By RICK PETERSON
Editor's note: @TopSports.news plans to run high school basketball roundups throughout the 2023-2024 season for the 10 Shawnee County high schools. Coaches are encouraged to submit game reports to
Coming off a 24-1 season and a third-place finish in the Class 5A state tournament, Highland Park's boys basketball team is off and running again, opening its season Tuesday night with a 90-33 non-league road win at Bonner Springs.
Highland Park, ranked No. 3 in 5A by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association, had four players crack double figures, led by senior Tamir Anderson, who scored a game-high 21 points on seven 3-pointers.
Junior Ja'Corey Robinson scored 19 points for the Scots, followed by senior Amari Taylor with 16 points (two 3-pointers) and junior Mikey Williams with 15 points.
Highland Park was in command after opening up a 28-12 first-quarter lead and the Scots took a 46-23 advantage to the locker room at halftime.
The Scots finished off the rout with a 44-10 scoring advantage in the second half, holding Bonner Springs scoreless in the fourth quarter. A running clock was used throughout the fourth.
Highland Park will return to action next Tuesday, traveling to Kansas City-Southeast, Mo.
HIGHLAND PARK GIRLS 52, BONNER SPRINGS 41
Highland Park, which advanced to the 5A state tournament a season ago, opened its season with a 52-41 non-league road win at Bonner Springs Tuesday night, getting a monster game from junior star Amelia Ramsey.
Ramsey, an All-Shawnee County pick last season, scored 21 points and grabbed 23 rebounds to key Highland Park's season-opening win.
Tahtionna Broils joined Ramsey in double figures for the Scots, finishing with 16 points.
Highland Park, ranked No. 10 in 5A by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association, will travel to Kansas City-Southeast, Mo. on Thursday.
ROSSVILLE BOYS 56, KC-WARD 48
Rossville evened its record at 1-1 with a 56-48 home win over Kansas City-Bishop Ward Tuesday night in the opening round of the Irish Classic.
By Todd Fertig
The Shawnee Heights girls broke in an inexperienced basketball team Friday night and battled visiting De Soto to the end, falling 60-52.
The T-Birds stalled midway through the second period and fell behind by as much as 20 in the third quarter before rallying down the stretch.
Shawnee Heights coach Bob Wells was not surprised by the slow start.
“A lot of it was the girls learning to play together at the varsity level,” Well said. “And having to do it against De Soto, which is a heck of a team. They’re well coached. They have got a lot of experience. I think that showed early on.
“But then our girls started having some success. We started feeling a little better about ourselves, and the basket got a little bit bigger.”
Shawnee Heights got up off the mat to put together a 16-3 run. With 3:42 left in the game, the T-Birds clawed back to within four points, 53-49.
The Wildcats regrouped to hold off the late rally, but the home team left with plenty to feel good about.
“Some of it was just believing in themselves. And without a doubt, during timeouts we were like, ‘We’re not looking at the scoreboard. I could care less what the point totals are. Let’s just compete every possession, period. If you’re in the game, go compete that possession. If we can get a score, stop, score, we can work our way back into this.’ And we got back into it that way.”
The T-Birds’ trio in the paint of Reianna Vega, Rachel Swift and Kaydence Torrez led the turnaround. Those three combined for 21 points in the second half, crashing the boards, hitting tough shots and drawing fouls on the Wildcats.
By Todd Fertig
The Shawnee Heights boys took United Kansas Conference foe De Soto to the wire, losing 56-46 in what was a one-possession game with less than 40 seconds to play.
The lead switched hands throughout the contest, and the score was tied at 44-44 with 2:30 remaining. The T-Birds failed to hit a field goal attempt the rest of the way, however, while the visiting Wildcats hit big shots and knocked down free throws to finish off the win.
Playing three sophomores and a freshman much of the game, T-Bird coach Ken Darting was undaunted by the outcome.
“I loved it,” Darting said. “These young kids are just awesome. They work hard every day. They are going to be really good. (The De Soto) coach said, ‘I hope we don’t get in the same sub-state with you.’
“Our older kids are helping these young kids along. We’ve got some young kids who are shell-shocked right now. But I love them. My opinion of them didn’t change.”
The T-Birds' primary scoring threats – senior Brennon Dodge and junior Jaret Sanchez – ran hot and cold. The two combined to hit 10 of 32 attempts. Dodge led the T-Birds with 16 points, 13 of which came in the first half. Sanchez, who also scored just three points in the second half, finished with 11.
