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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

  • State VB preview: Tough schedule preps Seaman for 5A tourney

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Tatiana Dowling's Seaman volleyball team has faced a brutal schedule this fall, with seven of the Vikings' losses in a 25-10 season coming against schools that will compete in the Class 6A and 5A state tournaments this weekend.

    Now the goal for the battle-tested Vikings, the No. 7 seed, is to make that tough slate pay off in Friday and Saturday's 5A state tournament at Tony's Pizza Events Center in Salina.

    "I am really happy with our schedule in the regular season,'' Dowling said. "I think it gives us challenges, makes us better, and prepares us for competition at state.

    "With that being said, of course I would like to come away with some wins instead of losses in those circumstances, but I am glad that we have been able to have learning experiences through those games.''

    FCzg3ULXIAcnT3TSeaman's volleyball team will make a second straight appearance in the Class 5A state tournament this weekend. [File photo/TSN]

    After ending a lengthy state drought last season with a quarterfinal experience Seaman clinched its second straight state appearance with a romp through the Eisenhower sub-state last Saturday at Goddard.

    The Vikings took a 25-13, 25-19 semifinal win over Kapaun Mt. Carmel before taking a 25-23, 25-19 victory over Maize in the championship match.

    Senior Drew Baxter, junior Laynee Brown and sophomores Taylin Stallbaumer and Brooklyn Gormley all played key roles for Seaman a year ago in a quarterfinal loss at Lansing and Dowling is hopeful that experience will help the Vikings this weekend.

    "I definitely think that any state experience helps in the future,'' Dowling said. "It helps our program create a culture and an expectation, but it also helps give us the experience of a state tournament, which we hadn’t gotten before last year.''

    And the fact that the Vikings were able to earn a return trip to state speaks well for the program.

    "It is definitely something we’re proud of,'' Dowling said. "We make mini-goals throughout the season and this was one of them. Now, we have a goal to make it to the second day of state.

    "We’ll continue making goals from there. I try to instill in them to never be satisfied and to keep pushing for more, and I feel like they’ve done a great job of stepping up to that challenge.''

    Lansing is the tournament's top seed at 33-1 and is in Pool I along with No. 4 Maize South (30-8), No. 5 St. James Academy (27-9) and No. 8 Bishop Carroll (25-12).

    Seaman is in Pool II along with No. 2 seed St. Thomas Aquinas (34-3), No. 3 Spring Hill (30-6) and No. 6 Emporia (26-9)

    Seaman will open its state bid at 9:30 a.m. Friday against Aquinas and will face Spring Hill at 10:30 and Emporia at 12:30 p.m.

    The top two finishers in both pools will advance to Saturday's 9 a.m. semifinals. The championship and third-place matches will follow the semis.

    Seaman faced five schools in the 5A state field in the regular season, taking two wins over Spring Hill and a win over Centennial League rival Emporia and dropping three matches to Lansing while also losing to St. James Academy and Bishop Carroll.

    CLASS 5A STATE VOLLEYBALL

    At Tony's Pizza Events Center, Salina

    FRIDAY POOL PLAY

    Pool I (Court A)

    8:30 a.m. -- Maize South (4: 30-8) vs. St. James Academy (5:27-9)

    9:30 -- Lansing (1: 33-1) vs. Bishop Carroll (8: 25-12).

    10:30 -- Maize South vs. Bishop Carroll.

    11:30 -- Lansing vs. St. James Academy

    12:30 p.m. -- St. James Academy vs. Bishop Carroll.

    1:30 -- Lansing vs. Maize South.

    Pool II (Court B)

    8:30 a.m. -- Spring Hill (3: 30-6) vs. Emporia (6: 26-9).

    9:30 -- St. Thomas Aquinas (2: 34-3) vs. Seaman (7: 25-10).

    10:30 -- Spring Hill vs. Seaman

    11:30 -- St. Thomas Aquinas vs. Emporia

    12:30 p.m. -- Emporia vs. Seaman.

    1:30 -- St. Thomas Aquinas vs. Spring Hill.

    SATURDAY

    9 a.m. -- Semifinals

    (Consolation and championship matches will begin 25 minutes after last semifinal has concluded)

     

     

  • 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.

  • 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.''

  • Seaman girls post perfect team score in 5A regional; Sutton, Esquibel 1-2 in boys race

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Seaman's girls cross country team turned in a strong performance in Saturday's Class 5A regional at the Kanza Park course.

    In fact, the Vikings really couldn't have done much better.

    Piper senior Grace Hanson won the individual title in a five-kilometer time of 18 minutes, 11.71 seconds, but Seaman claimed the next five spots to earn a perfect team score of 15 as the Pirates did not field a full team.

    FCbRW4tWQAEJnbYJunior Bethany Druse led the way with a second-place finish as Seaman's girls posted a perfect team score in Saturday's Class 5A cross country regional. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Junior Bethany Druse led the Vikings with a second-place finish in 18:59.45 while freshman Joslynn Grace was third (19:30.28), freshman Stella Appelhanz fourth (19:52.15), senior Emma Schultz fifth (19:52.97) and freshman Anna Becker sixth (20:18.42) to round out Seaman's top five.

    "They did do their job,'' Seaman coach Rick Brading said. "We thought it would probably be Hanson and then us. That's what we thought and it was.

    "All of our girls ran well for the day and most of them ran (personal records) today.''

    FCbQX1jXEAEMFoXShawnee Heights' Kory Sutton (right) and Jackson Esquibel posted a 1-2 finish in Saturday's Class 5A boys cross country regional. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    The boys race also had a distinct Topeka flavor, with Shawnee Heights junior Kory Sutton and sophomore Jackson Esquibel posting a 1-2 individual finish while Shawnee Heights and Seaman finished second and third behind Lansing to earn team berths for next Saturday's state meet at Augusta.

    "I felt great, I was ready to go,'' said Sutton, who captured his first regional title. "I was looking forward to running here. Last time I was here I ran a really big PR so I looked forward to coming out here and running fast and trying to get in some practice in for the fast pace that it's going to be next week at state.''

    Sutton claimed the individual win in 15:45.01 while Esquibel was the runner-up in 15:49.77.

    "We were definitely fighting back and forth,'' Suttong said. "(Esquibel) had a huge PR today. He ran great and he challenged me today.''

    The T-Birds also got an 11th-place showing from junior Andrew Emerson (17:07.49) while freshman Stephen Carter was 18th (17:25.31) and sophomore Landon Staniec 26th (18:07.63) to finish off Heights' top five.

    Third-place Seaman was paced by senior Jace Moore, fourth in 16:21.19, while senior Anson Appelhanz was 13th (17:09.99), junior Landon Stuke 14th (17:17.63), sophomore Adrian Swaim 15th (17:22.88) and freshman Alexander Newell 16th (17:23.30).

    Lansing won the team title with 44 points while Heights was second with 58 points and Seaman third with 62 points.

    Topeka West qualified a pair of individuals for the state meet, with senior Anna Phelps finishing 10th in the girls race and Charger senior Louis Wilson taking eighth in the boys race.

  • 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

  • Rural volleyball rolls to 6A sub-state crown; Seaman qualifies in 5A

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    OK, so Washburn Rural's volleyball team may not have been perfect in Saturday's Class 6A sub-state tournament at Rural, but the 38-0 and nationally-ranked Junior Blues were pretty darn good, earning their fifth straight state tournament berth and their 23rd in the past 25 seasons with a dominating sub-state run.

    The Junior Blues, ranked No. 8 in the nation, opened their day with a 25-10, 25-10 win over Topeka High before dispatching Garden City, 25-5, 25-9 in the championship match.

    "I thought we were pretty sharp, especially in the second match,'' Bordewick said. "I thought we did a really good job of keeping them off-balance and I thought we were really aggressive in about everything we did, too.

    "When we're aggressive serving we're going to miss one or two but we didn't miss after the first one or the second one. We would have a run and then we would miss and that makes a big difference.''

    RuralsubstateWashburn Rural celebrates its Class 6A sub-state championship Saturday at Rural. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Rural junior standout Brooklyn DeLeye said that the Junior Blues knew they needed to take care of business Saturday.

    "Every team in sub-state is going to come and play their best so we just made sure we didn't let up or overlook teams.'' DeLeye said.

    The Junior Blues put 14-22 Garden City away early in the championship match.

    Rural took a 7-0 lead on a DeLeye kill and junior Chloe Carlgren delivered a kill to put her team in front, 15-4.

    A long service run from DeLeye, including a pair of aces, put Rural up 19-4 before the Junior Blues closed out the 20-point win.

    Rural took a 10-3 lead in the second set and used a pair of kills from junior Taylor Russell and a kill from sophomore Jada Ingram to take a 15-4 advantage.

    JadaIngramsubstate2Washburn Rural sophomore Jada Ingram delivers a kill in Saturday's Class 6A sub-state tournament at Rural. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Ingram later had back-to-back kills to give the Junior Blues a 19-5 advantage and Rural ended the match on a service ace from sophomore Zoe Canfield.

    Next up for Rural is the 6A state tournament Friday and Saturday at Salina's Tony's Pizza Events Center and Bordewick said he and assistant Amanda Vanderbogart feel like the Junior Blues are ready for the challenge that awaits them at state.

    "We really like where they're at mentally and I knew that they had plans to practice next week,'' Bordewick said. "That's what their goal was so we're going to show up Monday and take it one day at a time and hopefully get better at something.''

    DeLeye agreed.

    "We just know that we've got to show up and get even better this week to be ready to compete and hopefully get that end goal,'' she said.

    Rural, second in 6A in 2019 and third a year ago, will be the No. 1 seed, but Bordewick said the fact that the Junior Blues are undefeated won't mean much when they take the floor.

    "Everybody's really 0-0 and that's the way we've got to approach it,'' he said. "We'll be the No. 1 seed, but that doesn't mean anything. We've been there quite a few times and No. 1 seeds get knocked off sometimes so you can't rest anything on that.''

    CLASS 6A SUB-STATE VOLLEYBALL

    Match results

    Topeka High def. Wichita South, 25-12, 25-12; Washburn Rural def. Topeka High, 25-10, 25-10; Garden City def. Wichita Southeast, 22-25, 25-13, 25-13; Washburn Rural def. Garden City, 25-5, 25-9.

    SEAMAN ROLLS TO 5A BERTH

    After ending a lengthy state tournament drought in 2020, Seaman earned a return trip to state with a pair of straight-set wins in Saturday's 5A sub-state hosted by Eisenhower in Goddard.

    The Vikings, now 25-10, opened their day with a 25-13, 25-19 semifinal win over Kapaun Mt. Carmel and then took a 25-23, 25-19 win over Maize in the championship match.

    The 5A state tournament will be played at Tony's Pizza Events Center in Salina next Friday and Saturday.

