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

    Rick Peterson

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

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

    All-County first-team capsules:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ALL-SHAWNEE COUNTY GIRLS GOLF

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers Oct. 25, 2021

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Malachi BergMalachi Berg

    MALACHI BERG, Topeka West

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

    MadelineCarternewMadeline Carter

    MADELINE CARTER, Washburn Rural

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

    FCjVnLNXsAI6QX6Branton DeWeese

    BRANTON DeWEESE, Washburn Rural

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

    21letcher james 1James Letcher Jr.

    JAMES LETCHER JR., Washburn University

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

    TannerNewkirkmugTanner Newkirk

    TANNER NEWKIRK, Hayden

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

    korysuttonmugKory Sutton

    KORY SUTTON, Shawnee Heights

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

     

  • 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.

  • T-Birds climb to .500 with 60-0 romp past Turner

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Shawnee Heights football coach Jason Swift had a couple of primary goals in mind entering Friday night's United Kansas Conference game against Turner.

    First and foremost the T-Birds wanted to win, clinch a .500 regular season and continue to build momentum for the Class 5A playoffs, goals the T-Birds took care of when they went in front 21-0 in the opening four minutes.

    And on Homecoming night at Wetter Field, Swift and his coaching staff also wanted to give as many T-Birds as possible the opportunity to get a chance to share in what became a 60-0 runaway win.

    "Football's a great sport because it's a team win,'' Swift said. "We always say that it doesn't matter if you play scout team, one play or every play you have an equal  value in our program, so seniors, juniors, sophomores they all took a lot of pride in this and let's get everyone on the field and let's throw a shutout, too.

    "I think those were the two things we wanted to do and we accomplished them.''

    HeightsfootballTurner3Shawnee Heights senior Jarin Sanders (4) is congratulated by his teammates after scoring one of his three touchdowns in Friday's 60-0 win over Turner. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    With Friday's win Shawnee Heights is expecting to host Sumner Academy in a first-round 5A playoff game next Friday night. Playoff pairings will be announced by the Kansas State High School Activities Association late Friday or early Saturday.

    Shawnee Heights, which won for the fourth time over its past five games, put the 1-7 Bears away with 21 points in the first 3:27 of the contest and Heights took a huge 47-0 advantage to the locker room at the half, forcing a running clock through the entire second half.

    And as far as sharing the wealth, Heights' sideline looked like a revolving door.

    Swift alternated senior quarterbacks Callan Carver, Braeden Brown and Raiden McGrew, and all three had a hand in building the T-Birds' big cushion.

    Carver ran for one touchdown and threw for two TDs in his limited duty while Brown and McGrew both passed for scores.

    Sanders, the T-Birds' standout senior running back, rushed for 94 yards on 12 attempts and scored three touchdowns -- 24 and 4-yard runs and an 11-yard reception from Carver.

    Heights senior Ayden McDaniel also scored three touchdowns, scoring on runs of 27 and 15 yards and catching a 40-yard TD from McGrew. He finished the game with 89 rushing yards on just six carries.

    HeightsFBturner2Shawnee Heights senior Carter Olson stretches out to catch a pass in Friday's 60-0 win over Turner. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Senior Braedon Ginter caught a 17-yard TD pass from Brown while senior Carter Olson caught a 5-yard TD pass from Carver.

    In addition to using three quarterbacks the T-Birds also used three place-kickers on extra points, with senior Jaxon Correll, junior Carson Christian and junior Pablo Gonzalez combining for six PATs.

    It all added up to a fun night for the T-Birds.

    "Man, it was a lot of fun,'' Sanders said. "The crowd was great, there were a lot of people out here, and it was good to see all the young guys get an opportunity because they show up to everything.

    "They don't miss anything and they don't get the same opportunities that the varsity does, so it was good to see them out here.''

  • Swift proud of T-Birds' gritty turnaround after 0-3 start to '21

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    It isn't much of a chore to handle winning, but what has made veteran Shawnee Heights football coach Jason Swift so proud is how his suddenly-hot T-Birds handled losing.

    Coming off an injury-ravaged 1-8 campaign in 2020, Heights was looking for a turnaround this fall, only to start the current season with three heartbreaking losses by a total of 11 points, including a 1-point double-overtime loss to Bonner Springs and a 3-point loss to Lansing.

    Having lost 10 straight games at that point, it would have been easy for the T-Birds to give up. Instead, they learned how to win.

    JasonSwift1Jason Swift's Shawnee Heights' football team has bounced back from an 0-3 start to put itself in a position to earn a home berth for the first round of the Class 5A playoffs. [File photo/TSN]

    "What I'm the most proud about is the makeup of this team, specifically the seniors,'' said Swift, whose T-Birds will take a 3-4 record into Friday night's Homecoming game against Turner. "They had a tough year last year and we went into this year not knowing who we were. As coaches we believed in them and we were excited for the season and we kept telling them, 'We're going to have a good year,' but it didn't happen at the start.

    "The first three games were really close losses. We were making mistakes and they were mistakes you make when you hope to win a game and not believe you'll win a game.''

    Shawnee Heights' shot at a successful season was hanging by a thread at that point, but the T-Birds have responded with their best football of the year, including back-to-back wins over highly-respected De Soto (21-20) and Blue Valley Southwest (23-7). 

    "We as coaches were looking at each other and were like, "These kids can do it, we just can't lose these kids,' '' Swift said. "While the assistant coaches have just been outstanding in letting the kids know that we believe in them, you've just got to believe in yourself and it really came down to 16, 17 and 18-year-old kids making up their minds to do it.

    "The way they practiced every day after a loss was exceptional. They practiced harder than most teams I've been a part of, and the grit of this team is incredible. The kids never wavered. Never once did we have to re-sell them, 'Hey, we can be a good team.' It's all been them. They never got on each other but they just continuously pushed each other and practices got more and more competitive. We made plays and we made stops and got it done against De Soto and then the week going into Southwest was our best week of practice. When we got on the bus to go to Southwest we knew we were going to be good.''

    With a win Friday over the 1-6 Bears Shawnee Heights can not only post a .500 regular-season record, but depending on what happens in other Class 5A contests, the T-Birds have a good shot to earn a homefield advantage for their first game in the playoffs.

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    CLASS 5A

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

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

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

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

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

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

    CLASS 4A

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

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

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

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

    CLASS 3A-1A

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

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

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

    SHAWNEE COUNTY STATE GIRLS GOLF QUALIFIERS

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    CLASS 6A STATE GOLF

    Team scores

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

    Individual results

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

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

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

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

    ROEDER, HAYDEN PLACE SECOND IN 4A

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

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

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

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

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

  • Heights soccer caps 14-2-0 regular season with 3-1 win over Manhattan

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    The 2021 soccer season didn't get off to a great start for Shawnee Heights, with the T-Birds dropping a 5-1 decision to Class 6A powerhouse Washburn Rural in their season-opener.

    But Nic Simons' T-Birds responded to that loss by winning 14 of their next 15 games, putting the capper on a 14-2-0 regular season with a 3-1 non-league victory over Manhattan Thursday night at the Bettis Family Sports Complex.

    "We went into this year wanting to initally test where we were the first game of the season and we certainly found out,'' Simons said. "And we wanted to test what progress we made by the last game of the season and I think we did and we have made progress.

    "Opening the season with a 5-1 loss is certainly humbling and we used that as motivation to play everybody else as competitively as we possibly could and I told the kids all year, 'We have to be tough and we have to have grit,' and they've shown it in the face of adversity.''

    HeightssoccerMan2Shawnee Heights senior Garrison Johnson (center) and junior Jovany Retana (left) scored goals and sophomore Brennon Dodge (right) had an assist in the T-Birds' 3-1 non-league soccer win over Manhattan Thursday night at the Bettis Family Sports Complex. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Shawnee Heights, which won the United Kansas Conference championship, never trailed against the 10-5-1 Indians after getting on the scoreboard at the 22:35 mark of the first half on a goal from junior Jovany Retana off an assist from sophomore Brennon Dodge.

    The score remained 1-0 through the first half before Shawnee Heights scored twice within 19 seconds early in the second half to put the game out of reach.

    T-Bird senior Garrison Johnson converted a penalty kick at the 32:34 mark of the second half and then junior Isaac Wilson made it 3-0 seconds later off an assist from junior Jordan Garvin.

