By Rick Peterson
Highland Park got off to somewhat of a slow start in Tuesday's Class 5A boys sub-state semifinal against Kansas City-Turner, but opened up a double-digit advantage by halftime and turned the game into a rout with a 33-point third quarter on the way to an 85-43 win at Topeka High.
The Scots led the Bears by just a 19-18 advantage at the end of the opening quarter but used a 20-9 second quarter to take a 39-27 advantage at the halftime break and outscored Turner 33-9 in the third quarter to take a 72-36 lead and force a running clock throughout the fourth quarter.
Senior Amari Taylor led Highland Park, now 20-1, with 25 points, followd by junior Mikey Williams with 21 points, junior Ja'Corey Robinson with 16 points and senior Tamir Anderson with 12 points on four 3-pointers.
Highland Park advanced to Friday's sub-state championship game to face the winner of the semifinal between Kansas City-Washington and Bonner Springs.
The sub-state championship game will be played at Topeka West, with the sub-state winner advancing to next week's Class 5A state tournament at Emporia's White Auditorium.
WASHBURN RURAL GIRLS 61, WICHITA NORTHWEST 24
The ‘second season’ began on Tuesday night with the first round of the sub-state tournament. The Grizzlies of Wichita Northwest
By Rick Peterson
The city of Topeka will be well-represented in this week's state bowling championships at Wichita, with six city teams and seven individuals punching their tickets to state.
All seven city schools will have representatives in state competition.
Hayden's boys and girls teams will compete in Wednesday's first-ever Class 4A-1A state tourney at Bowlero-Wichita after sweeping regional team championships while Washburn Rural's girls regional champs will compete in Thursday's 6A meet at Bowlero-Northrock and Seaman's boys and girls and Shawnee Heights' boys will all take part in Friday's 5A state tournament at Northrock.
Topeka High's Thomas Patterson and Washburn Rural's Cody Spangler will compete as individuals in the 6A boys state meet while Highland Park's Cristian Reyes and Topeka West's Dason Tidwell will compete as individuals in the 5A boys tourney and West's Brenna Rutschmann and Megan Wood and Shawnee Heights' Reese Bell all qualified for the 5A girls event.
The Class 6A regional team champion Washburn Rural girls will compete in Thursday's Class 6A state tournament Bowlero-Northrock in Wichita.
Senior Claire Ireland paced the Junior Blues at regionals with a 595 three-game series to finish fifth individually while three other Rural bowlers posted top-15 finishes.
Washburn Rural finished its regional performance with a strong performance in the four Baker format games, taking a 3,040-2,988 victory over Olathe Northwest and Mill Valley, who tied for second in the team standings.
By RICK PETERSON
Parirings have been finalized for this week's sub-state high school basketball tournaments, with 11 Shawnee County teams earning home court advantage for at least the first round of sub-state competition, which begins Monday and continues through Saturday.
Both Highland Park teams, Seaman's girls and Shawnee Heights' boys could all stay at home through both rounds of sub-state competition.
Hayden will compete in the Class 3A Royal Valley sub-state while Silver Lake and Rossville will both compete in the Class 3A Riley County sub-state and Cair Paravel Latin will compete in the 2A Jefferson County North sub-state
Here's a look at sub-state tournaments involving Shawnee County teams:
CLASS 6A GIRLS
West sub-state No. 3 -- Topeka High (5-14) is the No. 11 West seed and will be on the road Tuesday for a 7 p.m. Tuesday game at Centennial League rival Manhattan (10-10).
The Topeka High-Manhattan winner will advance to a Friday night sub-state final to face the semifinal winner between No. 3 seed Liberal (14-6) and Wichita North (3-17).
West sub-state No. 4 -- Washburn Rural, second in 6A a year ago after winning the title in 2022, is the No. 5 West seed at 13-7 and will host Wichita Northwest (5-15) at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
The Washburn Rural-Wichita Northwest winner will advance to a Friday sub-state championship game to face the semifinal winner between No. 3 seed Wichita South (13-7) and Dodge City (5-15).