    MaKinseyJonessubstateTopeka West sophomore MaKinsey Jones gets a spike through a pair of Valley Center defenders during Saturday's Class 5A sub-state tournament at West. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    WEST COMES UP SHORT

    Topeka West's volleyball team earned the right to host a 5A sub-state tournament with an outstanding 27-9 regular season, but the Chargers' bid for a state berth ended with a tough three-set semifinal loss to Valley Center, which entered the tournament with a 13-20 record.

    Valley Center took a 25-22 decision over the Chargers in the first set before West forced a third set with a 25-22 win.

    Both teams had multiple match points in the third set before the Hornets finally prevailed, 31-29.

    Bishop Carroll went on to claim the sub-state title, taking a 25-14, 25-14 win over the Hornets in the championship match.

     

     

     

  • Washburn Rural tops Seaman in Centennial League shootout

    By KYLE MANTHE

    The Washburn Review

    Week 8 of Friday night football featured a matchup between two of the top teams in the city as the 5-2 Seaman Vikings visited the 6-1 Washburn Rural Junior Blues.

     It was truly a tale of two halves as the defenses controlled early on and the offenses took over late, but it was the explosive offense of the Junior Blues which propelled them to a 42-31 Centennial League victory on Senior Night at Bowen-Glaze Stadium.

    “This is one they will remember for a long time, a share of the league championship tonight, coming and playing a great game like this, an exciting game, that’s something they will always remember,” Washburn Rural coach Steve Buhler said.

    Ruralpostgame 2Washburn Rural coach Steve Buhler talks to his team after the Junior Blues wrapped up a 7-1 regular season and clinched a share of the Centennial League title with a 42-31 win over Seaman Friday night. [Photo by Doug Walker/Special to TSN]

    The defenses for each side were as good as advertised with a three and out for each team to begin the game.

    Seaman would strike first, moving the ball in nine plays down to the 5-yard-line of Washburn Rural before senior Gavin Wilhelm knocked in a 22-yard field goal.

    The Junior Blues responded  with a nine-play drive of their own, ending in a 9-yard pass to junior Amr Sabbarini in the right side of the end zone from sophomore Branton DeWeese before the end of the first quarter.

    Each side's defense controlled most of the second quarter with an interception coming from Washburn Rural’s senior Landon MacEwan, who finished with two takeaways in the game, but no points would come from the first turnover.

    “I definitely think we were being physical, we pride ourselves on being a physical team, and I think we really got to them in the run game,” said Washburn Rural senior Robby Bolin.

    With yards hard to come by on the ground, the Vikings would go to the air with a pass from senior Camden Barta to senior Brody Gormley, who tapped his toes at the back of the end zone for a 9-yard TD just before halftime.

    “It was a hard-fought seven points we held them to in the first half, so we were kind of in that position and knew that coming out we were going to have to execute the same way we were and unfortunately we didn’t,” said Seaman coach Jared Swafford.

    The Junior Blues struck fast out of halftime, with Bolin breaking a tackle and taking an 84-yard pass from DeWeese to the house on the third play.

    “We came into halftime and nothing was really working so we came out, made some adjustments and stuff started firing and it just worked out,” Bolin said.

    After punts from each side Seaman would counter with a catch and run of 65 yards by Gormley into the end zone, putting the Vikings back out in front, but not for long. Two plays later Washburn Rural junior Ma’Kenttis Adams bounced outside for a 28-yard touchdown run to flip the scoreboard.

    After a kick return back to the 20-yard-line by Seaman sophomore Jack Bloom, Barta was able to connect with senior P.J. Vargas for a 17-yard touchdown throw just three plays later.

    Next came the longest drive of the quarter, a nine-play balanced attack from the Junior Blues ending in another touchdown pass from DeWeese to Sabbarini from 24 yards out to end the high scoring quarter at 28-24 Rural.

    “We went in and just re-adjusted our protection for Branton (DeWeese) and when we were able to give him time it allowed our wide receivers to gain a little separation on the guys that were pressing at the line,” said Buhler.

    A quick Viking punt and a 75-yard catch by senior Adrian Tibbetts set up the second DeWeese to Bolin touchdown throw, this time from 20 yards out to break the game open at 35-24. After a second consecutive three-and-out from Seaman, Washburn Rural would need only one play to find the end zone as JC Heim took a handoff 90 yards with just under 10 minutes to play.

    The Vikings would get into the end zone one more time on a 3-yard score from Barta to senior Braden Colley but it was too late as the ensuing onside attempt failed.

    “I think we will bounce back, we had a great week of practice, we've got great senior leadership, and I like our chances to go out and give ourselves a shot in the playoffs in every game,” said Swafford.

    At 7-1 on the year the Junior Blues claimed a share of the Centennial League title with Manhattan and Junction City.

    Both Rural and Seaman will be set for home playoff games on Oct. 29, with opponents to be determined late Friday or early Saturday.

    “We are excited, we are ready to go, we have been talking about this since last November,'' Buhler said. "This is where we wanted to be, we wanted a top-four seed, I think we got that tonight, hopefully with the win we put ourselves right where we want to be and now the second season starts.''

  • Trojans and Vikings battle to 0-0 soccer stalemate

    Isaac Deer

    By ISAAC DEER

    TopSports.news

    In Thursday's final regular-season soccer game of the year, Topeka High and Seaman squared off in a thrilling defensive matchup that resulted in a 0-0 tie at Seaman.

    Seaman honored its seniors on Senior Night before the first kick with a ceremony honoring Gavin Wilhelm, Kyson Evans, Pablo Font, Jake Moss, Trustin Shafer, Lawson Greig and Justin Kruse.

    After the ceremony concluded, it was time to get to work.

    Topeka High goalkeeper Logan Murray displayed that he is one of the area’s best young goalkeepers. As a sophomore, he’s opened a lot of eyes with his strong athleticism and his abilities in the goal. On the other side, junior Ayden Thompson has also been impressive for the Vikings with his long reach and blocking abilities and both goalkeepers provided shutouts for their teams throughout the game.

    In the first couple of halves, things were mute offensively. Strong, physical pushes by both sides and clutch preventive kicks made the game competitive.

    No matter how great the kicks were by either side in the first half, Murray and Thompson prevented them from putting a tally in the score column.

    In the first overtime, the Vikes and Trojans sped up the game speed.

  • 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.

  • 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 volleyball caps 36-0 regular season, focusing on postseason

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural's nationally-ranked volleyball team completed a 36-0 reguar season Saturday, posting a 4-0 record to capture the championship in the Emporia Invitational.

    Now the real work begins.

    "That's exactly what we talked about, that this doesn't mean anything, really, because the reason you play the regular season is to get ready for the postseason because that's what people remember,'' Rural coach Kevin Bordewick said.

    "We're only worried about practice on Monday, getting better at some thing on Monday.''

    Washburn Rural, currently No. 8 in the AVCA/USA Today national rankings, cruised through the Emporia tournament, posting wins over Maize (25-8, 25-15), Lawrence (25-11, 25-11) and Free State (25-21, 25-14) before clinching the championship with a 25-10, 25-14 win over host Emporia.

    RuraljubeEmporiaWashburn Rural's volleyball team congratulates senior McKenna  Schuler (12) after a kill in Saturday's Emporia Invitational. The Junior Blues went 4-0 in the tournament to complete a 36-0 regular season. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    But as good as the Junior Blues have been in recording the first perfect regular season in Bordewick's 27 years as Rural's coach, he firmly believes his team can still reach another level.

    "I do, and they think that, too,'' Bordewick said. "They know that they can play better. We gave up too many easy points. We can sharpen some things up.

    "We're not striving for perfection, but we want to be excellent in what we do and we've got another gear or two. I know we do.''

    As it has all season, Rural got a big performance Saturday from juniors Brooklyn DeLeye and Taylor Russell and sophomore Jada Ingram at the net, while setters Zoe Canfield, a sophomore, and senior Katelynn Brogan were nearly flawless in getting the ball to Rural's hitting stars. 

    "I normally just try to concentrate on getting the ball into the vicinity of where they need it and then based on whatever they say on adjustments I try my best to make them,'' Canfield said. 

    "I love setting,'' Brogan said. "Being able to set to hitters that you know are going to do their job and put the ball away, it just brings joy to you. When you're setting to hitters that don't put it away you kind of get frustrated because you feel like it's your fault, but when the hitter puts it away you kind of look back and you're like, "They couldn't have done that if I didn't set it.' ''

    Rural, which is 932-218 with seven Class 6A state championships under Bordewick, will host a 6A sub-state tournament on Saturday, with the winner advancing to the state tournament at Salina Oct. 29-30. Sub-state pairings will be determined on Monday.

    "I think we just need to focus on getting better each day at practice and the rest will take care of itself,'' Canfield said.

    "I'm excited,'' Brogan said. "We have one week until sub-state and we're going to work our tail off during that week and do what we've been doing the whole season.''

    Seaman posted a 2-2 record in the Emporia tournament despite being without senior standout Drew Baxter.

    The Vikings, who posted a 23-10 regular-season record, beat Shawnee Mission North (25-20, 25-10) and Lawrence (25-21, 25-21) and dropped matches to Free State, which took a 25-22, 25-13 decision and Bishop Carroll, which posted a 25-19, 17-25, 25-20 victory over the Vikings.

      

  • 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.

  • Perfection! Seaman's Unruh and Sweeney cap 36-0 year with 5A title

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    EMPORIA -- Seaman tennis stars Grace Unruh and Lauren Sweeney finished their final doubles match together and almost immediately burst into tears.

    But it was the happiest of tears, the kind of tears that come with completing a perfect 36-0 season with a Class 5A state doubles championship.

    "I think both of us worked so hard for this and we wanted it so bad,'' Unruh said. "It's just a reflection of all the hard work and the hours that we've spent.

    "I'll be crying for days.''

    Impressive from the get go this season after posting a fourth-place state finish a year ago, Unruh, a senior, and junior Sweeney were even better Saturday on the Emporia High courts and got better as the day went on, capped by a 6-2, 6-1 win over Andover Central's Maya Chon and Bryer Geoffroy in the championship match.

    Sweeney said the tears came from pure joy.

    "I would say it's a lot of joy,'' Sweeney said. "It's fun, it's joy. It's good, I like the feeling.''

    FB3P3DLWYAAeUG9Seaman senior Grace Unruh is congratulated by family and friends and Unruh and doubles partner Lauren Sweeney won the Class 5A doubles championship Saturday at Emporia. [Photo by Rick Peterson]

    FB3RNgsXEAElhqDJunior Lauren Sweeney receives a hug from Seaman High principal Dr. Laura Lyons after Sweeney and Grace Unruh won the Class 5A state doubles title. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    The Seaman duo actually started their semifinal match a little slow, falling behind 3-0 in the first set against Andover's Brooke Walker and Anna Jittawait, but Unruh and Sweeney rebounded to take a 6-4 first-set decision and then advanced to the finals with a 6-3 second-set win.

