TSN-gold-partner-envista2.png

Shawnee Heights Thunderbirds vertTopeka West Chargers

Click on the article titles below to read the full story.
  • 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.''

  • West snaps long losing skid against rival High, taking 28-22 OT win

    Isaac Deer

    By ISAAC DEER

    TopSports.news

    JaVion Lee scored on a 10-yard end-around sweep in overtime to give Topeka West a thrilling 28-22 win over USD 501 rival Topeka High Friday night at Hummer Sports Park, with the Chargers ending a 15-year losing streak against the Trojans.

    Topeka West earned its first win against Topeka High since the 2005, forcing the overtime with a fourth-quarter touchdown and then taking the win on Lee's game-winning run. 

    “They (Topeka West) asked me to step up and I did,'' Lee said. "With me, I work hard. I was waiting for that moment to come my whole life. We did it, as a team. This was amazing for us.”

    The Trojans and Charger defenses forced repetitive three and outs during the 24 minutes before both teams got their offenses untracked after halftime.

    Jaq’Son Birdwhistle-Bush, Xavier Alexander and Elliot Cooper led the way defensively for the Chargers in the first half, keeping Topeka High’s stellar run game in check while Topeka High’s defense also shut down West's offense and didn’t allow a single point. Danny Saili, Jamari Pleasant and Isiah Kincade were led the pack to keep the Chargers from taking any control.

    Half number two was the opposite of half, with both offenses turning the volume up in the highly-competitive game.

    Although Topeka High running back Tylan Alejos was somewhat quiet in the first half, he was a man on a mission in the second half. Having 18 yards on 7 carries in the first half, he followed up by running the ball 13 times for 146 yards in the second half and was responsible for all three touchdowns for Topeka High.

    Topeka West’s offense looked rejuvenated after getting shutout six straight quarters dating back to last week’s game against Manhattan. Malachi Berg threw for 197 yards and 176 of those yards were to Elliot Cooper. Cooper was the key performer in Friday's victory, snagging eight receptions.

    High and West’s gun-slinging second-half approaches kept the game going back and forth and regulation would end with the teams tied up at 22 apiece.

    Topeka High would win the coin toss and elected to take the ball first in overtime. The Trojans had to start at the 35-yard-line rather than the 10 due to two personal foul calls to end regulation.

    Alejos gained 10 and 6 yards on back to back, but Topeka High ended up facing a 4th and 17 situation and quarterback Peyton Wheat desperation heave into the end zone fell incomplete.

    Topeka West quickly maee the most of its ensuing posession, with Berg taking the snap, pump faking a pass to Kamen Jones and flipping the ball to Lee. High’s defense was fooled and Lee took the ball in for the game-ending TD.

    “We trusted Lee’s speed to get in the end zone when we needed him most,'' Topeka West coach Ryan Kelly said.

    The game plan against the Trojans developed throughout the entirety of the game for Topeka West.

    “We ran the ball quite a bit up the gut in the beginning of the game but No. 77 (Saili) was beating us up inside,'' Kelly said. "He’s a tough kid to block. We had to dial up some of our perimeter run plays to spread the field out to get away from the middle.”

    Kelly was pleased with the performance but knows the Chargers have plenty of room to grow.

    “We are pretty young on the offensive line, so there’s a lot of bad habits we need to correct,'' he said. "We need to be able to run the ball more effectively if we want to keep the success going.”

    The commander of the offense, Berg, was happy with the way things ended.

    “This is our last time playing them (Topeka High) in the Centennial League, so I’m glad we were able to beat them,'' Berg said. "We came together strong as a team.”

  • 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.

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    DeLeye agreed.