    Manhattan's lone score came on an own goal with 17:36 left to play, but the Indians couldn't muster any more serious scoring chances.

    HeightssoccerMan3Shawnee Heights senior goalkeeper Jaden Rodriguez comes up with a save on a shot from Manhattan senior Marco Zambrano in the T-Birds' 3-1 win Thursday night. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    "We really haven't put together a compete game,'' Simons said. "We have had stretches of brilliance followed by some knucklehead stuff on the field, but this has probably been our most complete game that we've played all year.''

    Shawnee Heights will be at home for the first round of the Class 5A playoffs next Tuesday. Postseason pairings will be determined on Saturday.

    SHAWNEE HEIGHTS 3, MANHATTAN 1

    Manhattan (10-5-1) 0 1 -- 1

    Shawnee Heights (14-2-0) 1 2 -- 3

    Manhattan -- Goal: Own goal.

    Shawnee Heights -- Goals: Jovany Retana, Garrison Johnson, Isaac Wilson. Assists: Brennon Dodge, Jordan Garvin.

     

  • '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

  • Surging T-Birds take 23-7 road win over Blue Valley Southwest

    Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

    Shawnee Heights' football team is officially hot.

    After losing their first three games of the 2021 season by a total of 11 points, the T-Birds have bounced back to win three of their past four games, including a 23-7 road victory over Blue Valley Southwest Thursday night.

    JasonSwiftVeteran Shawnee Heights football coach Jason Swift and his T-Birds have a lot to smile about after winning three of their last four games, including a 23-7 road win over Blue Valley Southwest Thursday night. [File photo/TSN

    The 3-4 T-Birds will have the opportunity to post a .500 regular-season record with a home win over Kansas City-Turner next Friday at Wetter Field.

    Shawnee Heights trailed the 2-5 Timberwolves 7-0 at the end of the opening quarter, but that would prove to be Southwest's final points of the night.

    Heights recorded a safety to cut its deficit to 7-2 with 8:22 remaining in the first half and the T-Birds took a 9-7 halftime advantage on a touchdown pass from senior quarterback Callan Carver to senior Jarin Sanders with 32 seconds left in the half.

    After a scoreless third quarter Sanders scored on a short run to put the T-Birds in front 16-7 with 8:55 left in the game and Carver connected with sophomore Jacob Malcolm with 6:57 remaining to account for Heights' final margin.

    With Thursday's win Shawnee Heights has already tripled its win total from the 2020 season.

     

  • 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.

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    CITY BOYS CROSS COUNTRY

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    CITY GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers Oct. 4, 2021

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    TylanAlejos 2Tylan Alejos

    TYLAN ALEJOS, Topeka High

    Alejos, a senior running back, ran for 400 yards and eight touchdowns on 27 carries in Topeka High's 70-42 Centennial League victory over Highland Park last Friday at Hummer Sports Park. Alejos scored on runs of 32, 21, 4, 6, 71, 51, 31 and 21 yards as the Trojans improved to 2-3 on the season.

    Carter BrianCarter Brian

    CARTER BRIAN, Cair Paravel Latin

    A senior quarterback, Brian completed 14 of 19 passes for 236 yards and six touchdowns as Cair Paravel improved to 5-0 with a 54-8 victory over previously-unbeaten St. Mary's Academy last Friday at Highland Park. Brian completed TD passes of 17, 54, 16, 27, 10 and 8 yards to four different receivers in the win.

  • 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.

     

     

  • Former running back Clark finds a home on defense for Ichabods

    Rick Peterson

    THE PENNANT PLAYER PROFILETSN gold partner Pennant

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Christian Clark considered himself primarily a running back throughout his career at Shawnee Heights and his one year at William Penn.

    But the 6-foot-1, 190-pound sophomore cornerback had the foresight to switch to the other side of the football at Washburn University, a move that's paid off for Clark and the Ichabods.

    "Originally coming out of high school I did want to play running back and that was my main focus, but I guess maturing and being at William Penn I realized I really was a DB at heart,'' Clark said. "I've always been like naturally better at defense, so I just thought maybe I'd go somewhere else and play defense and I thought Washburn was a great fit, being close to home.''

    ChristianClarkFormer Shawnee Heights standout Christian Clark, a sophomore cornerback for Washburn, comes up with a diving interception in the Ichabods' 29-10 win over Central Missouri. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

     After seeing action in six games for Washburn in 2019 as a redshirt freshman and continuing to work at cornerback during the canceled 2020 campaign, Clark cracked the Ichabods' starting lineup this fall.

    "This is my third year here now and it worked out pretty well for me because I redshirted at William Penn and got a grayshirt here, so I'm a sophomore on the field and I've got a lot of time left,'' Clark said. "It's worked out great because I've been able to learn the system and just get really comfortable here. I like it.

    "I think especially physically it's better on my body and I like the challenge of cornerback, just being out there on your own a lot of times.''

    Clark turned in a highlight-reel play in Washburn's 29-10 MIAA win over Central Missouri in the second game of the season, coming up with a diving interception to stop a Mules' scoring threat, the first interception of his college career.

    "So far it's definitely the highlight of my career,'' he said. "It was a fun game, a really, really fun game. It made it better being the first home game of the season. Everyone comes out for that first game and being able to make that play was great.''

    Clark has been in on seven tackles thus far for the 2-1 Ichabods, with two pass breakups to go with the interception.

    He suffered a slight shoulder injury in last Saturday's 28-24 loss at Nebraska-Kearney and could miss Saturday's home game against Missouri Western (1 p.m. kickoff at Yager Stadium), but is confident he'll be back in action soon to continue making more and more progress in his role with the Ichabods.

    "In high school you kind of play a little bit more off natural ability, and then playing on this level in a competitive league, you've got to really pay attention to technique and stuff,'' Clark said. "That was a big switch, just focusing on my technique and my core drill work, paying attention to where my eyes are and things like that.

    "This is my first year really getting those key reps and I think over time I'm just going to get more comfortable out there. I'm still pretty raw in terms of playing corner, so I think as long as I just keep focusing and learning the game more, I think this is just the tip of what I can do.'' 

  • 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.

  • T-Birds dominate United Kansas Conference girls golf

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Shawnee Heights' girls golf team put all six T-Birds in the top 10 individually en route to a 21-stroke victory in Monday's United Kansas Conference tournament at Painted Hills Golf Course in Kansas City, Kan.

    Heightsgolf2Shawnee Heights' girls golf team poses for a picture with its United Kansas Conference championship trophy Monday at Painted Hills. [Twitter]

    Senior Olivia Morgan led the T-Birds with an 18-hole score of 98, tying Leavenworth's Chloe Herring for the UKC individual championship and finishing as the runner-up in a scorecard playoff.

  • Friday/Saturday prep FB roundup: T-Birds pick up first win, 54-6

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    After three heartbreaking losses, including two by a total of four points, Shawnee Heights' football team finally tasted victory Friday night, rolling to a 54-6 win over Kansas City-Schlagle.

    Jarin Sanders powered the 1-3 T-Birds to the non-league victory, carrying the ball 15 times for 178 yards and scoring five touchdowns in a career night for the senior running back.

    JarinSandersJarin Sanders

    Shawnee Heights quarterback Callan Carver completed three of six passes for 45 yards and carried the ball 4 times for 34 yards and a touchdown.

    Heighs' defense, meanwhile, turned in a dominating performance against the Stallions.

    CAIR PARAVEL LATIN 50, SUNRISE CHRISTIAN 0 -- Cair Paravel Latin continued its outstanding start to the 2021 season, improving to 4-0 with a 50-0 road win over Sunrise Christian Academy in a rare Saturday contest.

    The Lions put the game away with a 30-point first quarter and were in front 44-0 at the half.

    CarterBrianmugCarter Brian

    Senior quarterback Carter Brian completed 10 of 19 passes for 99 yards and five touchdowns, including a pair of TD passes to senior Noah Hastert, who caught four passes for 43 yards.

    Brian also rushed for 84 yards on seven attempts while junior Jachin Bonura carried the ball three times for 65 yards and two scores.

    Sophomore Ian Brian was in on 11 tackles to lead the Lions' defense.

    JUNCTION CITY 18, WASHBURN RURAL 17 (OT) -- Washburn Rural (3-1) suffered its first defeat of the season in heartbreaking fashion, with Xavion Felton scoring a two-point conversion to give the host Blue Jays (3-1) the overtime win. 