Darting didn’t place the blame on those two, however.
“I thought we had some people, what I call our ‘secondary contributors,’ who didn’t contribute,” Darting said. “And I say every day ‘Jaret and (Brennon) have got to have good games every day, no matter whether they’re getting double-teamed or whatever. They’ve got to get it done. When those guys who are good shooters have an open shot, they’ve got to make them.”
A bright spot for the T-Birds was the fourth-quarter effort of Da’Quan Lee. Scoreless through three periods, the 6-foot-2 sophomore sparked the T-Birds with seven straight points, including the bucket to tie the game at 44-44.
Lee finished with seven points for the T-Birds, while Deacon Pomeroy contributed eight.
De Soto was paced by senior point guard David Cobin, who tallied 20 points despite attempting just nine shots from the field.
“They’ve got something special in David Cobin. He just takes the game and controls it,” Darting said. “But I’m satisfied with the first game. We’re playing probably the third or fourth best team in the state and we’re even with two and a half minutes left. “We had a chance to beat a very good team. We just didn’t get it done.”
DE SOTO BOYS 56, SHAWNEE HEIGHTS 46
De Soto 13 14 9 20 -- 56
Shawnee Heights 12 13 10 11 -- 46
De Soto (1-0) – Lang 4-11 3-4 11, Cobin 5-9 7-12 20, Bell 3-5 2-4 11, Miller 1-5 2-2 4, Johnson 3-7 0-0 7, Ogden 1-5 0-0 3, Sheppard 0-2 0-0 0, Parks 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 17-44 14-24 56.
Shawnee Heights (0-1) – Pomeroy 3-8 2-4 8, Dodge 6-18 2-2 16, Ross 0-0 0-0 0, Emmot 1-4 0-0 2, J. Sanchez 4-14 1-2 11, D. Sanchez 0-5 0-0 0, Moore 0-3 0-0 0, Cook 0-0 2-2 2, Lee 3-4 0-1 7. Totals: 17-56 7-11 46.
3-point goals – De Soto 8 (Cobin 3, Bell 3, Johnson 1, Ogden 1), Shawnee Heights 5 (Dodge 2, J. Sanchez 2, Lee 1). Total fouls – De Soto 14, Shawnee Heights 19. Fouled out – Pomeroy, Lee, Johnson. Technical fouls – None.
By RICK PETERSON
Highland Park, hosting the first of back-to-back tournaments, claimed the girls team championship in Saturday's Highland Park Invitational by a 64-48 margin over city rival Topeka West.
The Scots got individual championships from Kim Rodriguez at 105 pounds, Renea Easter at 125 and Kylisha James at 170.
Runnerup Topeka West got a title from Ziona Jackson at 135 while Hayden got gold medals from Kylie Carswell (115), Kate Mead (120) and Natalie Hopper (140).
Topeka High posted a runnerup team finish in the boys division with 159 points while Hayden finished third with 139 points. De Soto won the team championship with 226.5 points.
The Trojans got individual titles from Luis Marones at 113 points and Jordan Stiner at 138 while Hayden's Jude Krentz claimed the 175-pound individual championships.
Highland Park will host the Melvin Douglas Invitational on Saturday.
Rural girls take Leavenworth Challenger title
Washburn Rural, the reigning Class 6A state girls team champion, rolled up 393 points to take the title in Saturday's season-opening 14-school Leavenworth Challenger.
By RICK PETERSON
It's only been a few short years ago that Janson Garman did everything he could to beat Washburn Rural's swimming team
Now, as the Junior Blues' first-year head coach, Garman is doing everything he can to help Rural win.
When Garman starred at Seaman, helping the Vikings win the 2018 Class 5A-1A state team title, Washburn Rural was the Vikings' biggest city rival.
But when Garman, who coached Topeka West last season, got the opportunity to take over the Junior Blues' boys program this season, he realized it was too good of a chance to pass up, rival or not.
"Let's just say I never thought I'd be coaching at Washburn Rural,'' Garman said. "If you would have asked me when I was in high school I would have said, 'Heck no,' but I'm very grateful. This is a great team, great guys that work hard and I'm happy to be in the position I am right now.
"I thought it was a great opportunity. I'd still be able to coach and do what I love to do, swimming, and still be able to finish my schooling up (in physical therapy). Rural has a great swim culture and I hope we can continue to grow and build on it.''