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

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

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

    CLASS 6A SUB-STATE VOLLEYBALL

    Match results

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

    SEAMAN ROLLS TO 5A BERTH

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

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

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

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

    WEST COMES UP SHORT

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

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

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

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

     

     

     

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

    MadelineCarternewMadeline Carter

    TannerNewkirkmugTanner Newkirk

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

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

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

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

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

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

    CENTENNIAL LEAGUE CROSS COUNTRY

    Girls

    Team scores

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

    Individual results

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Boys

    Team scores

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

    Individual results

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Isaac Deer

    By ISAAC DEER

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    HAYDEN1, TOPEKA WEST 0

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

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

    Hayden --Goal: Padilla. Shutout: Rankey.

    WasRelated Stories and Videos

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

    Sweeney, a junior, agreed.

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

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

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

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

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

    Added Unruh:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    CLASS 6A

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

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

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

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

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

    CLASS 4A

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

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

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

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

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

    CLASS 3A-1A

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

    AliviaShererAlivia Sherer

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

    SHAWNEE COUNTY STATE QUALIFIERS

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers Oct. 11, 2021

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    MalachiBergMalachi Berg

    MALACHI BERG, Topeka West

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

    MadelineCarternewMadeline Carter

    MADELINE CARTER, Washburn Rural

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

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Topeka West runs past Highland Park for second win, 80-48

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Topeka West junior quarterback Malachi Berg is regarded as a very capable passer and he did throw for a pair of touchdowns and a 2-point conversion Friday night against Highland Park.

    But Berg and his Charger teammates did a lot more damage with their legs against the Scots, rushing for 517 yards and nine touchdowns in Topeka West's 80-48 Centennial League win at Hummer Sports Park.

    Berg rushed for a career-high 238 yards and five touchdowns to lead the Chargers' potent ground attack while senior JaVion Lee added 179 yards and two TDs on just nine carries.

    "Our game plan was just to shove it down their throat,'' Berg said. "They couldn't stop it, so that was our game plan.''

    MalachiBerg1Topeka West junior quarterback Malachi Berg had a huge night for the Chargers in Friday's 80-48 win over Highland Park. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    West coach Ryan Kelly agreed with his QB that Friday was all about the power game.

    "We made a couple of changes in how we play up front and it's starting to benefit us,'' Kelly said. "We just felt like we could move the ball on the ground tonight.

    "It's a ground and pound philosophy. I know it's a little more play in the phone booth-type offense, but it does open up some opportunties.''

    And on the few occasions West did go to the air the Chargers were successful, with two of Berg's three completions going for TDs and the other setting up a score.

    "Once we shoved it down their throat it was way easier for me to pass,'' Berg said. "We only threw the ball four times, but when we did we connected on them.''

    Junior fullback Xavier Alexander had a productive night for West, running for an 8-yard touchdown and three 2-point conversion runs and scoring on 12 and 47-yard passes from Berg as the Chargers improved to 2-4 overall and in the Centennial League.

    Highland Park, which fell to 0-6 with its 62nd straight loss dating back to 2014, drew first blood with 1:54 left in the first quarter on a 15-yard TD pass from senior Kellan Spruce to junior A'Ydren Drew-Gregory and a 2-point conversion run from former Charger Tyrell Reed.

    Topeka West rallied for a 22-14 halftime advantage, but Highland Park tied the game at 22 with 9:46 left in the third on a 46-yard pass from Spruce to Richardson (Reed conversion run), before West took control with a 30-point third quarter.

    The Chargers scored 24 straight points to take a 46-22 lead with 2:24 left in the third quarter and took a 60-34 lead early in the fourth quarter and went up 80-40 with 3:04 remaining.

    Reed, a junior, rushed for 158 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries while junior Tre Richardson rushed for 87 yards and a TD on seven carries and caught six passes for 99 yards and three touchdowns.

  • 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

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    CENTENNIAL LEAGUE GIRLS TENNIS

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

    Lois DeeterLois Deeter

    Aliyah NorthAliyah North

    KaitlynCroughKaitlyn Crough

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

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

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

    MANHATTAN INVITATIONAL GOLF

  • 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.

     

  • 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.