    The Junior Blues took a 10-7 lead early in the fourth quarter, but Junction City forced the overtime with an Aiden Fields field goal with eight seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

    Rural scored first in overtime, but the Blue Jays answered with a TD and Felton's conversion to pull out the victory.

    EMPORIA 42, HIGHLAND PARK 32 -- Highland Park's losing streak reached 60 games Friday at Emporia, but for the second time in three weeks the Scots gave themselves a chance to win.

    Highland Park rallied from an early 13-0 deficit to take an 18-13 lead over the Spartans, but Emporia rallied to take the lead for good at 35-32 with about three minutes left in the third quarter.

    TreRichardsonnew2Tre Richardson

    Hi Park junior Tre Richardson scored on a 99-yard kickoff return and rushing touchdowns of 8 and 11 yards.

    Scot newcomer Tyrell Reed, a Topeka West transfer, scored on an 80-yard run.

    MANHATTAN 49, TOPEKA HIGH 0 -- Manhattan improved to 4-0 on the season, riding a stifling defensive effort to a 49-0 Centennial League win Friday night at Hummer Sports Park.

    The Indians built a 22-0 halftime advantage and put the Trojans away in the third quarter.

    Topeka High fell to 1-3 on the season. 

    SILVER LAKE 54, OSKALOOSA 0 -- Silver Lake bounced back from its first loss of the season with a 54-0 romp past Oskaloosa Friday night in the Eagles' Class 2A district opener.

    Silver Lake improved to 3-1 on the season, jumping in front 21-0 at the end of the first quarter and taking a 41-0 halftime advantage.

     

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • Friday prep football roundup: Dawgs, Blues, Lions improve to 3-0

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Rossville overcame a brief early deficit Friday night to run its winning streak to 16 straight games with a 44-20 victory over St. Marys.

    The defending Class 2A state champions trailed the Bears 12-10 at the end of the first quarter and led by just a 23-20 margin at the half before pitching a 21-0 shutout in the second half to take control.

    CoreyCatronCorey Catron

    Rossville senior Corey Catron scored the last four touchdowns for Rossville, now 3-0 this fall, with Catron scoring on a pair of 1-yard runs, as well as a 5-yard run and a 32-yard scamper.

    Bulldawg senior quarterback Torrey Horak completed a 12-yard touchdown pass to senior Tagen Kippes and also scored on a 6-yard run.

    Rossville also got a 23-yard field goal from Pedro Arantes, who also kicked five extra points.

    WASHBURN RURAL 19, PITTSBURG 17 -- Washburn Rural made the long trip to Pittsburg pay off, coming from behind to post a 19-17 win over the Purple Dragons.

    The game was tied 7-7 at the end of the opening quarter and the Junior Blues trailed 14-10 at the half before rallying for the victory.

    With Friday's win Washburn Rural improved to 3-0 on the season.

    CAIR PARAVEL 60, MARANATHA ACADEMY 6 -- Cair Paravel Latin ran its record to 3-0 with a 60-6 romp past Maranatha Christian Academy, with the Lions scoring all 60 points in the first half.

    CarterBrianCarter Brian

    Lions senior quarterback Carter Brian completed 5 of 7 passes for 101 yards and three touchdowns while freshman backup Jase Pavlik went 4 of 5 for 45 yards and two TDs.

    Senior Noah Hastert caught three passes for 91 yards and two TDs while senior Max Colombo caught two passes for 47 yards, with both catches going for touchdowns.

    Sophomore Jesiah Bonura was Cair Paravel's leading rusher with 56 yards and two TDs on three carries while Colombo picked up 58 yards and a TD on two attempts.

    Sophomore Ian Brian had six tackles and an interception for the Lions.

    RILEY COUNTY 22, SILVER LAKE 14 -- Riley County scored 12 fourth-quarter points to hand Silver Lake its first loss of the season.

    Silver Lake (2-1) led 7-0 at the end of the first quarter and 14-3 at the half, but the Falcons outscored the Eagles 19-0 in the second half.

    LANSING 17, SHAWNEE HEIGHTS 14 -- Shawnee Heights came up just short against United Kansas Conference foe Lansing, suffering its third straight loss by seven points or less, including the last two games by a total of four points.

    JarinSandersJarin Sanders

    Heights quarterback Callan Carver completed 21 of 35 pass attempts for 196 yards while senior Carter Olson had six receptions for 64 yards and senior Jarin Sanders had six grabs for 35 yards.

    Sanders led the T-Birds' rushing attack with 52 yards on 16 carries while Carver added 45 yards on 15 attempts.

    MANHATTAN 70, HIGHLAND PARK 0 -- Centennial League power Manhattan rolled to a 70-0 home win over Highland Park Friday night, extending the Scots' win streak to 59 straight games dating back to 2014.

    WasRelated Stories and Videos

  • Shawnee Heights, Washburn star Ballentine picked up by Lions

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Shawnee Heights and Washburn University product Corey Ballentine is the newest member of the Detroit Lions.

    Ballentine, a third-year defensive back and returner, was claimed by the Lions after being waived off injured reserve by the New York Jets.

    CoreyBallentineCorey Ballentine

    The 25-year-old Ballentine was drafted in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL draft by the New York Giants and played for the Giants in 2019 and with the Giants and the Jets in 2020.

    Ballentine suffered a knee injury after a long kickoff return in a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers, leading to his release by the Jets..

    Ballentine played over 400 snaps at cornerback for the Giants in 2019-2020 and started four games before being waived and joining the Jets as their primary return man for the remainder of last season.

    Ballentine, who has averaged 24.5 yards per kick in the NFL, fills the Lions' roster spot created with cornerback Jeff Okudah going on injured reserve.A multiple All-MIAA and Division II All-America honoree, Ballentine appeared in 46 games at Washburn, tallying 186 tackles (113 solos) and five interceptions and won the Cliff Harris Award as the small college defensive player of the year as a senior..

  • WU's Brown thankful to be back in hometown, back on football field

    Rick Peterson

    THE PENNANT PLAYER PROFILETSN gold partner Pennant

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    When he graduated from Shawnee Heights in 2019 after being a three-sport standout for the T-Birds, Tyce Brown temporarily gave up football to head to Cincinnati and concentrate on a Division I baseball career at Xavier University.

    But the lure to return to the football field and the chance to be a two-sport athlete in his hometown was too good for Brown to pass up. 

    Tyce BrownFormer Shawnee Heights standout Tyce Brown has been an immediate contributor for the 2-0 Washburn University football team. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    "I liked (Cincinnati),'' Brown said. "It was a great town and I liked all my teammates and it was a great atmosphere. I kind of just missed football and wanted to come back and get a chance to do that again.

    "I talked to my parents about it and I kept watching some high school games and I was like, 'Yeah, I miss that.' I also talked to my high school coach (Jason Swift). We had multiple conversations and he was very helpful to the process, just thinking things through and making sure this was the right decision and making sure this was what I really wanted and not just an impulse decision. I'm glad he was there to do that for me.''

    The fact that Washburn football coach Craig Schurig and Ichabod baseball coach Harley Douglas would allow him to play both sports was also a key factor in his decision to transfer.

    "That was huge, the fact that both coaches are willing to work with me and willing to let me miss some time and still play,'' Brown said. "I think I can help both teams and I'm glad I get the opportunity to do that. That was a big factor and I'm glad they let me do that.''

    The 6-foot, 185-pound Brown, who has four years of eligibility remaining in both sports, joined the Ichabod football team for fall practice in the COVID-canceled '20 season, initially playing defensive back before switching to wide receiver this season.

    "I made the switch this summer and I put in the work with Mitch (Schurig, senior quarterback) and Jace (Williams, senior receiver) and they helped me a lot,'' Brown said. "We worked on the playbook and that helped me learn and get a grasp on everything, so when camp rolled around I was ready and wasn't behind. I was up to speed.''

    The position switch has paid early dividends for both Brown and the Ichabods, with Brown seeing action in both games for 2-0 WU, catching four passes for 28 yards.

    Brown received his first career start in last Thursday's 29-10 home MIAA victory over Central Missouri, with senior quarterback Mitch Schurig finding him for Washburn's first two pass completions of the night.