Garman made his debut as Rural's coach on Wednesday at the Capitol Federal Natatorium and his Junior Blues made it a happy occasion with a late rally, pulling out the team championship by a 405-396 margin over Centennial League rival Manhattan.
Manhattan got individual wins from freshman Daniel Allen in the 200-yard individual medley (2 minutes, 04.56 seconds) and from senior Brogan Meier in the 100 backstroke (56.98) and the Washburn Rural foursome of Will Powell, Allen, Luke Lemke and Jack Miranda won the meet-ending 400 free relay (3:22.72).
By RICK PETERSON
Hayden, which advanced to the Class 3A state championship game, and 6A semifinalist Washburn Rural combined for 11 Top 22 spots on TopSports.news' 2023 All-Shawnee County football team while Seaman's Max Huston and Rural's JC Heim garnered the top individual honors.
Hayden, which posted a 12-1 record this fall, is represented on the Top 22 by seniors Carter Charvat, Finn Dunshee and Jude Konrade and junior Jensen Schrickel while Washburn Rural, 11-1 on the year, put seniors Packson Bettis, Jaren Heim, JC Heim, Branton DeWeese, Jamond Lane and Titan Osburn and junior King Leonard on the Top 22.
'Seaman quarterback Huston, who led the Vikings to a 6-5 season and the third round of the 5A playoffs, was named the Shawnee County offensive player of the year while Heim, a linebacker, was named the county defensive player of the year.
Huston, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound junior, completed 230 of 379 passes for 3,257 yards and 39 touchdowns, with just two interceptions. Huston also carried the ball 134 times for 706 yards and eight TDs.
Heim, a 6-3, 225-pounder, was in on 173 tackles (102 solos) with 17 tackles for loss, eight sacks, two interceptions, three forced fumbles, two recovered fumbles (one for a touchdown), two blocked extra points and a blocked punt. Offensively, Heim rushed for 530 yards and 10 TDs on 90 carries.
Hayden's Bill Arnold, now 211-66 as a head coach, was named the Shawnee County coach of the year.
Hayden sophomores Connor Hanika and Kade Mitchell were named the county co-offensive newcomers of the year while Washburn Rural junior Wilson Miller was named the defensive newcomer of the year.
Hanika, 6-3, 165, took over as the Wildcats' quarterback after an injury to starter Jett Wahlmeier and completed 38 of 60 passes for 470 yards and seven touchdowns while MItchell, a 5-9, 165 running back, rushed for 764 yards on 79 attempts, caught 13 passes for 209 yards, had five kickoff returns for 174 yards and scored 15 total touchdowns.
Miller, a 6-0, 190 cornerback, was in on 48 tackles (40 solos) with five interceptions, returning one for a touchdown. Miller also handled the Junior Blues' place-kicking duties for much of the season.
Shawnee Heights put seniors Allen Baughman, Rykan Carver and Christian Gonzales on the All-Shawnee County Top 22, while Seaman is represented by Huston and senior Callen Barta, Silver Lake by seniors Tanner Martin and Blake Redmond, Cair Paravel Latin by senior Jesiah Bonura, Highland Park by junior Adrian Burney, Rossville by senior Barrett Lietz and Topeka West by senior Kyrece Robinson.
Hayden's Dunshee and Schrickel, Rural's Bettis, DeWeese, JC Heim and Osburn, Shawnee Heights' Baughman, Rossville's Lietz and Silver Lake's Martin are All-Shawnee County Top 22 repeat picks.
All 10 Shawnee County high schools have representatives on either the Top 22 or Second 22 teams. Eight county teams posted winning records this fall, with seven winning at least one playoff contest.
TopSports.news selected the 2023 All-Shawnee County team after receiving input from all 10 county head coaches.
All-Shawnee County Top 22 capsules:
By RICK PETERSON
TAMIR ANDERSON, Highland Park
A 6-foot-4 senior, Anderson earned TopSports.news All-Shawnee County honorable mention last season after helping Highland Park post a 24-1 record and a third-place finish in the Class 5A state tournament. Anderson was one of Shawnee County's top 3-point shooters, hitting 47 treys on the season.