     

     

  • Andrew Davids: 'That apple doesn't fall far from the tree'

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Andrew Davids was an honor student at both Topeka West and Emporia State, including earning MIAA Scholar-Athlete recognition at ESU, but challenges in one particular college class started Davids thinking about joining his parents in education.

    It's a decision the former tennis standout for the Chargers and Hornets and the current head coach at Olathe South will never regret. 

    "It was honestly because of calculus,'' Davids said during Tuesday's Topeka West Invitational at Kossover Tennis Center. "My original major was physical therapy. I didn't get the grade I needed in calculus and I didn't want to re-take calculus, so I switched my major. It turned out to be a good decision.''

    FAfCcBPWYAUQTp9Olathe South tennis coach Andrew Davids, a former standout at Topeka West and Emporia State, talks with Falcon singles player Sadie Fosha during Tuesday's Topeka West Invitational. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Andrew's father, Kurt, is a longtime teacher and boys and girls tennis coach at Topeka West while his mother, Katie, is also a longtime teacher and coach and is currently the activities coordinator at Landon Middle School.

    Calling his parents to tell them he was switching majors wasn't necessarily an easy call for Andrew to make, but he said they took the news exactly the way he hoped they would.

    "They were actually pretty excited about it, excited and supportive obviously, as good parents are,'' said Davids, who coaches chemistry at Olathe South along with his coaching duties. "In the back of my mom's head she said she always knew that I had that kind of personality and the teacher attitude and mentality, so she wasn't surprised I don't think.''

    Davids, who was an assistant coach two years at Arkansas City before moving to Olathe South, said not a day goes by that he doesn't feel his parents' influence on him.

  • 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

  • Washburn Rural girls golf reclaims Centennial League trophy

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    DRUSE, ESQUIBEL, NEWKIRK SHINE IN RIM ROCK CLASSIC

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

    Isaac Deer

    By ISAAC DEER

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    SEAMAN 57, TOPEKA WEST 0

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Sweeney agreed.

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

    TOPEKA CITY GIRLS TENNIS TOURNAMENT

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    CITY GIRLS GOLF TOURNAMENT

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

    MadelineCarternewMadeline Carter

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

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

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

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Isaac Deer

    By ISAAC DEER

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    SEAMAN 4, TOPEKA WEST 0

    Seaman (2-7-0)         3 1 -- 4

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

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

    WasRelated Stories and Videos

  • 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

  • Topeka West set to induct 2021 Hall of Fame class

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Topeka West will induct five former Charger athletes, one coach, one special contributor and one team into the Topeka West Athletics Hall of Fame Thursday night.

    Former West athletes Tony Barry, Jeff Benson, Misty Caryl Lingerfelt, Katie Freund Niemann and Daniel Heflin will be inducted Thursday as well as the late Bill Allen, a former Charger coach. Rome Mitchell will be inducted as a special contributor while the 1967 West girls gymnastics team will be inducted as a team. 

    Topeka West

    A reception in the Topeka West Leadership Studies room will be held for the inductees at 6 p.m., followed at 7 by the induction ceremony in the Topeka West Auditorium. Admission is free to both of events.

    The inductees will be also introduced at halftime of Friday's Homecoming football game against Hayden at Hummer Sports Park (7 p.m. kickoff).

    Those chosen for induction in 2021 are:

    TONY BARRY -- A 1982 West graduate, Barry participated in football and basketball for the Chargers. He was a two-year letter-winner in both football and basketball and was named second-team All-City and second-team All-I-70 League as a senior in football. He was named All-I-70 League as a senior in basketball. Barry currently resides in Topeka and is very active at Christ the King parish and CASA in Topeka.

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    MATCH RESULTS

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

  • Topeka High soccer blanks rival Topeka West, 3-0

    Isaac Deer

    By ISAAC DEER

    TopSports.news

    The longstanding soccer rivalry between Topeka High and Topeka West was renewed Tuesday night at Hummer Sports Park, with the Trojans rolling to a 3-0 victory over the Chargers.