    "We got down and we weren't playing with energy and we were kind of making stupid errors but when we started coming back we were like, 'This is it, there's no second chances here.' and I think that was huge motivation,'' Unruh said. "We didn't want to be in that spot we were in last year.''

    "We knew what we had to do,'' Sweeney said. "We just had to slowly get going and make smart decisions and that's what we did. We just had to get our energy up. Once we get our energy up, it's huge.''

    Unruh and Sweeney also lost the first game of the championship match and led just 3-2 before sweeping the final three games to take the 6-2 win. The Seaman team jumped in front of Chon and Geoffroy 4-0 in the second set and was never seriously threatened.

    "This was the goal,'' Unruh said. "I never imagined it being an undefeated state title, but it feels so good. I wouldn't have wanted to end it any other way with any other person on the court with me.''

    Sweeney said the only downside to the state tournament was the realization that she'll never play another high school match with Unruh.

    "I'm very sad,'' she said. "I literally love her so much, on and off the court. We're best friends and playing with her means so much to me.''

    Jamie Robinson, who took over as Seaman's coach this fall, said that he knew early on that Unruh and Sweeney could be state champs.

    "Absolutely,'' Robinson said. "They are so disciplined and so driven. They push each other, too.''

    Seaman also got an 11th-place finish from junior singles player Nina Del-Zio, who took a 9-2 win over Annabelle Aldrete of Maize South in her final match.

    Seaman finished fifth as a team with 22 points while Andover won the team championship with 46 points.

  • 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.

  • Seaman blanks Topeka High 20-0 behind stingy defense

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Seaman's offense ran a little hot and cold Friday night against Topeka High, coming up with some big plays, but missing out on some other scoring opportunities.

    But the Viking defense was a constant, posting its second shutout of the season in a 20-0 Centennial League win over the Trojans on Senior Night at Seaman.

    Seaman, which improved to 5-2 overall and 4-2 in the league, limited Topeka High (2-5, 2-4) to just 53 yards of total offense while limiting Trojan senior star Tylan Alejos, who had a 400-yard, eight-touchdown game two weeks earlier, to just 55 yards on 25 carries.

    "We treated it just like it was anyone else,'' Seaman senior Braden Colley said. "We knew we could dominate, we could stop the run. We knew we could do it and we weren't worried. We weren't scared at all.

    "I thought we played really well. Any time you can keep a doughnut on the board of course you played well. We stayed pretty sound with minimal mistakes and we had a good game.''

    Seaman coach Jared Swafford agreed.

    "When you watch film you know what (Alejos) is capable of and they've got a big offensive line that does a nice job,'' Swafford said. "He's a heck of a runner and he runs hard and we knew we needed to rally to the ball and we put extra emphasis on that.

    "We knew he's a big part of what they try to do and we wanted to take that away.''

    E TJMpXXIAINwEhCamden Barta .

    Topeka High came up with some big defensive plays of its own and the Trojans were still very much in the game into the fourth quarter, trailing by just a 10-0 margin before Seaman broke the game open with a 44-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Camden Barta to senior Brody Gormley with 11:13 remaining.

    Viking senior Gavin Wilhelm added his second field goal of the night, a 26-yarder, later in the fourth to account for the final margin.

    Seaman turned the ball over on downs to end its first possession of the game after getting as deep as the High 24-yard-line, but the Vikings got on the board midway through the second quarter after a Topeka High mis-play in the punt game led to a 39-yard Wilhelm field goal with 7:07 left before halftime. 

    Wilhelm's field goal came after Topeka High punted the ball into the back of a Trojan blocker, allowing Seaman to take over at the High 32.

    The Vikings got to the Trojan 15, but High's defense stiffened at that point, forcing Seaman to settle for the field goal.

    After forcing a High punt, Seaman used a 31-yard pass play from Barta to senior Casen Stallbaumer and a 27-yard pass from Barta to senior P.J. Vargas to set up the game's first touchdown, a 9-yard Barta run with 3:20 left in the half (Wilhelm kick).

    The score remained 10-0 through the third quarter as the Vikings missed a pair of field goal attempts, but Seaman put the game out of reach with the Gormley TD.

    Barta completed 15 of 24 passes on the night for 158 yards and a TD while Stallbaumer had eight catches for 63 yards. Barta rushed for a team-high 29 yards on nine carries.

    Seaman will travel to Washburn Rural to face the 6-1 Junior Blues next Friday while Topeka High will take on USD 501 rival Topeka West at Hummer Sports Park.

  • '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

  • 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.

  • Seaman rules 5A regional, sweeping singles, doubles, team titles

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Host Seaman dominated Saturday's Class 5A girls tennis regional, sweeping the singles, doubles and team championships on the Vikings' home courts.

    Senior Grace Unruh and junior Lauren Sweeney captured their second straight regional doubles title while remaining undefeated on the season (32-0) while Viking junior Nina Del-Zio and her sophomore teammate, Katie Krumins, posted a 1-2 regional finish in singles as Seaman won the team title by a commanding 20-10 margin over Shawnee Heights.

    dsc 6284 9768 350 350 100 cSeaman doubles partners Lauren Sweeney (left) and Grace Unruh won their second straight 5A regional doubles title Saturday, remaining unbeaten on the year. [File photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

     While the day belonged to Seaman, Heights and Topeka West also had reason to celebrate.

    The runner-up T-Birds got a third-place doubles finish from seniors Paige Devena and Bella LeJuerrne, while senior Laura El-Koubysi took fifth in singles and seniors Ariah Durkes and Shelby Elskamp qualfied for state with a sixth-place doubles finish.

    Topeka West singles player Anna Newcome qualified for the state tournament with a third-place singles showing.

    The 5A state tournament will be played at Emporia on Friday and Saturday.

  • 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.

  • Topekans Poston, Freed help fuel growth of Ottawa University bowling

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Coaches in all sports talk about what a thrill it is to be able to build a program from the ground up.

    Ottawa University bowling coach Geoff Poston has had that rare opportunity not once but twice and wouldn't trade the experience.

    Poston launched Topeka West's program in 2006 in the infancy of high school bowling in Kansas and then got the same chance in the 2017-18 season at Ottawa, when the school instituted college bowling.

    With Ottawa set to open its fifth season next week in Wichita, Poston, who coached state championship boys and girls teams at Seaman after his stint at West, said that coaching the Braves has been everything he thought it could be.

    "Being able to start it from scratch was huge and in college you get to pick the kids that you want, which is a lot of different from high school obviously, so we've been able to build the team with good quality kids and we've gotten better each year,'' Poston said before Wednesday's practice.

    FBHq2FPXoAcSPhKCoach Geoff Poston (left) and returning NAIA All-American Jared Freed have helped put Ottawa University bowling on the map. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

  • 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

  • Seaman's Deeter, Washburn Rural post Manhattan tourney wins

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Seaman junior Lois Deeter and Washburn Rural swept the individual and team titles in Monday's Manhattan Invitational girls golf tournament at Stagg Hill Golf Club in Manhattan.

    Deeter, the city champion, shot a sizzling 66 to claim individual medalist honors by 10 strokes while city and Centennial League champ Washburn Rural captured its seventh tournament championship of the season by a 19-stroke margin over Blue Valley Northwest.

    Lois DeeterLois Deeter

    Aliyah NorthAliyah North

    KaitlynCroughKaitlyn Crough

    Senior Aliyah North was the individual runner-up behind Deeter with a 76, while senior Kaitlyn Crough tied for third with an 81, senior McKenna Merrick tied for fifth with an 82, junior Avery Scott tied for eighth with an 84 and sophomore Raegan Petersen finished 10th with an 85.

    Seaman finished fifth as a team, with Avery Samuelson tying for 18th with a 92.

    Avery Zimmerman placed 22nd with a 96 to lead Topeka High while Topeka West was led by Alex Baxter, who finished 38th with a 108.

    MANHATTAN INVITATIONAL GOLF

  • Unbeaten Washburn Rural soccer survives OT scare from Seaman

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural's boys soccer team survived a scare from Seaman to remain undefeated on the year with a 2-1 overtime decision Tuesday night at McElroy Field.

    But the major topic of post-game conversation for both the winning and losing coaches was the gutsy performance turned in by the underdog Vikings against the 12-0-0 Junior Blues.

    "Seaman did a great job of keeping us off the board early and they kind of got confidence as the game went on and they put all the pressure on us, which was good for us,'' said Washburn Rural coach Brian Hensyel, whose team got the win on an overtime goal from senior Ashton Rake. "We hadn't been behind all year in a game and we certainly hadn't been close to going to overtime, so all the credit to them.''

    DSC 1814 002Washburn Rural senior Ashton Rake scored the game-winning goal in the Junior Blues' 2-1 overtime win over Seaman Tuesday night at McElroy Field. [Photo by Doug Walker/Special to TSN]

    Rake's goal, which came at the 7:18 mark of the first overtime period off an assist from senior Porter Schafersman, was the only time the Junior Blues led on the night.

    "You're going to have a couple of nights like that, and it happened,'' said Hensyel, whose team was coming off a perfect 3-0 weekend in a national tournament in Iowa. "But to me, all of this is about Seaman. I thought they were great and they had an awesome plan. Whatever they were trying to accomplish they did it to perfection and we had to make some great plays to score twice.

    "We were fortunate to win and congrats to Seaman on a great game.''

  • Deeter posts runner-up regional finish, leads Vikes to 5A state berth

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    The weather conditions and one hole in particular presented challenges for Seaman junior golf star Lois Deeter in Monday's Class 5A regional tournament at Cypress Ridge.

    But Deeter, coming off a sizzling 66 last week, did what she needed to do Monday in advance of next week's state tournament, shooting a solid 4-over-par 75 to finish second individually and help Seaman qualify for state as a team with a third-place finish.

    LoisDeeterregionalsSeaman junior Lois Deeter finished second in Monday's Class 5A girls golf regional, leading the Vikings to a state team berth. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    The start of Monday's tournament was delayed more than two hours due to inclement weather and the tournament was played in cool, windy conditions, particularly over the front nine, but conditions and Deeter's score improved as the day went on.  .

    "I'm happy we started playing after the rain, the rain was really beating down,'' Deeter said. "It was very windy. If you had any spin on your ball you could barely control it, but the back nine was a lot better.''

    After shooting a 39 over her first nine holes, Deeter fared better on her back nine, shooting a 36 that could have been even better if not for one hole late in the round.

    "I was 1-under going into No. 8 and the wind just took my ball back and then I three-putted,'' she said. "It just wasn't a very good ball.

