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  • All-Shawnee County golf: Junior Blues put four players on first team

    Rick Peterson

    FCk4Z40XMAE9vGk2021 All-Shawnee County girls golf -- From left: Avery Zimmerman, Topeka High; Lois Deeter, Seaman; Avery Scott, Washburn Rural; Kaitlyn Crough, Washburn Rural; McKenna Merrick, Washburn Rural; Aliyah North, Washburn Rural; Kate Roeder, Hayden. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural garnered four spots on the All-Shawnee County girls golf team after the Junior Blues swept city, Centennial League and regional team titles before finishing second in last week's Class 6A state tournament.

    The Junior Blues are represented by seniors Kaitlyn Crough, McKenna Merrick and Aliyah North and junior Avery Scott, who all earned 6A state medals this fall.

    Also earning spots on the seven-member All-Shawnee County first team were Seaman junior Lois Deeter, Hayden senior Kate Roeder and Topeka High sophomore Avery Zimmerman.

    Deeter claimed the city title and tied for fifth in the 5A state tournament while Roeder finished second in the 4A state meet and Zimmerman qualified for the 6A state tournament as an individual.

    Named to the second team were Seaman junior Aspen Burgardt and sophomore Avery Samuelson, Hayden sophomore Avery Grunert and junior Ava Teply, Washburn Rural junior Mallory Nelson and sophomore Raegan Petersen, Shawnee Heights senior Olivia Morgan and Silver Lake freshman Taylor Zordel.

    All-County first-team capsules:

    KAITLYN CROUGH, Washburn Rural -- Crough capped her high school career with an 11th-place finish in the 6A state tournament, earning the second state medal of her career, as Rural finished second as a team at state after sweeping city, Centennial League and regional titles. A former city champ, Crough was the runner-up in the city and league meets.

    LOIS DEETER, Seaman -- A junior, Deeter tied for fifth in the 5A state tournament after winning the city title by five strokes and finishing second in regional competition. Deeter, who also tied for fifth in the state tournament as a freshman, shot an even-par 70 in the city tournament and posted a career-low 66 in the Manhattan Invitational.

    McKENNA MERRICK, Washburn Rural -- Merrick, a senior, earned a 6A state medal with a tie for 19th place to help Washburn Rural finish second as a team. Merrick also tied for seventh in the Centennial League tournament as the Junior Blues won the team title.

    ALIYAH NORTH, Washburn Rural -- In her first year as a varsity player the Rural senior finished fifth in the 6A state tournament for the runner-up Junior Blues after finishing as the runner-up in regional competition, tying for fourth in the Centennial League and taking third in the city meet as Rural won city, league and regional team titles.

    KATE ROEDER, Hayden -- Roeder, a senior, turned in an outstanding performance in the 4A state tournament, posting a second-place individual finish to lead the Wildcats to a third-place team finish. Roeder also tied for seventh place individually in 4A regional competition and she placed seventh in the city tournament.

    AVERY SCOTT, Washburn Rural -- A junior, Scott tied for 12th place individually in the 6A tournament, helping Rural finish second as a team after the Junior Blues swept city, Centennial League and regional titles. A two-time state medalist, Scott finished fourth at regionals, third in the Centennial League and tied for fourth in the city tournament.

    AVERY ZIMMERMAN, Topeka High -- Zimmerman, a sophomore, qualified for the 6A state tournament as an individual and went on to tie for 33rd place at state. Zimmerman also placed sixth individually in the Centennial League tournament and she tied for eighth in the city tournament. 

    ALL-SHAWNEE COUNTY GIRLS GOLF

  • Regional soccer: Undefeated Rural leads city teams to regional finals

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

     Washburn Rural continued its perfect 2021 season Tuesday night, opening postseason with a 7-0 Class 6A regional romp past Wichita Northwest.

    The Junior Blues, now 16-0-0 on the year, got two goals apiece from junior Easton Bradstreet and senior Porter Schafersman while junior Ty Stead, senior Mason Grogan and senior Jonah Molina added a goal apiece.

    DSC 0737Senior captain Porter Schafersman had two goals and two assists in Washburn Rural's 7-0 Class 6A regional win over Wichita Northwest Monday night. [File photo by Doug Walker/TSN]

    Schafersman also contrbuted a pair of assists for Rural, while sophomore Devon Rutschmann, junior Jaxon Padilla and junior Cayden Lee were also credited with assists.

    Senior Wyatt Arnold and sophomore Ethan Uhlrig combined for the shutout in goal for the Junior Blues against Northwest, which ended its season 6-12-0.

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers Oct. 25, 2021

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Malachi BergMalachi Berg

    MALACHI BERG, Topeka West

    A junior quarterback, Berg rushed for one touchdown and threw for two TDs as Topeka West ended a long losing streak against USD 501 rival Topeka High with a 28-22 overtime victory. Berg rushed for 66 yards on 14 carries, including a 22-yard touchdown, and completed 12 of 19 passes for 197 yards and 13 and 60-yard TDs.

    MadelineCarternewMadeline Carter

    MADELINE CARTER, Washburn Rural

    Carter, a junior, captured the individual girls title in Saturday's Class 6A regional cross country meet at Milford State Park, clocking a five-kilometer time of 18 minutes, 46.20 seconds. Carter led a 1-2-3 finish by the Junior Blues for the fourth straight meet, with Rural winning the regional team championship by a 41-52 margin over Manhattan.

    FCjVnLNXsAI6QX6Branton DeWeese

    BRANTON DeWEESE, Washburn Rural

    A sophomore quarterback, DeWeese completed 11 of 18 passes for 294 yards and four touchdown passes as 7-1 Washburn Rural clinched a share of the Centennial League championship with a 42-31 victory over Seaman. DeWeese threw for 9, 84, 24 and 20-yard touchdowns in the win.

    21letcher james 1James Letcher Jr.

    JAMES LETCHER JR., Washburn University

    Letcher put Washburn ahead to stay with a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown with 3:10 remaining as the Ichabods went on to take a 29-17 MIAA win at Central Oklahoma, improving to 6-2 with their third straight victory. Letcher also caught five passes and had 186 all-purpose yards in the Washburn win.

    TannerNewkirkmugTanner Newkirk

    TANNER NEWKIRK, Hayden

    The defending Class 4A state cross country champion, Hayden's senior star won a Class 4A boys individual regional title Saturday at the Kanza Park course, posting a five-kilometer time of 15 minutes, 16.67 seconds to win by 54 seconds. Newkirk led the Wildcats to a second-place team finish and a state team berth.

    korysuttonmugKory Sutton

    KORY SUTTON, Shawnee Heights

    A junior, Sutton won his first individual regional title, clocking a five-kilometer time of 15 minutes, 45.01 seconds in the Class 5A regional at the Kanza Park course. Sutton led Shawnee Heights to a second-place team finish and a berth in the 5A state meet at Augusta.

     

  • Hayden tops Cair Paravel in penalty kicks to advance to regional final

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    When Monday's Class 4A-1A regional opener between Hayden and Cair Paravel Latin went to penalty kicks after 110 minutes of scoreless soccer, Hayden standout senior goalkeeper Gabe Rankey knew he was going to end the day either feeling really good or really, really bad.

    As it turned out Rankey was wearing a big smile after the Wildcats outscored the Lions 4-1 in PKs to escape with a 1-0 victory at Hayden.

    "It was pretty fun that we won,'' Rankey said. "If we lost it would have been probably the worst experience of my life.'' 

    With the victory Hayden, now 12-5-0 on the season, advanced to Thursday's regional final to host the winner of Tuesday's game between Independence and Berean Academy while Cair Paravel ended its season 4-10-1.

    FCljpgrWQAM9IVIHayden's Camden Schrickel (right) and Cair Paravel's Joe Havens get tangled up while trying to control the ball in Monday's Class 4A-1A soccer regional at Hayden. The Wildcats won 1-0 in penalty kicks. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Hayden had numerous scoring opportunities throughout the contest, but Cair Paravel goalkeeper Jacob Hershberger turned in an oustanding performance to give his team a chance, keeping the Wildcats off the scoreboard through 80 minutes of regulation, plus two 10-minute overtime periods and two five-minute OT sessions to send the game to PKs.

  • Friday prep football wrapup: Cair Paravel, Rossville remain unbeaten

    Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

     Rossville's football team wrapped up a perfect 2021 regular season and extended its winning streak to 21 straight games dating back to 2019 with a 51-6 romp past Mission Valley Friday night.

    The 8-0 Bulldawgs opened up a 14-0 first-quarter advantage and went on to build an insurmountable 38-0 lead at the half before taking a 45-0 advantage into the fourth quarter.

    CoreyCatronCorey Catron

    Bulldawg senior Corey Catron scored on 8 and 54-yard runs and also threw for a pair of touchdowns -- 5 yards to Kaden Brown and 21 yards to Kade Perine.

    Rossville also got 1 and 4-yard TD runs from Trenton Barker and a 40-yard score from Tayson Horak.

    Pedro Arantes kicked a 29-yard field goal and six extra points.

    Rossville will begin defense of its Class 2A state title with a Friday night home game against Republic County (3-4).

    CAIR PARAVEL LATIN 56, WICHITA LIFE PREP 6 -- Cair Paravel Latin improved to 8-0 with a 56-6 road romp past Life Prep, putting the game away with 56 points in the first half.

    Cair Paravel senior quarterback Carter Brian completed all five of his pass attempts for 186 yards and four touchdowns.

    CarterBrianmugCarter Brian

    Junior Jachin Bonura caught three passes for 112 yards and two TDs while senior Noah Hastert caught two passes for 87 yards and two touchdowns.

    Cair Paravel will host Manhattan Christian at Highland Park Friday night.

    HAYDEN 31, BISHOP WARD 28 -- Hayden wrapped up the Class 3A District 3 title with its sixth straight victory, improving to 7-1 overall with a 31-28 win over Bishop Ward.

    The Wildcats played without injured senior standout Jack Chisham, but got key contributions from JC Cummings, TL Thompson and quarterback Gavin Arnold in the win.

    Hayden led 19-7 at the half and went up 25-7 and 31-14 before the Cyclones mounted a late comeback.

    Cummings scored three touchdowns on the night while Thompson also had a TD.

    Hayden will open the 3A playoffs at home Friday against Hiawatha (4-4).

  • Regional soccer: T-Birds fight through adversity to achieve glossy 14-2-0 mark

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    A 14-2-0 regular-season record is impressive enough, but the way Shawnee Heights' boys soccer team has achieved that mark is even more impressive.

    Fighting injuries, illness and the like, Heights coach Nic Simons has waited all season for his T-Birds to be at full strength, but Simons couldn't be prouder of how the team has handled each and every challenge heading into Tuesday's 6 p.m. Class 5A regional contest at the Bettis Family Sports Complex.

    "We have not had all 11 starting players out on the field at the same time, not one game,'' Simons said after last Thursday's 3-1 win over Manhattan. "But everybody on the team has played minutes and everybody on the team has picked each other up and we've gotten goals from sophomores all the way up through seniors and from kids who play relatively little minutes to kids that play the whole game.''

    NicSimonsNic Simons and his 14-2-0 Shawnee Heights soccer team will open Class 5A postseason Tuesday night at the Bettis Family Sports Complex. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    dsc 6483 10218 1200 1200 100Junior Jordan Garvin is a top player for Shawnee Heights, which will open 5A postseason Tuesday night. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    After dropping a 5-1 decision to 15-0-0 Washburn Rural to open the season, the only other blemish on the United Kansas Conference-champion T-Birds' record is a double-overtime loss to De Soto.

    "It's just been nothing but incredible,'' Simons said of Heights' success. "What a testament to these kids, they're wonderful.''

  • Newkirk dominates regional, Hayden qualifies boys, girls teams for 4A state

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    If Tanner Newkirk's performance in Saturday's regional cross country meet is any indication, it may be a tough task for anyone in the Class 4A boys state field to take the title away from the reigning champ in next week's state meet at Wamego Country Club.

    Newkirk, completing a sweep of city, Centennial League and regional titles, tuned up for state in impressive fashion at the Kanza Park course, posting a runaway win by 54 seconds in a five-kilometer time of 15 minutes, 16.67 seconds while helping the Wildcats earn a team berth for state with a runner-up finish.

    "I think I'm in my best shape of the season and the work has obviously paid off,'' Newkirk said. "Today I felt really good and I was able to come out here and do really well.

    "I knew I could beat my time from city and I knew this was a fast course so I decided I might was well come out here and try to run a (personal record) and run as fast as I can.''

    FCbOnMlXMAEGPQTHayden senior Tanner Newkirk posted a 54-second win in Saturday's Class 4A regional cross country meet, pacing the Wildcats to a second-place team finish. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Newkirk achieved that goal by six seconds despite running alone for virtually the entire race.

    "My body felt good and my lungs felt good so I thought today could be a good race,'' Newkirk said. "I just wanted to do all I could that's in my control to have my best race and it worked out well.''

    Already a three-time state medalist, with second and first-place finishes, Newkirk is looking to end his high school career with a bang next Saturday.

    "I'm really excited, I'm ecstatic,'' he said. "I'm looking to maybe set the course record and just run a really fast last cross country race.''

    With Newkirk leading the way, Hayden finished second in the regional team standings by a 36-56 margin to Wamego.

    Wildcat sophomore Aiden Amis finished eighth (17:10.41) while senior Ryan Rochford was 12th (17:24.85), sophomore Zach Moore 17th (17:47.83) and No. 5 runner Nick Lloyd, a junior, 18th (17:51.04).

    FCbPh1zWEAg svHElliot Wrench finished second in Saturday's Class 4A regional cross country meet, leading Hayden's girls to a third-place team finish and a berth in the state meet. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Hayden's girls team also punched its ticket to the state meet with a third-place team finish, with sophomore Elliot Wrench finishing second individually in 20:26.26 to pace the Wildcats.

    Sophomore Elaina Wolff placed 10th for the Wildcats (22:06.83), who also got a 16th-place finish from freshman Ryann Newkirk (22:40.94), an 18th from senior Riley Schmidtlein (22:53.12) and a 23rd-place finish from junior Catherine Doyle (23:43.90) to round out Hayden's top five.

     Rock Creek sophomore Kyra Nippert was the girls individual champion in 19:48.36.

  • Seaman's Unruh and Sweeney, Hayden's Zulueta All-State picks

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Seaman state doubles champions Grace Unruh and Lauren Sweeney and Hayden state singles champ Ainzley Zulueta have been named to the 2021 Kansas Tennis Coaches Association All-State girls tennis team.

    Unruh, a senior, and Sweeney, a junior, capped a perfect 36-0 season with the Class 5A state doubles championship last Saturday at Emporia while freshman Zulueta finished off a 35-5 season with a 4A state singles title last Saturday at Winfield.

    Unruh and SweeneySeaman Class 5A state doubles champions Grace Unruh and Lauren Sweeney have received All-State honors from the Kansas Tennis Coaches Association. [File photo/TSN]

    AinzleyZuluetaHayden freshman Ainzley Zulueta has received All-State recognition from the Kansas Tennis Coaches Association after winning the Class 4A state singles title. [File photo/TSN]

    Unruh and Sweeney, who had finished fourth in 5A in 2020, led the Vikings to a fifth-place team finish while Zulueta led the Wildcats to a third-place state finish.

    Manhattan junior Jillian Harkin, the 6A state singles champion, was also named to the KTCA All-State team.

                                                             KTCA All State Tennis Teams 2021

  • State champion trio headlines All-Shawnee County girls tennis

    Rick Peterson

    FBvfhTGWQBQJd C2021 All-Shawnee County girls tennis team -- Front row, from left: Nina Del-Zio, Seaman; Mena DiMarzio, Washburn Rural; Meredith Kucera, Washburn Rural; Sheriden Wichman, Washburn Rural; Lauren Sweeney, Seaman; Ainzley Zulueta, Hayden; Emily Sheetz, Hayden; Haley Carpenter, Topeka High. Back row, from left: Kate Fritz, Washburn Rural; Shelby Schmutzler, Washburn Rural; Hailey Beck, Washburn Rural; Grace Unruh, Seaman; Lauren Sandstrom, Hayden; Adisyn Caryl, Topeka High. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Seaman state doubles champions Grace Unruh and Lauren Sweeney and Hayden singles champ Ainzley Zulueta headline the 2021 All-Shawnee County girls tennis team, which includes nine state medalists.

    Unruh, a senior, and junior Sweeney capped a perfect 36-0 season with the Class 5A state doubles championship Saturday at Emporia while freshman Zulueta finished off a 35-5 season with a 4A state singles title at Winfield.

    Washburn Rural placed all six of its varsity players on the All-Shawnee County team after sweeping team championships in the city, Centennial League and 6A regional tournaments.

    The Junior Blues got ninth-place finishes in the 6A state tournament from senior singles player Sheriden Wichman and the junior doubles team of Kate Fritz and Meredith Kucera while senior Shelby Schmutzler and junior Hailey Beck made it to state in doubles and sophomore Mena DiMarzio advanced in singles.

    Hayden's doubles team of sophomore Lauren Sandstrom and freshman Emily Sheetz placed seventh in the 4A state tournament, helping the Wildcats win the third-place team trophy, while Seaman junior Nina Del-Zio earned a 5A state medal with an 11th-place finish in singles.

    Topeka High juniors Haley Carpenter and Adisyn Caryl made the All-City team after advancing to the 6A state tournament for the second straight season as doubles partners. Caryl has made it to state three straight years in doubles.

    All-Shawnee County capsules:

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers Oct. 18, 2021

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    MadelineCarternewMadeline Carter

    MADELINE CARTER, Washburn Rural

    Carter, a junior, captured the individual girls title in Saturday's Centennial League cross country championships at Milford State Park, clocking a five-kilometer time of 18 minutes, 43.3 seconds. Carter led a 1-2-3 finish by the Junior Blues for the third straight meet, with Rural winning the league team championship by a 50-52 margin over Manhattan.

     CoreyCatronCorey Catron

    COREY CATRON, Rossville

    A senior running back/linebacker, Catron was pressed into duty at quarterback after an injury to Torrey Horak and sparked undefeated Rossville to a 24-19 come-from-behind win over rival Silver Lake. Catron rushed for 136 yards and a touchdown and passed for 33 yards and a TD.

  • Friday night prep football roundup: Cair Paravel, Hayden roll to wins

    Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

    Cair Paravel Latin continued its perfect 2021 football season Friday night, improving to 7-0 with a 54-12 romp past Cornerstone Family.

    The Lions took control with a 24-point first quarter and led 24-0 at the half before taking a 32-0 lead in the third quarter.

    Cair Paravel scored its final 22 points in the fourth quarter while Cornerstone scored all 12 of its points in the final period.

    CarterBrianmugCarter Brian

    Cair Paravel senior quarterback Carter Brian completed 12 of 17 passes for 198 yards and four touchdowns and also rushed for 33 yards and two TDs.

    Sophomore Simon Everhart caught two passes for 65 yards and two TDs while senior Noah Hastert caught six passes for 34 yards and a score and sophomore Evan Will caught three passes for 51 yards and a TD.

    Sophomore Ian Brian led the Lions with 11 tackles while sophomore Noah Collins was in on 10 stops.

    Cair Paravel will travel to Wichita Life Prep on friday.

    HAYDEN 46, PERRY-LECOMPTON 18 -- Hayden improved to 6-1 on the season, avenging a playoff loss to Perry-Lecompton in 2020 with a 46-18 Class 3A district road win over the Kaws Friday night.

  • Day 1 state golf roundup: Rural sets 6A pace, Hayden 3rd, Vikes' Deeter 5th

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural's girls golf team put itself in position to challenge for the sixth Class 6A state championship in girls program history on Monday, turning in a strong first-round performance at Emporia Municipal Golf Course.

    Senior Aliyah North shot a 77 to lead the way as the Junior Blues built a seven-stroke advantage over Blue Valley West halfway through the 36-hole event.

    The final 18 holes will get under way Tuesday at 10 a.m.

    North will start Tuesday in fourth place, five shots behind leader Tess Roman of Shawnee Mission East.

    AliyahNorthSenior Aliyah North shot a first-round 77 Monday to help Washburn Rural build a seven-stroke lead in the 6A state golf tournament. [File photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

  • Rural golf happy to be back in 6A hunt after tough '20 postseason

    Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural's girls golf coach Jared Goehring was in Hesston a year ago for the Class 6A state tournament, but something was missing.

    Due to injuries to Junior Blue regulars Kaitlyn Crough and McKenna Merrick prior to regional competition, perennial 6A contender Rural failed to earn a girls state team berth for the first time in Goehring's coaching career.