KADEN BALLARD, Washburn Rural
Ballard, a 5-10 junior, was a key player off the bench for the 15-6 Junior Blues last season, averaging 6.1 points, 2.0 assists and 1.7 rebounds. Ballard received TSN All-Shawnee County and All-Centennial League honorable mention as a sophomore.
KAEVON BONNER, Seaman
Bonner, a sophomore, was named the TSN All-Shawnee County co-newcomer of the year as a freshman while also earning All-United Kansas Conference honorable mention. Bonner averaged 8.4 points for the 13-8 Vikings while canning 32 3-pointers and shooting 39 percent on 3-point attempts. Bonner shot 77.4 percent from the free throw line.
BRENNON DODGE, Shawnee Heights
A senior guard, Dodge was the lone underclassman on the TSN All-Shawnee County Top 10 last season after helping lead Shawnee Heights to a 15-7 record. Dodge averaged 13.8 points a year ago to go with 2.9 assists and 1.8 steals per game. Dodge shot 52.5 percent on 2-point field goal attempts and hit 19 3-pointers on the season.
JACK DONOVAN, Rossville
Donovan, a sophomore, was named the TSN All-Shawnee County co-newcomer of the year and earned all-county honorable mention as a freshman for the Bulldawgs, who showed strides in a 7-14 season. Donovan also was named to the Valley Falls All-Tournament team and earned second-team All-Mid-East League recognition.
MALAKYAH DUNCAN, Topeka West
Duncan, a 6-4 sophomore, saw varsity action as a freshman for Rick Bloomquist's 14-8 Chargers and will be counted on to fill a more extensive role this season after Topeka West graduated several key players.
By RICK PETERSON
LaDAYSHA BAIRD, Topeka High
A 5-foot-4 senior, Baird earned TopSports.news All-Shawnee County Second 10 recognition last season after helping Topeka High post a 16-6 record. Baird averaged 7.7 points as a junior and shot 50 percent from 3-point range with 32 made treys. Baird also averaged 1.3 assists for the Trojans.
ANNA BECKER, Seaman
A 5-foot-10 junior point guard, Becker is a two-time TopSports.news All-Shawnee County Top 10 pick and was named the United Kansas Conference player of the year last season after helping lead Seaman to a 21-2 record and a Class 5A state tournament berth. Becker, who has made an oral commitment to Drake, averaged 12 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.3 steals and 3.7 assists last season.
BREEZY CANADY, Shawnee Heights
Canady, a 5-5 senior guard, is a top returner for Shawnee Heights after helping the T-Birds post a 15-7 record last season. Canady averaged 6.7 points, 2.6 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 2.3 steals as a junior for the T-Birds, earning All-Shawnee County and All-United Kansas Conference honorable mention.
ZOE CANFIELD, Washburn Rural
A 5-foot-11 senior, Canfield's junior season was cut short after nine games by an ACL injury after helping lead the Junior Blues to the Class 6A state title as a sophomore. Canfield, who has signed with Kansas, averaged 12.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, hit 18 3-pointers and shot 77.1 percent from the free throw line prior to her injury. As a sophomore Canfield earned TSN All-Shawnee County Top 10 TSN recognition.
ZOE CLARK, Topeka West
A 5-7 senior, Clark received TSN All-Shawnee County Second 10 and All-United Kansas Conference second-team honors last season for Topeka West, which posted a five-win improvement in the 2022-2023 campaign. Clark, who has played varsity basketball since her freshman year will be counted on to provide leadership for the Chargers this winter.
By RICK PETERSON
Washburn Rural, which captured its 29th straight Centennial League boys championship (outright or shared) and finished third in the Class 6A state tournament, leads the 2023 Topeka All-City boys soccer team with four first-team picks.
The Junior Blues are represented on the 13-member first team, selected by city coaches, by seniors Griffin Heinen (midfielder), Cohen Nimz (defender), Devon Rutschmann (forward) and Ethan Uhlrig (goalkeeper) while Washburn Rural coach Brian Hensyel was named the city co-coach of the year with Topeka West's Josh Kutter.
By RICK PETERSON
TopSports.news (Games at 7 p.m.)