    "I definitely didn't expect to be thrown in the fire but I'm ready when my number is called,'' Brown said. "I didn't even know I was going to get the start, actually. Jace was hurting right before the game and was he was out so they called my number.''

    Brown comes from a big sports family, with older brown Trey a senior basketball player for MidAmerica Nazarene and younger sister Tatum a freshman softball player at South Dakota, and said that being back in Topeka suits him.

    "I'm a big family guy,'' he said. "Me and my brother and sister and my parents are all close and I enjoy being back here at home with my family and friends.

    "This just feels like home. The coaches here brought me in and made me welcome, and all my teammates have made me feel welcome. I'm thankful for them welcoming me like that. It's going great and I'm definitely enjoying my time here.''

  • Carpenter and Caryl star as Trojans claim team title in High tourney

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Topeka High tennis standouts Haley Carpenter and Adisyn Caryl experienced success in their first year as doubles partners last season, including an appearance in the Class 6A state tournament.

    But Carpenter and Caryl have stepped up their game this fall, including the No. 1 doubles championship in Wednesday's Topeka Invitational at Kossover Tennis Center as the Trojans captured the team title by a 30-29 margin over Olathe East.

    E XGyWHX0Ag eeJTopeka High No. 1 doubles players Adisyn Caryl (left) and Haley Carpenter celebrate a point in Wednesday's Topeka Invitational. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Carpenter and Caryl went a perfect 4-0 in Wednesday's tournament, including a 6-2, 7-5 decision over Olathe East in the doubles championship match to improve to 13-1 on the season. 

    "They're much more in sync with each other because they just played half a year together last year,'' Topeka High coach Duane Pomeroy said. "Adisyn has been our top player, but she likes doubles over singles, and Haley is the one that's really improved from last year to this year so she's on par with Adisyn and when one is struggling most of the time the other one picks them up.''

    E XIFdSWEAQVtU6Topeka High tennis player Adisyn Caryl returns a shot during Wednesday's Topeka Invitational. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    E XHkcZX0AMz6y4Topeka High's Haley Carpenter makes a returning during Wednesday's Topeka Invitational. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Caryl agreed with her coach that this fall is going very well for the Trojan doubles team.

    "This year we started off and just did really well and every single tournament or quad we just keep getting better and better,'' Caryl said. 

    "It's a lot better this year,'' Carpenter agreed. "We know what (other teams) are going to do and we can trust each other a lot more this year so that's really nice.''

    After taking a decisive win in the first set against Olathe East in Wednesday's championship matc, Topeka High fell behind in the second set before rallying for the win.

    "I think for us it was all about determination,'' Caryl said.

    Carpenter agreed.

    "We were really tired and we just had a lot of trouble when they were serving and kind of got down, but it was OK because we got back on track and still won,'' she said.

    Topeka High also got a championship from McCall Beall, who claimed the No. 2 singles crown with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Lawrence, while the No. 2 doubles team of Aleshia Alvarez and Keira Trupp finished second and No. 1 singles player Mary Dietrick finished fourth.

    Beall improved to 11-0 in No. 2 singles.

    "It's been real good,'' Pomeroy said. "We competed. And to get two championships and pull out the team title is great.''

    Shawnee Heights' Laura Elkoubysi finished third in No. 1 singles with a 6-2, 6-0 win over High's Dietrick while the fourth-place T-Birds got a fourth-place finish in No. 2 doubles from Hannah Sixkiller and Addyson Bryant and fifths in No. 2 singles from Victoria Soto and No. 2 doubles from Shelby Elskamp and Ariah Durkes.

    Topeka West's Anna Newcome finished fifth in No. 1 singles with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Junction City's Abby Ratts.

    TOPEKA INVITATIONAL TENNIS

  • 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.

  • Friday prep football roundup: West holds on to pick up first win

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    If Topeka West goes on to have a breakout 2021 football season, the Chargers will no doubt remember Friday night's 36-32 Centennial League road win at Emporia as the impetus.

    After trailing 7-6 at the end of the first quarter, Topeka West rallied to take a 14-10 halftime lead and a 28-16 advantage through three quarters before surviving Emporia's late-game rally to even its record at 1-1.

    E TGaQTXIAw6CkaTyrell Reed

     MalachiBergMalachi Berg

    Juniors Malachi Berg and Tyrell Reed both had big games for the Chargers, who bounced back from a 45-6 season-opening loss to Washburn Rural.

    Berg accumulated more than 350 yards of total offense, throwing for one touchdown and running for a second TD, while Reed topped the 100-yard rushing mark and ran for three TDs, including a 55-yard run that proved to be the difference in the game.

    The Chargers survived a huge passing game from Emporia quarterback Cam Geitz, who threw for all four of the 0-2 Spartans' touchdowns.

    ROSSVILLE 56, ROCK CREEK 14 -- The defending Class 2A state champs rolled to their second win of '21, jumping out to 31-7 halftime cushion and putting the 0-2 Mustangs away with a 25-point third quarter.

    Bulldawg senior quarterback Torrey Horak ran for a 16-yard touchdown and threw for a 49-yard TD to junior Kade Perine and a 30-yard TD to senior Corey Catron.

    TorreyHorakTorrey Horak

    Corey CatronCorey Catron

    Catron also scored on a 2-yard run while senior Kaden Brown had a 44-yard pick six for the Bulldawgs and scored on a 6-yard run.

    The Bulldawgs also achieved a rare feat at the high school level, with junior Pedro Arantes kicking four field goals, connecting from 27, 27, 25 and 28 yards. Arantes also kicked four extra points to finish the night with 16 points. 

  • 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]

  • 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.''

  • Celebrating Title IX: Schmidt thankful for busy, rewarding career

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    EDITOR'S NOTE: The Kansas State High School Activities Association is currently in the midst of its 50 for 50 project, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Title IX, which opened the door for female athletes across the United States. As part of that project TopSports.news contributor Rick Peterson wrote the following story on former Shawnee Heights and Washburn University multi-sport star Dani (McHenry) Schmidt.

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

       Former Shawnee Heights multi-sport star and Washburn University Hall of Famer Dani (McHenry) Schmidt was never shy about trying any sport and will be forever grateful that she had that opportunity. 

       Title IX, which is marking its 50th anniversary during the 2021-22 school year, opened doors for female athletes across the United States and Schmidt took full advantage, participating in soccer, softball, volleyball and basketball growing up. 

       By the time Schmidt entered Shawnee Heights High School in the late 1990s Title IX had been in effect for some 26 years and she said she had plenty of options to further her skills. 

       “I would honestly say that where I fell into it, I never felt like we were second to boys sports or that there wasn’t an opportunity,’’ Schmidt said. “If I wanted to do something I felt like I was afforded the opportunity. 

       “Obviously there was a lot of hard work and all of that before me to get to that point by the women who started Title IX and got things up and running, and because of all their hard work I never felt like I was at a disadvantage by being a female or that I couldn’t go do something if it was really something I wanted to go do.’’ 

    DaniMcHenry2After winning two state volleyball titles at Shawnee Heights, Dani (McHenry) Schmidt went on to earn All-America volleyball honors and play on a national cham[ionship basketball team at Washburn University. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

       Schmidt’s father, Ron McHenry, is the longtime women’s basketball coach at Washburn University, coaching the Ichabods to the 2004-05 NCAA Division II National Championship, and Dani said her father was very good about encouraging her and her siblings’ athletic endeavors without pressuring them. 

       Dani’s younger sister, Sami, is the head volleyball coach at Shawnee Heights while her younger brother, Ronnie, is Washburn’s head men’s golf coach. 

       “My dad obviously wanted to provide us opportunities, but I never had to have a conversation with him where I was like, ‘You’re making me do something that I don’t want to do,’ ‘’ Schmidt said. “And I think he would have been OK with that if it ever got to that point.

       “He was very realistic, and he had coached kids for a long time so he kind of knew what you had potential in and would kind of nudge you in that direction, but he was never over the top in terms of me not wanting to do something and being forced to do it. I never specialized and it was never like, ‘You’re going to have to pick one,’ or any of that. I was able to do it all.’’ 

       Schmidt eventually narrowed her focus to volleyball and basketball, leading Shawnee Heights to back-to-back Class 5A state volleyball championships in 1999 and 2000 while also starring for the T-Birds' basketball team. 