    Fast forward to 2021 and the Junior Blues will be back at full strength for the 6A state meet Monday and Tuesday at Emporia Muncipal Golf Course after sweeping city, Centennial League and regional championships. 

    AliyahNorthSenior Aliyah North finished second in last week's Class 6A regional tournament, leading Washburn Rural to the team championship by a 14-stroke margin. [File photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Washburn Rural had to overcome tough weather conditions and some struggles on the course in last Monday's regional tournament at Heritage Park in Olathe, but came through with a 14-stroke team win as senior Aliyah North shot an 81 to finish second individually and junior Avery Scott finished fourth with an 83.

    "It was kind of just survive and advance, which is all coaches talk about this time of year,'' Goehring said. "It wasn't shaping up weather-wise to be the best day for us, so we were just trying to get by and get down to Emporia as quick as we could.''

    Washburn Rural also got a top-10 finish from sophomore Raegan Petersen, who tied for ninth with an 89, while senior Merrick tied for 11th with a 92 to round out the Junior Blues' top four as Rural won the team championship by a 345-359 margin over Olathe West.

    "It was something we set out to do as soon as last year got over, that we wanted to go back and capture a regional championship,'' Goehring said of the regional win. "We did that and this senior class has been tremendous this season, so it was good to get everyone qualified as a team and get back in the conversation where we belong this year.''

    Goehring believes that if the Junior Blues play like they're capable that Rural can challenge for a team championship. The Junior Blues have only lost once on the year, finishing second to Blue Valley West in the Lawrence Invitational.

    "It's been a tremendous season, but what people remember the most is what you do in the postseason, so we need to put our best foot forward and rely on those returning letter-winners to lead us,'' Goehring said. 

    Scott tied for ninth in last year's state tournament while Crough tied for 13th in 2019.

    Topeka High sophomore Avery Zimmerman was the top individual qualifier for the state tournament, tying for 11th at regionals with a 92. 

    The first round of the 36-hole state tournament will start at 9 a.m. Monday.

    CLASS 5A

    After tying for fifth in the 2019 5A state tournament as a freshman, Seaman junior standout Lois Deeter opted out of the COVID-19-altered 2020 season.

    But Deeter will be back at state Monday and Tuesday at Hutchinson's Carey Park after finishing second individually and helping the Vikings qualify as a team with a third-place finish in last Monday's 5A regional tournament at Cypress Ridge.

    LoisDeeterA former state medalist, Seaman junior Lois Deeter will compete in the Class 5A state tournament at Hutchinson after posting a second-place regional finish. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Deeter, who shot a career-low 66 earlier this fall, shot a 75 at regionals to finish second while Seaman also got a ninth-place individual finish from Avery Samuelson, keying the Vikings' third-place finish behind Kapaun Mt. Carmel and Bishop Carroll.

    Shawnee Heights will also have a pair of competitors at state after seniors Kameron Burnam and Olivia Morgan qualified as individuals.

    Monday's first round will tee off at 9 a.m.

    CLASS 4A

    Hayden punched its ticket to the Class 4A state tournament, which will be held Monday and Tuesday at Salina Municipal, with a second-place team finish in last Monday's regional tournament at Clay Center.

    Sophomore Avery Grunert and senior Kate Roeder paced the Wildcats at regionals, with Grunert tying for sixth and Roeder tying for seventh, while Hayden also got a 10th-place regional finish from junior Ava Teply.

    Roeder tied for 20th in the 4A state meet a year ago.

    Tournament play will begin at 9 a.m. Monday.

    CLASS 3A-1A

    Silver Lake will compete in the 3A state meet at Hesston Golf Course after claiming a regional championship last Monday at Council Grove.

    Sophomore Madeline Fieger and freshman Taylor Zordel keyed the Eagles' regional performance, tying for eighth place individually.

    The two-day 3A-1A state tournament will tee off at 10 a.m. on Monday.

    SHAWNEE COUNTY STATE GIRLS GOLF QUALIFIERS

  • State golf: Rural second in 6A, Roeder second in 4A, Deeter fifth in 5A

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    EMPORIA -- Washburn Rural girls golf coach Jared Goehring was quick to admit that the Junior Blues didn't get the day they were looking for in Tuesday's final round of the Class 6A state tournament at Emporia Municipal Golf Course.

    But Goehring was just as quick to credit Blue Valley West four-time state individual champ Julia Misemer and her Jaguar teammates after West rallied from a seven-stroke deficit after the first day to claim the championship by a seven-stroke margin over the Junior Blues (678-685).

    "We had an outstanding Round 1 and we had a solid front nine here today and just didn't have enough in the tank on the back nine, and Blue Valley's a solid team,'' Goehring said. "They've proven they can go in the low 300s this year and Misemer's one of the best, if not the best, that we've ever seen in the state.''

    RuralgolfStateWashburn Rural's girls golf team poses with the Class 6A second-place trophy after Tuesday's tournament in Emporia. [Submitted]

    Rural senior Aliyah North, making her first state appearance, finished fifth individually with a 36-hole total of 160 (77-83) while senior Kaitlyn Crough finished 11th at 172 (84-88), junior Avery Scott tied for 12th at 173 (85-88) and senior McKenna Merrick tied for 19th at 180 (88-92).

    Rural sophomore Raegan Petersen tied for 22nd (182) and junior Mallory Nelson tied for 39th (192).

    Goehring said he knew his team was hurting after Tuesday's round.

    "It means a lot to them and of course they want to play well and have a good showing for the program and for themselves,'' he said. "I'm just wishing Aliyah and McKenna and Kaitlyn could have finished at the top one last time together.''

    Misemer shot a pair of 73s at state to capture her fourth straight 6A state individual championship by a four-stroke margin over Shawnee Mission East senior Tess Roman.

    Although Rural came up short Tuesday, the second-place state finish capped a banner season for the Junior Blues, including a sweep of city, Centennial League and regional titles.

    "We had a tremendous year,'' Goehring said. "There's been one team that beat us all season and they beat us twice. Hats off to them. Their girls stepped up today on the back nine and responded better than ours did.''

    Topeka High sophomore Avery Zimmerman, competing as an individual, shot back-to-back 95s to tie for 33rd place. 

    CLASS 6A STATE GOLF

    Team scores

    Blue Valley West 678, Washburn Rural 685, Shawnee Mission East 706, Olathe East 721, Olathe Northwest 723, Olathe West 731.

    Individual results

    1. Misemer, Blue Valley West, 73-73--146; 2. Roman, Shawnee Mission East, 72-78 -- 150; 3. (tie) Lyons, Olathe West, 80-79 -- 159, and Neal Shawnee Mission South, 75-84 -- 150; 5. North, Washburn Rural, 77-83 -- 160; 6. Neese, Blue Valley, 82-82 -- 164; 7. (tie) Berquist, Free State, 88-79 -- 167, and Rodriguez, Blue Valley West, 87-80 -- 167; 9. Armstrong, Dodge City, 89-79 -- 168; 10. Warren, Garden City, 89-81 -- 170; 11. Crough, Washburn Rural, 84-88 -- 172; 12. (tie) C. Scott, Olathe East, 84-89 -- 173; A. Scott, Washburn Rural, 85-88 -- 173, and Sullivan, Olathe Northwest, 87-86 -- 173; 15. Hearshman, Olathe Northwest, 175; 16. Kim, Blue Valley West, 89-88 -- 177; 17. Chilukuri, Olathe East 90-88 -- 178; 18, Kidwell, Blue Valley North, 94-85 -- 179; 19. (tie) Blaketer, Shawnee Mission East, 90-90 -- 180; Merrick, Washburn Rural, 88-92 -- 180, and Olivia Still, Blue Valley North, 97-83 -- 180.

    Other Washburn Rural -- 22. (tie) Petersen, 89-93 -- 182; 39. (tie) Nelson, 95-97 -- 192.

    Topeka High -- 33. (tie) Zimmerman, 190.

    HaydengirlsgolfHayden's girls golf team poses with its third-place trophy after Tuesday's Class 4A state tournament at Salina. Senior Kate Roeder (center) posted a second-place individual finish. [Photo by Kyle Grunert/Special to TSN]

    ROEDER, HAYDEN PLACE SECOND IN 4A

    Hayden senior Kate Roeder ended her high school career with a second-place finish in the Class 4A state tournament Tuesday at Salina Municipal Golf Course, leading the way as the Wildcats earned the third-place team trophy.

    Roeder had rounds of 84 and 82 to finsh at 166 and was the state runner-up behind Tonganoxie junior Hayden York, who shot a 75 Tuesday after an opening-round 87 to win the title by four strokes.

    Hayden sophomore Hannah Reynoldson earned a state medal with a tie for 19th place after a final-round 93 following a 91 to finish at 184.

    Sophomore Avery Grunert tied for 23rd at 189 (100-89), sophomore Kyleigh Johnson tied for 30th at 197 (100-97) and junior Ava Teply finished 42nd at 206 (105-101).

    Wamego won the team championship by a single stroke over Winfield (717-718) while Hayden finished at 736, 34 strokes in front of fourth-place Tonganoxie.

  • Hayden freshman Zulueta rolls to 4A singles title, Cats third as team

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Like most any high school tennis player who picks up a racket, Hayden freshman Ainzley Zulueta dreamed of winning a state championship some day.

    But even Zulueta wasn't quite sure that title would come quite this early.

    "I was hoping to get to state and win it, but I wasn't expecting myself to,'' Zulueta said in a phone interview. "I was just kind of setting a standard and hoping I could reach it.

    "Winning it kind of feels surreal, so it feels really good right now.'' 

    The Hayden phenom capped an impressive season and an even more impressive run through the Class 4A state tournament Saturday at Winfield's T.H. Vaughan Tennis Center, claiming the 4A singles title with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Bishop Miege freshman Breanna Quigley in the championship match.

    Hayden freshman singles standout Ainzley Zulueta won the Class 4A state championship in her first state meet Saturday at Winfield. [Photo courtesy of Jeff Jacobsen/Action Images]Hayden freshman singles standout Ainzley Zulueta won the Class 4A state championship in her first state meet Saturday at Winfield. [Photo courtesy of Jeff Jacobsen/Action Images Photography]

    Zulueta, who finished the season 35-5, said she fought her nerves both Friday and Saturday, but it didn't show, with Zulueta dropping just five games in her four matches at state.

    "I was probably more nervous today, especially since it was the semifinals,'' she said. "I really wanted to prove myself and I think I did pretty well with that even though it was really cold so it was a bit tough, but I somehow got through it.''

    Zulueta dropped an early-season match to Quigley, but came back to take decisive wins over the Miege standout the past two weeks in regional and state competition and said her familiarity with her opponent helped.

    "It really did because I knew how to play her and I knew how to win,'' Zulueta said. "I just hit all the shots that I could that I knew could damage her.

    "Playing her so many times before in the USTA tournaments also helped to bring up my confidence when playing her.''

    Zulueta advanced to the final with a 6-0, 6-2 semifinal win over Wellington's Kami Reichenberger.

    SheetzSandstromEmily Sheetz (left) and Lauren Sandstrom posted a seventh-place doubles finish in the Class 4A state tournament. [Submitted]

    Hayden also got a seventh-place doubles finish from sophomore Lauren Sandstrom and freshman Emily Sheetz, with Sandstrom and Sheetz taking a 9-4 decision over Wellington's Ashlyn Gerten and Kadynce Aufdengarten in the seventh-place match.

    HaydenteamHayden tied for second as a team and finished third on a tiebreaker in the Class 4A state tennis tournament. [Submitted]

    Hayden tied for second as a team, taking home the third-place trophy on a tiebreaker.

    McPherson won the team championship with 44 points, followed by Wellington and Hayden with 25.

    "I got really excited when they said our name because it was kind of between a few teams for second and third,'' Zulueta said.

    RURAL EIGHTH AS A TEAM IN 6A

    Senior singles player Sheriden Wichman and junior doubles players Kate Fritz and Meredith Kucera posted ninth-place finishes Saturday at Wichita's Riverside Tennis Center to lead Washburn Rural to an eighth-place team finish in Class 6A.

    Wichman, who earned her second state medal, took a 9-3 win over Shawnee Mission South's Livia Andriole in her final match while Fritz and Kucera took a 9-4 win over Garden City's Sage Riggs and Sydney Nanninga.

    Topeka High's Adisyn Caryl and Haley Carpenter won a doubles match at state, but did not place.

    Manhattan's Jillian Harkin won the 6A singles championship.

    SHERER NINTH IN 3A-1A STATE MEET

    Rossville junior Alivia Sherer placed ninth in singles in the Class 3A-1A state tournament Saturday at Maize South.

    Sherer took a 9-8 (7-2 tiebreaker) victory over Marysville's Shea Kramer in the ninth-place match.

    Sherer became the first girls state tennis medalist in Rossville history.

  • Carter, Rural girls, Hayden's Newkirk claim Centennial League XC titles

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural junior Madeline Carter and Hayden senior Tanner Newkirk claimed Centennial League individual cross country championships Saturday at Milford State Park while Rural's girls captured the team title in a tight three-school battle that was decided by five points.

    MadelineCarternewMadeline Carter

    TannerNewkirkmugTanner Newkirk

    Carter won the girls individual title in a five-kilometer time of 18 minutes, 43.3 seconds, leading a 1-2-3 Rural finish for the third straight week as the Junior Blues won the team championship by a 50-52 margin over Manhattan while Seaman was third with 55 points.

    Rural senior Khloi Bird finished second in a time of 19:14.7 while freshman Payton Fink was third in 19:22.1.

    Freshman Joslynn Grace paced third-place Seaman with a sixth-place individual finish in 19:53.1 while senior Emma Schultz finished ninth for the Vikings in 20:03.7.

    Newkirk, the defending Class 4A state champion, posted a 27-second individual win in the Centennial League boys race, clocking a time of 15:49.1.

    Washburn Rural's boys finished second to Manhattan in the team race (32-72), with senior Alex Holmes pacing the Junior Blues with a third-place finish in 16:21.9, while the Junior Blues also got a 10th-place finish from sophomore Hayden Keller in 17:01.5

    Seaman senior Jace Moore placed ninth to lead the Vikings to a fourth-place team finish, clocking a time of 16:57.4.

    CENTENNIAL LEAGUE CROSS COUNTRY

    Girls

    Team scores

    Washburn Rural 50, Manhattan 52, Seaman 55, Emporia 94, Junction City 98, Hayden 170.

    Individual results

    1. Carter, Washburn Rural, 18:43.3; 2. Bird, Washburn Rural, 19:14.7; 3. Fink, Washburn Rural, 19:22.1; 4. Pickering, Manhattan, 19:38.5; 5. Willhite, Emporia, 19:50.7; 6. Grace, Seaman, 19:53.1; 7. Jobity, Manhattan, 20:00.9; 8. York, Junction City, 20:01.0; 9. Schultz, Seaman, 20:03.7; 10. Henningson, Manhattan, 20:06.2.

    Other Washburn Rural -- 20. Laster, 20:47.3; 24. Gutierrez, 21:14.5; 25. Ismert, 21:48.8; 30. Nolte, 22:51.4.

    Other Seaman -- 12. Becker, 20:15.7; 13. Appelhanz, 20:23.7; 15. Druse, 20:31.2; 23. Spurlock, 21:09.7.

    Hayden -- 22. Wrench, 21:05.8; 35. Wolff, 23:24.8; 38. Newkirk, 23:56.5; 40. Schmidtlein, 24:07.2; 41. Doyle, 24:37.3; 46. Haas, 26:30.4.

    Topeka West -- 25. A.Phelps, 21:37.8; 42. C. Phelps, 24:46.4; 43. Jefferies, 25:00.2; 45. Richardson, 26:12.8.

    Topeka High -- 39. Zuniga, 24:04.4; 44. Cabral, 25:10.9; 47. Ludlum, 28:19.7.

    Boys

    Team scores

    Manhattan 32, Washburn Rural 72, Junction City 87, Seaman 97, Hayden 114, Emporia 133, Topeka West 190, Topeka High 221.

    Individual results

    1. Newkirk, Hayden, 15:49.1; 2. Mosier, Manhattan, 16:16.2; 3. Holmes, Washburn Rural, 16:21.9; 4. Bowyer, Manhattan, 16:27.9; 5. Knopp, Manhattan, 16:40.8; 6. Atkins, Junction City, 16:46.6; 7. Laudie, Emporia, 16:41.7; 8. Bryant, Manhattan, 16:52.1; 9. Moore, Seaman, 16:57.4; 10. Keller, Washburn Rural, 17:01.5.

    Other Washburn Rural -- 11. Haddock, 17:18.1; 23. Johnson, 17:54.5; 25. Fink, 18:05.2; 26. Dial, 18:05.6; 29. Patel, 18:13.3.

    Other Seaman -- 17. Appelhanz, 17:37.2; 21. Stuke, 17:53.0; 22. Swaim, 17:53.4; 28. Newell, 18:10.2; 30. Jowers, 18:15.0; 33. Buckley, 18:22.8.

    Other Hayden -- 15. Amis, 17:30.1; 27. Rochford, 18:07.9; 35. Moore, 18:33.3; 36. Muller, 18:39.2; 41. Padilla, 18:44.8.

    Topeka West -- 20. Wilson, 17:52.9; 37. Phelps, 18:39.7; 43. Padilla, 19:08.7; 44. Maag, 19:13.8; 46. Wilkie, 19:35.8; 49. Cook, 19:54.0; 54. Clark, 22:00.9.

    Topeka High -- 34. Storrer, 18:25.8; 42. Christopher, 18:55.6; 47. Campbell, 19:36.4; 48. Cowdin, 19:51.3; 50. Brown, 19:58.9; 52. Solis Carlos, 20:55.3; 53. Cassell, 20:56.8.

    Highland Park -- 51. Aguirre, 20:50.6.

  • Padilla overtime goal pushes Hayden past Topeka West, 1-0

    Isaac Deer

    By ISAAC DEER

    TopSports.news

    Topeka West's boys soccer team has been looking for its elusive first win all season and the Chargers came oh so close Thursday on Senior Night at Hummer Sports Park before dropping a 1-0 overtime decision to Centennial League rival Hayden. 

    The Chargers have shown signs of improvement from week to week and heads were held high after Thursday's close call.

    Hayden midfielder Nick Padilla was the hero for Hayden, taking the ball off a throw-in with 7:14 left in the fiirst overtime and drilling it in the goal from midfield. 

    The first half was all defense, with Hayden’s Ty Schroeder, Michael Sandstorm, Tyler Broxterman, Ethan Christy and Daxton Ham preventing the Chargers from getting any open space in Wildcat territory.

    On the flip side, West also did its part in shutting down Hayden in the first half. Isaac Gonzalez, Carmelo Foy, Caleb Noonoo and Jackson Snyder were flying all over the field, keeping the Wildcats silent offensively.

    The second half remained a stalemate for the Chargers and Wildcats.

    Outstanding efforts from Hayden goalkeeper Gabe Rankey and Topeka West goalkeeper Giann Perez kept the scoreboard empty, forcing overtime.

    Hayden goalkeeper Rankey was a wall all night long that Topeka West couldn’t get through, earning the shutout.

    HAYDEN1, TOPEKA WEST 0

    Hayden (9-5) 0 0 1 -- 1

    Topeka West (0-13-1) 0 0 0 -- 0

    Hayden --Goal: Padilla. Shutout: Rankey.

    WasRelated Stories and Videos

  • 'No settling:' Unruh, Sweeney aiming to cap perfect year with 5A title

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Seaman's Grace Unruh and Lauren Sweeney turned in an outstanding 2020 high school tennis season, sweeping city, Centennial League and regional championships before advancing to the Class 5A state semifinals.

    But it's the two losses that the Viking stars took to end the year that has helped drive Unruh and Sweeney to a perfect 32-0 record this fall entering Friday and Saturday's state tournament at Emporia High School.

    "We wanted to get first last year obviously, like who doesn't?'' said Unruh, a senior. "But we kind of settled with where we were at and this year there's no settling.''

    Sweeney, a junior, agreed.

    "I think we were just happy that we made it to that day last year,'' Sweeney said. "Now first is what we're shooting for.''

    dsc 6284 9768 350 350 100 cSeaman junior Lauren Sweeney (left) and senior Grace Unruh are 32-0 in doubles entering this weekend's Class 5A state tournament at Emporia. [File photo/TSN]

    In the 2020 state meet Unruh and Sweeney dropped a 6-2, 6-4 semifinal decision to eventual state champs Emma and Sarah Sinclair of Andover before falling to Iliana Armbrust and Alexxa Nunemaker of Salina South in the third-place match, 6-3, 6-2, to finish fourth.