CLASS 6A BOYS
West sub-state No. 1 -- Washburn Rural, the No. 9 West seed at 10-10, will go on the road Wednesday for a 6 p.m. sub-state semifinal against No. 8 Wichita Southeast (11-9).
The winner of that game will advance to a Saturday final to meet the winner of the semifinal between No. 1 seed Wichita Heights (19-1) and Liberal (5-15).
CLASS 5A GIRLS
East sub-state No. 1 -- Seaman is the No. 1 East seed at 18-2 and will be at home for a 7 p.m. Wednesday semifinal to face No. 16 Kansas City-Harmon (1-15).
The winner of that game will advance to a Saturday final to face the winner of the semifinal between No. 8 seed Basehor-Linwood (12-8) and No. 9 KC-Sumner (10-9).
East sub-state No. 2 -- Shawnee Heights, the No. 7 East seed at 14-6, will host No. 10 seed Piper (10-10) at 7 p.m. Wednesday, with the T-Birds and Pirates meeting for the second straight game. Piper upset United Kansas Conference foe Heights last Friday in the regular-season finale.
The Heights-Piper winner will move on to a Saturday sub-state final to face the winner of another UKC matchup between No. 2 West seed De Soto (17-3) and Lansing (2-18).
East sub-state No. 3 -- Highland Park (14-5) is the No. 3 East seed and will be looking for its second straight Class 5A state tournament berth.
HIghland Park will face No. 14 seed Pittsburg (5-15) in a 6 p.m. semifinal on Wednesday at Topeka High. The Highland Park-Pittsburg winner will advance to a Saturday sub-state final to face the semifinal winner between No. 6 Spring Hill (14-6) and Blue Valley Southwest (10-10).
West sub-state No. 3 -- Topeka West is the No. 14 West seed at 8-12 and will travel to No. 3 seed Emporia (19-1) for a 7 p.m. Wednesday semifinal.
The winner will advance to Saturday's sub-state final to face the winner of the semifinal between No. 6 Great Bend (14-6) and No. 11 Salina Central (10-10).
CLASS 5A BOYS
By Rick Peterson
Washburn Rural's girls bowling team rode its balance to a Class 6A regional team championship Wednesday at West Ridge Lanes, punching its ticket to next Thursday's state tournament at Wichita.
Senior Claire Ireland paced the Junior Blues with a 595 three-game series to finish fifth individually while three other Rural bowlers posted top-15 finishes and Washburn Rural finished its day with a strong performance in the four Baker format games to take a 3,040-2,988 victory over Olathe Northwest and Mill Valley.
"They were pretty solid all the way through,'' Rural coach Jo Ricard said of her team. "We've had a good week of practice leading up to this and we knew that if the girls would just do their job, get their spares and hit their targets and those type of things, that we would be OK.
"We had some really good practice work with Baker this week as well and Baker was strong again and we know that can be a huge key piece for us.''
Ireland got her day off to a strong start with a 247 game, the second-highest game of the day in the girls tournament. Then, after struggling to a second-game 156, bowled a solid 192 in her final game to pace the Junior Blues.
"I was a little frustrated in the middle but I think I just needed to hit my target and it wasn't happening, but my last game helped me out a little bit,'' Ireland said.
By Rick Peterson
Junior Amelia Ramsey registered a double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds in Tuesday's 61-48 Centennial League road win at Manhattan.
Hayden, No. 2-ranked in Class 3A, improved to 16-3 overll and wrapped up Centennial League play with a 7-3 record.
Wildcat junior Brylee Meier added 10 points in Tuesday's win while senior Avery Grunert scored eights points and senior Lauren Sandstrom, junior Norma Greco and sophomore Bella Reid all finished with seven points.
Hayden will close out its regular season on Thursday at Eudora.