    Leading the offense for Topeka High was freshman CJ Brown, who had a pair of first-half goals to give the Trojans the momentum before Chris Gomez added High's final goal.

    “We knew with West it was going to be a fight,'' Topeka High coach Derek Snook said. "A tough, competitive rivalry brings the best out of our team.

    “Overall, we played well at times. We hit the shots when we needed them to hit and we keep on getting better.”

    Topeka High put on an impressive defensive performance against the Chargers.

    Midfielder Zaka Blocker had a few key stops to keep Topeka West off the scoreboard while goalkeeper Logan Murray turned in highlight-reel plays all night long.

    The key defensive moment was when Murray made a terrific save at the 14:17 mark of the second half.

    “Logan was impressive tonight,'' Snook said. "He came up big in moments when we really needed him.” 

    Topeka West will host Junction City on Thursday while Topeka High will take on city rival Shawnee Heights at the Bettis Family Sports Complex.

    TOPEKA HIGH 3, TOPEKA WEST 0

    Topeka High -- Goals: CJ Brown 2, Chris Gomez. Assists: Sergio Ramirez, Jamie Alvarado. Shutout: Logan Murray.

    WasRelated Stories and Videos

  • West standout Njoroge refuses to let broken leg break his spirit

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    If things had gone like planned, Topeka West junior Lenny Njoroge would have entered Saturday's Joe Schrag Invitational cross country meet as the defending champion.

    Instead, Njoroge, a Charger standout in cross country, soccer and track and field, was on the sidelines watching, still recovering from a broken leg suffered early in May in a club soccer game.

    "It's pretty tough to watch,'' he said. "I miss it.''

    But Njoroge, a Class 5A state medalist as both a freshman and sophomore, is doing everything he can to make the best of a situation he didn't expect to be in.

    LennyNjorogemugLenny Njoroge 

    During Saturday's meet at the Kanza Park Course, Njoroge rooted on his Topeka West teammates while also making the rounds to visit with fellow competitors, all while wearing a constant smile on his face.

    Njoroge's injury came about 12 hours after he won the city title in the 3,200-meter run in track.

    "And then everything just collapses,'' Njoroge said. "Honestly, it was pretty hard, but I just tried to stay positive. I've got coaches around me helping me and keeping me positive.''

    LennyNjoroge 2Topeka West junior Lenny Njoroge was the city champion in the 3,200 meters last spring before suffering a broken leg the next day. [File photo/TSN]

    Njoroge is likely to miss the entire 2021 cross country season, but expects to be back in action next spring.

    "I'm on schedule and I'm actually jogging right now,'' said Njoroge, who placed 12th in 5A cross country as a freshman and 11th last fall. "I'm starting some slow training and getting back into it step by step.

    "The coaches and the doctors told me to take it easy this fall and then next track season I'll get back into it. They tell me I'll be back to being good and where I was, so by next year I'll be good.''

    And Njoroge has every intention of continuing to participate in both cross country/track and soccer.

    "I've still got love for both sports so I'll keep playing both,'' he said. "They're both my favorite sport.

    "It was a pretty devastating time, but you've got to stay positive.''

     

    WasRelated Stories and Videos

  • 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.''

  • 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.''

  • 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. 

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Anna Becker 2Anna Becker

    Anna Becker, Seaman

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

    KhloiBirdnewKhloi Bird

    Khloi Bird, Washburn Rural

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

    MadelineCarternewMadeline Carter

    Madeline Carter, Washburn Rural

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

    BethanyDrusenewmugBethany Druse

    Bethany Druse, Seaman

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

  • Washburn Rural tops Topeka West 45-6 in season-opener

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    You can usually expect a couple of strange plays in a season-opener, but weird was almost the norm in Friday night's Washburn Rural-Topeka West Centennial League football game at Hummer Sports Park.