    As painful as those losses were, Sweeney and Unruh think they were good training for this weekend.

    "I think we are where we are supposed to be,'' Sweeney said. "I think knowing what is there at state and what to expect this year helps and we know we can compete.''

    Added Unruh:

    "Last year we knew what we were capable of and we didn't quite meet that goal but to know that we were so close last year and all the work that we've put in the past year, we're rolling, we're ready for it.''

    The Vikings are coming off a banner regional performance, with Seaman sweeping the singles, doubles and team championships on its home courts.

    Seaman junior Nina Del-Zio (25-9) and sophomore Katie Krumins (24-11) finished 1-2 in singles in the regional tournament to punch their tickets to state, which will get under way at 10:30 a.m. Friday and continue at 9 a.m. Saturday.

    Shawnee Heights finished second as a team at regionals, qualifying senior Laura El-Koubysi (16-10) in singles and the doubles teams of seniors Paige Devena and Bella LeJuerne (20-10) and sophomore Ariah Durkes and senior Shelby Elskamp (11-16) for state.

    El Koubysi finished fifth in the Seaman regional while Devena and LeJuerne were third and Durkes and Elskamp sixth.

    Topeka West will be represented in the state tournament by senior singles player Anna Newcome (15-16), who placed third in the Seaman regional.

    CLASS 6A

    Washburn Rural, which has not lost a competition this season, captured the team championship in last weekend's 6A regional at Kossover Tennis Center while qualifying its entire team for the state tournament at Wichita's Riverside Tennis Center.

    Kucera and FritzWashburn Rural juniors Meredith Kucera (left) and Kate Fritz are coming off a doubles championship in last Saturday's Class 6A regional tournament. [File photo/TSN]

    Juniors Kate Fritz and Meredith Kucera (22-4) won the regional doubles title with a win over Rural teammates Hailey Beck, a junior, and senior Shelby Schmutzler (24-2) in the championship match.

    The city, Centennial League and regional team champs also got a runner-up regional finish in singles from senior four-time state qualifier Sheriden Wichman and a third-place finish from sophomore Mena DiMarzio. Wichman is 25-4 on the season while DeMarzio is 16-5.

    Topeka High will take both its doubles teams to state, with juniors Adisyn Caryl and Haley Carpenter (22-7) posting a fourth-place finish in the regional tournament while senior Mary Dietrick and sophomore McCall Beall (12-4) took sixth.

    CLASS 4A

    Hayden will be well-represented in the 4A state meet at the T.H. Vaughan Tennis Center in Winfield, with the Wildcats qualifying five competitors for state.

    Freshman Ainzley Zulueta rolled to the singles title in last Saturday's regional at Kossover Tennis Center while sophomore Lauren Sandstrom and freshman Emily Sheetz took the doubles championship. 

    AidanZulueta leagueHayden freshman singles standout Ainzley Zulueta will take a 31-5 record into her first Class 4A state tournament Friday and Saturday at Winfield. [File photo/TSN]

    Zulueta will take a 31-5 record to the state meet while Sandstrom and Sheetz are 22-6 on the year.

    The Wildcats also qualified the third-place doubles team of juniors Briahna Barnett and Sloane Sims, who are 20-13 this fall.

    CLASS 3A-1A

    Junior Alivia Sherer will represent Rossville in the 3A-1A state tournament at Maize South after posting a third-place singles finish in last weekend's Hillsboro regional.

    AliviaShererAlivia Sherer

    Sherer, who played as a co-op player for Hayden during the regular season, has 21-6 record this season.

    SHAWNEE COUNTY STATE QUALIFIERS

  • Washburn Rural volleyball sweeps quad to improve to 30-0

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    The juggernaut that is Washburn Rural volleyball continued to roll Tuesday night, with the Junior Blues improving to 30-0 on the season with three straight-set wins in Hayden's quadrangular.

    But as good as the Junior Blues have been all season, veteran Rural coach Kevin Bordewick firmly believes that his team can still get better with postseason rapidly approaching.

    "I think we're in a good spot, but man there's a lot of things that we can sure work on,'' Bordewick said. "You see film every day and you see something new that maybe we can get a little bit better at.''

    RuralVBjubeHaydenWashburn Rural's volleyball team, celebrating a point, improved to 30-0 Tuesday night with a 3-0 night in the Hayden quadrangular. [Photo by Doug Walker/Special to TSN]

    The Junior Blues opened Tuesday's quad with a 25-10, 25-10 romp past host Hayden before dispatching Lawrence, 25-10, 25-6, and ending their night with a 25-15, 25-12 win over Manhattan.

    Rural got a solid performance from every player it put on the floor, including a dominating performance at the net from juniors Brooklyn DeLeye and Taylor Russell and sophomore Jada Ingram and a solid night from sophomore Zoe Canfield as the Junior Blues' setter.

    RussellIngramWRWashburn Rural's Taylor Russell (1) and Jada Ingram (6) team up for a block Tuesday night against Hayden. [Photo by Doug Walker/Special to TSN]

    Rural's win streak has now reached 31 straight matches, dating back to the third-place match at state last fall, but Bordewick said he doesn't worry about his team feeling the pressure of the unbeaten streak.

    "No, because we don't talk about it and we just approach it as the next thing is tomorrow's practice,'' Bordewick said. "We're going to get some stuff done and work and then we'll see what happens Thursday (triangular at Olathe West, with Topeka High).''

    Lawrence went 2-1 on the night, taking a 25-15, 23-25, 25-7 win over Manhattan and ending the night with another three-set win over Hayden, 25-17, 20-25, 25-16.

    Manhattan's lone win was a 25-19, 25-22 win over Hayden while the Wildcats went 0-3 against their three Class 6A opponents.

    MATCH RESULTS

    Washburn Rural def. Hayden, 25-10, 25-10; Lawrence def. Manhattan, 25-15, 23-25, 25-7; Washburn Rural def. Lawrence, 25-10, 25-6; Manhattan def. Hayden, 25-19, 25-22; Washburn Rural def. Manhattan, 25-15, 25-12; Lawrence def. Hayden, 25-17, 20-25, 25-16.

  • Hayden star Tanner Newkirk: 'Just happy to be racing'

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Sitting on the sidelines while his Hayden teammates competed in the Class 4A state track and field championships last spring was probably the toughest day of Tanner Newkirk's athletic career.

    Coming off a monster cross country season, the 4A state champ fought through injuries off and on throughout track season, but was still able to qualify for state in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs and was poised for his first state track meet since his freshman year after the 2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19.

    Newkirk made the trip to Wichita, but his injury tightened up and prevented him from competing in any of his events.

    Not being able to run at state still hurts to this day, but Newkirk has tried to use that heartbreak as motivation for his final prep cross country season.

    "I was so hungry just to come out here and get some redemption,'' said Newkirk, a three-time state medalist in cross country and a multi-time state medalist in track as a freshman.

    "I've just been trying to do my best because that really hurt me. It was a hard time.'' 

    FBhj4YUXMAMEeg Hayden senior Tanner Newkirk is happy to be back running, and winning, after missing the state track meet with an injury. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Newkirk has been dealing with a respiratory issue in recent weeks, but has continued to excel, recording his second straight individual city title by just under 20 seconds in a five-kilometer time of 15 minutes, 22.0 seconds last Saturday at the Kanza Park Course.

    "My breathing has just been really off and I've struggled to get deep breaths, but obviously I'm still able to come out and compete, which is great,'' said Newkirk, who led Hayden to a second-place team finish in the city meet.

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers Oct. 11, 2021

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    MalachiBergMalachi Berg

    MALACHI BERG, Topeka West

    A junior quarterback, Berg led Topeka West to an 80-48 Centennial League football victory over Highland Park Friday night, rushing for 238 yards and five touchdowns on 15 attempts and completing three of four passes for 95 yards and two TDs as the Chargers posted their second victory of the season. 

    MadelineCarternewMadeline Carter

    MADELINE CARTER, Washburn Rural

    Carter, a junior, won her second straight city title in Saturday's city cross country championships at the Kanza Park Course, clocking a five-kilometer time of 18 minutes, 14.9 seconds. Carter led a 1-2-3 finish by the Junior Blues for the second straight week, with Rural winning the team championship by a 24-33 margin over Seaman.

  • Hayden sweeps singles, doubles titles in 4A regional tennis tourney

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Ever since an early-season 8-5 loss, Hayden freshman star Ainzley Zulueta had been looking forward to a possible rematch with Bishop Miege freshman Breanna Quigley, just to see how far she had progressed over the course of the season.

    Zulueta got that opportunity in Saturday's Class 4A regional tournament at Kossover Tennis Center and delivered in a big way, taking a decisive 6-2, 6-1 victory to claim the regional singles championship.

    "Honestly, I really wanted to prove myself,'' said Zulueta, now 31-5 on the season. "After losing a few matches early in the season I trained a lot more so I could be more conditioned and it really paid off.''

     FBWhuiRXoAQQowzHayden freshman Ainzley Zulueta won the singles championship in Saturday's 4A regional at Kossover Tennis Center. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Zulueta took control of Saturday's final early on and felt good about her performance.

    "I think I actually played really well,'' she said. "At the beginning of this tournament my ankle was kind of hurting, but I think after I started winning a few points in a row that brought up my confidence to play better.''

    Hayden, which tied Bishop Miege for the regional team title with 20 points, also got a championship from the doubles team of sophomore Lauren Sandstrom and Emily Sheetz and a third-place doubles finish from juniors Briahna Barnett and Sloane Sims.

    FBWiB9vWQAYNZCuHayden freshman Emily Sheetz (right) congratulates sophomore doubles partner Lauren Sandstrom after a good shot in Saturday's Class 4A regional tournament. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Sandstrom and Sheetz, who improved to 22-6, claimed the title with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Miege's Livi Shull and Clair Winklhofer in the championship match while Barnett and Sims took a 7-6 (7-5 tiebreaker), 4-6, 6-4 win over Miege's Emma Larzarcyk and Emily Lynn in the third-place match.

    Overall, Hayden coach Christy Sheetz said it was a banner day for her Wildcats.

    "I am so pleased,'' Sheetz said. "Two of them are essentially first-year varsity players as juniors and then there's two freshmen and one sophomore so I have a young team and a lot to look forward to.''

    Next up in the 4A state tournament Friday and Saturday in Winfield.

    SHERER QUALIFIES IN 3A-1A

    Rossville junior Alivia Sherer, who competed for Hayden during the regular season as a co-op player, punched her ticket to the 3A-1A state tournament with a third-place finish in the 3A-1A regional tournament at Hillsboro.

    Sherer finished off her regional performance with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Marantha Christian Academy's Olivia Favero in the third-place match.

    Sherer will now compete in the 3A-1A state tournament Friday and Saturday at Maize South High School.

    CLASS 4A GIRLS TENNIS REGIONAL

  • Prep football roundup: Junior Blues, T-Birds post breakout wins

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    In Week 4 of the 2021 high school football season Washburn Rural came painfully close to knocking off traditional Centennial League power Junction City on the Blue Jays' home field, dropping an 18-17 heartbreaker.

    The Junior Blues were back on the road Friday to take on another league heavyweight and this time Washburn Rural closed the deal, handing Manhattan is first defeat of the season, 21-14.

    Washburn Rural never trailed against the Indians, taking 7-0 and 14-7 leads before Manhattan answered to force a pair of ties.

    The Junior Blues broke the tie on a 1-yard fourth-quarter touchdown from sophomore quarterback Branton DeWeese and the Rural defense threw a second-half shutout to close out the victory, coming up with three second-half pass interceptions.

    Now 5-1 on the season and 4-1 in the league, Washburn Rural put itself in a position to gain at least a share of the league championship. Rural, Manhattan and Junction City all currently have one league loss with two regular-season games remaining.

    Washburn Rural will host Highland Park on Friday before hosting Seaman in its regular-season finale.

    DeWeese hit senior Robby Bolin for a 38-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring in addition to his game-winning score while senior Ma’kenttis Adams had a 100-yard rushing night, including a 5-yard score and Bolin caught six passes for 86 yards. 

    RobbyBolin 1Robby Bolin

    Ty WeberTy Weber

    Bolin, Connor Conklin and Landon MacEwan all picked off passes for Rural, while JC Heim and Ty Weber also came up with big plays defensively.

    SHAWNEE HEIGHTS 21, DE SOTO 20 -- Shawnee Heights was stung by three straight losses by a total of 11 points to start the season, but the T-Birds turned the tables Friday night, getting a tough one-point road win over traditional 5A power De Soto.

    The T-Birds have now won two of their past three games to improve to 2-4. 

    "These kids never quit believing in themselves and have been resilient all season. A special victory for the TBIRDS!'' veteran Shawnee Heights coach Jason Swift posted on Twitter.

    JarinSandersJarin Sanders

    Senior running back Jarin Sanders and senior quarterback Callan Carver both had big nights for Shawnee Heights, while Jaxon Correll went 3 for 3 on extra-point attempts, including the difference-maker.

    Sanders rushed for 155 yards on 31 carries while Carver rushed for 71 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries and completed 10 of 19 pass attempts for 140 yards, including TD passes to Sanders and senior Carter Olson. Olson had two receptions for 66 yards.

  • Newkirk repeats as city boys XC champ; Rural claims team crown

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    After an injury-riddled spring track season, Hayden senior Tanner Newkirk has been back in his happy place this fall, getting past his injuries and preparing himself for his Class 4A state cross country title defense.

    Newkirk took a step in that direction Saturday at the Kanza Park Course, capturing his second straight city boys title with a dominating performance while helping the Wildcats to a solid second-place team finish behind Washburn Rural.

    Newkirk clocked a five-kilometer time of 15 minutes, 22.0 seconds in the city meet, winning by nearly 20 seconds over Shawnee Heights junior standout Kory Sutton (15:41.8).

    FBTURfcWEAIjB8kHayden senior star Tanner Newkirk (1699) and Shawnee Heights junior Kory Sutton lead the pack early in Saturday's city cross country meet. Newkirk captured his second straight city title while Sutton finished second. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Newkirk has been dealing with a respiratory issue in recent weeks, but is just happy to be rounding back into form after missing the 2020 state track meet with an injury.

    "In terms of injuries and everything I feel great, which is awesome,'' Newkirk said. "I obviously had a solid race here today and I'm happy for my teammates as well because I saw some really big (personal records) out here today.

    "Today I just wanted to get the win and try to do all I can to help the team.''

    Senior Alex Holmes finished fourth (16:51.1) to pace four Washburn Rural runners in the top 12 individually and five in the top 18 as the Junior Blues topped Hayden by a 47-60 margin.

    Sophomore Hayden Keller placed sixth for Rural (16:47.2) while senior Spencer Haddock was seventh (16:56.7), junior Davin Johnson 12th (17:16.3) and junior Grayson Fink 18th (17:37.9) for the Junior Blues.

    Washburn Rural coach Matt Swedlund said he is pleased with how his Junior Blues are coming together as a team.

    "This is kind of what I anticipated,'' Swedlund said. "Alex Holmes was out early (offseason surgery) and our focus this entire year has been October.

    "We think we can pull things together in October and make it interesting.'' 

    Runner-up Hayden also got a top-10 finish from sophomore Aiden Amis (10th in 17:13.3) while senior Ryan Rochford was 14th (17:22.1), junior Jake Muller 15th (17:26.6) and junior Nick Lloyd 20th (17:44.1) to round out the Wildcats' top five runners.

    Shawnee Heights and Seaman finished a close third and fourth in the team race, with sophomore Jackson Esquibel finishing third (16:06.4) and junior Andrew Emerson eighth (17:11.3) for the T-Birds and senior Jace Moore leading Seaman with a fifth-place finish (16:40.8). 

    Topeka West senior Louis Wilson placed ninth (17:12.6) to lead the Chargers while Topeka High junior Michael Christopher narrowly missed a top-10 finish, taking 11th (17:15.6).

    CITY BOYS CROSS COUNTRY

  • Rural girls edge Seaman for city crown behind 1-2-3 finish

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    For the second straight week, Washburn Rural's girls cross country team posted a 1-2-3 individual finish and for the second straight week that was enough to enable the Junior Blues to edge Seaman for a team champioship.

    After taking a close win over the Vikings in last week's Seaman Invitational, Rural and Seaman also waged a tight battle in Saturday's city championships at the Kanza Park Course, with the Junior Blues taking the city title by a 24-33 margin.

    Junior Madeline Carter was the ring leader for the Junior Blues, repeating as the city individual champion in a five-kilometer time of 18 minutes, 14.9 seconds, while senior Khloi Bird finished second in 18:29.1 and freshman Payton Fink was third in 18:42.3.

    "You can't complain about that,'' Washburn Rural coach Matt Swedlund said. "We were very happy.

    "We knew it was going to be a battle and you couldn't just show up and expect to win today. You were going to have to run a good race.''

    FBSPit5XoAQkiN Washburn Rural's Madeline Carter (left), Khloi Bird and Payton Fink set the pace in Saturday's city cross country meet en route to a 1-2-3 finish. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Sophomore Sydney Laster finished eighth for the Junior Blues (20:11.6) while freshman Rylee Ismert was 10th (20:26.0) to round out Washburn Rural's top five.

    "That's the goal,'' Swedlund said. "We're working on making sure our 4 and 5 are not far behind.''  

    Carter ran with her teammates, Bird and Fink, and Seaman's Bethany Druse early on before pulling away as the race went on.

    "I was definitely feeling the nerves this morning because it's been a goal of mine all season to come back and defend, so it was really good to get that and I'm feeling good about the work I put in,'' Carter said.

    Druse, a junior, finished fourth individually (18:48.7) to lead runner-up Seaman, while freshman Joslynn Grace was fifth (19:39.0), senior Emma Schultz sixth (19:50.8), freshman Stella Appelhanz seventh (19:58.4), freshman Anna Becker 11th (20:42.9) and junior Leah Spurlock 12th (20:47.9) for the Vikings.

    Hayden freshman Elliot Wrench led the Wildcats to a third-place team finish, taking ninth (20:19.6).

    CITY GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY

  • Hayden girls golf earns 4A state tourney berth with runner-up finish

    Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

    Hayden used a balanced attack to punch its ticket to the Class 4A state girls golf tournament with a second-place regional finish Monday at Clay Center Country Club.

    FBdnkIJXsAAXNTaHayden's girls golf team poses with its second-place trophy after Monday's Class 4A regional at Clay Center. [Photo by Kyle Grunert/Special to TSN]

    Sophomore Avery Grunert shot a 91 and finished sixth individually to lead the way for the Wildcats while senior Kate Roeder tied for seventh with a 93, junior Ava Teply finished 10th with a 99 and sophomore Hannah Reynoldson shot a 105 to round out Hayden's top four.

    Wamego won the team championship with a four-person score of 358 while Hayden was second at 388 and Tonganoxie third at 414.

    Eudora's Joellen Vogt took regional medalist honors with an 84.

    The 4A state tournament will be contested next Monday and Tuesday at Salina Municipal Golf Course.

    CLASS 4A REGIONAL GOLF

  • Rural tennis ends Manhattan's three-year Centennial League reign

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural's girls tennis team claimed 12 of the first 14 Centennial League championships after the league expanded to 10 schools in 2004, including an eight-year title run.

    But Manhattan had reigned supreme the past three seasons before Rural re-claimed the top spot Monday with a solid team effort at Kossover Tennis Center.

    Manhattan junior Jill Harkin won the singles title and Seaman senior Grace Unruh and junior Lauren Sweeney continued their perfect season in doubles, but the Junior Blues rode their  balance to the team win, with Rural placing all four entries in the top five places.

    Washburn Rural's doubles teams of Kate Fritz and Meredith Kucera and Hailey Beck and Shelby Schmutzler posted second and third-place league finishes while Rural's Sheriden Wichman placed third and Mena DiMarzio fifth as the Junior Blues won the team title by an 86-79 margin over Manhattan.

    "It's just a real solid team overall and it was a good team effort,'' Rural coach Kevin Hedberg said. "I'm really, really pleased with them. It was a good day.

    "We know there are some much tougher situations coming, but we're going to enjoy tonight. Winning the league is a nice thing to do.''

    FA5h2C7XoAYMXsDWashburn Rural's girls tennis team poses with the Centennial League championship trophy after Monday's win at Kossover Tennis Center. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Seaman's Unruh and Sweeney won their second straight league doubles championship, rallying from a 2-0 deficit in the final to improve to 29-0 on the season with an 8-3 win over Fritz and Kucera.