WICHITA EAST (8-2) at WASHBURN RURAL (10-0)
Washburn Rural, the No. 1 West seed, is coming off a 27-20 home playoff win over Junction City last Friday while Wichita East advanced with a 48-28 win over Wichita Northwest. Rural has won 10 straight games for the first time since a perfect 12-0 season in 1989 and has won 10 games in a season for the first time since 1992. Rural senior quarterback Branton DeWeese threw for three touchdowns against Junction City, including a 69-yard game-winning strike to senior Calvin Hayes with 6:15 left in the game. Senior JC Heim scored a pair of TDs and starred defensively for the Junior Blues in last week's win while junior King Leonard had a pair of pass interceptions. Washburn Rural will be playing a Wichita East team that it faced in the opening game of the 2023 season, with the Junior Blues taking a 26-25 win in that game at Bowen-Glaze Stadium. The winner of Friday's game will advance to the 6A sub-state round to face the winner of Friday's game between Manhattan (9-1) and Derby (9-1) at Manhattan. With a win Friday Rural will be at home for the sub-state contest.
SEAMAN (6-4) at MILL VALLEY (8-2)
Seaman, the No. 9 seed in the 5A East, posted its second straight Class 5A road playoff win over a higher seed last Friday, knocking off No. 1 East seed De Soto 31-28 on junior Ethan Geiger's 25-yard field goal with 7:08 remaining. Four-time defending state champion Mill Valley advanced with a 56-7 win over Spring Hill. Seaman junior quarterback Max Huston ran for two touchdowns and threw for two TDs in the win over De Soto. Huston has completed 188 of 309 passes for 2,774 yards and 34 touchdowns while senior Callen Barta has caught 63 passes for 1,254 yards and 16 TDs and junior Bryer Finley has 43 receptions for 529 yards and nine TDs and senior Holden Finley has 41 catches for 548 yards and six TDs. Huston is also Seaman's leading rusher with 581 yards and seven TDs on 115 attempts. Mill Valley senior Tristan Baker has carried the ball 161 times for 1,132 yards and 16 touchdowns while
By RICK PETERSON
Twenty city boys soccer players have received recognition on the 2023 All-United Kansas Conference team, including five first-team selections.
Shawnee Heights, a Class 5A regional champion, is represented on the first team by senior defender Jack Phillips, senior forward Jack Martin and senior midfielder Roscoe Poyner while Seaman senior defender Jacob Anderson and Topeka West forward Isaac Gonzalez-Talavera also earned first-team honors.
Shawnee Heights senior AJ Hamby, Topeka West junior defender Jafet Rodriguez, Seaman senior forward Jace Brake and Seaman senior midfielder Phoenix Cannon were named to the All-UKC second team while 11 city players received honorable mention.
Piper senior forward Carlos Renteria was named the UKC player of the year while De Soto's Drew Proctor, a Washburn Rural graduate, was named the conference coach of the year.
ALL-UNITED KANSAS CONFERENCE SOCCER
|Defender||Gibson Daise||De Soto||12|
|Defender||Robert (Harper) Foley||Lansing||11|
|Defender||Jack Phillips||Shawnee Heights||12|
|Forward||Jamie Kneebone||De Soto||12|
|Forward||Jack Martin||Shawnee Heights||12|
|Forward||Isaac Gonzalez-Talavera||Topeka West||12|
|Midfielder||Andrew Powers||De Soto||12|
|Midfielder||Jeremy Quintanilla||De Soto||12|
|Midfielder||Roscoe Poyner||Shawnee Heights||12|
|Defender||Kyan Rice||De Soto||12|
|Defender||AJ Hamby||Shawnee Heights||12|
|Defender||Jafet Rodriguez||Topeka West||11|
|Forward||Brayden Conrad||De Soto||12|
|Forward||Dylan Narayan||De Soto||10|
|Midfielder||Anh Tuan Do||Piper||12|
|Defender||Eli Boehm||De Soto||12|
|Goalkeeper||Lucas Porras||De Soto||12|
|Midfielder||Brady Lum||De Soto||11|
|Forward||Camden Granado||Shawnee Heights||10|
|Midfielder||Juan Garcia||Shawnee Heights||10|
|Midfielder||Mason Haas||Shawnee Heights||9|
|Defender||Kyren Padilla||Topeka West||12|
|Midfielder||Brendan Komma||Topeka West||12|
Player of the year -- Carlos Renteria, Piper.
Coach of the year -- Drew Proctor, De Soto.
By RICK PETERSON
Shawnee Heights senior star Jackson Esquibel headlines the 2023 All-Shawnee County boys cross country team after winning his first Class 5A state XC title this fall after winning a state track championship last spring.