    "But with the conditions I was OK with (the round). I was stuck behind a lot of trees, especially on the front nine, and shooting 3-over stuck behind trees isn't bad.''

    Kapaun Mt. Carmel senior Katherine Tilma took medalist honors with a 1-under 70 and Deeter and Bishop Carroll's Isabella Hermocillo-Jones tied for second, with Deeter claiming that spot with a lower score over her second nine.

    LoisDeeterregionals2Seaman's Lois Deeter watches a shot during Monday's 5A regional golf tournament. Deeter shot a 75 to finish second individually. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Kapaun, which also got a fourth-place individual finish from Meg Tilma (76), ran away with the team title by a 318-357 margin over Bishop Carroll while Seaman (389) and Emporia (418) claimed the final two team berths for the state meet, which will be played next Monday and Tuesday at Hutchinson's Carey Park.

    Sophomore Avery Samuelson backed Deeter with an 88 to finish ninth individually while freshman Jaycee Zimmerman and senior Madyson Hardesty shot 113s to round out Seaman's four scorers.

    Shawnee Heights came up short in its bid for a team berth, but the T-Birds will be represented in the state tournament by seniors Kameron Burnam (105) and Olivia Morgan (107), who qualified as individuals.

    CLASS 5A REGIONAL GOLF

  • 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.

     

  • Rural rides 1-2-3 finish to edge Vikings for girls title in Seaman meet

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Individual champion Madeline Carter led a 1-2-3  Washburn Rural finish Saturday morning at Shawnee North Community Park as the Junior Blues edged host Seaman for the team championship in the Seaman Invitational.

    A junior, Carter posted a winning five-kilometer time of 19 minutes, 07.65 seconds, while Rural senior Khloi Bird was second in 19:28.03 and freshman Payton Fink placed third in 19:42.32 while sophomore Sydney Laster was 10th in 20:42.53 and freshman Rylee Ismert was 13th in 21:31.48 to round out the Junior Blues' top five.

    "We work hard during practice and we just use that hard work and it pays off in a race, so it's really fun to see it work,'' Carter said.

    FAvDae3WQAMB4NYWashburn Rural's Madeline Carter, Khloi Bird and Payton Fink went 1-2-3 in Saturday's Seaman Invitational to lead the Junior Blues to the team title. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Carter, who notched her second individual win this fall, said Saturday's meet was good preparation for the upcoming stretch of city, Centennial League, regional and state competition.

    "I was really using this meet to see how I would match up in city, so it's great to see that I'm doing good and our team's doing good as well,'' she said.

    Junior Bethany Druse paced Seaman with a fourth-place individual finish (20:14.94) while the Vikings also got top-10 finishes from freshman Joslyn Grace (sixth in 20:17.86), freshman Anna Becker (seventh in 20:29.30) and senior Emma Schultz (ninth in 20:31.93).

    Seaman coach Rick Brading said he was pleased with the Vikings' performance on Saturday.

    "We're trying to figure out a way to race the middle of the race and they did for the most part today, so I thought it was a good day,'' Brading said.

    Cair Paravel Latin finished fifth as a team, led by Katherine Keys' 28th-place finish (23:19.20).

    The city meet is on tap on Saturday at the Kanza Park Course, with varsity competition getting under way at 9 a.m. 

    SEAMAN INVITATIONAL CROSS COUNTRY

    Girls

    Team scores

    Washburn Rural 29, Seaman 37, Lawrence 65, Leavenworth 110, Cair Paravel 140.

    Individual results

    1. Carter, Washburn Rural, 19:07.65; 2. Bird, Washburn Rural, 19:28.03; 3. Fink, Washburn Rural, 19:42.32; 4. Druse, Seaman, 20:14.94; 5. Hardy, Lawrence, 20:16.67; 6. J. Grace, Seaman, 20:17.86; 7. Becker, Seaman, 20:29.30; 8. Kennedy, Lawrence, 20:30.78; 9. Schultz, Seaman, 20:31.93; 10. Laster, Washburn Rural, 20:42.53.

    Other Washburn Rural -- 13. Ismert, 21:31.48; 15. Gutierrez, 21:37.68; 21. Nolte, 22:18.29.

    Other Seaman -- 14. Sampson, 21:32.34; 17. Polter, 21:44.33; 22. Spencer 22:19.19; 23. G. Grace, 22:53.34.

    Cair Paravel -- 28. Keys, 23:19.20; 31. Barkley, 23:50.00; 35. Lewis, 24:29.34; 42. Bowling, 32:56.97; 43. Richards, 34:41.68.

    Topeka High -- 32. Zuniga, 23:58.94; 40. Cabral, 26:59.33; 41. Ludlum, 27:55.55.

    Shawnee Heights -- 37. Liedtke, 24:33.64; 38. Marney, 24:46.51.

     

  • T-Birds' 1-2 punch of Sutton, Esquibel set pace in Seaman invite

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Shawnee Heights junior cross country standout Kory Sutton hadn't been particularly pleased with his last couple of races, but Sutton was back on top of his game in Saturday's Seaman Invitational at Shawnee North Community Park, leading a 1-2 T-Bird finish in the boys race.

    FAvB1m6WQAIjAgNShawnee Heights junior Kory Sutton and T-Bird sophomore Jackson Esquibel lead the pack in Saturday's Seaman Invitational boys cross country race. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Sutton clocked a five-kilometer time of 16 minutes, 15.31 seconds while his sophomore teammate, Jackson Esquibel finished second 16:22.72.

    "Last week I felt like I started off good and didn't quite finish how I wanted to and didn't keep it going,'' Sutton said. "I've had a rough couple of weeks and didn't perform how I wanted, but coming back here definitely helped me build back up my confidence and get back in my groove.

    "I was feeling good at the end of the race and I felt like kept it up throughout the whole thing and stayed out of my head. I just ran like I knew I could.''

    Sutton said that was important entering the biggest meets of the season.

    "It's time for the big meets and it's getting down to the nitty gritty,'' he said.

    Sutton and Esquibel have been one of the area's best 1-2 punches and showed that again in Saturday's race.

    "It's really fun,'' Sutton said. "We can always work together in workouts and then when we come out here we know we can pace off each other and know where we should be.''

    While Shawnee Heights stole the show individually, Washburn Rural was the star of the show as a team, winning the team championship by a 49-63 margin over Seaman and Shawnee Heights.

    Senior Alex Holmes paced the Junior Blues with a fourth-place finish in 16:32.74 while the Junior Blues also got a sixth-place finish from sophomore Hayden Keller (17:01.05).

    Junior Grayson Fink (17:54.53), junior Easton Dial (17:56.60) and junior Davin Johnson (18:03.93) went 13-14-15 to round out Washburn Rural's top five runners.

    Senior Jace Moore finished fifth individually (16:53.42) to lead Seaman to a second-place team finish by virtue of a higher finishing No. 6 runner.

    Shawnee Heights also got a ninth-place finish from junior Andrew Emerson (17:37.17) while Topeka West got a 10th-place finish from senior Louis Wilson (17:41.48).

    Next up for city runners is Saturday's city meet at the Kanza Park Course. The boys varsity race will start at approximately 9:40 a.m.

    SEAMAN INVITATIONAL CROSS COUNTRY

    Boys

    Team scores

    Washburn Rural 49, Seaman 63, Shawnee Heights 63, Lawrence 86, Leavenworth 123, Topeka High 140.

    Individual results

    1. Sutton, Shawnee Heights, 16:15.31; 2. Esquibel, Shawnee Heights, 16:22.72; 3. Ryan, Lawrence, 16:25.92; 4. Holmes, Washburn Rural, 16:32.74; 5. Moore, Seaman, 16:53.42; 6. Keller, Washburn Rural, 17:01.05; 7. Purvis, Leavenworth, 17:09.95; 8. Sullivan, Leavenworth, 17:29.23; 9. Emerson, Shawnee Heights, 17:37.17; 10. Wilson, Topeka West, 17:41.48.

    Other Washburn Rural -- 13. Fink, 17:54.53; 14. Dial, 17:56.60; 15. Johnson, 18:03.93; 22. Cain, 18:23.11; 24. Olsen, 18:31.75; 29. Ishaan, 18:58.04.

    Other Seaman -- 11. Appelhanz, 17:46.30; 12. Stuke, 17:52.57; 19. Swaim, 18:13.07; 20. Jowers, 18:15.04; 21. Newell, 18:15.04; 26. Buckley, 18:48.89; 35. Joseph, 19:47.03; 36. Lady, 19:47.14.

    Other Shawnee Heights -- 23. Carter, 18:24.91; 32. Deitcher, 19:15.41; 38. Song, 19:57.16.

    Other Topeka West -- 30. Phelps, 18:58.48; 39. Maag, 19:59.71.

    Topeka High -- 17. Christopher, 18:06.64; 27. Storrer, 18:49.12; 37. Cowdin, 19:54.24; 40. Campbell, 20:32.99; 42. Solis Carlos, 20:59.20.

    Cair Paravel -- 34. Eckert, 19:40.44; 41. Clark, 20:36.82; 47. Bowling, 22:16.56; 49. Keys, 27:14.80.

     

     

  • Font scores both goals as Seaman soccer wins third straight game

    Isaac Deer

    By ISAAC DEER

    TopSports.news

    Seaman soccer extended its winning streak to three games Thursday night as senior Pablo Font scored both goals in a 2-0 home Centennial League win over Highland Park.

    PabloFontPablo Font

    The Vikings are hot as of late after a rocky start to the season and it’s obvious that Seaman's spirits are high and the Vikes have momentum.

    The Seaman defense has shut out its last three opponents and coach Jacob Kirmer likes the way the Vikings defense has played lately.

    “The defense has been more consistent and working together,'' he said.

    Seaman’s offense also continues to show improvement, led by the likes of Gavin Wilhelm, Font and others.

    “We have started playing together as a team,'' Kirmer said. "We’ve moved the ball well and haven’t faced any issues on the offensive side of the ball.”

    Font scored both his goals in the first half, with his first goal off an assist from freshman Kaelin Loy and his second score off a pass from senior Justin Kruse.

    The Vikings' successful defensive outing was led by junior goalkeeper Ayden Thompson. 

    The second half lasted just about ten minutes before the game entered a rain delay with lightning strikes affecting the area.

    After 50 minutes of delays, the game was called due to the storm.

    Seaman improved to 4-7 on the season while Highland Park fell to 1-8-1 on the year.

    SEAMAN 2, HIGHLAND PARK 0

    Highland Park (1-8-1) 0 0 -- 0 

    Seaman (4-7) 2 0 -- 2

    Seaman --Goals: Font 2. Assists: Loy, Kruse. Shutout: Thompson

    WasRelated Stories and Videos

  • Robinson finds a new, rewarding career coaching Seaman tennis

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Seaman entered this past summer needing a girls tennis coach and Jamie Robinson seemed like a good fit.