     

    "I think there were some nerves, feeling a little pressure,'' Unruh said of Seaman's slow start against Rural. "They hit some good shots that we couldn't do anything about, but we're always talking and always trying to bring that energy and I think those first two games we weren't bringing the energy, but then we kind of turned it around.''

    Sweeney admitted that there's a certain amount of pressure that comes with every tournament, but said that she and Unruh try to put those thoughts aside.

    "There's alway pressure no matter what,'' Sweeney said. "It's just we've got to do what we have to do. I tell Grace all the time, 'Let's just play our game.' ''

    FA5izuRWEAgbeQkSeaman's Grace Unruh (left) and Lauren Sweeney went 5-0 in Monday's Centennial League tennis tournament to capture their second straight league doubles title. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    The singles final pitted the reigning league champion, Harkin, against Hayden freshman Ainzley Zulueta, the city singles champ, and Zulueta held her own early before Harkin pulled away for an 8-3 win.

    FA5jnyLXoAAfSZDHayden freshman Ainzley Zulueta finished second in singles in her first Centennial League tournament Monday. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Seaman finished third as a team with 75 points, with Nina Del-Zio adding a fourth-place finish in singles. Del-Zio dropped an 8-1 decision to Wichman in the third-place match.

    Beck and Schmutzler lost to Rural teammates Fritz and Kucera in the semifinals before bouncing back to to finish third with an 8-3 win over Topeka High's Adisyn Caryl and Haley Carpenter.

    City schools will compete in regional tournaments this weekend, vying for state tournament berths, with Class 6A and 4A regionals at Kossover and Seaman hosting a 5A regional.

    The 6A tournament will be held on Friday and Saturday while the 5A and 4A regionals will be contested on Saturday.

    CENTENNIAL LEAGUE GIRLS TENNIS

  • Friday prep FB roundup: Bulldawgs roll to 5-0 start with 62-0 romp

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Rossville's football team, which has not lost since 2019, rolled to its fifth straight win this fall and its 18th overall Friday night, taking a 62-0 Class 2A district victory over Oskaloosa.

    The Bulldawgs put their latest win away by the end of the opening quarter, putting 56 points on the board.

    Rossville emptied its bench the rest of the way, adding its final touchdown in the final quarter to account for the final margin.

    TorreyHorakTorrey Horak

    CoreyCatronCorey Catron

    The Bulldawgs scored the only points they would need at the 10:22 mark of the opening quarter, with senior quarterback Torrey Horak finding senior Tagen Kippes for a 35-yard touchdown pass. Pedro Arantes added the extra point.

    Horak scored on an 11-yard run at the 8:35 mark and the Bulldawgs also got first-quarter touchowns on a 10-yard run from Corey Catron, a 1-yard run from Raphael Cooney, a 32-yard interception return from Kippes, a 26-yard interception return from Cooney, a 10-yard run from C. Catron and a 7-yard run from Seth Catron.

    Arantes kicked all eight extra points in the quarter.

    Camden Horak scored Rossville's final points on a 1-yard run with 3:54 left.

    Rossville will be at home Friday for a district matchup with Pleasant Ridge.

    WASHBURN RURAL 45, EMPORIA 9 -- Washburn Rural bounced back from a tough overtime loss to Junction City, improving to 4-1 on the season with Friday's home Centennial League romp past Emporia (1-4).

    Sophomore quarterback Branton DeWeese had a big game foir the Junior Blues, throwing for three touchdowns and running for another score as Rural opened up a 45-0 advantage.

    DeWeese threw for touchdowns to Robby Bolin (16 yards), Ma'Kenttis Adams (9 yards) and Lukas Hanks (5 yards) and ran for a 3-yard TD.

    In addition to his touchdown reception Adams ran for 24 and 16-yard touchdowns.

    Washburn Rural kicker Giles Frederickson kicked a 25-yard field goal and converted all six of his extra point attempts.

    Emporia scored its lone touchdown on a 77-yard fourth-quarter pass from Cam Geitz to Parker Lane and the Spartans also scored a late safety.

    Rural goes on the road Friday to face unbeaten Manhattan. 

    HAYDEN 38, OSAWATOMIE 0 -- Hayden improved to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in 3A district play with a 38-0 romp at Osawatomie.

    The Wildcats put the game on ice early, getting a pair of first-quarter touchdown runs from TL Thompson and a touchdown pass from Gavin Arnold to Kaelin Rice.

    Jack Chisham added a scoring run to put the Wildcats in front 32-0 at the half and Curtis Morrisey scored Hayden's final TD in the second half.

    Hayden's offense converted 2-point conversions after its first four touchdowns while the Wildcat defense extended its shutout streak to 11 straight quarters.

    The Wildcats will play a district game at Santa Fe Trail on Friday.

    BASEHOR-LINWOOD 42, SHAWNEE HEIGHTS 7 -- Basehor-Linwood improved to a perfect 5-0 with Friday's 42-7 home United Kansas Conference victory over Shawnee Heights.

    Bobcat quarterback Brady Garrison threw for three touchdowns and ran for another score while Zach Sizemore scored a pair of TDs.

    Shawnee Heights (1-4) scored its lone touchdown on a 32-yard pass from quarterback Callan Carver to Jayden Moore.

    Carver completed 15 of 29 passes for 135 yards (one interception) while Moore had four catches for 71 yards.

    Jarin Sanders carried the ball 25 times for 95 yards for the T-Birds.

    Shawnee Heights will play at De Soto on Friday.

    MANHATTAN 48, SEAMAN 21 -- Centennial League-leading Manhattan improved to 5-0 with a decisive 48-21 win over Seaman.

    The Indians were never threatened after opening up a commanding 34-14 halftime advantage.

    Seaman, which fell to 3-2 on the season, will be at home Friday for a league matchup with Emporia.

    JUNCTION CITY 54, TOPEKA WEST 16 -- Junction City (4-1) opened up a 20-0 halftime lead over the 1-4 Chargers en route to the Centennial League victory.

    The Blue Jays went in front 41-0 before Topeka West was able to find the end zone for a couple of scores.

    Junction City got a big night from quarterback Xavion Felton, who ran for two scores and threw for three TDs as the Blue Jays opened up their 41-0 lead. 

    Topeka West will play Highland Park on Friday at Hummer Sports Park.

    SILVER LAKE 63, MISSION VALLEY 0 -- Silver Lake improved to 4-1 with its second straight 2A district victory.

    The Eagles jumped on Mission Valley early to build a 21-0 first-quarter lead and led 35-0 at the half.

    Silver Lake boosted its lead to 49-0 in the third quarter before adding a pair of TDs in the fourth.

    Silver Lake will host McLouth in a district game Friday.

     

  • Padilla leads way with two goals as Hayden soccer tops Lions, 3-1

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Not everything went exactly the way Hayden wanted it to in Thursday's non-league boys soccer game against Cair Paravel Latin at the Sunflower Soccer Complex, but there were two very big positives for Klaus Kreutzer's Wildcats.

    No. 1, Hayden was able to get the game in despite a weather delay of nearly an hour, and No. 2, the Wildcats were able to come out with a 3-1 victory over the pesky Lions to improve to 5-4 on the season.

    "The way we've been playing that's a good thing because I really don't know what team shows up any more,'' Kreutzer said. "We've got the components and it's just like we can't all work at the same time. So I'll take the win and move on and be happy with that.''

    FAlNCF6XoAIq9TgHayden junior Nick Padilla (9), who scored two goals, battles to control the ball in Thursday's 3-1 soccer win over Cair Paravel. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Hayden never trailed against the Lions, with junior Nick Padilla scoring a goal in each half and the Wildcats also getting a first-half goal from junior Jake Muller, but Hayden also missed several scoring opportunities to put the game away against short-handed Cair Paravel, which suited up just 12 players.

    "We need composure when we get in front of the goal and we need to not play the ball square across the field and make the goalkeeper look good,'' Kreutzer said. "I thought we were better at creating chances, we just didn't take advantage of the chances that we had, pure and simple.''

    FAlMCRpWQAM5YJZCair Paravel Latin freshman Sayer Taggart (18) advances the ball Thursday as Hayden senior Camden Schrickel defends. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Hayden got on the board on Padilla's first goal off pass from junior Konnor Becker and went up 2-0 on a good individual effort from Muller.

    However, Cair Paravel (2-5-1) got back in the game on a goal from senior Max Colombo off an assist from senior Ethan Everhart and the Lions were still in the hunt until Padilla converted a penalty kick later in the match. 

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers Sept. 27, 2021

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Lois DeeterLois Deeter

    LOIS DEETER, Seaman

    A junior former state medalist and Centennial League champion, Deeter captured her first city individual girls golf championship last Monday at Western Hills, shooting an even-par 70 to win the city title by a five-stroke margin over Washburn Rural's Kaitlyn Crough, a former city champ.

    JarinSandersJarin Sanders

    JARIN SANDERS, Shawnee Heights

    Sanders, a senior running back, had a career night last Friday as Shawnee Heights picked up its first football victory of the season, a 54-6 romp past Kansas City-Schlagle. Sanders carried the ball 15 times for 178 yards and scored five touchdowns as the T-Birds improved to 1-3.

  • Washburn Rural girls golf reclaims Centennial League trophy

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    The Centennial League girls golf championship trophy is back in a familiar home.

    After winning 10 straight league titles from 2010-19, Washburn Rural finished second to Manhattan in the 2020 league meet.

    But the Junior Blues started a new streak on Monday at Western Hills Golf Course in decisive fashion, with all six Rural players placing between second and a tie for seventh en route to a 43-stroke victory over runner-up Emporia.

    Senior Kaitlyn Crough took second place individually with a 75 while junior Avery Scott was third with a 76, senior Aliyah North tied for fourth with a 77 and juniors Annika Peterson and Mallory Nelson and senior McKenna Merrick all tied for seventh with 84s.

    "It was definitely a goal of ours since the season ended last year to make sure that we took the league trophy back to Washburn Rural and accomplish a team goal that I know these seniors wanted very badly,'' Rural coach Jared Goehring said.

    FAVS6nSX0AUw2rrWashburn Rural's girls golf team poses for a picture with the Centennial League trophy after winning Monday's league meet by 43 strokes. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN] 

  • Prep cross country roundup: Rural girls take Allie-T team title

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural's girls cross country team rode a three-four-five individual finish in Saturday's Allie-T Invitational at Augusta to capture the team championship by a 55-68 margin over Great Bend.

    Junior Madeline Carter led the Junior Blues with a third-place finish among 84 runners in a five-kilometer time of 18 minutes, 54.8 seconds while senior Khloi Bird finished fourth (19:23.3) and freshman Payton Fink fifth (19:25.6).

    Rural also got a 17th-place finish from sophomore Sydney Laster (20:25.5) and a 27th-place showing from freshman Rylee Ismert (20:59.0) to round out its top five. 

     RuralXCteamsWashburn Rural's girls cross country team won the team title and the Junior Blue boys finished second in the Allie-T Invitational at Augusta Saturday. [Submitted]

    Senior Anna Phelps paced Topeka West, placing 19th in 20:32.9.

    Washburn Rural's boys posted a second-place team finish behind Olathe South (26-89), with senior Alex Holmes leading the Junior Blues with a sixth-place finish (16:35.5).

    Sophomore Hayden Keller finished 15th for Rural (17:00.2), while senior Spencer Haddock was 19th (17:05.4), junior Davin Johnson 26th (17:35.2) and Grayson Fink 29th (17:42.5).

    Topeka West's boys were led by senior Louis Wilson, who placed 28th (17.39.6).

    DRUSE, ESQUIBEL, NEWKIRK SHINE IN RIM ROCK CLASSIC

  • Hayden opens 3A district play with 36-0 romp past Baldwin

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    There was little doubt that Hayden was going to win Friday night's Class 3A district football opener against numbers-strapped Baldwin.

    After all, the Bulldogs had just 26 players on their roster, including 17 freshmen and sophomores, and came into the game 0-3 after three lopsided losses.

    But Hayden coach Bill Arnold's main objective Friday was for his team to take care of business on their end, a goal the Wildcats accomplished with a solid effort in a 36-0 Homecoming romp.

    The Wildcats, who improved to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the district, scored three touchdowns on their first five offensive plays of the night to take command and scored all of their 36 points in the first half.

    "I thought our kids came out and executed good,'' Arnold said. "You go back and look at it, there's still some things we can work on and continue to get better at, but they came out and they competed right off the bat.''

    Due to an agreement between the two schools a running clock was used for the final three quarters-plus after Hayden opened up a 23-0 advantage with 4:13 left in the first quarter.

    JackChisham 1Jack Chisham scored two early touchdowns as Hayden rolled to a 36-0 district victory over Baldwin Friday night at Hayden. [File photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Hayden set the tone for the night when TL Thompson picked up 28 yards on the Wildcats first offensive play of the night and Jack Chisham followed that play with a 25-yard TD run. Quarterback Gavin Arnold ran the ball in for a two-point conversion and Hayden was off to the races just 36 seconds into the game. 

    A botched Baldwin punt snap set up the Wildcats at the Bulldog 28 for their next drive and Arnold immediately connected with Kaelin Rice for a 28-yard TD. Jensen Schrickel's extra point put Hayden in front 15-0 at the 5:56 mark of the opening quarter.

    A Nolan Becker pass interception put Hayden back in business and Chisham scored his second touchdown of the night on a 13-yard run. Arnold's two-point conversion run made the score 23-0 at the 4:13 mark, putting the running clock in effect.

    Thompson added a 13-yard score early in the second quarter (run failed) before junior Jameson Kennedy scored the Wildcats final TD on a 1-yard plunge with about two minutes left in the half (Schrickel kick).

    Baldwin reached Hayden territory twice in the second half, but the Wildcat reserves stopped the Bulldogs to close out the shutout.

    "I think what I liked more than anything tonight was that the older guys were right there at the end and they were supporting their teammates,'' Bill Arnold said. 

    Hayden will continue district play next Friday, traveling to Osawatomie.

  • Rural rides balance to city girls tennis championship; Hayden freshman Zulueta, Seaman's Unruh and Sweeney claim No. 1 singles and doubles titles

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    After an uncharacteristic third-place finish in last year's city girls tennis tournament, perennial city power Washburn Rural found its way back to the top Thursday at Kossover Tennis Center, riding its balance to a 28-23 victory over 2020 champion Seaman.

    The Junior Blues advanced their entire team to the finals to put themselves in position to win the tournament and finished the day with two titles and two runner-up finishes to claim the team championship.

    FAAxxC7VUAcQQ1XWashburn Rural's girls tennis team poses for a team picture after winning the city championship by a 28-23 margin over Seaman Thursday at Kossover Tennis Center. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Washburn Rural got titles in No. 2 singles from Mena DiMarzio and in No. 2 doubles from Hailey Beck and Shelby Schmutzler while Sheriden Wichman finished second in No. 1 singles and Meredith Kucera and Kate Fritz took second in No. 1 doubles.

    DiMarzio captured the No. 2 singles title with an 8-1 win over Seaman's Katie Krumins while Beck and Schumutzler remained undefeated on the season with an 8-1 win over Hayden.

    "It was a good team win for the girls, to have the No. 2s come through like we thought they could,'' Washburn Rural coach Kevin Hedberg said. "I really like our depth and our depth really came through today.''

    Zulueta2Hayden freshman Ainzley Zulueta won the No. 1 singles title in her first city tournament. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Hayden freshman Ainzley Zulueta was a hit in her first city tournament, claiming the No. 1 singles championship, while Seaman senior Grace Unruh and junior Lauren Sweeney successfully defended their No. 1 doubles championship.

    Zulueta claimed the No. 1 singles crown with an 8-1 win in the finals over Rural two-time city champ Wichman.

    "The past two tournaments have been kind of tough and I had some tough losses, so it felt pretty good to win again,'' Zulueta said. "I was nervous going into the finals match, but it just kind of fell my way once I started getting the lead.''

    Zulueta said getting out in front early was the key to the match.

    "It helps a lot,'' she said. "Usually when I lose the first game I'm kind of discouraged, but after winning the first game I kind of carried on with that.''

    Until recently Zulueta wasn't aware of the city meet, but was happy to get Thursday's win.

    "I didn't even know there was a city meet, to be honest,'' Zulueta said. "I only knew about regionals and state, but once it was the month of September I saw the city meet and thought, 'That's pretty important.' A lot of people told me about it and it seemed like something I wanted to win.''

    SeamandoublesSeaman's Lauren Sweeney (left) and Grace Unruh won their second straight city title in No. 1 doubles Thursday at Kossover Tennis Center. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Unruh and Sweeney swept the city, Centennial League and regional doubles titles a year ago before finishing fourth in the Class 5A state meet and are off and rolling again, improving to 17-0 with Thursday's win over Kucera and Fritz in the championship match.

    Unruh captured her third city doubles title and second with Sweeney and said the experience the duo has together is a key factor in their success.

    "This is my first year ever having the same partner and the confidence we have in each other is so different than playing with somebody for one year,'' Unruh said.

    Sweeney agreed.

    "Not only are we great doubles partners, but we're very close outside of tennis,'' Sweeney said.

    TOPEKA CITY GIRLS TENNIS TOURNAMENT

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers Sept. 20, 2021

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    TylanAlejos 2Tylan Alejos

    TYLAN ALEJOS, Topeka High

    Alejos, a senior, rushed for 223 yards and three touchdowns on 32 carries and also had two pass receptions for 19 yards and a TD as Topeka High's football team picked up its first victory of the season, a 28-20 Centennial League decision over Emporia last Thursday at Hummer Sports Park.

    E s5HjcXEAMrq1LJack Chisham

    JACK CHISHAM, Hayden

    A senior running back/defensive back, Chisham rushed for 182 yards on 14 attempts and scored on runs of 2 and 69 yards in Hayden's 39-6 victory over Topeka West last Friday night at Hummer Sports Park, helping the Wildcats improve to 2-1 on the season.

  • Washburn Rural, Seaman's Deeter rule city girls golf tournament

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    The tournaments get bigger from here on out, but Washburn Rural's girls golf team started its stretch run in impressive fashion Monday at Western Hills Golf Course.

    The Junior Blues ran their winning streak in the city tournament to nine straight, placing five players in the top six spots en route to a 41-stroke victory over Seaman.

    "It's always one that we highlight on the schedule,'' Washburn Rural coach Jared Goehring said. "The girls have pride in playing well in the city and when you are expected to come out and play well it adds a little bit of pressure, but I thought the girls responded very well today to that.''

    RuralgolfteamWashburn Rural's golf team poses for a team picture after winning its ninth straight city championship Monday at Western Hills. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Seaman junior Lois Deeter shot an even-par 70 to take the city individual title by five strokes, but Washburn Rural swept the next five placers to run away with the team championship.

    E xdOXNWUAIIOD6 2. @RuralGolf wins ninth straight city title by 41 strokes, @SeamanSchools junior @lois_deeter shoots an even-par 70 to win individual title by five strokes.... bit.ly/3AGrbWZ

     E xcVliWYAERiQFWashburn Rural junior Kaitlyn Crough finished second in Monday's city tournament with a 75, helping Rural win its ninth straight city title. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Rural senior Kaitlyn Crough finished second with a 75, while senior Aliyah North was third with a 76, juniors Avery Scott and Mallory Nelson tied for fourth with 80s and junior Annika Peterson placed sixth with an 86.

    "Sure, we could have putted better, we could have done a little bit better with our short games, but we'll get that cleaned up for next week,'' Goehring said. "It was a good day for the program.

    "We just want to keep building for the end of the season run. This marks the halfway point today. This was event No. 5 for us and we'll go right into the Centennial League next week and we want to keep building and playing our best golf in October and I think we're headed in the right direction.''

    Deeter captured her first city title Monday after finishing second as a freshman and opting out of the 2020 season and said she was very happy with her round.

    "I'll take that any day,'' Deeter said. "Shooting even is awesome. My short game was really good today. My drives were a little right and left, going back and forth, but I had good up and down shots getting on the green.''

    Monday's city tournament was held in conjunction with the Topeka West Invitational and both Deeter and Washburn Rural also claimed titles in that event.

    Deeter won that title by the same five-stroke margin that she had in the city event, while Rural won the team championship by a 31-stroke margin over Blue Valley West.

    CITY GIRLS GOLF TOURNAMENT

  • Saturday's prep XC roundup: Carter, Newkirk pace local harriers

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural junior Madeline Carter placed a city-high third among 91 girls runners in Saturday's Baldwin Invitational at the Baldwin City Golf Course, pacing a large city contingent.