Esquibel, a four-time state qualifier and three-time state XC medalist, won the 5A title in a five-kilometer time of 15 minutes, 34 seconds at Rim Rock Farm to complete a sweep of the city, United Kansas Conference, regional and state individual titles as a senior.
Washburn Rural, which won the city team championship, is represented on the all-county team by senior Max Gutierrez, junior Conner Olsen and sophomores Brooks Kehoe and Higgins Hawks, with Kehoe and Olsen qualifying as individuals for the state meet. .
Seaman, which qualified as a team for the 5A state meet, put sophomores Brody Anderson and Jack Walker on the all-county team while Topeka West is represented by senior Elijah Phelps and junior Adrian Lehman and Shawnee Heights by junior Evan Carter.
Hayden senior Aiden Amis, a 3A state qualifier, represents the Wildcats on the All-Shawnee County team.
Shawnee Heights coach John Oshel and Seaman coach Luke Wiens were named the boys co-coaches of the year for 2023.
All-Shawnee County boys capsules:
By RICK PETERSON
ALLEN BAUGHMAN, Shawnee Heights
A 5-foot-8, 180-pound senior running back, Baughman carried the ball 12 times for 177 yards and three touchdowns in the first half last Thursday night as Shawnee Heights rolled to a 56-20 win over Highland Park in the regional round of the Class 5A football playoffs. Baughman scored on runs of 4, 70 and 20 yards as Shawnee Heights improved to 8-2 on the season.
JC HEIM, Washburn Rural
Heim a 6-2, 225-pound running back/linebacker, starred on both offense and defense Friday night as Washburn Rural improved to 10-0 with a 27-20 win over Junction City in the regional round of the Class 6A playoffs. Unofficially, Heim rushed for 67 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries and caught three passes for 21 yards and a touchdown. Heim scored on a 2-yard run and a 23-yard pass from Branton DeWeese.
GRIFFIN HEINEN, Washburn Rural
A senior midfielder, Heinen had an assist and the game-winning goal on Saturday as Washburn Rural's soccer team capped a 19-2 season with a 2-1 win over Dodge City in the third-place game of the Class 6A state tournament. Heinen was credited with the assist on Hayden Shriver's goal 1:26 into the game and scored the game-winning goal with just 56 seconds remaining off an assist from Devon Rutschmann.
By RICK PETERSON
Seaman, which won its first Class 5A state championship, put four players on the TopSports.news 2023 All-Shawnee County volleyball team, led by player of the year Maegan Mills.
Mills, a junior, is joined on the all-county first team by Viking seniors Brooklyn Gormley and Taylin Stallbaumer and junior Reagan McGivern while Seaman's Tatiana Dowling, a Seaman grad, was named the coach of the year after leading the Vikings to a 38-6 record, including five straight-set wins in the state tournament.
Mills and Gormley are first-team repeaters while Stallbaumer and McGivern move up to the first team after being second-teamers in 2022.
Silver Lake, which placed third in the 3A state tournament, is represented on the first team by seniors Mckinley Kruger and Sarah Wehrli and junior Ella Bolan, with Kruger and Wehrli earning all-county honorable mention a year ago.
Washburn Rural seniors Jada Ingram and Zoe Canfield and junior Layla Collins are first-team selections after helping the Junior Blues win the Centennial League championship and advance to the 6A state tournament.
Ingram and Canfield are both first-team All-Shawnee County repeat picks while Collins moves up from the second team.
Rossville, which posted a 31-8 record, is represented on the first team by seniors Kinsey Perine, a three-time All-Shawnee County first-teamer, and Kinley Porter, who moves up from the second team.
Cair Paravel Latin is represented by senior Mayah Pridgett while Topeka West senior Addison Brooks, Shawnee Heights junior Kaydence Torrez and Hayden sophomore Ella Foster also earned all-county first-team recognition.
Pridgett has been a second-team all-county pick the last two seasons while Brooks received honorable mention the past two seasons and Foster and Torrez received honorable mention a year ago.
Rossville freshman Nora Burdiek was selected as the county newcomer of the year after compiling 312 kills and 181 digs in her first season of high school volleyball.
All-Shawnee County first-team capsules:
By RICK PETERSON
Even though both Shawnee Heights and Highland Park entered Thursday's second-round Class 5A playoff game with identical 7-2 records, the T-Birds were the favorite in the all-city battle, based on strength of schedule and a hot streak at the end of the season.