    But it was the Viking players who were the deciding factor in Robinson taking the job.

    "I tell you what, they were practicing by themselves before I took the position, organizing and practicing among themselves, and I was so impressed with that,'' Robinson said. 

    "That was one of the impetuses for me to take the position because they were so disciplined and coordinated as a team. I was so impressed with them and I thought, "How can you not want to coach these girls? They have such a good attitude.' ''

    FAciC KXsAQEwn2Seaman tennis coach Jamie Robinson (right) visits with Viking athletic director Steve Bushnell during last week's city girls tennis tournament. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    The 63-year-old Robinson, who retired from his career in medical sales at the end of 2020, took on the Seaman's boys coaching job in the spring at the urging of former Viking coach Greg Lutz before adding the girls position this fall.

    "I love it,'' he said. "I'm tapping into something that I never knew about myself. It's so rewarding to see the players coming off and smiling and you're the first person they look at. Or they'll look over to see if I'm over there watching. They know, and that's cool.''

  • No. 11-ranked Rural volleyball wraps up Centennial League crown

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Winning a Centennial League volleyball championship is never one of Washburn Rural's biggest goals, with Kevin Bordewick's Junior Blues using the regular season to put themselves in position to make a run at the big championship -- the Class 6A title.

    But winning league is a step in that direction and the Junior Blues, ranked No. 11 nationally, took that step Tuesday night at Seaman, wrapping up a perfect 8-0 league record with a 25-8, 27-25 win over Seaman and a 25-8, 25-12 win over Topeka High. 

    "(League's) never been one of our bigger priorities, to be honest, in all our years here,'' said Bordewick, whose Junior Blues have won seven state titles. "We're more concerned about getting better every day and we emphasize that and we talk about that ad nauseum. That's all we talk about, but if everything else goes like that then the league should care of it itself and sub-state should take care of itself.

    "But we'd rather win it than lose it, definitely.''

    And Washburn Rural did lose the league title in 2020, with Seaman rallying late to knock off the Junior Blues in the league finale at Topeka High to claim the championship.

    Bordewick said he didn't talk much about that last year's loss to the Vikings, but he didn't need to.

    "I think I said one thing yesterday in practice: 'Remember what happened at T-High last year,' and they go, 'Yep, yep, yep,' '' Bordewick said. "The difference between this team this year and last year is that we learned and remembered that and what that felt like and we didn't want to let it happen again.''

    FAa7OLzWEAA6MpJWashburn Rural volleyball players congratulate each other after wrapping up a 2-0 night and the Centennial League title Tuesday at Seaman. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

  • Seaman, Washburn Rural star in Topeka West Invitational tennis

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Seaman's doubles stars Grace Unruh and Lauren Sweeney have been tested on multiple occasions this fall, but the Viking duo continues to pass every test.

    Unruh, a senior, and Sweeney, a junior, remained unbeaten on the season in Tuesday's Topeka West Invitational, posting a perfect 3-0 record to win the No. 1 doubles title at Kossover Tennis Center.

    After surviving a couple of tough tests from Class 6A opposition in last Saturday's Emporia tournament, Unruh and Sweeney lost just two games on the day in Tuesday's tournament, including a 6-0, 6-0 win over Salina Central in the championship match.

    "They don't panic, they don't press and they wait and they play their game and execute their game plan,'' Seaman coach Jamie Robinson said of Unruh and Sweeney, who improved to 24-0 on the season. "They don't play safe, but just do what they need to do.'' 

     Seamandoubles2Seaman's Lauren Sweeney (left) and Grace Unruh remained unbeaten on the season Tuesday, winning the No. 1 doubles title in the Topeka West Invitational. [File photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Unruh and Sweeney were part of a big day by city players in the 12-school Topeka West tournament, including a team championship by city champ Washburn Rural.

    Washburn Rural senior Sheriden Wichman won the No. 1 singles championship while the Junior Blues also got a win from the No. 2 doubles team of Hailey Beck and Shelby Schmutzler as well as a second-place finish from Mena DiMarzio in No. 2 singles and from Meredith Kucera and Kate Fritz in No. 1 doubles en route to the team title by a 51-50 margin over Salina Central.

    SheridenWichman2Washburn Rural senior Sheriden Wichman won the No. 1 singles championship in Tuesday's Topeka West Invitational, helping the Junior Blues win the team title. [File photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Wichman took the No. 1 singles crown with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Salina Central's Janae Montoya while Beck and Schmutzler survived a tight match with Salina Central in the No. 2 doubles final to take a 7-6 (8-6 tiebreaker), 6-4 victory.

    In addition to the win by Unruh and Sweeney, third-place Seaman got third-place finishes in No. 1 singles from Nina Del-Zio and in No. 2 singles from Katie Krumins.

    TOPEKA WEST INVITATIONAL TENNIS

  • 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

  • Barta throws for five TDs in 57-0 Seaman romp past Topeka West

    Isaac Deer

    By ISAAC DEER

    TopSports.news

    Seaman’s goal on Thursday night was to rebound from Week 3's devastating overtime loss to Junction City and they did so in style.

    The Vikings sailed past the Chargers, 57-0, extending their win streak over the Chargers to 17 straight games.

    Seaman coach Jared Swafford told TopSports last week that the short week was going to be a challenge, but he believed in his guys.

    “I am very proud of the dedication of our kids,'' Swafford said. "They were faced with a lot of adversity this week -- a quick turnaround, an away game and coming off of a loss wasn’t going to be an easy thing to overcome. We trusted each other and the results were great tonight. I am proud of them.”

    Seaman’s defensive effort on Thursday night was poetic. The defense was running wild and making impact plays against Topeka West from the first snap to the last.

    Seaman sacked West quarterback Malachi Berg seven times and Callen Barta recorded an interception and the game was all Vikings from the beginning.

    Seaman quarterback Camden Barta threw for five TDs as the Vikings rolled to a 57-0 win over Topeka West Thursday. [File photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]Seaman quarterback Camden Barta threw for five TDs as the Vikings rolled to a 57-0 win over Topeka West Thursday. [File photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Camden Barta threw for 149 yards and three touchdowns in the first quarter, completing a 7-yard touchdown to Casen Stallbaumer, a 40-yard TD to Brody Gormley and a 58-yard dart to PJ Vargas.

    After a Week 3 injury to starting running back Aiden Polter, Seaman looked to Kaden Ireland to take the load for the Vikes and Ireland delivered a big first half with eight carries for 86 yards and two touchdowns.

    At the half, Seaman had 255 total yards with five touchdowns and racked up 36 points while West accumulated a total of 46 yards in the half.

    Seaman would take the ball to begin the third quarter and nice sustained rushes by Ireland and quick passes drove the Vikings down to the 29-yard line.

    Camden Barta would then find Gormley again for a 29-yard touchdown.

    The Chargers were handled by Seaman in the second drive of the third quarter which resulted in the Vikings getting the ball back. Just a couple plays later, Barta would throw a 71-yard bomb to Vargas, putting the Vikes up 50-0 to cap off the third quarter.

    Alex Mah scoree the only touchdown in the fourth, an 8-yard run to put Seaman up 57-0.

    Seaman (3-1) will hit the road to take on a tough Manhattan team next Friday while Topeka West (1-3) will travel to Junction City to take on the Blue Jays.

    SEAMAN 57, TOPEKA WEST 0

  • 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

  • Seaman golf standout Deeter happy to be back with her team

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Even though Seaman junior standout Lois Deeter opted not to play the 2020 high school golf season, she was still playing the sport she loves, probably as much, if not more, than ever.

    Now Deeter is back with her Viking teammates this fall, and appreciating every minute of it.  

    "I love my team,'' Deeter said Monday after winning her first city title by five strokes with an even-par 70. "They're so supportive and fun on and off the course.''

    E 0sVW5UUAkfx vAfter a season away from high school golf, Seaman junior Lois Deeter is off to a great start this fall, including a city title on Monday. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Deeter used her time away from high school golf to put in intense work on her game, traveling to Texas to compete in a series of big tournaments and finishing as high as third.

    "There's some pros and cons to it,'' Deeter said. "I grew a lot from going and traveling and playing with some really good girls, but I did miss the team, going out and supporting each other.''

  • Rural, Seaman shine in Washburn Rural Invitational tennis

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural and Seaman look to be top contenders for the team title in Thursday's city girls tennis tournament, and both the Junior Blues and Vikings tuned up for that meet with solid performances in Tuesday's Washburn Rural Invitational at Kossover Tennis Center.

    No. 2 doubles champions Hailey Beck and Shelby Schmutzler led the way as Rural tied three-time defending Centennial League champion Manhattan for the team championship in Tuesday's eight-school tournament while No. 1 doubles champs Grace Unruh and Lauren Sweeney paced Seaman, the defending city champion, to a third-place team finish.

    E 2qmP2UcAs9tKjSeaman No. 1 doubles partners Lauren Sweeney (left) and Grace Unruh exchange a high five after winning a point in Tuesday's championship match in the Washburn Rural Invitational. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Unruh and Sweeney remained undefeated on the season with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Washburn Rural's Meredith Kucera and Kate Fritz in the No. 1 doubles final while Beck and Schmutzler remained unbeaten in No. 2 doubles with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Maize.

    Washburn Rural also got second-place finishes in No. 1 singles from Sheriden Wichman and in No. 2 singles from Mena DiMarzio en route to sharing the title with Manhattan, which got championships from Jill Harkin in No. 1 singles and Maura Wiens in No. 2 singles.

    "It was a great day and a great tournament,'' veteran Washburn Rural coach Kevin Hedberg said. "It's good to play full two out of three sets today because that's what we'll play at regionals and you have to get ready for that.''

    Seaman's Unruh and Sweeney swept city, Centennial League and Class 5A regional doubles titles in 2020 before finishing fourth at state and Viking coach Jamie Robinson said the pair has put in the time to put themselves in a contending position again this fall.

    "They practice before practice and after practice and it pays off,'' Robinson said.

    The Vikings also got a third-place finish from Nina Del-Zio in No. 1 singles and from Katie Krumins in No. 2 singles.

    Thursday's city tournament will also be played at Kossover, beginning at 3 p.m. 

    WASHBURN RURAL TENNIS INVITATIONAL

  • 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.

  • Junction City rallies to top Seaman in overtime, 23-16

    Isaac Deer

    By ISAAC DEER

    TopSports.news

    Seaman and Junction City's football teams have had 29 total meetings dating back to 1974, with the Blue Jays winning 18 out of the previous 28 contests entering Friday's Centennial League matchup at Seaman.

    On Friday, the Blue Jays extended the total to 19 out of 29 as Junction City crashed Seaman’s Homecoming party, winning 23-16 in overtime.