Bulldawgs avenge loss with 57-50 Mid-East League win over Rock Creek
Rossville's boys closed out their regular season with a tight 57-50 Mid-East League win over Rock Creek, completing their regular season with a 14-6 overall record and an 8-2 mark in the league.
Tuesday's Rossville win avenged a 51-47 loss to Rock Creek earlier in the season.
Rossville jumped out to a 16-5 first-quarter advantage but Rock Creek answered with a 22-12 second quarter to pull within a point at the half (28-27).
Rossville led 43-38 at the start of the fourth quarter and outscored the Mustangs 14-12 over the final eight minutes to hold on for the win.
Junior Kameron Badura led the Bulldawgs with 14 points, followed by Mason Jones with 12 points, Tayson Horak with 11 and Cameron Miller with nine points.
Rossville girls cap 17-3 regular season
Rossville's girls finished off a 17-3 regular season with a 69-25 Mid-East League rout over Rock Creek Tuesday night.
By RICK PETERSON
Washburn Rural senior Class 6A state champions Brogan Meier and Jack Miranda headline the 2024 All-City boys swimming and diving team.
Meier won the state title in the 50-yard freestyle and Miranda was the state champion in the 500 free while both stars, first-team All-State picks, also posted runnerup individual finishes and swam on the Junior Blues' second-place 400 free relay as Washburn Rural shared the third-place 6A team trophy with Manhattan.
The All-City team, which is based on performances in the city meet, includes eight members of the Rural team that won its fifth straight city championship and also claimed the Centennial League title.
Also earning first-team All-City honors for the Junior Blues are Daniel Allen, Alex Lanterman, Elijah Leenerts, Luke Lemke, Andrew Morao-Jaspe and Will Powell.
Powell, a second-team All-State pick, was a triple 6A state medalist while Allen was also a multiple event medalist.
Topeka High junior Jaxon Cowdin earned his third straight city one-meter diving title and his second straight Centennial League championship before finishing 12th in 6A.
Shawnee Heights is represented on the All-City team by Truman Brede and Evan Hoobler while senior Jack Pekarek earned a first-team berth for Seaman.
By RICK PETERSON
Top-ranked Washburn Rural edged No. 2 Manhattan for the team championship in the Class 6A boys wrestling regional at Wichita North Saturday, with the Junior Blues claiming five individual titles while qualifying 10 wrestlers for this weeks state tournament at Hartman Arena in Park City.
Washburn Rural, which took a 243-234 win over Manhattan in the regional team race, got regional titles from 132-pound junior Easton Broxterman (45-1), sophomore 138-pounder Landen Kocher-Munoz (33-4), freshman 144-pounder Brodye Kocher-Munoz (36-12), junior 150-pounder Kristjan Marshall (35-4) and senior 157-pounder Brody Bryne (33-3).
Broxterman, a returning state champion, earned a medical forfeit over Vicent Rosas of Maize in the championship match while returning state champ L. Kocher-Munoz took a 10-8 decision over Daniel Gomez of Maize, B. Kocher-Munoz took a 2-1 decision over Manhattan's Logan Lagerman, Marshall took a 4-2 overtime decision over Grayson Hagen of Free State and Byrne pinned Free State's Gabe Swoyer in 59 seconds.
Sophomore 126-pounder Cooper Stivers (9-2) and senior 165-pounder Chase Calhoon (25-13) also advanced to regional championship matches, finishing second.
The Junior Blues got fourth-place finishes from sophomore 106-pounder Ryder Harrison (43-12), junior 120-pounder Walker Doyal (26-21) and 175-pound freshman Jadyn Baum (29-18)
Topeka High finished 12th as a team with 50 points and qualified junior 150-pounder Rehabiah Williamson (38-9), who finished sixth, senior 120-pounder Elijah Elliot (17-13), who finished seventh, sophomore 157-pounder Brandon Blancas (18-12), who placed eighth, and junior 215-pounder Detrick Johnson (23-12), who took eighth.