       After a stint with Kansas’ volleyball team, Schmidt transferred to Washburn, where she continued to be a multi-sport athlete. 

    Dani McHenryDani (McHenry) Schmidt [Washburn Athletics]

  • 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 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. 

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

     Carter BrianCarter Brian

    Noah HastertNoah Hastert

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

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

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

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

    TorreyHorakTorrey Horak

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • TopSports.news' Shawnee County football players to watch

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    TylanAlejosTylan Alejos

    Tylan Alejos, Topeka High

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

    E TJMpXXIAINwEhCamden Barta

    Camden Barta, Seaman

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

    E TG0F6XoA8Jpel

    Malachi Berg, Topeka West

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

    RobbyBolinRobby Bolin

    Robby Bolin, Washburn Rural

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

  • Rottinghaus, Ichabod volleyball stoked to end long layoff

    Rick Peterson

    THE PENNANT PLAYER PROFILETSN gold partner Pennant

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Things are about to get real for senior Faith Rottinghaus and her Washburn University volleyball teammates and the former Shawnee Heights multi-sport standout couldn't be more excited.

    The powerhouse Ichabods, who open the 2021 season at home Thursday against Cameron University, had the entire '20 season wiped out by COVID-19 and Rottinghaus admitted that it's been a tough stretch for everybody in the program.

    "It was extremely weird and it was really hard on us all, just kind of mentally taxing,'' said the two-time All-MIAA first-team libero/defensive specialist. "We were continuing to go into the gym and looking forward to getting to play but yet we didn't know if we were going to play or when we were going to play.

    "It was a little bit mentally challenging from that aspect of it and to stay in good physical shape was kind of challenging. We really relied on each other and support from our teammates and coaches and motivation from each other.''

    FaithRottinghausFormer Shawnee Heights star Faith Rottinghaus, a two-time All-MIAA first-team pick, is stoked to play her final season for Washburn's volleyball team. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

  • Rural takes control in second half for 5-1 soccer romp past Heights

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Just two games into the 2021 season, there's still some things that Washburn Rural soccer coach Brian Hensyel wants to see his team clean up moving forward.

    But Hensyel also knows that if the Junior Blues keep finding the back of the net the way they have in back-to-back five-goal games, Rural is going to be hard to beat.

    After opening the season with a 5-0 shutout over Kapaun Mt. Carmel last Friday, Washburn Rural followed that up with a 5-1 win over city rival Shawnee Heights Tuesday night at McElroy Field.

    "The offense is clicking,'' Hensyel said. "We scored a bunch of goals the first half the other night and scored the second half tonight. Ten goals in two games obviously is pretty good. 

    "We have some offensive weapons but Shawnee Heights played hard and they made it really tough for us. We had to earn some goals and eventually kind of broke free, but we let them back in the game a little bit just by doing silly stuff. It's August, it's early in the season and we've got to clean some of those things up, simple things.''

    E KtVYnXsAEjYhxWashburn Rural sophomore Benett Hallauer (left)  tries to control the ball in Tuesday's soccer game vs. Shawnee Hieghts. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

  • 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.

  • Washburn taps Ronnie McHenry to guide Ichabod golf program

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Former Washburn University golfer Ronnie McHenry has been named the head coach of the Ichabod golf program, Washburn athletic director Loren Ferré announced on Thursday.
     
    "We're excited to have Ronnie lead our program," Ferré said. "As a former Washburn golf student-athlete, he knows what it takes to compete for our team on both the MIAA and the national levels and we're confident he will excel as the head golf coach."

    Ronnie McHenryRonnie McHenry [Washburn Athletics]

    McHenry spent the last two seasons as a volunteer assistant coach with the Ichabods and helped the team reach the NCAA National Championships this past spring.

  • 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

  • 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

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

    Rick Peterson

     

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

    TomDinkel2Tom Dinkel [Submitted]

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

    Troy WilsonTroy Wilson [1994 Fleer Cards]

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

    Ky ThomasnewKy Thomas [TSN file photo]

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

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

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST FOOTBALL PLAYERS

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

    Rick Peterson

     

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

    Abby GlynnAbby Glynn [KU Athletics]

    RachelStous2Rachel Stous [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

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

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

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

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST WOMEN'S GOLFERS

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

    Rick Peterson

     

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

    Men's golf wasn't one of those.

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

    Gary WoodlandGary Woodland [PGA Tour]

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

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

    AndrewBeckleraction 2Andrew Beckler [Washburn Athletics]

     Justice ValdiviaJustice Valdivia

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

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

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

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST MEN'S GOLFERS

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

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

    Jessica MainzJessica Mainz [Washburn Athletics]

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

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

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

    KellyLemkeKelly Lemke [Twitter]

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

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

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

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

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

     AustinHalseyAustin Halsey [BakerWildcats.com]

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

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

    Ross BoydRoss Boyd [FHSU Athletics]

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

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

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

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

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

    Lisa Carey [Submitted]Lisa Carey

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

     Lauren MillsLauren Mills

    NiJareeCanadyregional2NiJaree Canady

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

    TaylorZordelTaylor Zordel

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

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

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

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

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

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

     SharaStaffordShara Stafford [Submitted]

    Shannon SuddarthShannon Suddarth [File photo]

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

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

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

    KadenceJeffriesjubeKadence Jeffries [File photo/TSN]

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

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST WOMEN'S SWIMMERS

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

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

    Glenn TrammelGlenn Trammel [Submitted]

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

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

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

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST MEN'S SWIMMERS

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

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

    JoelHoffmanJoel Hoffman [Submitted]

    JohnGranthamJohn Grantham [File photo]

    TommyHunterTommy Hunter [Washburn Athletics]

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

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

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

    Danny WilliamsDanny Williams

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

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

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

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

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

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

    Trisa NickoleyTrisa Nickoley [Missouri Athletics]

    JudyDyerJudy Dyer [File photo]

    Rita GravesRita Graves [Kansas State Athletics]

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

     Preston CarringtonPreston Carrington (Syed Abdul Mutfi) [File photo

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

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

    Marcel CarterMarcel Carter [File photo]

    Mikey HofferMikey Hoffer [Huskers.com]

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

     Jared HuskeJared Huske [Submitted]

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

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

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

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

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

    Kaylee MannsKaylee Manns [Cyclones.com]

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

    Dani McHenryDani McHenry [Washburn Athletics]

    Jazz SweetJazz Sweet [Huskers.com]

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

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

    AmandaDeschAmanda Desch [Bronchosports.com]

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

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

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

  • 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

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the coming weeks, TopSports.news will recognize hundreds of Shawnee County's all-time greats in 25 sports/categories as part of our Best of the Best project. Readers will have the opportunity to vote through July, with the Top 25 in all categories announced in August. To cast a vote for the Best of the Best, click on: https://linkto.run/p/0O6AJV5HEmail votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

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

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

    Abby GlynnAbby Glynn

    Rachel StousRachel Stous

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the coming weeks, TopSports.news will recognize hundreds of Shawnee County's all-time greats in 25 sports/categories as part of our Best of the Best project. Readers will have the opportunity to vote through July, with the Top 25 in all categories announced in August. To cast a vote for the Best of the Best, click on: https://linkto.run/p/YHDFNK4MEmail votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

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

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

    Gary WoodlandGary Woodland [PGA Tour]

    AndrewBeckleractionAndrew Beckler [Washburn Athletics]

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the coming weeks, TopSports.news will recognize hundreds of Shawnee County's all-time greats in 25 sports/categories as part of our Best of the Best project. Readers will have the opportunity to vote through July, with the Top 25 in all categories announced in August. To cast a vote for the Best of the Best, click on: https://linkto.run/p/9MB02JDDEmail votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

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

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

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

    Jessica MainzJessica Mainz [Washburn Athletics]

    Darby HirschDarby Hirsch [Fort Hays State Athletics]

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the coming weeks, TopSports.news will recognize hundreds of Shawnee County's all-time greats in 25 sports/categories as part of our Best of the Best project. Readers will have the opportunity to vote through July, with the Top 25 in all categories announced in August. To cast a vote for the Best of the Best, click on: https://linkto.run/p/JGII7WCUEmail votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

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

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

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

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

    Nati ClarkeNati Clarke [Sporting Kansas City Academy]

    Austin Halsey2Austin Halsey [Baker University Athletics]

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the coming weeks, TopSports.news will recognize hundreds of Shawnee County's all-time greats in 25 sports/categories as part of our Best of the Best project. Readers will have the opportunity to vote through July, with the Top 25 in all categories announced in August. To cast a vote for the Best of the Best, click on: https://linkto.run/p/CVR1E070Email votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

    Shara Stafford was a multi-time state swimming champ for Topeka High before going on to become a 13-time All-American for Florida and Missouri and a part of a NCAA national championship team for the Gators while Shannon Suddarth was a six-time state champion for Hayden and went on to become a nine-time All-American at Notre Dame.

