicks beat teammates Chavez and Cool 8-7 (7-4 in a tiebreaker) for first place.

    Maag from Topeka West finished 4th in singles.

    Senior Michael Sandstrom and junior Gus Glotzbach finished fifth in doubles for Hayden.

    Maag from Topeka West finished 4th in singles.

    NEWKIRK JOINS ALL-TIME DISTANCE ELITE