    The Blue Jays' defense reigned supreme in the red zone against Seaman all night long. The Vikings would get to the red zone three times in the first half but could not get a touchdown, which ended up costing the hosts in the end.

    “Our guys played hard, unfortunately, somebody had to lose in overtime and it was us,'' Seaman coach Jared Swaford said. "I think I could’ve done better. Our guys played hard.”

    Junction City’s game plan in the second half was entirely different than the first half.

    In the first half, the Blue Jays attempted to air it out quite a bit but didn’t see the results.

    In the second half, Junction City ran the ball almost every single offensive play, with senior quarterback David Rowell a huge part of the second-half success.

    “In the second half, Seaman was more worried about stopping the pass,'' Rowell said. "I thought our guys did a good job of taking advantage of that.”

    The defense played a huge part in the first half for both teams, with Seaman and Junction City holding each other in check without any big-chunk gains in the first two quarters.

    Seaman’s first drive was all about the run. Big pushes from the offensive line and 33 yards on the ground were able to get the Vikings within field goal range, with Gavin Wilhelm connecting from 32 yards out with 8:56 to go in the first.

    Following the opening drive, Rowell missed a pass to a Blue Jay and Seaman’s Callen Barta was able to sneak by and get the interception.

    Barta returned the ball into red zone, but great defense by the Blue Jays kept the Vikings out of the end zone and forced Wilhem to kick it again, connecting on a 25-yard field goal with the clock winding down to zero in the first quarter.

    A defensive stalemate kept the score at 6-0 for almost the entire second quarter.

    But with 1:46 left in the half, senior quarterback Camden Barta ran away from Keghan McConnell, throwing it on the run 38 yards downfield to a double-covered PJ Vargas.

    That got the Vikings down to the 1-yard line. The Bluejays shut down Barta and the Vikings and kept the ball at the 1 for three downs and Wilhem was forced to kick it with 0:08 left in the quarter, nailing the attempt from 18 yards to give the Vikings a 9-0 halftime edge.

    Seaman was still in front 9-3 entering the fourth quarter.

  • Wilhelm's two goals power Seaman soccer past Topeka West, 4-0

    Isaac Deer

    By ISAAC DEER

    TopSports.news

    The crosstown contest did not disappoint for Seaman's boys soccer team Thursday as the Vikings notched their second victory of the season with a 4-0 Centennial League win over Topeka West at Hummer Sports Park.

    "It was great to get in the win column, but it wasn't our best performance,'' Seaman coach Jacob Kirmer said. "We have a lot more to prove.''

    SeamansoccerSeaman soccer coach Jacob Kirmer talks to his team Thursday night at Hummer Sports Park. The Vikings blanked Topeka West, 4-0. [Photo by Isaac Deer/TSN]

    Senior Gavin Wilhelm’s two goals keyed the Vikings' victory, with his first goal coming on a perfectly-executed free kick to open the scoring while his second goal came on a high-flying header. Pablo Font kicked the ball from the corner and Wilhelm out-jumped a pack of Chargers crowding Wilhelm as he hit the ball in for the score.

    Kyson Evans added a first-half goal to put the Vikes in front 3-0 at the half. The goal came right by the crossbar and it was two Vikings versus one Charger near the line.

    Only one goal was scored in the second half, as Topeka West and Seaman’s defenses both had stellar second halves.

    The one score came from Font, who had an unassisted goal with 7:33 left.

     Ayden Thompson picked up the shutout in goal for Seaman, which improved to 2-7. Topeka West fell to 0-7 on the year.

    SEAMAN 4, TOPEKA WEST 0

    Seaman (2-7-0)         3 1 -- 4

    Topeka West (0-7-0) 0 0 -- 0

    Seaman -- Goals: Wilhelm 2, Evans, Font. Assist: Font. Shutout: Thompson

    WasRelated Stories and Videos

  • No. 1 Rural leads Shawnee County trio in KVA volleyball rankings

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural is ranked No. 1 in Class 6A in this week's Kansas Volleyball Association state rankings, pacing three Shawnee County schools in the rankings.

    E S8KH8XMAcpbBkWashburn Rural is top-ranked in this week's KVA Class 6A state rankings, posting a 10-0 record through Tuesday. [File photo/TSN]

    Rural, 10-0 after wins over Centennial League foes Hayden and Topeka West on Tuesday, is followed in the 6A rankings by Blue Valley North, defending state champ Blue Valley West, Shawnee Mission Northwest and Free State in the top five.

    Shawnee Heights and Seaman earned the No. 6 and No. 7 spots in the 5A rankings.

    St. Thomas Aquinas is top-ranked in 5A, followed by St. James Academy, Lansing, Mill Valley and Maize South.

    Louisburg is No. 1-ranked in 4A, while other top-ranked teams are Smoky Valley (3A), Heritage Christian (2A), Pretty Prairie (1A Division I) and Hanover (1A Division II).

    KANSAS VOLLEYBALL ASSOCIATION STATE RANKINGS

    Class 6A

    1. Washburn Rural; 2. Blue Valley North; 3. Blue Valley West; 4. Shawnee Mission Northwest; 5. Free State; 6. Wichita Northwest; 7. Hutchinson; 8 Blue Valley; 9. Blue Valley Northwest; 10. Olathe North.

    Class 5A

    1. St. Thomas Aquinas; 2. St. James Academy; 3. Lansing; 4. Mill Valley; 5. Maize South; 6. Shawnee Heights; 7. Seaman; 8. Basehor-Linwood; 9. Spring Hill; 10. Newton.

    Class 4A

    1. Louisburg; 2. Andale; 3. Bishop Miege; 4. Circle; 5. McPherson; 6. Clay Center; 7. Baldwin; 8. Nickerson; 9. Rose Hill; 10. Paola.

    Class 3A

    1. Smoky Valley; 2. Cheney; 3. Nemaha Central; 4. Beloit; 5. TMP-Marian; 6. Riverton; 7. Hiawatha; 8. Scott City; 9. Eureka; 10. Goodland.

    Class 2A

    1. Heritage Christian; 2. Garden Plain; 3. Smith Center; 4. Wabaunsee; 5. Jefferson County North; 6. Hillsboro; 7. Sedgwick; 8. Meade-Fowler; 9. Ellinwood; 10. Sterling.

    Class 1A Division I

    1. Pretty Prairie; 2. Central Plains; 3. Kiowa County; 4. Little River; 5. Lebo; 6. Victoria; 7. Centralia; 8. South Gray; 9. Sylvan Lucas; 10. Pratt-Skyline.

    Class 1A Division II

    1. Hanover; 2. Attica; 3. St. Francis-Cheylin; 4. Golden Plains; 5. Linn; 6. Dighton; 7. Wheatland-Grinnell; 8. St. Paul; 9. Beloit-St. Johns-Tipton; 10. Logan-Palco.

  • 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.

  • Seaman's Cunningham sees progress despite heartbreaking loss

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    It's been a tough start to the 2021 season for Seaman's boys soccer team, with none of the 1-5-0 Vikings' losses harder to take than Monday's 2-1 double-overtime non-league defeat to Lawrence at Seaman.

    But despite that heartbreaking defeat, which came with just 2:13 remaining in the second 10-minute overtime session, Seaman assistant coach Jenna Cunningham saw several positives that the Vikings can take from Monday's performance moving forward.

    "We really fought,'' said Cunningham, who coached the Vikes in coach Jacob Kirmer's absence. "We haven't had a game like that where we wanted to win it so bad.

    "We wanted to win so bad, so this one hurts. We really wanted to get that one, but there were improvements.''

    E ODpnuWEAA2vz Seaman senior Justin Kruse (1) and Lawrence senior Dominic Chieu wait for the ball to come down during Monday's soccer game at Seaman. The Lions took a 2-1 win in double overtime. [Photo by Rick Peterson]

    Seaman drew first blood on a goal from senior Pablo Font at the 28:17 mark of the first half off an assist from freshman Kaelin Loy and the Vikings never trailed until Lawrence junior Cale Scott ended the game late in the second OT.

    Seaman junior goalkeeper Ayden Thompson turned away several Lion scoring threats in both halves to give the Vikings a chance at the victory, but the hosts had trouble generating scoring opportunities after Font's early goal.

    "We've got to pick it up defensively and offensively,'' Cunningham said. "We've got to find our attack, we've got to find a way to score.''

    E OFZgQXsAA bJESeaman freshman Ethan Geiger (17) advances the ball as sophomore Alden Parker-Timms defends for Lawrence Monday at Seaman. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Seaman won't have much time to dwell on Monday's loss, with the Vikings going on the road to face Centennial League foe Junction City on Tuesday.

    "I told them, 'Hey, you've got tonight to think about it and it should hurt and it does, but we've got to move on tomorrow,'' Cunningham said.

    LAWRENCE 2, SEAMAN 1 (2 OT)

    Lawrence 1 0 0 1 -- 2

    Seaman 1 0 0 0 -- 1

    Lawrence -- Goals: Josh Anderson, Cale Scott. Assists: Colin Sandefur, Josh King.

    Seaman -- Goal: Pablo Font. Assist: Kaelin Loy. 

     

     

  • Druse paces balanced Vikings to girls title in Schrag Invitational

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Veteran Seaman girls cross country coach Rick Brading didn't enter the 2021 season with a pack mentality in mind for his team, but it seems to be working that way, and paying early dividends for the Vikings.

    Junior Bethany Druse, a returning Class 5A state placer, led the pack with a second-place individual finish on Saturday at the Kanza Park course and her teammates followed close behind, with Seaman putting all its top five in the first 12 places en route to winning the team championship in Topeka West's Joe Schrag Invitational by a 30-41 margin over Blue Valley.

    E CWYbSXMAALe3 Junior Bethany Druse finished second to help Seaman win the girls team title in Saturday's Joe Schrag Invitational. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Druse clocked a five-kilometer time of 19 minutes, 45.51 seconds to finish as the runnerup to Blue Valley senior Tori Wingrove (18:33.32) while Seaman freshman Anna Becker finished fourth (20:23.48), senior Emma Schultz sixth (20:40.20), freshman Joslynn Grace seventh (20:42.11) and freshman Stella Appelhanz 12th (21:22.19).

    "We're not trying to be a pack, it just happens that way,'' Brading said. "We just have some talented kids.''

  • Shawnee Heights volleyball sweeps home quadrangular

    Isaac Deer

    By ISAAC DEER

    TopSports.news

    Shawnee Heights' volleyball team ruled its home court Thursday night, posting a perfect 3-0 record in a non-league quadrangular.

    Led by senior Kali Henry and junior Elise Curry, the T-Birds took a 23-25, 25-16, 25-22 three-set win over Manhattan before sweeping Seaman, 25-23, 25-23, and Silver Lake, 25-21, 25-16.