By JUSTIN BURKHARDT
Hayden's boys basketball team hosted Topeka High Friday for its Senior Night contest, with both teams looking to end losing streaks and Hayden looking for its first win in 2024.
The game would start out in the Trojans' favor, with High going up 7-2 early in the first quarter before the Wildcats got going to take a 12-7 lead at the end of the first.
The Wildcats would not look back as they would go into halftime up 27-20 and would pull away to take a 57-42 Centennial League victory, snapping a 12-game losing streak with their first win since Dec. 20.
“It all means a lot,'' said Trey Brown, who notched his first Centennial League win as the Wildcats' coach "It’s a credit to all these guys and it's a credit to the seniors. We talked all week about playing for them and doing all that for them. It's their last time getting to step on the floor at home.
"I am super proud of these guys and their effort. It could have been easy, really easy, to quit and these guys stayed with it. The seniors played great tonight, they led the charge and everyone picked up their energy.”
By JUSTIN BURKHARDT
Hayden's girls faced visiting Topeka High Friday night and during the first quarter the game would go back and forth, with the Wildcats taking a 16-13 lead after the opening eight minutes.
That would be all the fight the Lady Trojans had in them as the Wildcats would pull away and outscore the Lady Trojans 25-8 in the second quarter and go on to cruise to a 69-36 Centennial League win on Senior Night at Hayden.
Hayden was led in scoring by Rockhurst signee Lauren Sandstrom, who had a monstrous 30-point night on 12-19 shooting.
“It’s really special,'' Sandstrom said. "It‘s a great way to leave my home court and finish strong.”
The Wildcats got a breakout game from midseason transfer Amelia Ramsey, a junior who would post her Hayden high in points and rebounds with her first double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds.
“I have been getting used to the change of everything and tonight everything came together and I can’t wait for our next game,” Ramsey said.
Hayden coach Carvel Reynoldson said Friday was a special Senior Night for four Wildcat upperclassmen who have played together since the fifth grade.
“We had a script that we wanted to do but we had to play well enough to earn that script and to get all the seniors off individually,'' Reynoldson said. "First we started with Jill linherr who hasn't played this year because of a torn ACL, but she would have been a huge part of our team and then going on down the line it was exactly what we hoped it would be and and I know that the girls enjoyed their moment.''
By Rick Peterson
After an impressive run of success, Topeka High's football program has struggled in recent seasons, posting a 6-27 record over the past four years, including back-to-back 1-8 campaigns.
But that didn't dissuade former Augusta coach Jason Filbeck from going after the Trojans' head coaching job.
In fact, the challenge of turning the Topeka High program back around excited the 43-year-old Filbeck, who was approved by the USD 501 school board Thursday night as High's new coach and met with the Trojan players Friday morning.
"You're never more alive than when you're challenged, right?'' Filbeck said. "If it were easy everybody would do it. I'm sure it would be really cool to come into a place that was ready-made and already winning, but there's potential here and this could become one of those places that everybody looks at as, 'Man, that's a great job.'
"I think it's already a great job, it's just about whether you've got the ability and the energy to do it. I think Topeka High can become a great place football-wise.''
Filbeck said the opportunity to guide his own program at the Class 6A level was a big selling point for him.
"I've always been a big-school guy and when you work in a small town sometimes your numbers just dry up,'' Filbeck said. "Sometimes you just don't have the number of kids you need. I know they don't have a million kids out for football here at Topeka but we're going to get them out of the hallways. We're going to get them to play.
"I view football as an avenue to reach kids and I believe in what we're selling, I believe in what we're teaching kids to become better people through the process. At a school like Topeka High I have a chance to reach 120 kids instead of 40 and obviously there's tradition here and there's potential for good stuff here. That's what excites me about the job.''
By Rick Peterson
After opening February with a disheartening 21-point loss to Emporia while scoring just 22 points, Washburn Rural's girls basketball team knew it needed to turn things around in a hurry if it was going to put together a strong late-season run.