    Carter clocked a five-kilometer time of 18 minutes, 49.15 seconds in a race won by Mill Valley senior Katie Schwartzkopf in 18:23.31.

    MadelineCarternewMadeline Carter

    Three other city runners posted top-10 finishes in the girls race, with Seaman junior Bethany Druse finishing eighth (19:26.67) while Rural senior Khloi Bird (19:27.86) and freshman Payton Fink (19:28.84) placed ninth and 10th.

    Seaman senior Emma Schultz (20:24.70) and Viking freshman Joslynn Grace (20:25.46) finished 28th and 29th while Seaman freshman Anna Becker was 35th (20:42.03), Topeka West senior Anna Phelps 38th (20:55.44) and Seaman freshman Stella Appelhanz 40th (21:01.66).

    Washburn Rural (134) and Seaman (139) finished fifth and sixth among 11 schools in the team standings.

  • Hayden bounces back with 39-6 win over Topeka West

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Coming off a three-touchdown loss to rival Seaman, Hayden was looking for a bounce-back performance Friday night night against Topeka West.

    And although the night didn't necessarily start like the Wildcats wanted, Hayden got what it was looking for, scoring 39 unanswered points to take a 39-6 win at Hummer Sports Park.

    Hayden turned the ball over on downs at the West 3-yard-line to end its first offensive possession and the Chargers struck for a 97-yard touchdown on a pass from junior quarterback Malachi Berg to junior Tyrell Reed to take a 6-0 lead at the 6:10 mark of the first quarter (conversion run failed).

    But the rest of the night belonged to the 2-1 Wildcats, who tied the game with 2:11 left in the opening quarter, put the Chargers away with 26 second-quarter points before adding a final TD in the third.

    JackChishamHayden senior Jack Chisham rushed for 182 yards and two touchdowns in the Wildcats' 39-6 win over Topeka West Friday night. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    "Our coach (Bill Arnold) was kind of disappointed in us last week because he thought we quit,'' said Hayden senior Jack Chisham, who rushed for 182 yards on 14 carries, scoring on runs of 2 and 69 yards. "We wanted to show him that we can come back from a deficit and take control of the game.''

    Arnold admitted that he was disappointed with the way the Wildcats finished the Seaman game (a 35-14 loss after the game was tied 7-7), but thought his team made a lot of strides Friday night.

    "It was a rough week at practice,'' Arnold said. "I didn't feel like we finished the game off very well last week at all and we had to kind of get back to what Hayden tradition is about. I thought the kids came out tonight and executed.

    "We competed. We're a long way away from mistake-free football, but I did like our physicality tonight.''

    After Reed gave 1-2 West its early lead, Hayden bounced back on its next drive to tie the game on a 26-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Gavin Arnold to freshman Jensen Schrickel (pass failed).

    JensenSchrickelHayden's Joe Otting (65) congratulates teammate Jensen Schrickel after Schrickel scored the Wildcats' first touchdown in a 39-6 win over Topeka West. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Chisham put Hayden ahead to stay with a 2-yard scoring run at the 9:21 mark of the second quarter and he broke loose for a 69-yard TD to give the Wildcats an 18-6 advantage with 7:40 left in the half (pass failed).

    The Wildcats added a 12-yard scoring run from junior JC Cummings (pass failed) and closed out the half with a 6-yard touchdown run and a 2-point conversion from junior Ethan Florence to take a commanding 32-6 advantage with 39.7 seconds left in the half.

    Hayden added its final score on an 18-yard TD pass from Arnold to senior TL Thompson (Schrickel kick) at the 8:34 mark of the third quarter.

    Arnold completed 9 of 13 passes on the night for 95 yards and two TDs.

    TyrellReedTopeka West's Tyrell Reed scored the Chargers' lone touchdown on a 97-yard reception Friday night. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    West's Reed caught four passes for 118 yards and the Chargers' lone TD while Berg passed for 170 yards on an 11 of 23 performance.

    Reed also led West with 60 rushing yards on 13 attempts.

  • Schafersman, Rural soccer continue hot streak in 5-0 victory

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    A player scoring three goals in a game is normally a rare accomplishment in high school soccer.

    For Washburn Rural standout Porter Schafersman, hat tricks are starting to become just another night at the office.

    Schafersman, a senior captain, recorded his third straight three-goal game Thursday night at McElroy Field, leading the way as the Junior Blues improved to a perfect 6-0 on the season with a 5-0 Centennial League victory over Hayden.

    E dMt PXIAkk9MZWashburn Rural senior Porter Schafersman (right) advances the ball past Hayden junior Nick Padilla Thursday. Schafersman recorded his third straight three-goal hat trick as Rural improved to 6-0 with a 5-0 win. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Schafersman scored off corner kicks from senior Ashton Rake and sophomore Devon Rutschmann and also converted a penalty kick, all in the second half, as the Junior Blues broke open a tight game with four goals after halftime.

    "I feel like we all know each other very well and we're comfortable with each other and we trust each other on the ball,'' Schafersman said. 

    And while Schafersman doesn't want to make a big deal of his goal-scoring flurry, he's definitely enjoying himself.

    "It puts me in a good mood,'' Schafersman said. "I'm just happy we came out with the win.''

    Hayden, which fell to 2-3, was still very much in the hunt at halftime, trailing 1-0 on a Rural goal from sophomore Benett Hallauer at the 22:04 mark of the opening half (Rutschmann assist), but the Junior Blues put the game away with three goals over the first 6:38 of the second half.

    E dKdfUXoAIOC zWashburn Rural senior Joe Morse scored Rural's fourth goal in Thursday's 5-0 win over Hayden at McElroy Field. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Schafersman scored back-to-back goals to put Rural in front 3-0 with 34:01 remaining and then senior Joe Morse scored at the 33:22 mark off an assist from junior Easton Bradstreet before Schafersman added his third goal on a penalty kick with 7:30 left.

    "We were doing lots of nice things (in the first half), but it felt like we were doing it at about an 80-percent pace,'' Rural coach Brian Hensyel said. "We have very athletic guys, we're fast, so don't play at a slower pace. Let's really put pressure on people. We were doing a lot of the same things (in the second half), we just really had the energy, an A-plus kind of energy.

    "Hayden always does a great job. They have a great keeper (senior Gabe Rankey) and they're always very organized. No. 3 on top (junior Jake Muller) is a good player.''

    Senior Wyatt Arnold picked up his fourth shutout of the season in goal for the Junior Blues.

    WASHBURN RURAL 5, HAYDEN 0

    Hayden (2-3)               0 0 -- 0

    Washburn Rural (6-0) 1 4 -- 5

    Washburn Rural -- Goals: Porter Schafersman 3, Benett Hallauer, Joe Morse. Assists: Devon Rutschmann 2, Ashton Rake, Easton Bradstreet. Shutout: Wyatt Arnold. 

  • Rural volleyball moves to 10-0 with Centennial League sweep

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    No matter how lopsided the scores, veteran Washburn Rural volleyball coach Kevin Bordewick can almost always find things the Junior Blues need to improve on.

    So even though Rural rolled to straight-set Centennial League victories over Hayden (25-18, 25-10) and Topeka West (25-5, 25-17) Tuesday night at Hayden, Bordewick won't have a shortage of things to talk to his team about when the Junior Blues return to practice on Wednesday.

    "I don't think we were as focused as we needed to be in several areas and we are going to have some re-focusing to do tomorrow,'' said Bordewick, whose team improved to 10-0 overall and 4-0 in the league. "It doesn't matter who you play, you're keeping score as competing, so let's compete.

    "I will give a lot of credit to T-West and Hayden. I thought those guys played really well in at least one of those sets against us.''

    E S8KH8XMAcpbBkWashburn Rural celebrates a point during Tuesday's Centennial League triangular at Hayden. The Junior Blues took straight-set wins over Hayden and Topeka West to improve to 10-0. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Washburn Rural, which has a huge matchup with defending Class 6A champion Blue Valley West looming on Thursday, got off to a slow start against Hayden, trailing 12-9 and tied 13-13 before taking control late in its 25-18 win.

    Sophomore Jada Ingram had a successful service run for the Junior Blues and ended the first set with a kill.

    The second set against the Wildcats was all Rural, with the Junior Blues jumping out in front 10-2 and 19-5 on the way to the 15-point victory.

    Washburn Rural also dominated its first set against Topeka West, opening up leads of 10-0, 15-1 and 22-4 on the way to its 25-5 win as juniors Brooklyn DeLeye and Taylor Russell and Ingram dominated things at the net.

    Topeka West played much better in the second set, particularly early, before the Junior Blues opened up a 22-12 lead on a Russell service ace.

    The Chargers cut Rural's lead to 24-17 on kills from juniors MaKinsey Jones and Malayah Henderson before Rural closed out the match.

    The Hayden-Topeka West match was the closest of the night, with the Wildcats eeking out a 25-23, 25-22 victory.

    JadynPaigeFalleyHayden senior Jadyn Paige Falley celebrates a Wildcat point during Tuesday's home triangular. [Photo by Kyle Grunert/Special to TSN]

    BrooklynAlexanderTopeka West sophomore Brooklyn Alexander (23) attempts a spike Tuesday night at Hayden while Wildcat junior Janessa Broxterman goes for the block. [Photo by Kyle Grunert/Special to TSN]

    Hayden built a 14-12 lead in the first set but West battled back to force ties at 14, 15 and 18 and took a 22-20 lead on a kill from sophomore Addison Brooks.

    The set was also tied at 23-all before Hayden ended the set with two straight points.

    Hayden built a second-set advantage of 15-8 and went up 17-10 on a kill from senior Jadyn Paige Falley before West battled all the way back to take a 22-21 lead. 

    The Wildcats closed out the win with four straight points, scoring the final two points on an ace and a kill from sophomore Reagan Huscher.

    "I'm just worried about progressing until we get to sub-state,'' Hayden coach Jim Davis said. "We had some good play tonight from some of our underclassmen, which I was very happy with.''

    MATCH RESULTS

    Washburn Rural def. Hayden, 25-18, 25-10; Washburn Rural def. Topeka West, 25-5, 25-17; Hayden def. Topeka West, 25-23, 25-22. 

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers Sept. 13, 2021

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    E TJMpXXIAINwEhCamden Barta

    CAMDEN BARTA, Seaman

    A senior quarterback/defensive back, Barta accumulated 285 total offensive yards, including 244 passing yards, as Seaman's football team improved to 2-0 with a 35-14 win over Hayden. Barta passed for three touchdowns and also had a pass interception.

     E0eklkQXoAE1xPyBethany Druse

    BETHANY DRUSE, Seaman

    A returning Class 5A state medalist, Druse finished second in last Saturday's Joe Schrag Invitational cross country meet at the Kanza Park Course in a five-kilometer time of 19 minutes, 45.51 seconds, leading Seaman to the girls team championship by a 30-41 margin over Blue Valley.

    TorreyHorakTorrey Horak

    TORREY HORAK, Rossville

    Horak, a senior, rushed for 163 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries and completed 16 of 26 pass attempts for 239 yards and two TDs as the defending 2A state-champion Bulldawgs improved to 2-0 with a 56-14 romp past Rock Creek.

    TannerNewkirkmugTanner Newkirk

    TANNER NEWKIRK, Hayden

    Newkirk, who won the Class 4A state cross country championship last fall at Wamego Country Club, returned to that course last Saturday for the Wamego Invitational, posting a 14-second victory in a field of 114 runners, clocking a five-kilometer time of 15 minutes, 47.50 seconds.

     21schuckman khloeKhloe Schuckman

    KHLOE SCHUCKMAN, Washburn University

    A freshman, the Bishop Carroll product scored two goals, her first two goals of her college career, over the final 20 minutes of last Thursday's 2-1 road victory at Missouri-Saint Louis, helping Washburn University's soccer team improve to 3-0 on the season.

     korysuttonmugKory Sutton

    KORY SUTTON, Shawnee Heights

    Hampered by injuries in the 2020 cross country season, Sutton posted his second individual victories in as many races this fall, winning the boys title in last Saturday's Topeka West Joe Schrag Invitational in a personal-record five-kilometer time of 15:58.84.

  • Newkirk, Hayden boys shine in Wamego Invitational XC

    Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

    Returning to the Wamego Country Club course Saturday where he won the Class 4A cross country title in 2020, Hayden star Tanner Newkirk was just as impressive.

    In fact, the Wildcat senior was even better than he was in his state-winning run.

    Newkirk clocked a winning 5-kilometer time of 15 minutes, 47.50 seconds on Saturday to top a field of 114 competitors in the Wamego Invitational while paring nearly six seconds off the 15:53.32 time that he recorded in the 4A state meet last fall.

    TannerNewkirkmugTanner Newkirk

    Newkirk won Saturday by 14 seconds over Buhler senior star Tanner Lindahl.

  • Seaman rides big plays to 35-14 win over rival Hayden

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    With rivals Seaman and Hayden locked in a 7-7 stalemate inside the final minute of the third quarter, first-year Seaman coach Jared Swafford was looking for a big play to get the Vikings going Friday night at Hayden.

    Seaman not only got one big play, but they came in a bunch, with the Vikings scoring four touchdowns between 44 and 97 yards en route to a 35-14 victory over the Wildcats to improve to 2-0 on the year.

    "We knew it was going to be physical and it took us a little bit, but we had to step up and make plays and we had some seniors do that,'' Swafford said. "I'm really proud of that group and we were able to find a way to win in the end.'' 

    CamdenBarta2Seaman senior Camden Barta celebrates a big Viking play in Friday's 35-14 win over Hayden. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Seaman broke the tie with 37.5 seconds left in the third quarter on a 65-yard touchdown pass from Camden Barta to senior Casen Stallbaumer, who broke multiple tackles on the way to the end zone.

    The Vikings added a 97-yard TD pass from Barta to senior Brody Gormley and sophomore Callen Barta returned a pass interception 66 yards before Seaman ended its scoring with a 44-yard touchdown run from senior Aidan Polter with 5:41 remaining.

    GormleySeaman senior Brody Gormley (7) scored a 97-yard touchdown in the Vikings 35-14 win over Hayden Friday night. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    "We talk about it all the time, that we can be really dangerous if we want to be,'' Swafford said. "That's the big-play capability that we have and we hope to continue to build off that momentum.''

    Seaman scored its first touchdown on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Camden Barta to senior P.J. Vargas late in the opening quarter, while senior Gavin Wilhelm was five of five on extra points.

    Camden Barta, who also had a pass interception, finished with 244 yards passing and the three TDs on a 7 of 18 performance and credited his teammates for making the big plays happen.

    "Credit to those guys,'' Barta said. "They're special, special athletes and I knew with the play calls and with what they can do, I knew it was all going to work out. You can't do it as one player. They help out a lot.

    "Credit to Hayden in the first half. They made it a dogfight. The run game was not there, their D-line was insane, but that second half we showed who we really are and I think that will carry us into the rest of the season.''

    Hayden tied the game at 7-7 with 8:31 left in the second quarter on a 13-yard touchdown pass from senior Gavin Arnold to senior TL Thompson (Jensen Schrickel kick), but the Wildcats didn't score again until Arnold scored on an 8-yard TD run with 3:10 remaining (Schrickel kick).

    Arnold threw for 187 yards while Schrickel had three catches for 71 yards and senior Kaelin Rice had two catches for 81 yards.

  • Cats' Muller welcomes chance to add fourth sport to busy schedule

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    It wasn't like Hayden junior multi-sport standout Jake Muller was at a loss for something to do.

    Muller was already a standout for the Wildcat soccer and basketball teams, earning All-City honorable mention in both sports as a sophomore, and he captured a Class 4A state championship in track and field last spring.

    E96785IWQAMe0OKJake Muller

    Nevertheless, over the summer Muller decided to add a fourth sport, joining Hayden's cross country team this fall.

    Wildcat cross country coach DeJuan Gardenhire is also Muller's coach in track, but Muller said Gardenhire wasn't in his ear about taking up a new sport.

    "Not really, I ust like running for him,'' said Muller, the 4A 300-meter hurdles champ in track. "He's a great coach and it's exciting to run for him and be part of a team. I love running and playing for Hayden.''

    It's obviously a challenge to do double duty with soccer and cross country in the same season, but Muller makes it work.

    "Cross country we've been going at 5:45 in the morning, so I go there before school and after schoolI go to soccer,'' he said. "If cross country's after school I just go to soccer and then I'll go to the (cross country) meets on Saturday.''

    Muller is constantly on the run in both soccer and cross country, but he said while participating in both sports helps keep him in great shape, there's a different type of running involved. 

    "It's different because soccer's more like sprinting and cross country's about pace, so it's different conditioning,'' Muller said. "I like cross country. It's definitely tough though.''

    A team captain in soccer, Muller is off to an impressive start in both sports this fall, recording two goals and an assist in Hayden's 3-1 season-opening Centennial League soccer win over Topeka High last Wednesday and then placing fifth individually for the Wildcat cross country team in Saturday's Missouri Western Griffon Invitational at St. Joseph, Mo., helping Hayden win the team championship.

    "He just works so hard,'' Hayden soccer coach Klaus Kreutzer said of Muller. "The kid works harder than anybody I know and he's so able.''

    For his part, Muller said he just loves being able to help his school any way he can.

    "I just like being involved with Hayden and I just love sports,'' Muller said. "Either watching or playing, I love being involved.''

     

     

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers Sept. 6, 2021

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    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

    TANNER NEWKIRK, Hayden

    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.

  • TopSports.news' Shawnee County 10 boys XC runners to watch

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Michael ChristopherMichael Christopher

    Michael Christopher, Topeka High

    Christopher, a junior, earned All-City honorable mention recognition in 2020 for Topeka High, placing eighth in the city meet. Christopher opened his current season with a 35th-place finish out of 76 runners in last Saturday's Manhattan Invitational at Warner Park.

    EsquibelJackson Esquibel

    Jackson Esquibel, Shawnee Heights

    A  sophomore, Esquibel placed in the top five in five of the seven meets he competed in as a freshman en route to earning All-City recognition. Esquibel took third place in the city meet and was a runner-up in Class 5A regional competition, helping the T-Birds qualify for state as a team. Esquibel finished 30th in the state meet. Esquibel opened his 2021 season with a second-place finish in Basehor-Linwood's  Bobcat Invitational.

    Spencer HaddockSpencer Haddock

    Spencer Haddock, Washburn Rural

    Haddock, a senior, earned All-City honorable mention last season after placing 11th in the city meet for the team-champion Junior Blues and taking 17th place in the Centennial League championships. Haddock placed 18th among 76 runners in the season-opening Manhattan Invitational as Rural placed third as a team. 

  • Newkirk, Hayden open 2021 cross country season with titles

    Rick Peterson

     TopSports.news

    Defending Class 4A state champion Tanner Newkirk opened his senior cross country season with the individual championship in Saturday's Missouri Western Griffon Invitational at St. Joseph, Mo., leading the Wildcats to the boys team title.

    Newkirk covered the 5,000-meter course in 16 minutes, 25.18 seconds to win by more than a minute while the Wildcats put three runners in the top five en route to the team crown by a 30-48 margin over West Platte (Mo.).

    TannerNewkirkmugTanner Newkirk

    Senior Ryan Rochford placed fourth in 18:41.50 while junior Jake Muller was fifth in 19:13.20.

    Senior Nick Padilla finished 11th for the Wildcats (19:43.52) and sophomore Zach Moore was 13th (20:01.12) to round out Hayden's top five.

    Hayden's girls finished second in the team standings behind North Platte (Mo.) by a 29-45 margin, with freshman Elliot Wrench leading the Wildcats with a fifth-place finish (23:08.90). Sophomore Elaina Wolff finished 10th (24:44.51). 

    MWSU GRIFFON INVITATIONAL

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    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.

  • TopSports.news' Shawnee County football players to watch

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    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. 

    E TG0F6XoA8Jpel

    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.

  • Muller sparks Hayden soccer to 3-1 season-opening win over High

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Hayden's soccer team had to wait a couple extra days to make its season debut, with Monday's scheduled opener postponed due to COVID-19 protocols at Ottawa.

    But the Wilcats quickly made up for lost time, opening up a 3-0 lead on the way to a 3-1 win over Centennial League rival Topeka High Wednesday at Hayden.

    "We were all ready to play Monday and just get that first game in,'' said Hayden junior standout Jake Muller, who had a two goals and an assist in the Wildcat victory. "We've been practicing for so long and it's exciting to play, so when that game was canceled it was tough, but we were ready for today.''