    “I really liked what I saw tonight,'' Shawnee Heights coach Sami McHenry said. "This was the first real competition that we’ve had on our level so far this season, and I’m excited to see what’s in store for us.”

    HeightsVBShawnee Heights' volleyball team went undefeated in Thursday's non-league quadrangular at Heights. [Photo by Isaac Deer/TSN]

  • 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.

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Rural golf rides balance to 15-stroke invitational championship

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    WAMEGO -- Coach Jared Goehring will be looking for lower numbers moving forward as his Washburn Rural girls golf team closes in on postseason.

    But given Tuesday's hot, windy conditions at Wamego Country Club, Goehring was happy to take a 15-stroke victory in Rural's invitational tournament and move on.

    "We had some consistent numbers and today's conditions were tough,'' Goehring said. "This golf course was a great challenge to these ladies and I thought the middle of our lineup handled it the best today.''

    E u6AohWYAc KSwWashburn Rural senior Aliyah North tied for sixth Tuesday at Wamego Country Club with an 82, leading the Junior Blues to a 15-stroke win in their invitational tournament. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Senior Aliyah North tied for sixth with an 82 to lead the balanced Junior Blues, who had four players in the 80s to finish with a four-person team score of 335 to easily out-distance two-time defending Class 6A state champion Shawnee Mission East.

    Juniors Avery Scott and Mallory Nelson shot 83s and were part of a three-way tie for eighth place while senior McKenna Merrick shot an 87 to round out the Junior Blues' top four. Senior Kaitlyn Crough added a 90 and sophomore Raegan Petersen a 91 for Rural.

    "A goal of ours is to win our home invitational and shooting in the mid-330s out here today was a great team score, so I'm proud of them.,'' Goehring said.

     E u8B 7XsAIDzCWSeaman junior Lois Deeter tied for eighth in Tuesday's Washburn Rural Invitational at Wamego Country Club., shooting an 83. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Seaman junior Lois Deeter was part of the three-way tie for eighth place with an 83 while sophomore Avery Zimmerman led Topeka High with a 101 and senior Olivia Morgan led Shawnee Heights with a 102.

    Washburn Rural fielded two teams in Tuesday's invitational tournament, with sophomore Olivia Smith shooting a 95 to lead Rural's second squad.

    St. James Academy senior Beth Grant shot a 4-over-par 74 to take medalist honors while Shawnee Mission South senior McLain Neal was second with a 75 and Free State junior Claire Berquist third with a 77.

    Mill Valley senior Libby Green and SM East Tess Roman tied for fourth with 80s.

    WASHBURN RURAL INVITATIONAL

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Anna Becker 2Anna Becker

    Anna Becker, Seaman

    Becker turned in an impressive performance in her first high school country meet as a freshman, placing ninth individually in Saturday's Manhattan Invitational. Becker helped the Vikings finish third as a team, just four points behind Manhattan and Washburn Rural.

    KhloiBirdnewKhloi Bird

    Khloi Bird, Washburn Rural

    Bird, a two-time All-City pick, placed third in the Centennial League meet last fall after helping the Junior Blues win the city team championship with a fifth-place individual finish. Bird, who placed 52nd in the Class 6A state meet as a junior, opened her senior season with a seventh-place finish in Saturday's Manhattan Invitational.

    MadelineCarternewMadeline Carter

    Madeline Carter, Washburn Rural

    A junior, Carter is a two-time All-City pick, winning the city individual title last season after a second-place finish as a freshman. Carter placed second in the Centennial League and 6A regional meets in 2020 before taking eighth in the 6A state meet. Carter opened her '21 season with an impressive individual victory in Saturday's Manhattan Invitational.

    BethanyDrusenewmugBethany Druse

    Bethany Druse, Seaman

    Druse, a junior, was an All-City pick last fall, placing second in the city meet, eighth in the Centennial League and second in 5A regional competition before posting a ninth-place finish in the 5A state meet. A two-time state qualifier and state medalist in track, Druse opened her current season with a fifth-place individual finish in the Manhattan Invitational.

  • 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. 

  • Rural's Carter takes individual win in Manhattan Invitational

    Rick Peterson

     TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural junior Madeline Carter claimed the girls individual title in Saturday's Manhattan Invitational cross country meet at Warner Park, posting a five-kilometer time of 18 minutes, 52.6 seconds to win by nearly 34 seconds.

    Madeline CarterWashburn Rural junior Madeline Carter, last year's city champion, won the girls individual title in Saturday's Manhattan Invitational. [File photo by Craig Strever/Special to TSN]

    Carter was one of three Junior Blues in the top seven places individually as Washburn Rural tied Manhattan for the team title with 58 points. The Indians won the championship on a tiebreaker (higher sixth runner).

    Payton Fink placed sixth for Rural (20:02.3) while Khloi Bird was seventh (20:03.7). 

    Seaman placed third as a team, just four points behind Manhattan and Washburn Rural, with Bethany Druse leading the way with a fifth-place finish (19:56.3) while Anna Becker finished ninth (20:13.1).

    Washburn Rural and Seaman placed third and fourth in the boys team standings, just a point apart (120 and 121).

    Seaman's Jace Moore paced the local contingent with a 13th-place finish (17:17.4) while Hayden Keller placed 17th (17:28.7) to lead Washburn Rural.

    MANHATTAN INVITATIONAL

  • Vikes give Swafford first win in dominating 71-6 romp past Scots

    Isaac Deer

    By ISAAC DEER

    TopSports.news

    Friday night was the 102nd football game between Highland Park and Seaman and the latest meeting, like the bulk of the longstanding series, belonged to the Vikings, who rolled to a 71-6 Centennial League decision at Seaman.

    Seaman extended its lead in the series to 70-30-2 Friday night, dominating the game after wiping out an early 6-0 deficit.

    The Vikings ran an effective option offense’ all night long against the Scots, with Seaman's rushing attack producing seven rushing touchdowns by Camden Barta, Aidan Polter, Kaden Ireland and Alex Mah.

    E TJMpXXIAINwEhCamden Barta

    E TIO1DWEAcEIWqKaden Ireland

    “It comes down to our reads and I thought our guys did a great job with being effective in our reads,'' said Viking coach Jared Swafford, who was making his debut at Seaman.

    “Without the great performance of our offensive line, we could have not dominated the way we did on the ground,'' Polter added.

    Despite the lopsided score, not everything went perfect for the Vikings according to Swafford.

    “We have to cut down on our penalties because that will hurt us down the road if those aren’t addressed,'' Swafford said.

    The Vikings recorded nine penalties, giving the Scots 70 free yards.

    “Tonight was the step in the right direction and I am very proud of my guys,'' Swafford said.

    Friday was a battle at the beginning of the game, with an opening fumble by Highland Park followed up by an interception given up by Seaman.

    After that interception, junior Tre Richardson took the ball 90 yards to the house on a run to the left side of the field to put the Scots up 6-0 with 11:41 remaining in the first quarter.

     But the game was all Seaman from there.

  • 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.

  • 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' Shawnee County volleyball players to watch

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

     EDITOR'S NOTE: Additional players could be added as more Shawnee County volleyball programs submit 2021 information.

    E9 1Z1TWUAQpO9IDrew Baxter

    Drew Baxter, Seaman

    A senior, Baxter received first-team All-City and All-Centennial League honors in 2020 after helping lead the Vikings to a 28-8 record, the Centennial League championship and Seaman's first berth in the Class 5A state tournament since '04. Baxter, second-team All-City as a sophomore, recorded 212 kills, 424 assists and 117 digs while contributing 44 service aces.  

    E9 2s1kXoAciEckLaynee Brown

    Laynee Brown, Seaman

    Brown, a junior libero, was a first-team All-City and All-Centennial League selection last season, helping Seaman post a 28-8 record while claiming the Centennial League title and advancing to the 5A state tournament for the first time since 2004. Brown finished the '20 season with 873 points, 324 digs and 39 service aces.

    E9 3YcDXsAMu3GBZoe Canfield 

    Zoe Canfield, Washburn Rural

    Canfield turned in an oustanding freshman season for Rural in 2020, earning All-City and All-Centennial League first-team honors and All-6A honorable mention while being selected as the city newcomer of the year. Canfield helped the Junior Blues post a 35-6 record and a third-place finish in the 6A state tournament, contributing 626 assists and serving at 92.6 percent with 46 aces.

  • Stinger back position gives Hornets' Cowan new excitement for '21

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    The old saying is that "every kid wants to be a quarterback.''

    And former Seaman star Dalton Cowan got that opportunity for the bulk of his football career.

    But when it came time to think about his final two seasons for Emporia State, Cowan quickly got on board with making a position switch and will line up at the Hornets' stinger back position when ESU opens its 2021 season at Northeastern State Saturday night (6 p.m. kickoff).

    Cowan, a 6-foot-3, 204-pound redshirt junior, started at QB for the Hornets for the majority of the '19 season, passing for 1,683 yards and 11 touchdowns and rushing for 241 yards and six TDs.

    But when Braden Gleason took over as the Hornets' starter late in the season, Cowan started thinking about the best way he could help the Hornets moving forward and made the decision to become an S-back.

    20190815 Football Offense Prtrts 0056 CowanEmporia State redshirt junior Dalton Cowan and the Hornets will open their 2021 season Saturday night at Northeastern State. [Photo courtesy of Emporia State Athletics]

    DaltonCowanFormer Seaman star Dalton Cowan is excited for Emporia State's 2021 season after making the switch from quarterback to stinger back. [Photo courtesy of Emporia State Athletics]

    "My dad (Jeff) was caught completely off guard and everybody that I told was caught completely off guard, but when I sat those last two games I was thinking, 'Man, I could really help the team doing this other position and I think I would enjoy it a lot,' '' Cowan said.

    "I never gave it much thought, but I always thought, 'I could play receiver, I could play something else.' ''

    Having the 2020 season canceled due to COVID-19 gave Cowan plenty of time to adjust to his new position.

  • 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.

  • 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

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

    BrendaShaffer DahlBrenda Shaffer-Dahl

    Nadira HazimNadira Hazim 

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

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

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

    NiJareeCanadyRuralNiJaree Canady

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

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

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

  • 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

  • TSN women's bowling Top 25 loaded with stars past and present

    Rick Peterson

     

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Bowling is one of the greatest so-called lifetime sports, with avid bowlers often taking up the sport as kids and bowling into their 70s, 80s and sometimes 90s.

    That's awesome for the sport and the participants, but it makes putting together a list like the TopSports.news women's bowling Best of the Best Top 25 a nearly impossible task.

    Do you go with bowlers who were some of Shawnee County best some five or six decades ago or do you lean towards a talented group of younger bowlers whose best is likely still ahead of them.

    I tried to do a little of both, with veterans like Terri Sandgren, Maggie (Fritton) Crawford, Jeannine Wettengel and Natalie Bennett at the top of the list, while more recent stars like Kelsey Muther and Chelsie Bahr also earned lofty spots.