    Stafford and Suddarth are part of a long line of local stars to make their mark as club and high school swimmers before going on to star at the collegiate level, including Topeka West state record-setter and Virginia product Emily Dicus, former Hayden and Nebraska standout Kristin Strecker and Washburn Rural and Kansas standouts Haley Molden and Sammie Schurig.

    Shara StaffordShara Stafford [FloridaGators.com]

    Shannon SuddarthShannon Suddarth [Submitted]

    Emily Dicus2Emily Dicus [TheSwimPictures.com]

  • 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]

  • Tennis greats past and present headline TSN men's poll

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the coming weeks, TopSports.news will recognize hundreds of Shawnee County's all-time greats in 25 sports/categories as part of our Best of the Best project. Readers will have the opportunity to vote through July, with the Top 25 in all categories announced in August. To cast a vote for the Best of the Best, click on: https://linkto.run/p/4PBM2JDDEmail votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

    Candidates to be named the best all-time men's tennis history include a host of multi-time state champs to college Hall of Famers to longtime stars on the amateur circuit.

    The hard part is deciding who gets the nod.

    Tommy HunterTommy Hunter [Washburn Athletics]

    JohnGranthamJohn Grantham [Submitted]

  • 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

  • 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..

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    Who is the greatest men's basketball player in Shawnee County history?

    That's a toughie!

    Is it Topeka High product Fred Slaughter, who started on John Wooden's first NCAA national championship team at UCLA, or former Hayden star Tom Meier, who helped the Wildcats post a perfect 25-0 season before going on to lead Washburn University to an NAIA national championship.

     Tom MeierTom Meier

    KyleWeems4Kyle Weems

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the coming weeks, TopSports.news will recognize hundreds of Shawnee County's all-time greats in 25 sports/categories as part of our Best of the Best project. Readers will have the opportunity to vote through July, with the Top 25 in all categories announced in August. To cast a vote for the Best of the Best, click on: https://linkto.run/p/7NXPFJZLEmail votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

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

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

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

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

     BrendaShaffer DahlBrenda Shaffer-Dahl

    TatyanaLegette1Tatyana Legette

  • Baseball starts off TSN's Shawnee County Best of the Best project

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the coming weeks, TopSports.news will recognize hundreds of Shawnee County's all-time greats in 25 sports/categories as part of our Best of the Best project. The project gets under way with baseball and readers will have the opportunity to vote through July, with the Top 25 in all categories announced in August. To cast a vote for the Best of the Best, click on: https://linkto.run/p/87MXCEBI  Email votes/nominations will be also accepted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

    The list of contenders to get the nod as the top baseball player in Shawnee County history has to start with New York Yankees World Series hero Mike Torrez and American League All-Star and Gold Glove winner Ken Berry.

    MikeTorrezMike Torrez

    KenBerryKen Berry

  • Rossville's Sherer honored as Spring Male Athlete of the Year

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Recent Rossville graduate Alex Sherer, who ended a brief but memorable high school tennis career with a state championship, was honored Wednesday night as the TopSports.news Topeka Shawnee County Spring Male Athlete of the Year.

    AlexShererSpringRossville's Alex Sherer, TopSports.news' Topeka Shawnee County Male Spring Athlete of the Year, is interviewed by master of ceremonies Bruce Steinbrock Wednesday night. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Sherer got his first opportunity to play high school tennis as a senior, playing for Hayden as a co-op player during the regular season before representing Rossville in the postseason, with his father, Jesse, serving as his coach.

    Sherer made the most of his opportunity, winning the Class 3A-1A state singles title to give Rossville its first-ever state tennis champion.

    He posted a 36-2 record on the season and will play college tennis at Kansas Wesleyan University.

    Sherer was also the "Voice of the Bulldawgs,'' broadcasting many Rossville sports events.

  • Vikes' Anderson honored as Most Inspirational Female Athlete

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    After advancing to the state tournament in one sport, claiming a state title in another and compiling a 4.11 grade point average, recent Seaman graduate JahnAsia Anderson was honored Wednesday night as TopSports.news' Topeka Shawnee County Most Inspiratonal Female Athlete.

    DSC_5219.jpgSeaman product JahnAsia Anderson, named the 2021 Topeka Shawnee County Most Inspirational Female Athlete Wednesday night, is interviewed by Bruce Steinbrock. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Anderson went out for track and field for the first time as a senior and became a Class 5A state champion in the shot put and also was a starter for the Vikings' state qualifying basketball team.

    "JahnAsia's work ethic is second to none,'' Seaman girls track coach Rick Brading said. "On most days she was the last one to come in from practice. For JahnAsia to win a state championship after being slowed by (an) elbow injury is just amazing.''

    Anderson was also a four-year member of a Seaman basketball team that qualified for three straight state tournaments.

    "Although undersized as a post player, she wasn't afraid to bang around and do the dirty work,'' Viking baksetball coach Matt Tinsley said.

    Other Most Inspirational Female nominees:

    JaNeysha HendrickJaNeysha Hendricks

    JANEYSHA HENDRICKS | Topeka High

    PARENTS: Antwaun and Nicole Jones

    SPORT: Basketball | GPA: 3.4

    The Trojans' point guard, Hendricks helped Topeka High post a pair of second-place finishes in the Class 6A basketball tournament as well as a semifinal berth in 2020 before the state tournament was canceled. "She is a true leader on and off the floor,'' Topeka High coach Hannah Alexander said. "She leads by example and is an amazing floor leader. Her stats are usually overlooked, but this girl makes everyone around her better. She has a knack for making passes that do not look like they should be there or be open.'' Hendricks, who averaged 4.5 assists her senior season, plans to attend Tabor College and play basketball for the Bluejays.

  • T-Birds' Hicks honored as Most Inspirational Male Athlete

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Shawnee Heights product Aidan Hicks was honored as TopSports.news' Topeka Shawnee County Most Inspirational Athlete of the Year Wednesday after bouncing back from major heart surgery early last fall to end his high school career as a state medalist in track and field.

    DSC 5248Shawnee Heights product Aidan Hicks does is interviewed by Bruce Steinbrock after being named the Topeka Shawnee County Most Inspirational Male Athlete Wednesday night. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    "In September, Aidan found out he had major leakage in two of his four heart valves,'' Shawnee Heights football coach Jason Swift said. "He had major heart surgery and was told his football career was over, but with tremendous rehab he might be able to throw in track in the spring.

    "Aidan took care of his body, worked hard on recovery and rebuilding the 20 pounds he lost and had a great senior year in track.'' 

     

    Hicks capped his senior season with a fourth-place state finish in the Class 5A boys javelin throw and plans to compete in track and field at Emporia State.

    Other Most Inspirational Male nominees:

    Dawson Adams mugDawson Adams

    DAWSON ADAMS | Hayden

    PARENTS: Ryan and Melissa Adams

    SPORT: Cross country and track and field | GPA: 3.46

    A two-time All-City pick in cross country, Adams was a Class 4A state placer in both cross country and track and field. "Without Dawson we don't accomplish what we did as a boys team this season,'' Hayden cross country and track coach DeJuan Gardenhire said. "Dawson would be the first one to practice and the last to leave. Dawson would always be there for everybody to cheer them on and made sure everybody had a positive mindset no matter if it was practice or a meet. Many of our newcomers would look up to Dawson and would ask him about race strategy, motivation or anything related.'' Adams plans to run in college at the University of Saint Mary's.

    KaidenBrown 2Kaiden Brown

    KAIDEN BROWN | Rossville

    PARENTS: Christopher and Michelle Brown

    SPORT: Football | GPA: 3.3

    Brown was an All-Class 2A linebacker for the state-champion Bulldawgs and a two-time state-champion powerlifter while also establishing himself as a leader in his school. "As a new administration took over at Rossville High School, students were sought for their leadership ability to establish a positive culture within our building,'' Brown's nomination form stated. "As a freshman, Kaiden was identified as a student who not only could lead, but would accept the responsibility to lead by example. With Kaiden you get the student who will stand up for what's right even when it isn't popular among his peers.'' 