    Early in the game Topeka West had a pick six wiped out by a penalty while Washburn Rural set up one touchdown off a blocked field goal attempt and scored another TD when a pass bounced off one Junior Blue into the hands of a Rural teammate.

    And the weirdness continued to the very end, with Topeka West scoring its lone points of the night after the clock ran out in the fourth quarter.

    But when all was said and done, Washburn Rural achieved its opening-night goal, rolling to a 45-6 win over the Chargers.

    "Some of us oldtime coaches, like coach (Steve) Lincoln and I, were looking at each other on the sideline like, 'Did that really just happen?' '' Rural coach Steve Buhler said. "It was some strange football.''

    DeWeeseSophomore Branton DeWeese threw for 205 yards and four touchdowns in Washburn Rural's 45-6 win over Topeka West Friday night. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    But Buhler also saw a lot of positives that the Junior Blues can take from the opener.

    "The thing I was most happy about was our effort,'' Buhler said. "That probably was one of the best defensive efforts we've had in a long time here and it was because of the hustle.

    "There were the weird plays, but we made plays on both sides from kids just hustling and playing hard and putting themselves in a position where those kind of things actually happen.'' 

    Sophomore quarterback Branton DeWeese completed 15 of 22 passes for 205 yards and four touchdowns while junior Amr Sabbarini had five catches for 66 yards and a pair of TDs, including a 44-yard score off a deflection.

    RobbyBolinTDWashburn Rural senior Robby Bolin (11) celebrates a touchdown reception in Friday's 45-6 win over Topeka West. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Senior standout Robby Bolin had four catches for 54 yards and two TDs and Bolin set up another Rural touchdown when he alertly scooped the ball off a blocked field goal attempt and scampered 22 yards to the West 5, with junior Ma'kenttis Adams scoring on the next play.

    Junior Kason Williams led Rural with a game-high 70 rushing yards on seven carries while Adams had 63 yards on eight attempts and junior Lukas Hanks had three catches for 54 yards.

    Washburn Rural opened up a 24-0 halftime advantage and forced a running clock at 45-0 with 5:48 remaining on a 16-yard touchdown run from sophmore JC Heim.

    Defensively Washburn Rural limited Topeka West to 173 total yards, including just 61 rushing yards.

    MalachiBergTopeka West junior quarterback Malachi Berg threw for 112 yards and scored West's lone touchdown in Friday's 45-6 loss to Washburn Rural. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    West junior quarterback Malachi Berg passed for 112 yards and rushed for a team-high 39 yards on 18 carries.

    Rural came within one play of pitching a shutout, but the Junior Blues were flagged for a facemask penalty on the final play of regulation, giving West one untimed play to end the game.

    Berg scored from 3 yards out to get the Chargers on the scoreboard. 

  • TopSports.news' Shawnee County football players to watch

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    TylanAlejosTylan Alejos

    Tylan Alejos, Topeka High

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

    E TJMpXXIAINwEhCamden Barta

    Camden Barta, Seaman

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

    E TG0F6XoA8Jpel

    Malachi Berg, Topeka West

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

    RobbyBolinRobby Bolin

    Robby Bolin, Washburn Rural

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

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    E Jj60JWQAcMeh8Haley Carpenter

    Haley Carpenter, Topeka High

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

    E JkhPLXMAUy 37Adisyn Caryl

    Adisyn Caryl, Topeka High

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

    E JiqLTXEAUD2FLKate Fritz

    Kate Fritz, Washburn Rural

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

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Nearly 29,000 reader votes have been received since TopSports.news kicked off its Best of the Best project in early July.

    Now it's time to honor Shawnee County's all-time greats in a series of lists over the month of August.

    More than 500 current and former county athletes received Best of the Best votes in 23 different sports/categories, including 44 men's bowlers, 36 baseball players, 34 women's bowlers and football players, 33 men's cross country runners, 31 women's soccer players and 30 men's tennis players.