And Jason Swift's T-Birds lived up to that role in a dominant first half, opening up a commanding 49-0 advantage on the way to a 56-20 win at Hummer Sports Park.
"We were very workmanlike and I like that because there's always a lot of distractions,'' Swift said. "It starts off with one, it being a Thursday night and two, it's playing a Highland Park team that's good and competitive and probably is your friends on the side.
"You put all that together and you're trying to stay focused on a short week and they did it. They came out and took care of business.''
Shawnee Heights, which has now won five straight games, reached the eight-win mark for the first time since 1994 and have advanced to the third round of the playoffs for the first time since 2014. The T-Birds will face the winner of Friday night's game between Blue Valley Southwest (8-1) and Lansing (5-4).
By RICK PETERSON
(Games at 7 p.m., unless noted)
SHAWNEE HEIGHTS (7-2) vs. HIGHLAND PARK (7-2)
At Hummer Sports Park
Highland Park won its first playoff game since 1991 and only its third in school history last Friday, rolling to a 55-7 win over Meadowlark Conference foe Kansas City-Harmon, while Shawnee Heights advanced with a 68-0 first-round playoff win over KC-Sumner Academy. The two city rivals will be meeting for the first time since the 2017 season. Highland Park senior Amari Taylor has rushed for 568 yards and seven touchdowns on 63 attempts while junior Jamon Wilson has rushed for 368 yards and three touchdowns and caught 26 passes for 474 yards and six TDs. Shawnee Heights senior Allen Baughman has carried the ball 141 times for 690 yards and 12 TDs while T-Bird senior quarterback Ryeki Tuley has passed for 1,861 yards and 19 touchdowns and rushed for 343 yards and six scores on 79 attempts. Senior Jayden Moore has caught 50 passes for 620 yards and five TDs. Heights senior Alex Dawkins has been in on 60.5 tackles with 15 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. The winner of Thursday night's game will advance to a state quarterfinal to take on the winner of Friday's game between Blue Valley Southwest (8-1) and Lansing (5-4).
JUNCTION CITY (6-2) at WASHBURN RURAL (9-0)
Washburn Rural, the No. 1 West seed, opened its playoff quest with a 48-7 win over winless Wichita North last Friday while Junction City advanced with a 27-18 win over Wichita Heights. Rural and Junction City will be playing for the second time this season, with the Junior Blues taking a 28-7 Centennial League win over the Blue Jays earlier this fall. Washburn Rural has already won nine straight games for the first time since a perfect 12-0 season in 1989 and is within a win of winning 10 games for the first time since 1992. The winner of Friday's game will advance to the 6A quarterfinals to face the winner of Friday's game between Wichita Northwest (7-2) and Wichita East (7-2). With a win Friday Rural would also be at home for the quarterfinals.
By RICK PETERSON
JACKSON ESQUIBEL, Shawnee Heights
A senior cross country star, Esquibel capped a sweep of city, United Kansas Conference, regional and Class 5A individual titles Saturday at Rim Rock Farm, capturing his first state cross country championship. A three-time 5A state medalist in cross country and a state champion in track, Esquibel posted a five-second victory in the state meet, clocking a five-kilometer time of 15 minutes, 34.47 seconds.
PAYTON FINK, Washburn Rural
Fink, a junior cross country standout, earned her third Class 6A state medal Saturday at Rim Rock Farm, posting a career-best second-place finish. Fink, the Centennial League and regional winner, was the runnerup to four-time state champion Anjali Hocker Singh of Olathe North, clocking a five-kilometer time of 18 minutes, 12.79 seconds. Fink finished fifth in the 2022 state meet and was 19th as a freshman in 2021.
BROOKLYN GORMLEY, Seaman
A 6-foot-1 senior middle-hitter, Gormley was named to the Class 5A All-State Tournament team for the third time, helping lead Seaman to its first-ever 5A state volleyball championship Saturday at Salina. Gormley, who helped Seaman to a perfect 5-0 record at state, capped by a 25-19, 25-22 win over St. Thomas Aquinas in the state championship match, was also named to the All-United Kansas Conference first team.
By RICK PETERSON
Seaman junior Maegan Mills has been named the United Kansas Conference volleyball offensive player of the year while Viking coach Tatiana Dowling has been named the UKC coach of the year.