Kevin Bordewick's Junior Blues have done just that, reeling off four straight wins, including a 65-36 Centennial League romp at Topeka High Tuesday night.
"We have seen a lot of improvement since Emporia, and I think a lot of it is the mental aspect,'' Bordewick said. "We had to get some confidence back because that was a rough one and it kind of shook us a little bit. It shook me a little bit.
"I feel like we're getting it back but I know that we still have a high ceiling. I know that we've got to get so much better on defense. We have to get so much more fluid and continuity on offense. We've just got to get more solid.''
Rural opened Tuesday's game with a Tenly Bunck 3-pointer and went wire to wire for the win, improving to 12-5 overall and 6-2 in the league.
By Rick Peterson
Washburn Rural's boys basketball team still has goals ahead, but Tuesday night marked a noteworthy accomplishment in its own right for Alex Hutchins' Junior Blues.
After starting the season 0-6, Washburn Rural has reeled off wins in nine of its past 12 games, reaching the .500 mark on the season with Tuesday's 61-48 Centennial League win at Topeka High.
"We never felt like an 0-6 team,'' Hutchins said. "Our schedule was good, we were injured and we knew that. We were still learning about ourselves, too, but I don't think there was ever any waver of confidence or anything like that. We know who we are, we know what we're capable of and that never changed.
"We've been healthier and that's really all it is, I think. It's definitely not coaching. It's definitely not any decisions I'm making, it's just the fact that we've been able to put our best players out on the court.''
Rural, now 9-9 overall and 6-2 in the league, fell behind 6-0 after back-to-back 3-pointers from Topeka High senior Isaiah Lyons and trailed much of the first half before rallying for a 24-21 halftime advantage.
By RICK PETERSON
JAXON COWDIN, Topeka High
The Topeka High junior won his second straight Centennial League one-meter diving championship Thursday at the Capitol Federal Natatorium with a season-best score of 436.15, helping the Trojans finish third in the team standings. The three-time city diving champion also swam the 50-yard freestyle for Topeka High and was also part of the Trojans' 400-meter free relay.
KENDRA HURLA, Rossville
A senior, Hurla captured the 120-pound championship on Saturday in the Class 4A-1A girls wrestling regional at Sabetha, posting a 4-0 record with four wins by pin. The three-time state champion posted pins in 38 seconds, 2 minutes, 42 seconds and 1:41 to reach the finals and then needed just 52 seconds to pin West Franklin's Kate Shepherd in the championship match.
MASON JONES, Rossville
A 6-foot-4 junior, Jones scored 27 points to lead Rossville's boys basketball team to an 87-79 overtime Mid-East League win over rival Silver Lake Friday night at Rossville. Jones hit 12 of 15 shots from the field against the Eagles while also connecting on three of four free throws as the Bulldawgs avenged an earlier loss to Silver Lake while improving to 11-6 on the season.
By RICK PETERSON
Editor's note: Following is a list of college football signees that have been reported to TopSports.news. If Shawnee County coaches have additional signees email the information to
Player, high school College Ht. Wt. Pos.