    E PaCgsWQAY2K08Topeka High senior Sergio Ramirez (left) advances the ball as Hayden's Tyler Broxterman defends in Wednesday's 3-1 Wildcat win over the Trojans at Hayden. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Muller got Hayden on the board at the 16:23 mark of the opening half off an assist by junior Chris Hayes, the lone goal of the first half.

    The Wildcats then put the game away with two goals within 16 seconds of each other early in the second half.

    Muller scored at the 34:39 mark off a pass from junior Nick Padilla and then Muller found Hayes for Hayden's final goal at the 34:23 mark.

    "I thought we played really good,'' Muller said. "We still have stuff to work on, but I thought our effort was there.''

  • TopSports.news' Shawnee County 12 girls tennis players to watch

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    E Jj60JWQAcMeh8Haley Carpenter

    Haley Carpenter, Topeka High

    A junior, Carpenter advanced to the Class 6A state tournament last fall in doubles, teaming with Adisyn Caryl to earn a trip to the state tournament with a fourth-place regional finish.

    E JkhPLXMAUy 37Adisyn Caryl

    Adisyn Caryl, Topeka High

    Caryl, a junior, competed for the Trojans in the 6A state tournament last fall in doubles, teaming up with Carpenter for a fourth-place regional finish. A two-time state qualifier in tennis, Caryl also plays basketball and softball for High, helping the Trojans win a 6A softball state title last spring.

    E JiqLTXEAUD2FLKate Fritz

    Kate Fritz, Washburn Rural

    A junior, Fritz competed in the 2020 6A state tournament for Rural, teaming with Meredith Kucera to win a Class 6A regional championship. Fritz, a two-time state qualifier, and Kucera took third in doubles in the Centennial League tournament.

  • TopSports.news' six Shawnee County girls golfers to watch

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    E9p3fchXoAIXFp6Kaitlyn Crough

    Kaitlyn Crough, Washburn Rural

    A senior, Crough is a returning two-time All-City pick and a former city champion and Class 6A state medalist for the Junior Blues. Crough was the city runner-up and placed third in the Centennial League tournament last fall before an injury prevented her from competing in regional and state tournaments. Crough won the city championship and tied for 16th in the state meet as a sophomore.

     LoisDeeter2Lois Deeter

    Lois Deeter, Seaman

    Deeter, a junior, returns for Seaman this fall after opting out of the 2020 high school season. As a freshman for the Vikings in '19, Deeter placed sixth individually in the 5A state tournament and won the Centennial League championship. Deeter earned runner-up finishes in the city tournament and 5A regional competition.

    E9p2SSKX0AYxhyeMcKenna Merrick

    McKenna Merrick, Washburn Rural

    A senior, Merrick is a returning first-team All-City selection for the Junior Blues. Merrick tied for third and finished fourth in a scorecard playoff in last year's city meet and tied for 12th place in the Centennial League tournament. Merrick missed regional and state competition in 2020 due to an injury.

  • TopSports.news' Shawnee County boys soccer players to watch

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    E97GT2OXIAIT 1aWyatt Arnold

    Wyatt Arnold, Washburn Rural

    A senior team captain, Arnold is in his fourth season as the Junior Blues' starting goalkeeper, helping 16-4-1 Rural post a fourth-place finish in the Class 6A state tournament last fall, recording 11 shutouts. A first-team All-City and All-Centennial League pick as a junior, Arnold is No. 3 on Rural's all-time list with 28 career shutouts.

    E97CoIiXEAUayszKyson Evans

    Kyson Evans, Seaman

    Evans, a senior, will be counted on as a leader this fall for the Vikings, who are coming off a 7-7-1 season in 2020, advancing to a 5A regional final. Evans earned All-City and All-Centennial League honorable recognition as a junior.

    Jordan GarvinJordan Garvin

    Jordan Garvin, Shawnee Heights

    Garvin was a first-team All-City and All-United Kansas Conference first-team selection and earned second-team All-Class 5A honors last season as a sophomore. Garvin scored 18 goals and recorded six assists as Shawnee Heights posted a 14-5-1 record and finished third in the 5A state tournament.

  • Football cultivates even closer bond between Peavler brothers

    Rick Peterson

    THE PENNANT PLAYER PROFILETSN gold partner Pennant

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Brothers Brooks and Brent Peavler are extremely close, and football has made them a lot closer... literally.

    Not only are the former Hayden stars the only brothers on the Washburn University roster, but they both play the same position, inside linebacker, with Brooks a senior starter and Brent one of his top backups.

    It's a situation that works for the Peavlers.

     E9uqG UWUBEi8J Former Hayden stars Brooks Peavler (left) and his younger brother, Brent, are set to play their final season together for Washburn University's football team. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    "We get along really well,'' said Brooks a 6-foot-2, 235-pound six-year senior. "He's one of my best friends I'd say. We're are very competitive, always kind of talking smack on each other, but he knows and I know I've got two years on him, I've just got more experience, and I'll try to help him out whenever I can.

    "He's pretty independant, but if he needs something he can come ask me for anything and especially in football, asking about plays and what not.''

  • TopSports.news' Best of the Best project hits high gear

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Nearly 29,000 reader votes have been received since TopSports.news 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

  • Local legends Torrez, Berry headline TSN Best of Best baseball list

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Since the 1960s, the names Mike Torrez and Ken Berry have been synonymous with baseball success in Shawnee County.

    So it probably shouldn't come as a big surprise that those two former Major League Baseball stalwarts ended up at the top of the TopSports.news' Top 25 Best of the Best list for baseball.

     E5nWKU XwAEz9G6Mike Torrez

    E5nWLD X0AII4HNKen Berry

    Torrez, a Topeka High product, also garnered the most votes from TSN readers, edging out Berry by eight votes for the No. 1 spot with Berry (Washburn Rural) a solid No. 2.

    Torrez pitched 18 seasons for seven teams in the Major Leagues from 1967-84, becoming a 20-game winner for the Baltimore Orioles and helping lead the New York Yankees to the 1977 World Series championship with a pair of wins over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

    Berry played 13 big league seasons and was an American League All-Star for the Chicago White Sox and a two-time Gold Glove winner.

    While Torrez and Berry were relatively clearcut choices at the top of the Best of the Best list, determing the rest of the Top 25 order was a lot more difficult.

    Duff "Sir Richard'' Cooley, who played 13 seasons in the Major Leagues from 1893-1905 with a .294 batting average, ended up No. 3 while Negro Leagues star Bingo DeMoss holds down the No. 4 spot and former Kansas City Royals All-Star Aaron Crow (Washburn Rural) rounds out the top five.

    Ten members of the Best of the Best list played in the Major Leagues while DeMoss, Carroll Ray "Dink'' Mothell and Gil Carter all played in the Negro Leagues.

    The list also includes a bunch of county products who earned All-America honors in college, with many of those going on to longtime minor league careers.

    As mentioned earlier, Torrez and Berry earned the most votes in the TSN reader poll while former Hayden star John Tetuan and Shawnee Heights star Jordan Cooper finished three-four and Silver Lake native and MLB player Jim Golden rounded out the top five.

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST BASEBALL

  • Silver Lake, K-State legend Kruger tops TSN men's basketball list

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Today's basketball fans probably know Silver Lake legend Lon Kruger more for his considerable accomplishments as a Division I coach than as a star guard.

    After all, Kruger, who recently retired at Oklahoma, was the first Division I coach to take five different programs to the NCAA Tournament, including Final Four appearances with the Sooners and Florida.

    But ardent basketball followers, particulary those in the over-60 demographic, remember Kruger as one of the greatest all-time players in Kansas.

    In fact, Kruger gets TopSports.news' nod as the Best of the Best in Shawnee County history.

    A star in basketball, baseball and football for Silver Lake, Kruger averaged 23.8 points as a senior guard for the Eagles basketball team and went on to help lead Kansas State to back-to-back Big 8 Conference championships and was named the conference player of the year in 1973 and '74 after earning sophomore of the year recognition in '72.

    Kruger scored 1,063 points in a Wildcat uniform and averaged 17.6 points as a senior, including a career-high of 37 points.

    Kruger, who had his No. 12 jersey retired by Kansas State, was drafted by the Atlanta Hawks in the ninth round of the '74 NBA Draft and was also selected in the Major League Baseball draft by the Astros in '70 and by the Cardinals in '74.

     Lon KrugerLon Kruger

    KyleWeems3Kyle Weems

    As good as Kruger was, however, he wasn't a slam dunk as TopSports.news' No. 1 pick as the Best of the Best.

    Former Highland Park star Kyle Weems also received strong consideration for the top spot on the strength of an outstanding career at the high school, Division I and professional level.

    Weems helped lead Highland Park to a perfect 25-0 record and the Class 5A state championship in 2007 before earning Missouri Vallley Player of the Year honors for Missouri State and finishing his career as the No. 2 scorer in Bears history.

    Weems is getting set to start his 10th professional season in Europe and helped his team win the Italian championship this past season.

    Former Hayden star Tom Meier, who won a pair of state championships at Hayden and a national NAIA title at Washburn University, holds down the No. 3 spot on the TSN Top 25 list while former Highland Park star James Patrick and Topeka High and UCLA product Fred Slaughter round out the top five.

     Delvy LewisDelvy Lewis

    The late Delvy Lewis, who starred at Washburn Rural and was an All-Big 8 pick at Kansas, earned the No. 6 spot on the Top 25 and also earned the Readers Choice title by a significant margin, with Weems second and Kruger third in reader voting.

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST MEN'S BASKETBALL

  • Four-time state champ Nickoley tops TSN Top 25 women's XC list

    Rick Peterson

     

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    By her own admission, cross country was never Trisa Nickoley's favorite sport, with the Shawnee Heights legend always more fond of the shorter distances in track and field, particularly the 800 meters.

    But Nickoley, a member of the Topeka Shawnee County and Kansas State High School Activities Association halls of fame, still became one of the state's best-ever, becoming one of just six cross country runners in state history to capture four straight individual titles.

    That title legacy earned the former T-Bird and Missouri Tiger the No. 1 spot on TopSports.news' Shawnee County Best of the Best Top 25 list for women's cross country.

    Trisa NickoleyXCTrisa Nickoley [Submitted]

    Avery CliftonAvery Clifton [Submitted]

    Nickoley, who continues to hold the state record in the 800 and never lost an individual race in state cross country or track competition en route to earning 17 state gold medals, took the No. 1 position in the TSN Top 25 over former Washburn Rural two-time state champ Avery Clifton while a pair of former Seaman state champs, Sydney Messick and Shauna Burrell, hold down the No. 3 and 4 spots and four-year state medalist Cate Holston rounds out the top five.

    Clifton, also a multi-event 6A state champ in track, was the Readers Choice champion, topping Nickoley for that honor, while another former Rural star, Jaybe Shufelberger, ranked No. 3 in reader balloting. Shufelberger, currently running for Kansas State is No. 6 on the Top 25.

    The TSN Top 25 includes seven Shawnee County athletes who won at least one individual state title and nine who helped their schools win at least one state team championship.

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY RUNNERS

  • Rural star, D-I standout Morgan tops TSN Top 25 men's XC list

    Rick Peterson

     

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Jacob Morgan proved himself over and over again as one of the all-time great distance runners in Shawnee County history, establishing himself as a superstar at Washburn Rural before going on to excel at the NCAA Division I level for both Colorado State and Kansas.

    A two-time Class 6A state champion and four-time top-10 finisher for the Junior Blues, including an undefeated senior season, Morgan went on to compete in the NCAA Championships for both Colorado State and KU, twice earning All-Big 12 and All-Region honors for the Jayhawks.

     JacobMorganKUJacob Morgan [KU Athletics]

    And while the TopSports.news Shawnee County Best of the Best Top 25 list is crowded with outstanding runners dating back to the 1960s, Morgan's impressive resume earned him the No. 1 spot.

    Former Topeka West great Rob Hays, a two-time state champion for the Chargers and a standout at Kansas State, takes the No. 2 spot on the Best of the Best list while two-time state champion Grant Cain of Seaman, current Hayden star and state champ Tanner Newkirk and former Silver Lake state champ Chad Brake round out the top five.

    Tegan MichaelmugTegan Michael [Saint Mary Athletics]

    Topeka West two-time state placer Tegan Michael, No. 17 in the No. 25, was a runaway winner in the Readers Choice Awards, garnering more than 750 votes, while Morgan and Newkirk finished two-three in reader votes. 

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST MEN'S CROSS COUNTRY RUNNERS

  • Dinkel takes No. 1 spot on TSN Top 25 list of county football elite

    Rick Peterson

     

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    With a list of candidates that includes 11 Shawnee County football players that made it to the National Football League, three that played in the Super Bowl and numerous other college standouts as well as two of the most prolific high school stars in Kansas history, picking a No. 1 for TopSports.news' Best of the Best Top 25 was a arduous task.

    In the end, the guy that helped put local football on the map back in the 1970s, former Shawnee Heights/Kansas star and longtime Cincinnati Bengal linebacker Tom Dinkel, gets the nod.

    TomDinkel2Tom Dinkel [Submitted]

    Dinkel, who helped the Bengals reach the Super Bowl after the 1981 season, played seven seasons in the NFL and also played in the USFL for the Jacksonville Bulls after being drafted in the fifth round by Cincinnate in the fifth round of the '78 draft.

    Troy WilsonTroy Wilson [1994 Fleer Cards]

    Taking the next two spots on the Top 25 were Super Bowl alums Troy Wilson (Shawnee Heights) and Michael Wilhoite (Highland Park), who both put together extended pro careers, while former NFL players Kyle McNorton (Seaman) and Trey Lewis (Washburn Rural) round out the top five, just ahead of Chicago Bears rookie Teven Jenkins (Topeka High), New York Jets third-year play Corey Ballentine (Shawnee Heights) and Cincinnati Bengals rookie Wyatt Hubert (Shawnee Heights).

    Ky ThomasnewKy Thomas [TSN file photo]

    Topeka High product Ky Thomas and Rossville's Tucker Horak, who carved out history-making high school careers, went one-two in the Readers Choice Awards, combining for more than 500 reader votes. Horak is currently a senior running back at Pittsburg State while Thomas is a redshirt freshman back at Minnesota.

    Former Rossville and Kansas standout lineman Duane Zlatnik, currently an assistant coach for Washburn Rural, also received considerable reader support, finishing No. 3 in Readers Choice balloting.

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST FOOTBALL PLAYERS

  • Glynn, Stous headline TSN Best of the Best women's golf list

    Rick Peterson

     

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    It's probably a good bet to say that local stars Abby Glynn and Rachel Stous haven't reached their peak in women's golf, with their careers seemingly still on the upswing.

    But Washburn Rural product Glynn and Topeka High's Stous have already accomplished enough to earn the top two spots on the TopSports.news Shawnee County Best of the Best Top 25.

    Glynn edged Stous for the No. 1 spot after earning three Class 6A state medals and helping Rural capture three Class 6A state team championships and a runner-up finish during her prep career before going on to become a standout at Kansas and winning the Missouri Amateur title in 2020.

    Abby GlynnAbby Glynn [KU Athletics]

    RachelStous2Rachel Stous [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Stous, meanwhile, was a four-time 6A state medalist for the Trojans and has established herself as one of the state's top amateurs, including a win in the Kansas Amateur earlier this summer.

    Former four-time 4A state medalist and two-time state champ Brooke LaRue (Hayden) earned the No. 3 spot on the Top 25 while former state champs Lauren Falley (Hayden), Megan Lucas (Washburn Rural), Adin Stromgren (Washburn Rural) and Caroline Setter (Hayden) took the next four spots.

    Glynn and Stous also finished one-two in the Readers Choice balloting, with Lucas, now playing at Wichita State, third in reader votes.

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST WOMEN'S GOLFERS

  • PGA star Woodland No. 1 on TSN Best of the Best men's golf list

    Rick Peterson

     

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    There's been a lof tough calls for the No. 1 spot in TopSports.news' Best of the Best Shawnee County Top 25 lists.

    Men's golf wasn't one of those.

    Shawnee Heights product Gary Woodland all but assured himself of the top spot when he made it on the PGA Tour back in 2007 and the four-time Tour winner cemented that position when he won the 2019 United States Open.

    Gary WoodlandGary Woodland [PGA Tour]

    Coming off a tie for seventh last week, the former basketball All-Stater and two-time Class 5A state champ for the T-Birds, is currently 45th on the PGA Tour's all-time career money list with more than $29 million in career earnings.

    But while the 37-year-old Woodland is the unquestioned headliner, the TSN Top 25 list is loaded with other county stars who have carved out their own niche in the game.

    AndrewBeckleraction 2Andrew Beckler [Washburn Athletics]

     Justice ValdiviaJustice Valdivia

    Former Washburn Rural state champ Andrew Beckler, who received the 2021 Jack Nicklaus Award as the NCAA Division II Player of the Year holds down the No. 2 spot on the Top 25 local legends Frank Rose and Bill McDonald sit in the next two spots, followed by former Rural two-time state champion Parker Beal and multi-sport Silver Lake product Mark Elliott.

    Three-time Washburn University All-American Matt Ewald and local stars Ben Moser, Bill Mosimann and Gary Lucas round out the top 10.

    Former Hayden state star Justice Valdivia, a state individual and team champ and multi-time All-MIAA honoree topped Woodland for the Readers Choice award, with former Rossville state champ and four-time state medalist Garrett Donovan earning the third spot in reader votes. 

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST MEN'S GOLFERS

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

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Narrowing down candidates for the TopSports.news 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:

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST WOMEN'S SOCCER PLAYERS

  • Rural All-American Halsey takes top spot on men's soccer Top 25

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    An All-American at Washburn Rural who went on to turn in an outstanding career at Baker University on the field and in the classroom, Austin Halsey garnered the No. 1 spot in on the TopSports.News Shawnee County Best of the Best Top 25 for men's soccer.

    Halsey finished his high school career as the most prolific goal scorer in Washburn Rural history, including 30 goals as a senior when he led the Junior Blues to a runner-up finish in the 2014 Class 6A state tournament.

    Halsey, who finished with 57 career goals from '11-14, was the Gatorade Kansas Soccer Player of the Year as a senior and was selected to play in the High School All-American game.

     AustinHalseyAustin Halsey [BakerWildcats.com]

    Halsey went on to play 83 career games for Baker, including the NAIA National Tournament, and was named the 2018 Champions of Character Award after earning multiple Academic All-America awards.

    Former Hayden state champ Connor Beck, who scored 32 goals in his senior season and four in the 2012 state championship game, sits No. 2 on the Best of the Best list while young phenom Nati Clarke, one of the nation's top prospects, earned the third spot and Rural's Joah Hickel and Ross Boyd round out the top five.

    Ross BoydRoss Boyd [FHSU Athletics]

    Boyd ran away with the Readers Choice Award by more than 100 votes while Clark finished second and 2021 Washburn Rural graduate Ethan Hensyel third.  

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST MEN'S SOCCER PLAYERS

  • Former Rural multi-sport state champ, OU national champ Carey headlines TopSports.news Best of the Best women's softball list

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    From top to bottom, the TopSports.news Best of the Best Shawnee County Top 25 list for women's softball may be the most balanced of any sport in the series.

    The list includes national champions at multiple-levels and is chock full of former All-Americans and members of various halls of fame.

    The softball is also an extremely diverse list, including players who played in the 1950s as well as players whose careers are still very much on the upswing.

    Lisa Carey [Submitted]Lisa Carey

    In the end, former Washburn Rural star Lisa Carey, who went on to lead Oklahoma to an NCAA championship, got the nod as the No. 1 while rising stars Lauren Mills and NiJaree Canady garnered the next two spots.

     Lauren MillsLauren Mills

    NiJareeCanadyregional2NiJaree Canady

    Mills, who helped lead Seaman to a Class 5A state championship as a high school player, is currently a standout for a Wichita State team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament this past season while Canady helped lead Topeka High a perfect 25-0 season and the school's first-ever 6A state softball title.

    TaylorZordelTaylor Zordel

    Former Washburn Rural multi-sport star and Emporia State All-American Taylor Zordel won the Readers Choice Award, with the current Washburn University assistant coach receiving more than 1,000 votes.

    Topeka High product Jaryn Benning ranked No. 2 in reader votes while Mills was third, former Topeka High standout Ellena Cott-Laurie fourth and current Washburn standout Jaycee Ginter fifth. 

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST WOMEN'S SOFTBALL PLAYERS

  • National champion Stafford No. 1 on TSN women's swimming list

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Topeka High product Shara Stafford experienced incredible success at every level of an outstanding swimming career, earning the No. 1 spot on the TopSports.news Best of the Best Top 25 women's swimming list.