    The advent of high school bowling was a boon for the sport, as evidenced by the fact that more than 30 bowlers received votes in the TSN Readers Choice poll as more than 9.300 votes were cast, by far the most of any sport in the Best of the Best balloting.

    Whitney ProckishWhitney Prockish

    MakenzieMillard2Makenzie Millard

    Former Washburn Rural state champ Whitney Prockish was the Readers Choice champion, while Seaman senior to be Makenzie Millard, the youngest member of the Top 25, was a close second as both Prockish and Millard garnered more than 3,000 votes.

    Recent prep stars Ashton Anderson (Washburn Rural) and Kishno Bell (Seaman) both received more than 600 votes while Kristi Renyer (Shawnee Heights) garnered more than 450 votes.

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST WOMEN'S BOWLERS

  • PBA Hall of Famer Barnes headlines TSN men's bowling Top 25

    Rick Peterson

     

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Chris Barnes has accomplished about everything one can accomplish in bowling.

    He is a Professional Bowling Association Hall of Famer, has won 19 PBA Tour titles, including three majors, and also has a win to his credit in the PBA50 Tour while topping the $2 million mark in career earnings.

    So it should come as no surprise that the Topeka High product, a state champion in basketball as a Trojan, earned the No. 1 spot in the TopSports.news Best of the Best Top 25 list for men's bowling while also running away with the most votes in the Readers Choice Awards, garnering just under 700 votes.

    Chris BarnesChris Barnes [Twitter]

    BobBenoit2Bob Benoit [Pinterest.com]

    Bob Benoit, a successful touring pro in his own right, with five PBA wins and a televised 300 game, is No. 2 in the Top 25 while Topeka legend Dale Euwer, former pro Kelly Coffman and multi-time Topeka Bowler of the Year Anthony Judd round out the top five.

    Following Barnes in the No. 2 spot in the Readers Choice Awards is Allen Payne, who received more than 460 votes, while former Washburn Rural standout Trevor Baumgartner, Kaw Valley Hall of Famer Joe Burkhart and former Seaman star Ashton Bigger rounded out the top five in reader votes.

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST MEN'S BOWLERS

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Two-time state champ Anderson tops TSN women's wrestling list

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Women's wrestling is a relatively new sport, becoming an official Kansas State High School Activities Associaiton activity just two seasons ago, but Shawnee County wrestlers are well on their way to carving out an impressive legacy in the sport, with recent Washburn Rural graduate Dajia Anderson at the top of that list.

    Anderson garnered the No. 1 spot on the TopSports.news Shawnee County Best of the Best Top 20 list after capturing back-to-back state individual championships and leading the Junior Blues to back-to-back state team crowns.

    Dajia AndersonDajia Anderson [File photo]

    RebekahSmithactionRebekah Smith [File photo]

    MarissaPattersonMarissa Patterson [Twitter]

    Another Rural state champ, Rebekah Smith, holds down the No. 2 spot on the Best of the Best list while York College standout and former two-time national champion Marissa Patterson (Shawnee Heights) is No. 3.

    Young Rossville phenom Kendra Hurla is No. 4 in the Top 20 after winning a state championship as a freshman while Rural two-time state team champ and two-time state medalist Jaliah Johnson rounds out the top five.

    AddiBroxtermanAddison Broxterman

    Washburn Rural's Addison Broxterman, a state finalist this past season for the Junior Blues, edged her teammate Anderson for the Readers Choice Award while Rural's Smith ranked third in reader votes.

    Here's a look at the Top 20 and Readers Choice Awards:

    TSN TOP 20 BEST OF THE BEST WOMEN'S WRESTLERS

  • NCAA champ, Olympian Douglas tops TSN men's wrestling list

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Melvin Douglas is one of the biggest names in amateur wrestling history, leaving an indelible mark on the high school, college and world stage.

    That made the Highland Park legend a clearcut choice for the No. 1 spot on the TopSports.news Shawnee County Best of the Best Top 25 men's wrestling list.

    Douglas was a three-time state high school individual champion and went on to claim a pair of NCAA Division I championships for Oklahoma, a world championship and a pair of Olympic berths for Team USA.

     Melvin DouglasMelvin Douglas [Facebook]

    Tanner GardnerTanner Gardner [Stanford Athletics]

    Tagen Lambotte2Tagen Lambotte [USD321.com]

    Former Shawnee Heights two-time state champ and three-time Stanford All-American Tanner Gardner garnered the No. 2 spot on the Top 25 while four-time Rossville state champ Tagen Lambotte is No. 3.

    Bishop Murray, who won three individual state titles and a team crown for Washburn Rural, and former Topeka High two-time state champ and Missouri Valley national champ Beau Vest round out the top five.

    BishopMurraypinBishop Murray [TSN file photo

    Bishop Murray, one of three members of the Murray family to earn berths in the Top 25, was the Readers Choice winner, edging his former Rural teammates, Gavin Carter and Jacob Tangpricha, for that honor.

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST MEN'S WRESTLERS

  • 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

  • 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]

  • National champ, All-Americans head list of TSN softball 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/3RGD7LY9Email votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

    Shawnee County has long been a hotbed for outstanding fast-pitch softball players and teams, dating back to legendary women's basketball coaches Billie Jean Moore and Patty Dick, who starred for the nationally-renowed Ohse Meats team, through former college stars like Stacey Slavens, Laura and Dianna Klamm, Latisha Yarnell, Brenda Stolle, Sherri Spangler, Susan Punzo, Kathy Mohler, Taylor Zordel, Chris Torrez and former Washburn Rural star Lisa Carey, who led Oklahoma to an NCAA national championship.

    Lisa Carey [Submitted]Lisa Carey [Submitted]

     

    Lauren MillsLauren Mills [GoShockers.com]

    Latisha YarnellLatisha Yarnell [Washburn Athletics]

  • 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]

  • Olympian Dyer, Nickoley headline women's track 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/1L492R3GEmail votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

    The race to be named the best women's track and field athlete in Shawnee County history should be a great one.

    Topeka High product Judy Dyer was an Olympic hurdler while Topeka West's Sarah Heeb is a former American record-holder in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and former Shawnee Heights star Trisa Nickoley was one of the most decorated athletes in Kansas history, winning 13 state track gold medals without ever losing a state individual race and setting the all-time best in the 800 meters (2 minutes, 06.67 seconds).

    JudyDyerJudy Dyer

    Trisa NickoleyTrisa Nickoley [MIssouri Athletics]

  • County legends dot list of TSN Best of Best men's track 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/DMB1UK5FEmail votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

    Deciding who gets your vote as the best men's track and field athlete in Shawnee County history may come down to what events you prefer.

    If you're a fan of the sprints, the county has produced some of the state's all-time bests, including Marcel Carter (Shawnee Heights), Mark Pickens (Topeka West), Joe Reagan (Seaman), Duke Tibbs (Topeka High), Ryan Irvin (Seaman) and 2021 three-time state champ Jeremiah Smith (Shawnee Heights) while the Kansas all-time state list is also dotted with local products, including Jared Huske (Highland Park), Antoine Dulan (Washburn Rural) and Rasheed McAlpin (Shawnee Heights).

    Marcel CarterMarcel Carter [Submitted]

    If you lean more to the distance races, Clardy Vinson was a star at Topeka High and went on to become a member of a relay team that set a world record, while Topeka West's Winston Tidwell ranks No. 4 on the all-time state list in the 800 meters.

    Preston CarringtonPreston Carrington [Submitted]

    Mikey HofferMikey Hoffer [Nebraska Athletics]

  • 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]

  • Olympian Douglas, All-American Gardner top men's wrestling 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/6KQ59I2TEmail votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

    Most any conversation about the rich history of men's wrestling in Shawnee County starts with former Highland Park great Melvin Douglas, a three-time state high school champ for the Scots, a two-time NCAA champion for Oklahoma, a former world champ and a two-time Olympian.

    But Douglas is just one of many local grapplers who carved out their own outstanding legacy in the sport.

    Melvin DouglasMelvin Douglas [Facebook]

    Tanner GardnerTanner Gardner [Stanford Athletics]

    Tagen Lambotte2Tagen Lambotte [USD321.com]

    There's former Shawnee Heights two-time state champ Tanner Gardner, who went on to become a three-time All-American at Stanford, while Tagen Lambotte was a four-time state champ for Rossville before wrestling for Iowa.

  • Shawnee County women's wrestlers making mark in new sport

    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/7NGNFB5LEmail votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

    Women's wrestling is relatively new in Kansas at the high school and college level, but Shawnee County wrestlers have already made their mark in the sport.

    Washburn Rural has won the state team championship both seasons since the Kansas State High School Activities Association made women's wrestling an official sport while Shawnee County competitors have already captured four individual titles.

    Recent Rural grad Dajia Anderson won state titles in both her state appearances while her teammate, Rebekah Smith, added her first state crown as a senior after placing third as a junior.

    Dajia AndersonnewDajia Anderson

    Rebekah SmithnewRebekah Smith

    KendraHurlaKendra Hurla

  • 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

  • Women's bowling candidates aplenty for Best of the Best honor

    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/L5BF2JDDEmail votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

    Topeka has long been regarded as a bowling town, producing a long list of women's and men's stars.

    And although women's bowling in Topeka might lack the pro starpower of men's bowlers like Chris Barnes and Bob Benoit, there's no shortage of candidates for the distinction of being named the TSN all-time best in Shawnee County history.

    Terri Sandgren, Jeannine Wettengel, Natalie Bennett, Maggie (Fritton) Crawford, Paulette Mazur, Jody Ditch and Chelsie Bahr are among a large group of bowlers who have carved out impressive amateur careers while there's also a long list of state champions and contenders since local schools launched high school bowling in 2006.

    Kelsey MutherKelsey Muther 

    Kelsey Muther and Rachel Barber were two of the Capital City's early high school stars while city standouts Kristi Renyer, Jessica Thompson, Carly Schmidtlein, Ashton Anderson, Whitney Prockish and Lauren Buchanan all captured state championships and Carla Bortz was a two-time state runner-up.

    WhitneyProckishWhitney Prockish

    MakenzieMillard1Makenzie Millard

  • Barnes, Benoit lead impressive list of men's bowling candidates for TSN's Best of the 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/02GF7NJREmail votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

    Chances are, if you're a bowler in Topeka you've probably heard of Chris Barnes and Bob Benoit.

    After all, Barnes is a PBA Hall of Famer and still competing and winning while Benoit, now the head coach at Seaman, was a very successful pro as well, bowling the tour's first televised 300 game.

    ChrisBarnes2Chris Barnes [Twitter]

    BobBenoit3Bob Benoit [PBA Facebook]

  • 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