Jace Banks, Topeka West Coffeyville CC 5-9 170 DB
Callen Barta, Seaman Kansas State 6-2 180 DB
Packson Bettis, Washburn Rural North Dakota 6-2 230 DE
BJ Canady, Topeka High Cal 6-6 255 DE
Carter Charvat, Hayden Benedictine 6-2 225 OL
Branton DeWeese, Washburn Rural Washburn 6-0 185 QB
Christian Gonzales, Shawnee Heights Washburn 6-1 275 DL
Jaren Heim, Washburn Rural Washburn 6-2 220 LB
JC Heim, Washburn Rural Washburn 6-3 225 LB
Isaac Hochard, Seaman Concordia 6-0 155 DB
Isaiah Kincade, Topeka High Washburn 6-0 195 DB
Jamond Lane, Washburn Rural Washburn 6-0 280 DL
Jaki Lee, Shawnee Heights MidAmerica Nazarene 5-9 210 OL/DL
Jacob Malcom, Shawnee Heights Coffeyville CC 6-1 200 WR/DB
Josh Nitschke, Topeka West Garden City CC 6-1 180 WR/DB
Emmanuel Nwakpuda, Washburn Rural Ottawa 6-4190 WR
Titan Osburn, Washburn Rural Benedictine 6-3 180 WR
Blake Redmond, Silver Lake Washburn 5-9 160 RB
Kyrece Robinson, Topeka West Hutchinson CC 6-2 230 DL
Drew Taylor, Washburn Rural MidAmerica Nazarene 6-3 210 L
Kris Thomas, Topeka West Coffeyville CC 6-2 240 OL/DL
Josiah Todwong, Hayden Washburn 6-0 265 OL/DL
Ryeki Tuley, Shawnee Heights Coffeyville CC 6-0 180 QB
By RICK PETERSON
Washburn Rural senior stars Brogan Meier and Jack Miranda knew that Saturday was their final chance as high school swimmers to make a big splash in the pool they've grown up in.
Meier and Miranda went out and took full advantage of that opportunity, capturing their first Class 6A state individual championships and adding a pair of runnerup individual finishes and a second-place relay finish to lead the way as Washburn Rural earned a third-place team trophy in a tie with Centennial League rival Manhattan at the Capitol Federal Natatorium.
"We're all really happy,'' Meier said. "I'm so happy to get third and share the trophy with Manhattan, they're like our rival team and if we're going to split it with anyone, that's the team. But at the same time, the competitive part of me is like .2 is the difference between splitting a trophy and owning it all to ourselves. We were that close. We were doing great all across the board.''
"It's super exciting and it's amazing to be able to compete at this level and firsts, seconds, right there, it's awesome,'' Miranda said.
Meier earned Rural's first title of the day with a win in the 50-yard freestyle in 21.41 seconds and a few events later Miranda joined Meier as a state champ with a dominating win in the 500 free in 4 minutes, 43.71 seconds.
"I was in disbelief when I won that,'' Miranda said. "Just the amount of excitement and the feeling you get from being able to take home that gold is just crazy.
"I was in shock. I was not expecting a 4:43 from that. The first 300 was pretty strong and then that last 200 I told myself, 'I'm going to push that last 200 as hard as I can,' and I gave it all I've got and I came out with first place.''
Meier added a second-place finish in the 100 butterfly (51.90) while Miranda was the runnerup in the 200 free (1:44.04) and Meier and Miranda teamed with fellow senior Will Powell and junior Luke Lemke to finish a close second to Blue Valley North in the meet-ending 400 free relay (3:13.16).
"Individually I don't think I could have done any better,'' said Meier, who was fighting through sickness at the state meet. "I think I went out and did the best I could.''
Meier and Powell also teamed with senior Elijah Leenerts and freshman Daniel Allen to post a third-place finish in the 200 free relay (1:28.22) while Powell added a fourth-place finish in the 100 free (47.99) and a seventh in the 50 free (22.01) and Allen finished seventh in the 500 free (4:56.44).
It all added up to 200 team points and the third-place deadlock with Manhattan, which Rural had topped for the Centennial League championship a week earlier.
Meier and Miranda both earned first-team All-State recognition while Powell was a second-team pick.
Saturday's state meet capped Janson Garman's first season as the Junior Blues' head coach.
'"Our boys swam great,'' said Garman, a former state champ for Seaman. "I'm so proud of them. We talked about when we came into finals today that the main focus was just to race and boy, did they race. They raced their hearts out.
"I know there were some swims where we wished we could have done better today but the majority, which I'm proud of, were great swims, best swims and I couldn't have wrote it up any better.''
Topeka High junior Jaxon Cowdin finished 12th in one-meter diving with a score of 351.30, accounting for all five of Topeka High's team points.