    Stafford was a multi-event Class 6A champion and record-setter for Topeka High before claiming a national NCAA Division I championship in the 200-yard freestyle in 2010 while helping Florida claim a team championship.

     SharaStaffordShara Stafford [Submitted]

    Shannon SuddarthShannon Suddarth [File photo]

    A 13-time All-American for the Gators, Stafford went on to star at Missouri in her final season, earning Big 12 Newcomer of the Year honors while earning three more All-America honors and setting five school records for the Tigers.

    Former Hayden star Shannon Suddarth earned the No. 2 spot on the Best of the Best list after winning four state titles for the Wildcats, becoming a nine-time All-American at Notre Dame and setting two Big East records that stood for 11 years, while Topeka West record-setter and Virginia All-American Emily Dicus and West star and NCAA Division II individual and team champion Kelli Dudley hold down the No. 3 and 4 positions in the Top 25.

    Current Topeka West phenom Kadence Jeffries garnered the No. 5 position on the Best of the Best list on the strength of winning four Class 5A-1A individual state titles in as many attempts while still having a season of high school eligibility remaining.

    KadenceJeffriesjubeKadence Jeffries [File photo/TSN]

    Jeffries, who swept the 200 and 500 freestyle events as a freshman and junior, also earned the Readers Choice Award while another current prep swimmer, Seaman's Gabby Grace, and former Washburn Rural and Kansas standout Sammie Schurig finished second and third in reader votes.

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST WOMEN'S SWIMMERS

  • Topeka swim legend Glenn Trammel No. 1 on TSN Best of Best list

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Today's high school swimmers may not have any idea who Glenn Trammel is, but they probably should.

    The former Topeka High star did a lot to put Topeka on the high school swimming map in the mid-1980s when he won five individual state championships (all classes) and set three state records.

    Trammel went on to star at Kansas, becoming a seven-time All-American and setting four Jayhawk school records while ranking 11th in the world at one point.

    Those accomplishments and more landed Trammel on top of the TopSports.news Shawnee County Best of the Best Top 25 list for men's swimming, while Trammel also won the Readers Choice Award.

    Glenn TrammelGlenn Trammel [Submitted]

    Former Topeka High star and Minnesota 10-time All-American Tyler Schmidt holds down the No. 2 spot on the Top 25, followed by former Hayden star and current Wildcat coach John-Martin Schmidt, who equaled Trammel's five individual state titles.

    Four-time state champ Zeke Metz, who helped Seaman become the city's first-ever boys state team champion is No. 4 on the Top 25 while Washburn Rural product Grant Rogers, also a four-time state champ, rounds out the top five.

    John-Martin Schmidt finished second in Readers Choice balloting while Metz and another former Seaman star, Eddie Riddle, tied for third in reader votes.

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST MEN'S SWIMMERS

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

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

     Sheri NorrisSheri Norris [Submitted]

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

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

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

     BrooklynHunterBrooklyn Hunter [Lopers.com]

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

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST WOMEN'S TENNIS PLAYERS

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

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

    JoelHoffmanJoel Hoffman [Submitted]

    JohnGranthamJohn Grantham [File photo]

    TommyHunterTommy Hunter [Washburn Athletics]

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

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

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

    Danny WilliamsDanny Williams

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

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

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST MEN'S TENNIS PLAYERS

  • Nickoley claims second TopSports.news Best of the Best No. 1

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Former Shawnee Heights star Trisa Nickoley made history as a runner and also makes history as the first Shawnee County athlete to claim multiple No. 1s in the TopSports.news Best of the Best Top 25 project.

    After being named the TSN Best of the Best women's cross country runner earlier this month, Nickoley also garnered the top spot for women's track and field after going undefeated in individual state competition while earning 13 track gold medals (17 overall) and a place in the Kansas State High School Activities Association Hall of Fame.

    Nickoley, who earned All-Big 12 honors at Missouri, won four straight titles in the 400, 800 and 1,600 meters as well as a relay win and is still No. 1 on the Kansas all-time list in the 800 with a time of 2 minutes, 06.57 seconds.

    Trisa NickoleyTrisa Nickoley [Missouri Athletics]

    JudyDyerJudy Dyer [File photo]

    Rita GravesRita Graves [Kansas State Athletics]

    Topeka High graduate Judy Dyer ranks No. 2 on the Best of the Best list after starring at Texas Southern and representing the United States as a hurdler in the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games while another High product, Rita Graves, holds down the No. 3 spot after winning an NCAA Division I high jump title for Kansas State. 

    Local sprint legends Jocelyn Bentley (Highland Park) and Lori Green (Topeka West) round out the top five.

    Laura Mayo (Washburn Rural) earned the Readers Choice Award with more than 150 votes while Nickoley finished second in reader votes. Mayo won an NCAA Division II national championship in 1998 in the hammer throw.

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST WOMEN'S TRACK AND FIELD ATHLETES

  • Olympian Carrington tops TSN Best of the Best men's track list

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    There's probably at least 50 Shawnee County track and field athletes that could have been deemed worthy of spots on the TopSports.news Best of the Best Top 25 list for men's track and field, including a handful that could have been picked No. 1 without raising many eyebrows.

    But when all was said and done, the only local star to compete in the Oympic Games got the nod.

    Preston Carrington, now known as Syed Abdul Mutfi, was a star in basketball for both Topeka High and Wichita State, but saved his biggest achievements for track and field, placing fifth in the long jump in the 1972 Olympics.

     Preston CarringtonPreston Carrington (Syed Abdul Mutfi) [File photo

    Carrington, who won a state high jump title at High and placed third and sixth in the NCAA meet for the Shockers, made the '72 USA Olympic team and took second in the Olympics qualifying round with a personal-best jump of 26 feet, 11.75 inches, which would have been good for a silver medal if it had come in the finals.

    In addition to his prowess in the long jump, Carrington also posted career-bests of 9.5 seconds in the 100-yard dash, 14.0 in the 120-yard hurdles, 6-foot-8.75 in the high jump and 48-0.75 in the triple jump.

    Marcel CarterMarcel Carter [File photo]

    Mikey HofferMikey Hoffer [Huskers.com]

    Shawnee Heights sprint legend and Florida All-American Marcel Carter earned the No. 2 spot on the Top 25 while former T-Bird and current Nebraska star jumper Mikey Hoffer garnered the No. 3 position, just ahead of former Highland Park and Oregon star hurdler Jared Huske and Topeka High and K-State middle distance star Clardy Vinson.

     Jared HuskeJared Huske [Submitted]

    Huske won the Readers Choice Award while Carrington ranked No. 2 and Hoffer third in reader votes.

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST MEN'S TRACK AND FIELD ATHLETES

  • Rural, Iowa State star Manns earns No. 1 on TSN volleyball list

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Former Washburn Rural state champ, Iowa State All-American and veteran professional player Kaylee Manns earned the No. 1 spot on the TopSports.news Shawnee County Best of the Best Top 25 for volleyball.

    Manns has excelled at every level, including a standout three-sport standout for Rural before going on to become a first-team Asics/Volleyball Magazine All-American for Iowa State in 2009 and a two-time first-team All-Big 12 pick.

    Manns finished her Iowa State career as the Cyclones' all-time assist leader (5,625), No. 5 in digs and block assists and No. 9 in total blocks. She was the first player in Big 12 history to record 5,500 assists, 1,000 digs, 300 kills and 300 blocks in a career.

    Kaylee MannsKaylee Manns [Cyclones.com]

    Manns has played professionally for more than a decade since her college career ended.

    Dani McHenryDani McHenry [Washburn Athletics]

    Jazz SweetJazz Sweet [Huskers.com]

    Former two-time Shawnee Heights state champ and Washburn All-American Dani McHenry holds down the No. 2 spot on the Top 25 while two other former T-Bird stars, Jazz Sweet and Megan Cooney, were picked No. 3 and No. 4 and Washburn Rural product Kelsey Chipman rounds out the top five.

    Sweet and Cooney helped lead Heights to a Class 5A state title before Sweet went on to win an NCAA Division I national championship at Nebraska and Cooney helped Illinois reach the Final Four. Chipman was a state champ at Rural and is among Kansas State's career leaders in multiple departments.

    AmandaDeschAmanda Desch [Bronchosports.com]

    Former Hayden three-time state champ and 4A Division II Player of the Year Amanda Desch, now a standout at Central Oklahoma, was the Readers Choice champion, garnering more than 700 votes.

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL PLAYERS

  • TopSports.news' Best of the Best project hits the gridiron

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the coming weeks, TopSports.news 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: https://linkto.run/p/DYZA53LEEmail votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

    Who's your pick as the all-time greatest football player in Shawnee County history?

    Do you favor players like Tom Dinkel, Troy Wilson or Michael Wilhoite, who all played in the Super Bowl, or perhaps other former college stars and NFL alums like Kyle McNorton, Trey Lewis, Lamar Mady or Warren Seitz.

    MichaelWilhoite3Michael Wilhoite

    KyleMcNorton1Kyle McNorton

  • Race begins for TSN's Best of the Best women's cross country list

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the coming weeks, TopSports.news 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: https://linkto.run/p/HUDRYDFXEmail votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

    Former Shawnee Heights superstar Trisa Nickoley was a four-time Class 5A state cross country champion and never lost an individual state high school race in either cross country or track.

    But while Nickoley is a great place to start TSN's Battle of the Best race to name the all-time best women's cross country runner in Shawnee County history, the former T-Bird and Missouri Tiger star is certainly not the only contender.

     TrisaNickoleyHOFTrisa Nickoley

    AveryCliftonAvery Clifton

  • Field wide open for TSN's Best of the Best men's cross country list

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the coming weeks, TopSports.news 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: https://linkto.run/p/EGVCXSSVEmail votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

    There's a long list of athletes who deserve consideration as the top men's cross country runner in Shawnee Country history.

    The tough part will be picking just one.

    Topeka West grad Robbie Hays, Seaman's Grant Cain and Washburn Rural's Jacob Morgan were all two-time state individual champions, with both Hays and Morgan going on to compete in the NCAA Championships.

    Rob HaysRob Hays

    Jacob MorganJacob Morgan

  • Best of the Best project heads to first tee for women's golf voting

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the coming weeks, TopSports.news 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: https://linkto.run/p/0O6AJV5HEmail votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

    Washburn Rural and Hayden have combined to win 10 state team championships and six individual state titles, so it shouldn't be a big surprise to see the Junior Blues and Wildcats well-represented on the ballot to pick the greatest women's golfer in Shawnee County history. 

    There's former Rural stars like former state champs Megan Lucas and Adin Stromgren and multi-time state medalist and current Kansas standout Abby Glynn to pick from, while Brooke LaRue was a two-time state champ for Hayden and Wildcats Caroline Setter and Lauren Falley also won state titles.

    Abby GlynnAbby Glynn

    Rachel StousRachel Stous

  • List of Best of Best candidates for men's golf starts with Woodland

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the coming weeks, TopSports.news 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: https://linkto.run/p/YHDFNK4MEmail votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

    It probably comes as no surprise that the list of candidates to be named Shawnee County's all-time greatest men's golfer as part of TSN's Best of the Best project is headlined by Gary Woodland, a multi-time winner on the PGA Tour, including the 2019 U.S. Open championship.

    But the Shawnee Heights product certainly isn't alone when it comes to the outstanding talent the county has produced in the sport over the years.

    Gary WoodlandGary Woodland [PGA Tour]

    AndrewBeckleractionAndrew Beckler [Washburn Athletics]

  • NCAA champ, All-American among top women's soccer candidates

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the coming weeks, TopSports.news 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: https://linkto.run/p/9MB02JDDEmail votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

    Women's soccer at the high school and college level have not been around nearly as long as other sports, with the first Kansas State High School Activities Association state tournament not held until 1993 and several state colleges not starting soccer until later.

    But there's still no shortage of candidates to pick from in the TopSports.news Best of the Best women's soccer poll.

    Former Shawnee Heights star Leea Murphy was part of an NCAA national championship team at North Carolina while another former T-Bird, Jessica Mainz, earned All-America honors for Washburn University. 

    Jessica MainzJessica Mainz [Washburn Athletics]

    Darby HirschDarby Hirsch [Fort Hays State Athletics]

  • Wide range of men's soccer candidates for TSN's Best of Best list

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the coming weeks, TopSports.news 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: https://linkto.run/p/JGII7WCUEmail votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

    Limiting the men's soccer candidates to just 25 for TSN's Shawnee County Best of the Best ballot was an extremely tough task.

    After all, every player on a team is equally imperative to a soccer team's success, from the players up front that do most of the scoring, to the defenders and goalkeepers whose job it is to keep the opponent from scoring.

    And although we eventually did come up with a list of 25, there's probably another 25 players, if not 50 or more, that could have easily found their way onto the ballot.

    Fortunately, readers have the opportunity to write in candidates to make sure their favorites get their just due.

    Nati ClarkeNati Clarke [Sporting Kansas City Academy]

    Austin Halsey2Austin Halsey [Baker University Athletics]

  • Best of the Best women's swimming candidates made big splash

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the coming weeks, TopSports.news 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: https://linkto.run/p/CVR1E070Email votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

    Shara Stafford was a multi-time state swimming champ for Topeka High before going on to become a 13-time All-American for Florida and Missouri and a part of a NCAA national championship team for the Gators while Shannon Suddarth was a six-time state champion for Hayden and went on to become a nine-time All-American at Notre Dame.

    Stafford and Suddarth are part of a long line of local stars to make their mark as club and high school swimmers before going on to star at the collegiate level, including Topeka West state record-setter and Virginia product Emily Dicus, former Hayden and Nebraska standout Kristin Strecker and Washburn Rural and Kansas standouts Haley Molden and Sammie Schurig.

    Shara StaffordShara Stafford [FloridaGators.com]

    Shannon SuddarthShannon Suddarth [Submitted]

    Emily Dicus2Emily Dicus [TheSwimPictures.com]

  • Best of the Best men's swimming ballot loaded with state champs

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the coming weeks, TopSports.news 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:  https://linkto.run/p/65AV2OBQEmail votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

    Former Topeka High superstar Glenn Trammel set the standard for Shawnee County's men's swimmers, winning five individual state titles from 1982-85 before going on to become a seven-time All-American at Kansas.

    But while Trammel has to be on the short list of contenders to be named the top men's swimmer in county history, he has plenty of company.

    Glenn TrammelGlenn Trammel [Submitted]

     John Martin SchmidtJohn Martin Schmidt [Miner Athletics]

  • State champs, college stars top TSN women's tennis candidates

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the coming weeks, TopSports.news 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: https://linkto.run/p/HUDFYLSXEmail votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

    There's certainly a few names that pop out when talking about the greatest women's tennis players in Shawnee County history.

    Sheri Norris was a three-time state champion for Topeka West and went on to earn All-America honors at Arizona State and play on the professional circuit while former Hayden star Brooklyn Hunter became the first city girls player and one of a select few statewide to capture four state singles championships.

    Sheri Norris2Sheri Norris [Submitted]

    BrooklynHunterBrooklynHunter [Lopers.com]

    Madeline HillMadeline Hill [Washburn Athletics]

  • Tennis greats past and present headline TSN men's poll

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the coming weeks, TopSports.news 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: https://linkto.run/p/4PBM2JDDEmail votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

    Candidates to be named the best all-time men's tennis history include a host of multi-time state champs to college Hall of Famers to longtime stars on the amateur circuit.

    The hard part is deciding who gets the nod.

    Tommy HunterTommy Hunter [Washburn Athletics]

    JohnGranthamJohn Grantham [Submitted]

  • National champ, college stars highlight TSN volleyball candidates

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the coming weeks, TopSports.news 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: https://linkto.run/p/4XB1UK5FEmail 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 [Huskers.com]

    Dani McHenryDani McHenry [Washburn Athletics]

    Kaylee MannsKaylee Manns [Iowa State Daily.com]

  • Murdock, Tilford, Nelson among top at-large Best of Best candidates

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the coming weeks, TopSports.news 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: https://linkto.run/p/0TG9IJG3Email votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

    Over the past couple of weeks TopSports.news has published ballots for its Best of the Best project in all of the Kansas State High School Activities Association-sanctioned sports that Shawnee County High Schools currently compete in.

    But some of the top athletes in county history performed in athletic endeavors outside that realm.

    Hayden product Margaret Thompson Murdock was a silver medalist in the 1976 Olympic Games as a shooter while Tom Bunger (Washburn Rural) and Caitlin Morrisey (Topeka West) also excelled in that sport.

    Margaret MurdockMargaret Murdock

    Steve TilfordSteve Tilford

  • TSN's Best of the Best project turns focus to men's basketball

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the coming weeks, TopSports.news 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: https://linkto.run/p/QT6XB7WCEmail votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

    Who is the greatest men's basketball player in Shawnee County history?

    That's a toughie!

    Is it Topeka High product Fred Slaughter, who started on John Wooden's first NCAA national championship team at UCLA, or former Hayden star Tom Meier, who helped the Wildcats post a perfect 25-0 season before going on to lead Washburn University to an NAIA national championship.

     Tom MeierTom Meier

    KyleWeems4Kyle Weems

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the coming weeks, TopSports.news 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: https://linkto.run/p/7NXPFJZLEmail 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

  • Baseball starts off TSN's Shawnee County Best of the Best project

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the coming weeks, TopSports.news will recognize hundreds of Shawnee County's all-time greats in 25 sports/categories as part of our Best of the Best project. The project gets under way with baseball and 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: https://linkto.run/p/87MXCEBI  Email votes/nominations will be also accepted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

    The list of contenders to get the nod as the top baseball player in Shawnee County history has to start with New York Yankees World Series hero Mike Torrez and American League All-Star and Gold Glove winner Ken Berry.

    MikeTorrezMike Torrez

    KenBerryKen Berry

  • Rossville's Sherer honored as Spring Male Athlete of the Year

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Recent Rossville graduate Alex Sherer, who ended a brief but memorable high school tennis career with a state championship, was honored Wednesday night as the TopSports.news Topeka Shawnee County Spring Male Athlete of the Year.

    AlexShererSpringRossville's Alex Sherer, TopSports.news' Topeka Shawnee County Male Spring Athlete of the Year, is interviewed by master of ceremonies Bruce Steinbrock Wednesday night. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Sherer got his first opportunity to play high school tennis as a senior, playing for Hayden as a co-op player during the regular season before representing Rossville in the postseason, with his father, Jesse, serving as his coach.

    Sherer made the most of his opportunity, winning the Class 3A-1A state singles title to give Rossville its first-ever state tennis champion.

    He posted a 36-2 record on the season and will play college tennis at Kansas Wesleyan University.

    Sherer was also the "Voice of the Bulldawgs,'' broadcasting many Rossville sports events.

  • Vikes' Anderson honored as Most Inspirational Female Athlete

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    After advancing to the state tournament in one sport, claiming a state title in another and compiling a 4.11 grade point average, recent Seaman graduate JahnAsia Anderson was honored Wednesday night as TopSports.news' Topeka Shawnee County Most Inspiratonal Female Athlete.

    DSC_5219.jpgSeaman product JahnAsia Anderson, named the 2021 Topeka Shawnee County Most Inspirational Female Athlete Wednesday night, is interviewed by Bruce Steinbrock. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Anderson went out for track and field for the first time as a senior and became a Class 5A state champion in the shot put and also was a starter for the Vikings' state qualifying basketball team.

    "JahnAsia's work ethic is second to none,'' Seaman girls track coach Rick Brading said. "On most days she was the last one to come in from practice. For JahnAsia to win a state championship after being slowed by (an) elbow injury is just amazing.''

    Anderson was also a four-year member of a Seaman basketball team that qualified for three straight state tournaments.

    "Although undersized as a post player, she wasn't afraid to bang around and do the dirty work,'' Viking baksetball coach Matt Tinsley said.

    Other Most Inspirational Female nominees:

    JaNeysha HendrickJaNeysha Hendricks

    JANEYSHA HENDRICKS | Topeka High

    PARENTS: Antwaun and Nicole Jones

    SPORT: Basketball | GPA: 3.4

    The Trojans' point guard, Hendricks helped Topeka High post a pair of second-place finishes in the Class 6A basketball tournament as well as a semifinal berth in 2020 before the state tournament was canceled. "She is a true leader on and off the floor,'' Topeka High coach Hannah Alexander said. "She leads by example and is an amazing floor leader. Her stats are usually overlooked, but this girl makes everyone around her better. She has a knack for making passes that do not look like they should be there or be open.'' Hendricks, who averaged 4.5 assists her senior season, plans to attend Tabor College and play basketball for the Bluejays.