Mills was one of four city players named to the All-United Kansas Conference first team, with Seaman senior Brooklyn Gormley, Shawnee Heights junior Kaydence Torrez and Toeka West senior Addison Brooks also earning first-team honors.
Lansing senior Tabor Scanlon was named the UKC defensive player of the year and also was a first-team pick, along with De Soto senior Aubrey Scott, Lansing senior Anna Laincz and Piper junior Abbie Roth.
Seaman senior Taylin Stallbaumer and junior Campbell Chabot were second-team All-UKC honorees while Shawnee Heights junior Taylor Brees and Topeka West senior Siana Sanchez also were named to the second team.
ALL-UNITED KANSAS CONFERENCE VOLLEYBALL
By Todd Fertig
Shawnee Heights left no doubt it was advancing to the second round of the Class 5A playoffs next week. steamrolling Kansas City-Sumner 68-0 Friday night at Wetter Field.
T-Bird coach Jason Swift’s 100th victory at Shawnee Heights was a special one – a home sendoff for 26 seniors in a blowout playoff win.
“We were clicking on all cylinders,” Swift said. “These kids practiced hard this week. They have goals ahead of themselves, but they came out tonight knowing this could be the last time they play together on this football field. That means a lot to them. For them to get this shutout, this big victory, that’s awfully special.”
The T-Birds' romp sets up a playoff matchup with city rival Highland Park next Friday at Hummer Sports Park.
The visiting Sabres never advanced from their end of the field the entire first period. In fact, Shawnee Heights started every one of their possessions of the first quarter inside the Sumner 44-yard line.
The T-Birds scored on each of their four possessions in the opening quarter as three rushing touchdowns from senior Allen Baughman helped put the T-Birds out front, 28-0.
The second period was nearly as lopsided.
Two touchdown receptions by Jayden Moore, another scoring run by Baughman, and a blocked punt for a touchdown gave the T-Birds another 28 points. They led 56-0 at the intermission.
“Man, it was really great, coming out here, probably the last time we’ll ever play on this field, to have a great outcome,” Baughman said. “We took care of business, did everything we’re supposed to do, and we see good results.”
By CHARLES SPURLOCK
Shawnee Heights senior star Jackson Esquibel captured the Class 5A boys individual cross country championship Saturday to pace a large contingent of local competitors in the 6A, 5A and 3A state meets which were held on a cold, overcast day at Rim Rock Farm, just north of Lawrence.
Esquibel, a three-time 5A state medalist, won his first state title on Saturday to go with the 3,200 meters championship he won in track in May.
Esquibel was one of three local runners to post top-three finishes, with Washburn Rural junior Payton Fink earning a runnerup finish in the 6A girls race to four-time state champ Anjali Hocker Singh of Olathe North while Seaman sophomore Ryin Miller posted a third-place finish in the 5A girls race.
Here's a race-by-race look at Saturday's state races:
CLASS 6A BOYS
Micah Blomker of Shawnee Mission North won the individual title in a five-kilometer time of 15 minutes, 18.2 seconds.
Gardner-Edgerton won the team title with 76 points, followed by Olathe East in second place with 93 points. Shawnee Mission North rounded out the top three with 102 points.
Washburn Rural had two runners competing in the race, with Brooks Kehoe finishing 83rd in a time of 17:36.24 seconds and Connor Olsen placing 86th place in 17:43.11.
CLASS 5A GIRLS
The 5A girls race saw the defending champion, Katelyn Rupe of Salina Central, win her second title with a winning time of 17 minutes, 36.11 seconds.
Rupe's teammate, freshman Kaylie Shultz, finished second in 17:58.88 while Seaman's Ryin Miller improved on her fifth-place finish as a freshman by placing third in a time 18:36.73.
The top three team finishers were state champion St. James Academy with 68 points; Great Bend with 78 points and St. Thomas Aquinas third with 103 points.
Ryin Miller led the Seaman girls teams to a sixth-place team finish.
Viking freshman Brynn Spencer finished 32nd in 20:18.07 while Stella Applehanz was 38th (20:35.64), senior Savannah Sampson 56th (21:16.93) and senior Elinore Stallbaumer 78th (22:11.89). The remaining two Seaman runners were freshmen, with Hannah Wempe 79th (22:15.38) and Alex Richardson 81st (22:18.89).
Payton Rice of Topeka West, competing as an individual, finished 51st in 21:05.43.
CLASS 3A BOYS