Brede, Seaman relay win 5A-1A consolation titles
Shawnee Heights junior Truman Brede captured the 'B' final win in the 100-yard backstroke in the 5A-1A state championships in Saturday's early session while Seaman won the consolation crown in the 400 free relay.
Brede clocked a winning time of 57.33 in the 100 back while the Viking foursome of freshman Kinser Barbosa, junior Jeremiah Moylan, junior Peyton Holmes and senior Jack Pekarek won the 'B' final in the 400 free relay in 3:29.64.
Seaman finished 14th in the 5A-1A team standings with 48 points while Shawnee Heights took 17th with 21 points.
CLASS 6A STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
By RICK PETERSON
About a minute after having their three-year Centennial League boys swimming and diving championship reign ended by Manhattan a year ago, Washburn Rural's returning swimmers set their sights on taking that title back in the 2024 league meet.
The Junior Blues made that happen on Thursday at the Capitol Federal Natatorium, winning eight of 12 events while setting four Centennial League records on the way to a 484-439 victory over Manhattan, giving Janson Garman the team title in his first year as Rural's coach.
Senior Will Powell won four gold medals on the day and had a hand in three league records while seniors Brogan Meier and Jack Miranda captured three gold medals on the day, with Meier was a part of two league records and Miranda one.
"We were ready this time,'' Powell said. "We were so prepared. It was all about racing and we came back and took it.''
By RICK PETERSON
If there's a player in Shawnee County or the nearby area that Washburn University football coach Craig Schurig and his staff thinks has the ability to play in the MIAA, Schurig and Co. want them playing for the Ichabods.
And in a year that was considered talent-heavy in Washburn's backyard, the Ichabods made that a priority, signing seven Shawnee County products thus far, including four from Class 6A semifinalist Washburn Rural in a 2024 recruiting class that is expected to reach about 55 signess when all the paperwork is completed.
"You don't want to play against them,'' Schurig said of the local talent base. "And what was neat was those kids really, I think, researched things out well. They talked to kids that are currently here and I think our school's done a good job of advertising Washburn and making it where they feel like home here.
"Then obviously our facilities are outstanding, so when they do their campus visits they're like, 'Yeah, the best place we can go to is at home.' ''
Washburn Rural twins Jaren Heim (6-foot-2, 220 pounds) and J.C. Heim (6-3, 225), both linebackers, signed on Wednesday along with Junior Blues quarterback Branton DeWeese (6-0, 185) and Rural defensive lineman Jamond Lane (6-0, 280).
The Ichabods also landed Shawnee Heights defensive lineman Christian Gonzales (6-1, 275), Topeka High defensive back Isaiah Kincade (6-0, 195) and Silver Lake running back Blake Redmond (5-9, 160).
The Heims, DeWeese, Lane, Gonzales and Redmond were all TopSports.news All-Shawnee County Top 22 picks as seniors while Kincade was a Second 22 selection.
"It was a good year (for local prospects) and a lot of those kids were on the verge of maybe some of the bigger schools sniffing around and that kind of thing, but they're perfect for MIAA and their work ethic and all that stuff is really good and their football's good, so we're very excited,'' Schurig said.
"Obviously, when you have local talent it really helps.''
In addition to the county signees announced Wednesday, Washburn also signed Sabetha twins Jacob Grimm (6-5, 285) and Joshua Grimm (6-5, 300).
The current 49 member 2024 recruiting class includes 21 Kansans along with players from six other states, including 12 players from Missouri, six from Georgia, four from Texas, three from Arizona, two from Colorado and one from Nebraska.
There's also diversity among position groups, with nine players projected as linebackers, eight offensive linemen and defensive backs, seven running backs, six defensive linemen, four wide receivers, three quarterbacks and tight ends and one player listed as an athlete.
It all adds up to the biggest signing class of Schurig's career.
"It is and it's because of a combination of reasons,'' Schurig said. "We had quite a few kids graduate and we're pretty much transitioning out of the Covid time and so some of the guys that may have had a year left got really good jobs so they are moving on.