  • State champion Smith named Winter Female Athlete of the Year

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Rebekah Smith, who helped lead Washburn Rural to a pair of Division I state championships and won an individual title as a senior, was recognized as TopSports.news' Topeka Shawnee County Winter Female Athlete of the Year during Wednesday's awards banquet at the Maner Conference Center.

    1. Rebekah Smith State Finals Action ShotWashburn Rural team and individual champion Rebekah Smith was named the TopSports.news Winter Female Athlete of the Year Wednesday night. [File photo/TSN]

    Smith posted a third-place finish in the Division I state wrestling tournament as a junior (170 pounds) and earned the 155-pound state championship as a senior, helping Washburn Rural capture the team championship both seasons.

    Rebekah Smith is the definition of excellence at Washburn Rural,'' Junior Blues girls wrestling coach Damon Parker said. "In 2021 she was the most dominant wrestler in her weight class in the state. Rebekah has set the bar that all other Shawnee County wrestlers will be reaching towards for years to come.'' 

    Other Winter Female nominees:

    RhenCalhoonmug

    RHEN CALHOON | Hayden

    PARENTS: Brian and Stacey Calhoon.

    SPORT: Basketball GPA  4.02

    Calhoon, a four-sport athlete, averaged 12 points and 8 rebounds as a senior for Hayden's basketball team, earning second-team All-City honors. "Rhen represented Hayden well this year as she came on strong,'' Hayden girls basketball coach Carvel Reynoldson said. "She turned into our go-to player down the stretch and played very tough basketball.'' Calhoon was also a state medalist in tennis and played soccer and participated in track and field in the spring. Calhoon plans to attend Barton County Community College in the fall and play tennis after placing seventh in singles for the Wildcats her senior season.

    IsabellaCarter2Isabella Carter

    ISABELLA CARTER | Highland Park

    PARENTS: Tim and Ambroja Watson

    SPORT: Basketball | GPA: 3.0

    As a senior, Carter helped provide exceptional leadership as Highland Park's basketball team fought severe numbers issues in a winless season. "Isabella showed up and helped lead the team through a difficult season,'' Highland Park coach Sanetra Jackson said. "She faced adversity the last two years but fought through the season.'' Carter was a four-year letter-winner for the Scots in basketball while also playing volleyball and soccer. Carter plans to attend Hesston Community College next school year and will play soccer.

  • Rural's Stiles named TopSports.news' Winter Male Athlete of Year

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Remington Stiles, who helped lead Washburn Rural to its first-ever Class 6A state wrestling championship in 2021, was honored as TopSports.news' Topeka Shawnee County Winter Male Athlete of the Year on Wednesday at the Maner Conference Center.

    Remington Stiles actionRemington Stiles, who helped Washburn Rural win its first-ever Class 6A state wrestling title, was named TopSports.news' Winter Male Athlete of the Year. [Submitted}

    Stiles finished fifth in 6A state at 182 pounds as a senior, was a Centennial League champion and a two-time first-team All-City selection.

    "Over the course of his high school career, Remington went from low-level junior varsity wrestler as a freshman to spot-duty varsity wrestler as a sophomore, state qualifier as a junior and state medalist as a senior,'' former Washburn Rural boys wrestling coach Damon Parker said. "Without his dedication to self-improvement and leadership in the wrestling room, Washburn Rural's first state wrestling team title would not have been possible.''

    Stiles is attending the United States Air Force Academy.

    Other Winter Male nominees:

    Dylan BirkenbaughDJ Birkenbaugh

    DJ BIRKENBAUGH | Seaman

    PARENTS: Richard and Rebecca Birkenbaugh

    SPORT: Bowling | GPA: NA

    Birkenbaugh participated in bowling, football and baseball at Seaman. "I really believe bowling is DJ's best sport,'' Viking bowling coach Bob Benoit said. "He has excellent form, ball roll and an unbelievable release. DJ has one of the most powerful strike balls you will ever see. DJ is also a great leader and teammate. When the younger bowlers were struggling he was always there for them.'' As a sophomore Birkenbaugh was a member of Seaman's state championship team and he bowled in the state tournament all four years of his high school career, heling the Vikings post a third-place team finish this past season.''

    Jonathan EglyJonathan Egly

    JONATHAN EGLY | Shawnee Heights

    PARENTS: Jeremy and Tiffany Egly

    SPORT: Bowling | GPA: 3.7

    Egly was a standout bowler for Shawnee Heights, recording a high three-game series of 590, a high game of 222.and seven 200 games on the year. "Jonathan is a competitor beyond words,'' Heights coach Scott Mercer said. "He continues to strive in the face of adversity every time he steps on the lanes. In his four years of bowling he quickly became a favorite with his teammates and his competitors. Jonathan is determined and motivates those around him. He is well known for pushing his teammates to be better and give 110 percent. Jonathan has been a pleasure to coach.''

  • Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards: Spring Male Nominees

    SPRING SPORTS: OUTSTANDING MALE NOMINEES

     Lukas BrennanLukas Brennan

    LUKAS BRENNAN | Topeka High

    PARENTS: Greg and Joy Brennan

    SPORT: Baseball | GPA: 4.31

    Brennan batted .405 and compiled a 3-2 pitching record with 37 strikeouts as the Trojans posted a breakthrough season, advancing to a Class 6A regional final. "It's difficult to truly define Lukas' impact on our program,'' Topeka High baseball coach Cody Miller said. "Lukas was our team captain this year and represented everything a leader should be. He was always incredibly positive, but he'd give the team a kick in the pants if we needed it. I'm very proud to have been his coach and am very grateful for his leadership in turning around a program that was 2-19 two years ago to what we are now.'' Brennan, who also played soccer for the Trojans, will continue his academic career at Kansas.

    E4xm9NjWYAca3wdAzarion Perkins

    AZARION PERKINS | Highland Park

    PARENT: Linda Perkins

    SPORT: Tennis | GPA: 3.26

    Perkins capped his high school tennis career with an appearance in the Class 5A state tournament after posting a fifth-place finish in doubles in regional competition. "Azarion Perkins showed excellence as a leader throughout his senior year with boys tennis team and school,'' Perkins' nomination form stated. "Azarion showed selflessness as he progressed his own tennis skills by not only applying what he learned to advance his own skills but he used what he learned to instruct the novice players on the team so that they, too, could advance their skills. Azarion is a true leader both on and off the tennis courts.''

    Connor PruyserConnor Pruyser

    CONNOR PRUYSER | Silver Lake

    PARENTS: Curtis Pruyser and Colleen Dewey

    SPORT: Baseball | GPA: 3.6

    Pruyser was an All-Class 3A first-team pick this season after posting a 6-1 record with a 2.5 earned run average and 49 strikeouts in 42 innings pitched for the Eagles. "Connor exhibits excellence on and off the baseball diamond,'' Silver Lake coach Tyler Seele said. "Connor is a very respectful young man that treats everyone he encounters in a positive manner. Connor has a good attitude and demeanor when he competes on the diamond. He is a great leader for the younger guys in our program to look up to and to learn from. Connor is a good teammate, a positive role model and a fierce competitor.''

     EthanRottinghausmug 2Ethan Rottinghaus

    ETHAN ROTTINGHAUS | Shawnee Heights

    PARENTS: Michael and Theresa Rottinghaus

    SPORT: Golf | GPA: 4.16

    Rottinghaus compiled an average score of 86 as a senior for the T-Bird golf team, earning first-team All-United Kansas Conference honors after helping Heights win the UKC team championship and earn a berth in the Class 5A state tournament with a second-place team finish in regional competition. Rottinghaus carded rounds of 86 and 82 to finish 28th in the state meet. "Ethan excelled for the Shawnee Heights golf program as a three-year letterman,'' Shawnee Heights golf coach Jason Swift said. Rottinghaus plans to continue his academic career at Wichita State.