  • T-Birds' Hicks honored as Most Inspirational Male Athlete

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Shawnee Heights product Aidan Hicks was honored as TopSports.news' Topeka Shawnee County Most Inspirational Athlete of the Year Wednesday after bouncing back from major heart surgery early last fall to end his high school career as a state medalist in track and field.

    DSC 5248Shawnee Heights product Aidan Hicks does is interviewed by Bruce Steinbrock after being named the Topeka Shawnee County Most Inspirational Male Athlete Wednesday night. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    "In September, Aidan found out he had major leakage in two of his four heart valves,'' Shawnee Heights football coach Jason Swift said. "He had major heart surgery and was told his football career was over, but with tremendous rehab he might be able to throw in track in the spring.

    "Aidan took care of his body, worked hard on recovery and rebuilding the 20 pounds he lost and had a great senior year in track.'' 

     

    Hicks capped his senior season with a fourth-place state finish in the Class 5A boys javelin throw and plans to compete in track and field at Emporia State.

    Other Most Inspirational Male nominees:

    Dawson Adams mugDawson Adams

    DAWSON ADAMS | Hayden

    PARENTS: Ryan and Melissa Adams

    SPORT: Cross country and track and field | GPA: 3.46

    A two-time All-City pick in cross country, Adams was a Class 4A state placer in both cross country and track and field. "Without Dawson we don't accomplish what we did as a boys team this season,'' Hayden cross country and track coach DeJuan Gardenhire said. "Dawson would be the first one to practice and the last to leave. Dawson would always be there for everybody to cheer them on and made sure everybody had a positive mindset no matter if it was practice or a meet. Many of our newcomers would look up to Dawson and would ask him about race strategy, motivation or anything related.'' Adams plans to run in college at the University of Saint Mary's.

    KaidenBrown 2Kaiden Brown

    KAIDEN BROWN | Rossville

    PARENTS: Christopher and Michelle Brown

    SPORT: Football | GPA: 3.3

    Brown was an All-Class 2A linebacker for the state-champion Bulldawgs and a two-time state-champion powerlifter while also establishing himself as a leader in his school. "As a new administration took over at Rossville High School, students were sought for their leadership ability to establish a positive culture within our building,'' Brown's nomination form stated. "As a freshman, Kaiden was identified as a student who not only could lead, but would accept the responsibility to lead by example. With Kaiden you get the student who will stand up for what's right even when it isn't popular among his peers.'' 

  • Hogle, Purnell earn top Topeka Shawnee County honors for 2021

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Recent Silver Lake graduate Ellington Hogle and Hayden product Desmond Purnell earned the top honors in Wednesday's TopSports.news Topeka Shawnee County Spors Awards banquet at the Maner Convention Center.

    Hogle, a three-sport standout for the Eagles was named the 2021 Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year while former Hayden football star and Division I signee Desmond Purnell was the Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year honoree.

    HogleoverallSilver Lake's Ellington Hogle receives her award as 2021 Topeka Shawnee County Female Athlete of the Year from Hall of Fame inductee Michael Wilhoite. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    PurnelloverallFormer Hayden football star Desmond Purnell talks with master of ceremonies Bruce Steinbrock after being named Topeka Shawnee County Male Athlete of the Year Wednesday night. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

  • State champion Smith named Winter Female Athlete of the Year

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Rebekah Smith, who helped lead Washburn Rural to a pair of Division I state championships and won an individual title as a senior, was recognized as TopSports.news' Topeka Shawnee County Winter Female Athlete of the Year during Wednesday's awards banquet at the Maner Conference Center.

    1. Rebekah Smith State Finals Action ShotWashburn Rural team and individual champion Rebekah Smith was named the TopSports.news Winter Female Athlete of the Year Wednesday night. [File photo/TSN]

    Smith posted a third-place finish in the Division I state wrestling tournament as a junior (170 pounds) and earned the 155-pound state championship as a senior, helping Washburn Rural capture the team championship both seasons.

    Rebekah Smith is the definition of excellence at Washburn Rural,'' Junior Blues girls wrestling coach Damon Parker said. "In 2021 she was the most dominant wrestler in her weight class in the state. Rebekah has set the bar that all other Shawnee County wrestlers will be reaching towards for years to come.'' 

    Other Winter Female nominees:

    RhenCalhoonmug

    RHEN CALHOON | Hayden

    PARENTS: Brian and Stacey Calhoon.

    SPORT: Basketball GPA  4.02

    Calhoon, a four-sport athlete, averaged 12 points and 8 rebounds as a senior for Hayden's basketball team, earning second-team All-City honors. "Rhen represented Hayden well this year as she came on strong,'' Hayden girls basketball coach Carvel Reynoldson said. "She turned into our go-to player down the stretch and played very tough basketball.'' Calhoon was also a state medalist in tennis and played soccer and participated in track and field in the spring. Calhoon plans to attend Barton County Community College in the fall and play tennis after placing seventh in singles for the Wildcats her senior season.

    IsabellaCarter2Isabella Carter

    ISABELLA CARTER | Highland Park

    PARENTS: Tim and Ambroja Watson

    SPORT: Basketball | GPA: 3.0

    As a senior, Carter helped provide exceptional leadership as Highland Park's basketball team fought severe numbers issues in a winless season. "Isabella showed up and helped lead the team through a difficult season,'' Highland Park coach Sanetra Jackson said. "She faced adversity the last two years but fought through the season.'' Carter was a four-year letter-winner for the Scots in basketball while also playing volleyball and soccer. Carter plans to attend Hesston Community College next school year and will play soccer.

  • Rural's Stiles named TopSports.news' Winter Male Athlete of Year

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Remington Stiles, who helped lead Washburn Rural to its first-ever Class 6A state wrestling championship in 2021, was honored as TopSports.news' Topeka Shawnee County Winter Male Athlete of the Year on Wednesday at the Maner Conference Center.

    Remington Stiles actionRemington Stiles, who helped Washburn Rural win its first-ever Class 6A state wrestling title, was named TopSports.news' Winter Male Athlete of the Year. [Submitted}

    Stiles finished fifth in 6A state at 182 pounds as a senior, was a Centennial League champion and a two-time first-team All-City selection.

    "Over the course of his high school career, Remington went from low-level junior varsity wrestler as a freshman to spot-duty varsity wrestler as a sophomore, state qualifier as a junior and state medalist as a senior,'' former Washburn Rural boys wrestling coach Damon Parker said. "Without his dedication to self-improvement and leadership in the wrestling room, Washburn Rural's first state wrestling team title would not have been possible.''

    Stiles is attending the United States Air Force Academy.

    Other Winter Male nominees:

    Dylan BirkenbaughDJ Birkenbaugh

    DJ BIRKENBAUGH | Seaman

    PARENTS: Richard and Rebecca Birkenbaugh

    SPORT: Bowling | GPA: NA

    Birkenbaugh participated in bowling, football and baseball at Seaman. "I really believe bowling is DJ's best sport,'' Viking bowling coach Bob Benoit said. "He has excellent form, ball roll and an unbelievable release. DJ has one of the most powerful strike balls you will ever see. DJ is also a great leader and teammate. When the younger bowlers were struggling he was always there for them.'' As a sophomore Birkenbaugh was a member of Seaman's state championship team and he bowled in the state tournament all four years of his high school career, heling the Vikings post a third-place team finish this past season.''

    Jonathan EglyJonathan Egly

    JONATHAN EGLY | Shawnee Heights

    PARENTS: Jeremy and Tiffany Egly

    SPORT: Bowling | GPA: 3.7

    Egly was a standout bowler for Shawnee Heights, recording a high three-game series of 590, a high game of 222.and seven 200 games on the year. "Jonathan is a competitor beyond words,'' Heights coach Scott Mercer said. "He continues to strive in the face of adversity every time he steps on the lanes. In his four years of bowling he quickly became a favorite with his teammates and his competitors. Jonathan is determined and motivates those around him. He is well known for pushing his teammates to be better and give 110 percent. Jonathan has been a pleasure to coach.''

  • Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards: Spring Male Nominees

    SPRING SPORTS: OUTSTANDING MALE NOMINEES

     Lukas BrennanLukas Brennan

    LUKAS BRENNAN | Topeka High

    PARENTS: Greg and Joy Brennan

    SPORT: Baseball | GPA: 4.31

    Brennan batted .405 and compiled a 3-2 pitching record with 37 strikeouts as the Trojans posted a breakthrough season, advancing to a Class 6A regional final. "It's difficult to truly define Lukas' impact on our program,'' Topeka High baseball coach Cody Miller said. "Lukas was our team captain this year and represented everything a leader should be. He was always incredibly positive, but he'd give the team a kick in the pants if we needed it. I'm very proud to have been his coach and am very grateful for his leadership in turning around a program that was 2-19 two years ago to what we are now.'' Brennan, who also played soccer for the Trojans, will continue his academic career at Kansas.

    E4xm9NjWYAca3wdAzarion Perkins

    AZARION PERKINS | Highland Park

    PARENT: Linda Perkins

    SPORT: Tennis | GPA: 3.26

    Perkins capped his high school tennis career with an appearance in the Class 5A state tournament after posting a fifth-place finish in doubles in regional competition. "Azarion Perkins showed excellence as a leader throughout his senior year with boys tennis team and school,'' Perkins' nomination form stated. "Azarion showed selflessness as he progressed his own tennis skills by not only applying what he learned to advance his own skills but he used what he learned to instruct the novice players on the team so that they, too, could advance their skills. Azarion is a true leader both on and off the tennis courts.''

    Connor PruyserConnor Pruyser

    CONNOR PRUYSER | Silver Lake

    PARENTS: Curtis Pruyser and Colleen Dewey

    SPORT: Baseball | GPA: 3.6

    Pruyser was an All-Class 3A first-team pick this season after posting a 6-1 record with a 2.5 earned run average and 49 strikeouts in 42 innings pitched for the Eagles. "Connor exhibits excellence on and off the baseball diamond,'' Silver Lake coach Tyler Seele said. "Connor is a very respectful young man that treats everyone he encounters in a positive manner. Connor has a good attitude and demeanor when he competes on the diamond. He is a great leader for the younger guys in our program to look up to and to learn from. Connor is a good teammate, a positive role model and a fierce competitor.''

     EthanRottinghausmug 2Ethan Rottinghaus

    ETHAN ROTTINGHAUS | Shawnee Heights

    PARENTS: Michael and Theresa Rottinghaus

    SPORT: Golf | GPA: 4.16

    Rottinghaus compiled an average score of 86 as a senior for the T-Bird golf team, earning first-team All-United Kansas Conference honors after helping Heights win the UKC team championship and earn a berth in the Class 5A state tournament with a second-place team finish in regional competition. Rottinghaus carded rounds of 86 and 82 to finish 28th in the state meet. "Ethan excelled for the Shawnee Heights golf program as a three-year letterman,'' Shawnee Heights golf coach Jason Swift said. Rottinghaus plans to continue his academic career at Wichita State.

    Marquel Russell mugMarquel Russell

    MARQUEL RUSSELL | Washburn Rural

    PARENTS: Jason Russell and Shanna Bigler

    SPORT: Track and field | GPA: NA

    Russell capped an outstanding career as a hurdler for Washburn Rural with the Class 6A state championship in the 110-meter hurdles in a career-best time of 14.79 seconds, his third state medal in the 110s in as many state appearances. Russell was a two-time city and Centennial League champion and was the state runner-up as a freshman and took fourth in 6A as a sophomore. "Marquel was a major contributor on a boys team that has been city champs four years in a row, won a league championship for the first time in 27 years and finished fourth at this year's state meet,'' Washburn Rural coach Keith Wetzel said.

     Alex Sherer graduationAlex Sherer

    ALEX SHERER | Rossville

    PARENTS: Jesse and Julie Sherer

    SPORT: Tennis | GPA: 3.6

    Sherer got his first opportunity to play high school tennis as a senior, playing for Hayden as a co-op player during the regular season before representing Rossville in the postseason, with his father, Jesse, serving as his coach. Sherer made the most of his opportunity, winning the Class 3A-1A state singles title to give Rossville its first-ever state tennis champion. He posted a 36-2 record on the season and will play college tennis at Kansas Wesleyan University. Sherer was also the "Voice of the Bulldawgs,'' broadcasting many Rossville sports events.

    SkylerSpechtSkyler Specht

    SKYLER SPECHT | Hayden

    PARENTS: David and Megan Specht

    SPORT: Baseball | GPA: 4.0

    Specht was a standout in both baseball and football for the Wildcats, earning postseason recognition in both sports. Specht hit nearly .400 this spring for the Wildcats, helping lead Hayden to a berth in the Class 4A state tournament. "Skyler is a hard-working student-athlete both in the classroom and on the fields,'' Hayden baseball and football coach Bill Arnold said. "He has great hand-eye coordination and is a great team player. Very competitive.'' Specht plans to attend Benedictine College this fall and play baseball.

    Speaker TristonTriston Speaker

    TRISTON SPEAKER | Topeka West

    PARENTS: Randy and Colleen Speaker

    SPORT: Baseball | GPA: 3.64

    Speaker batted .419 as a senior for the Chargers with six doubles and a triple and stole 23 bases in as many attempts while compiling a .903 fielding percentage at shortstop. "Triston has been a leader on our team since he was a freshman,'' former Topeka West coach John Tetuan said. "He started every game at shortstop for us for three years. We could always count on him as a vocal leader and a great leader by example. He loved to work hard to better himself every day, always wanting to do extra work. He has hit consistently over .400 over his career. Triston is the player every coach wants on their team.''

    CadinWorcestermug 2Cadin Worcester

    CADIN WORCESTER | Seaman

    PARENTS: Casey and Cassey Worcester

    SPORT: Track and field | GPA: 3.82

    Worcester earned a pair of state medals in the Class 5A state championships this spring, placing third in the high jump and running on the Vikings' sixth-place 4x100-meter relay. Worcester received All-Shawnee County first-team honors. Worcester tied for the seventh-best high jump in Seaman history at 6-foot-4. "Cadin is genuinely a competitor and always rises to the occasion,'' Seaman track and field coach Scott Petersen said. "He was a model of consistency and improved all year steadily from his effort in practice.'' Worcester also was a soccer standout for the Vikings, earning first-team All-City and All-Centennial League honors after recording 12 goals and seven assists.

     Connor Pruyser action

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  • Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards: Inspirational Females

    MOST INSPIRATIONAL: OUTSTANDING FEMALE NOMINEES

    JahnAsia Andersonmug 2JahnAsia Anderson

    JAHNASIA ANDERSON | Seaman

    PARENT: Kellum Ireland

    SPORT: Basketball and track and field | GPA: 4.11

    Anderson went out for track and field for the first time as a senior and became a Class 5A state champion in the shot put. "JahnAsia's work ethic is second to none.'' Seaman girls track coach Rick Brading said. "On most days she was the last one to come in from practice. For JahnAsia to win a state championship after being slowed by (an) elbow injury is just amazing.'' Anderson was also a four-year member of a Seaman basketball team that qualified for three straight state tournaments. "Although undersized as a post player, she wasn't afraid to bang around and do the dirty work,'' Viking baksetball coach Matt Tinsley said.

    JaNeysha HendrickJaNeysha Hendricks

    JANEYSHA HENDRICKS | Topeka High

    PARENTS: Antwaun and Nicole Jones

    SPORT: Basketball | GPA: 3.4

    The Trojans' point guard, Hendricks helped Topeka High post a pair of second-place finishes in the Class 6A basketball tournament as well as a semifinal berth in 2020 before the state tournament was canceled. "She is a true leader on and off the floor,'' Topeka High coach Hannah Alexander said. "She leads by example and is an amazing floor leader. Her stats are usually overlooked, but this girl makes everyone around her better. She has a knack for making passes that do not look like they should be there or be open.'' Hendricks, who averaged 4.5 assists her senior season, plans to attend Tabor College and play basketball for the Bluejays.

  • Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards: Fall Male Nominees

    FALL SPORTS: OUTSTANDING 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

    PARENTS: NA

    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

    DESMOND PURNELL | Hayden

    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.

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     AddisonSiggaction

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  • Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards: Fall Female Nominees

    FALL SPORTS: OUTSTANDING FEMALE NOMINEES

    AubreyBahnerSrPict 003Aubrey Bahner

    AUBREY BAHNER | Silver Lake

    PARENTS: Darwin and Antoinette Bahner

    SPORT: Cross Country | GPA: 4.0

    Bahner was a cross and track standout for Silver Lake, earning four varsity letters in both sports for the Eagles. In cross country Bahner was a three-time Class 3A state qualifier and a two-time state medalist, earning medals in all but one meet over those two seasons. She was also a state qualifier in multiple events in track. "Aubrey methodically works hard to get better every day,'' Silver Lake cross country coach Kevin Brokaw said. "She makes every team she is part of better. She is truly a quality individual.'' Bahner will attend Tabor College, where she plans to compete in both cross country and track.

    SaraEggenbergerSara Eggenberger

    SARA EGGENBERGER | Shawnee Heights 

    PARENTS: Melinda Clemens

    SPORT: Golf | GPA: 4.45

    Eggenberger earned second-team All-City recognition as a senior. "Sara brings a positive level of energy and spirit to practice and meets,'' Shawnee Heights golf coach Jane Yi said. "Sara is focused and determined, often practicing many hours a week on her own time. She has a sense of friendliness and fair play, often treating people courteously especially when they are not doing so well. Sara's healthy perspective and cheerful demeanor have made her a wonderful “cheerleader'' on the team. Sara also puts the same positive and hard work attitude into her studies.'' 

  • Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards: Winter Female Nominees

    WINTER SPORTS: OUTSTANDING FEMALE NOMINEES

    RhenCalhoonmug

    RHEN CALHOON | Hayden

    PARENTS: Brian and Stacey Calhoon.

    SPORT: Basketball GPA  4.02

    Calhoon, a four-sport athlete, averaged 12 points and 8 rebounds as a senior for Hayden's basketball team, earning second-team All-City honors. "Rhen represented Hayden well this year as she came on strong,'' Hayden girls basketball coach Carvel Reynoldson said. "She turned into our go-to player down the stretch and played very tough basketball.'' Calhoon was also a state medalist in tennis and played soccer and participated in track and field in the spring. Calhoon plans to attend Barton County Community College in the fall and play tennis after placing seventh in singles for the Wildcats her senior season.

    IsabellaCarter2Isabella Carter

    ISABELLA CARTER | Highland Park

    PARENTS: Tim and Ambroja Watson

    SPORT: Basketball | GPA: 3.0

    As a senior, Carter helped provide exceptional leadership as Highland Park's basketball team fought severe numbers issues in a winless season. "Isabella showed up and helped lead the team through a difficult season,'' Highland Park coach Sanetra Jackson said. "She faced adversity the last two years but fought through the season.'' Carter was a four-year letter-winner for the Scots in basketball while also playing volleyball and soccer. Carter plans to attend Hesston Community College next school year and will play soccer.

  • Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards: Winter Male Nominees

    WINTER SPORTS: OUTSTANDING MALE NOMINEES

    Dylan BirkenbaughDJ Birkenbaugh

    DJ BIRKENBAUGH | Seaman

    PARENTS: Richard and Rebecca Birkenbaugh

    SPORT: Bowling | GPA: NA

    Birkenbaugh participated in bowling, football and baseball at Seaman. "I really believe bowling is DJ's best sport,'' Viking bowling coach Bob Benoit said. "He has excellent form, ball roll and an unbelievable release. DJ has one of the most powerful strike balls you will ever see. DJ is also a great leader and teammate. When the younger bowlers were struggling he was always there for them.'' As a sophomore Birkenbaugh was a member of Seaman's state championship team and he bowled in the state tournament all four years of his high school career, heling the Vikings post a third-place team finish this past season.''

    Jonathan EglyJonathan Egly

    JONATHAN EGLY | Shawnee Heights

    PARENTS: Jeremy and Tiffany Egly

    SPORT: Bowling | GPA: 3.7

    Egly was a standout bowler for Shawnee Heights, recording a high three-game series of 590, a high game of 222.and seven 200 games on the year. "Jonathan is a competitor beyond words,'' Heights coach Scott Mercer said. "He continues to strive in the face of adversity every time he steps on the lanes. In his four years of bowling he quickly became a favorite with his teammates and his competitors. Jonathan is determined and motivates those around him. He is well known for pushing his teammates to be better and give 110 percent. Jonathan has been a pleasure to coach.''