"And then locally and in-state it just seemed like there was a lot of good fits for us. With the Heim boys and the Grimm boys we got a couple of twin packages which was awesome and we've got a lot of legacy kids coming, where mom and dad went to school here, which is really cool.
"We felt like we needed to fill some needs for sure and then with the group that left, and then some kids that aren't going to continue to play because they got great job opportunities, scholarship-wise we had a good amount to offer, which was great.''
Washburn, which fought through an injury-riddled season in 2023 is coming off a 2-9 campaign, but Schurig feels like the '24 signing class paired with the Ichabods' returning cast will allow WU to right its ship in a hurry.
"We're still going to be young, but very talented, and we just have to get them going in the same direction,'' Schurig said.
"It's exciting because you know the talent base that you're going to be coaching is really strong, Now we've just got to get them going. It's a very talented and very diverse group that we're bringing in.''
Washburn recruiting capsules:
By RICK PETERSON
Washburn Rural's boys and girls wrestling teams went undefeated on the day Saturday at Manhattan, earning the 2024 league championships.
The league tournament consisted of duals against the other four league schools competing in the tournament and both Rural teams went 4-0 in the event.
Washburn Rural's boys, ranked No. 2 in Class 6A by the Kansas Wrestling Coaching Association, defeated Emporia (63-18), Topeka High (75-6), Junction City (54-21) and top-ranked Manhattan (36-33) while the No. 9 Junior Blues took girls wins over Emporia (58-24), Topeka High (75-6), No. 7-ranked Junction City (54-24) and No. 5-ranked Manhattan (61-18).
NOTE: Midseason statistics for city boys basketball teams were compiled by Seaman girls coach Matt Tinsley. The following stats are the second of three statistical reports which will be released during the 2023-2024 season, capped by the season-ending stats.
Name, school Gms. Pts. Avg
Robinson, Highland Park 10 211 21.1
J. Sanchez, Shawnee Heights 10 182 18.2
Anderson, Highland Park 8 132 16.5
Bonner, Seaman 10 161 16.1
Dodge, Shawnee Heights 12 184 15.3
Williams, Highland Park 10 153 15.3
Everhart, Cair Paravel 12 183 15.3
Ballard, Washburn Rural -- --- 12.8
Finley, Seaman 10 124 12.4
Hales, Topeka High 12 148 12.3
Durst, Washburn Rural -- --- 12.3
Foy, Topeka West 11 135 12.3
Pavlik, Cair Paravel 12 140 11.7
Colboch, Hayden 11 117 10.6
Lyons, Topeka High 9 93 10.3
Name, school Gms. Total Avg.
Robinson, Highland Park 10 140 14.0
J. Sanchez, Shawnee Heights 10 83 8.3
NOTE: Mideason statistics for city girls basketball teams were compiled by Seaman girls coach Matt Tinsley. Topeka High did not report midseason stats. The following stats are the second of three statistical reports which will be released during the 2023-2024 season, capped by the season-ending stats.
Name, school Gms. Pts. Avg
Carter, Highland Park 9 144 16.0
Ramsey, Hayden 9 140 15.6
Canfield, Washburn Rural 8 124 15.5
Vickery, Washburn Rural 11 166 15.1
Becker, Seaman 13 194 14.9
Meier, Hayden 13 183 14.1
Gowan-Britt, Highland Park 6 80 13.3
I. McGlory, Topeka West 15 198 13.2
Emmot, Shawnee Heights 12 147 12.3
Gragg, Seaman 13 152 12.3
T. Stallbaumer, Seaman 13 151 11.6
Sandstrom, Hayden 13 149 11.5
Broils, Highland Park 9 87 9.7
Clark, Topeka West 15 138 9.2
Vega, Shawnee Heights 12 107 8.9
Name, school Gms. Total Avg.
Carter, Highland Park 9 94 10.4
Ramsey, Hayden 9 88 9.8