    Marquel Russell mugMarquel Russell

    MARQUEL RUSSELL | Washburn Rural

    PARENTS: Jason Russell and Shanna Bigler

    SPORT: Track and field | GPA: NA

    Russell capped an outstanding career as a hurdler for Washburn Rural with the Class 6A state championship in the 110-meter hurdles in a career-best time of 14.79 seconds, his third state medal in the 110s in as many state appearances. Russell was a two-time city and Centennial League champion and was the state runner-up as a freshman and took fourth in 6A as a sophomore. "Marquel was a major contributor on a boys team that has been city champs four years in a row, won a league championship for the first time in 27 years and finished fourth at this year's state meet,'' Washburn Rural coach Keith Wetzel said.

     Alex Sherer graduationAlex Sherer

    ALEX SHERER | Rossville

    PARENTS: Jesse and Julie Sherer

    SPORT: Tennis | GPA: 3.6

    Sherer got his first opportunity to play high school tennis as a senior, playing for Hayden as a co-op player during the regular season before representing Rossville in the postseason, with his father, Jesse, serving as his coach. Sherer made the most of his opportunity, winning the Class 3A-1A state singles title to give Rossville its first-ever state tennis champion. He posted a 36-2 record on the season and will play college tennis at Kansas Wesleyan University. Sherer was also the "Voice of the Bulldawgs,'' broadcasting many Rossville sports events.

    SkylerSpechtSkyler Specht

    SKYLER SPECHT | Hayden

    PARENTS: David and Megan Specht

    SPORT: Baseball | GPA: 4.0

    Specht was a standout in both baseball and football for the Wildcats, earning postseason recognition in both sports. Specht hit nearly .400 this spring for the Wildcats, helping lead Hayden to a berth in the Class 4A state tournament. "Skyler is a hard-working student-athlete both in the classroom and on the fields,'' Hayden baseball and football coach Bill Arnold said. "He has great hand-eye coordination and is a great team player. Very competitive.'' Specht plans to attend Benedictine College this fall and play baseball.

    Speaker TristonTriston Speaker

    TRISTON SPEAKER | Topeka West

    PARENTS: Randy and Colleen Speaker

    SPORT: Baseball | GPA: 3.64

    Speaker batted .419 as a senior for the Chargers with six doubles and a triple and stole 23 bases in as many attempts while compiling a .903 fielding percentage at shortstop. "Triston has been a leader on our team since he was a freshman,'' former Topeka West coach John Tetuan said. "He started every game at shortstop for us for three years. We could always count on him as a vocal leader and a great leader by example. He loved to work hard to better himself every day, always wanting to do extra work. He has hit consistently over .400 over his career. Triston is the player every coach wants on their team.''

    CadinWorcestermug 2Cadin Worcester

    CADIN WORCESTER | Seaman

    PARENTS: Casey and Cassey Worcester

    SPORT: Track and field | GPA: 3.82

    Worcester earned a pair of state medals in the Class 5A state championships this spring, placing third in the high jump and running on the Vikings' sixth-place 4x100-meter relay. Worcester received All-Shawnee County first-team honors. Worcester tied for the seventh-best high jump in Seaman history at 6-foot-4. "Cadin is genuinely a competitor and always rises to the occasion,'' Seaman track and field coach Scott Petersen said. "He was a model of consistency and improved all year steadily from his effort in practice.'' Worcester also was a soccer standout for the Vikings, earning first-team All-City and All-Centennial League honors after recording 12 goals and seven assists.

     Connor Pruyser action

     CadinWorcesteraction

     AlexShererTW

  • Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards: Inspirational Females

    MOST INSPIRATIONAL: OUTSTANDING FEMALE NOMINEES

    JahnAsia Andersonmug 2JahnAsia Anderson

    JAHNASIA ANDERSON | Seaman

    PARENT: Kellum Ireland

    SPORT: Basketball and track and field | GPA: 4.11

    Anderson went out for track and field for the first time as a senior and became a Class 5A state champion in the shot put. "JahnAsia's work ethic is second to none.'' Seaman girls track coach Rick Brading said. "On most days she was the last one to come in from practice. For JahnAsia to win a state championship after being slowed by (an) elbow injury is just amazing.'' Anderson was also a four-year member of a Seaman basketball team that qualified for three straight state tournaments. "Although undersized as a post player, she wasn't afraid to bang around and do the dirty work,'' Viking baksetball coach Matt Tinsley said.

    JaNeysha HendrickJaNeysha Hendricks

    JANEYSHA HENDRICKS | Topeka High

    PARENTS: Antwaun and Nicole Jones

    SPORT: Basketball | GPA: 3.4

    The Trojans' point guard, Hendricks helped Topeka High post a pair of second-place finishes in the Class 6A basketball tournament as well as a semifinal berth in 2020 before the state tournament was canceled. "She is a true leader on and off the floor,'' Topeka High coach Hannah Alexander said. "She leads by example and is an amazing floor leader. Her stats are usually overlooked, but this girl makes everyone around her better. She has a knack for making passes that do not look like they should be there or be open.'' Hendricks, who averaged 4.5 assists her senior season, plans to attend Tabor College and play basketball for the Bluejays.

  • Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards: Fall Male Nominees

    FALL SPORTS: OUTSTANDING MALE NOMINEES

    E4xlOZLX0AAvRYHEliseo Barreno

    ELISEO BARRENO | Highland Park

    PARENTS: Ruben and Yohanna Barreno

    SPORT: Soccer | GPA: 4.36

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

    EthanHensyelmugEthan Hensyel

    ETHAN HENSYEL | Washburn Rural

    PARENTS: Brian and Sherri Hensyel

    SPORT: Soccer | GPA: 4.31

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

    RobbieKeysSenior 054Robbie Keys

    ROBBIE KEYS | Cair Paravel Latin

    PARENTS: Robert and Bev Keys

    SPORT: Soccer | GPA: 3.98

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

    Mehrens JulienMehrens Julien

    JULIEN MEHRENS | Topeka West

    PARENTS: Andre and Allison Mehrens

    SPORT: Football | GPA: 3.29

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

    JeronPoteete2Jeron Poteete

    JERON POTEETE | Seaman

    PARENTS: NA

    SPORT: Soccer | GPA: NA

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

    DesmondPurnellDesmond Purnell

    DESMOND PURNELL | Hayden

    PARENT: Etoi Purnell 

    SPORT: Football | GPA: 3.32

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

    BoReevesmugBo Reeves

    BO REEVES | Rossville

    PARENTS: Todd and Karol Reeves

    SPORT: Football | GPA: 3.8

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

    AddisonSiggAddison Sigg

    ADDISON SIGG | Topeka High

    PARENTS: Chad Sigg and Michelle Criqui

    SPORT: Cross country | GPA: 3.90

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

    HunterWohlerHunter Wohler

    HUNTER WOHLER | Shawnee Heights

    PARENTS: Brian and Jami Wohler

    SPORT: Football | GPA: NA

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

    RobbieKeysaction

     AddisonSiggaction

     BoReevesaction

     

     

     

  • Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards: Fall Female Nominees

    FALL SPORTS: OUTSTANDING FEMALE NOMINEES

    AubreyBahnerSrPict 003Aubrey Bahner

    AUBREY BAHNER | Silver Lake

    PARENTS: Darwin and Antoinette Bahner

    SPORT: Cross Country | GPA: 4.0

    Bahner was a cross and track standout for Silver Lake, earning four varsity letters in both sports for the Eagles. In cross country Bahner was a three-time Class 3A state qualifier and a two-time state medalist, earning medals in all but one meet over those two seasons. She was also a state qualifier in multiple events in track. "Aubrey methodically works hard to get better every day,'' Silver Lake cross country coach Kevin Brokaw said. "She makes every team she is part of better. She is truly a quality individual.'' Bahner will attend Tabor College, where she plans to compete in both cross country and track.

    SaraEggenbergerSara Eggenberger

    SARA EGGENBERGER | Shawnee Heights 

    PARENTS: Melinda Clemens

    SPORT: Golf | GPA: 4.45

    Eggenberger earned second-team All-City recognition as a senior. "Sara brings a positive level of energy and spirit to practice and meets,'' Shawnee Heights golf coach Jane Yi said. "Sara is focused and determined, often practicing many hours a week on her own time. She has a sense of friendliness and fair play, often treating people courteously especially when they are not doing so well. Sara's healthy perspective and cheerful demeanor have made her a wonderful “cheerleader'' on the team. Sara also puts the same positive and hard work attitude into her studies.''