    Eight sports compiled more than 1,200 reader votes, while four sports topped the 2,000-vote mark, two topped 4,000 votes and women's bowling led the way with more than 9,300 votes.

    Melvin DouglasMelvin Douglas

    Dajia AndersonnewDajia Anderson

    Chris BarnesChris Barnes

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

     E5nWKU XwAEz9G6Mike Torrez

    E5nWLD X0AII4HNKen Berry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST BASEBALL

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

    BrendaShaffer DahlBrenda Shaffer-Dahl

    Nadira HazimNadira Hazim 

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

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

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

    NiJareeCanadyRuralNiJaree Canady

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

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

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     Lon KrugerLon Kruger

    KyleWeems3Kyle Weems

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

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

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

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

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

     Delvy LewisDelvy Lewis

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

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST MEN'S BASKETBALL

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

    Rick Peterson

     

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

    Whitney ProckishWhitney Prockish

    MakenzieMillard2Makenzie Millard

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

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

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST WOMEN'S BOWLERS

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

    Rick Peterson

     

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

    Chris BarnesChris Barnes [Twitter]

    BobBenoit2Bob Benoit [Pinterest.com]

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

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

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST MEN'S BOWLERS

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

    Rick Peterson

     

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

    Trisa NickoleyXCTrisa Nickoley [Submitted]

    Avery CliftonAvery Clifton [Submitted]

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Rick Peterson

     

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

     JacobMorganKUJacob Morgan [KU Athletics]

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

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

    Tegan MichaelmugTegan Michael [Saint Mary Athletics]

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

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

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

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

    Rick Peterson

     

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

    TomDinkel2Tom Dinkel [Submitted]

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

    Troy WilsonTroy Wilson [1994 Fleer Cards]

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

    Ky ThomasnewKy Thomas [TSN file photo]

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

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

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST FOOTBALL PLAYERS

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

     Sheri NorrisSheri Norris [Submitted]

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

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

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

     BrooklynHunterBrooklyn Hunter [Lopers.com]

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

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

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

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

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

    JoelHoffmanJoel Hoffman [Submitted]

    JohnGranthamJohn Grantham [File photo]

    TommyHunterTommy Hunter [Washburn Athletics]

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

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

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

    Danny WilliamsDanny Williams

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

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

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

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

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

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

    Trisa NickoleyTrisa Nickoley [Missouri Athletics]

    JudyDyerJudy Dyer [File photo]

    Rita GravesRita Graves [Kansas State Athletics]

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

     Preston CarringtonPreston Carrington (Syed Abdul Mutfi) [File photo

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

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

    Marcel CarterMarcel Carter [File photo]

    Mikey HofferMikey Hoffer [Huskers.com]

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

     Jared HuskeJared Huske [Submitted]

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

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

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

  • 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

  • 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]

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

     TrisaNickoleyHOFTrisa Nickoley

    AveryCliftonAvery Clifton

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

    The tough part will be picking just one.

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

    Rob HaysRob Hays

    Jacob MorganJacob Morgan

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

    Jessica MainzJessica Mainz [Washburn Athletics]

    Darby HirschDarby Hirsch [Fort Hays State Athletics]

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Nati ClarkeNati Clarke [Sporting Kansas City Academy]

    Austin Halsey2Austin Halsey [Baker University Athletics]

  • National champ, All-Americans head list of TSN softball candidates

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the coming weeks, TopSports.news will recognize hundreds of Shawnee County's all-time greats in 25 sports/categories as part of our Best of the Best project. Readers will have the opportunity to vote through July, with the Top 25 in all categories announced in August. To cast a vote for the Best of the Best, click on: https://linkto.run/p/3RGD7LY9Email votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

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

    Lisa Carey [Submitted]Lisa Carey [Submitted]

     

    Lauren MillsLauren Mills [GoShockers.com]

    Latisha YarnellLatisha Yarnell [Washburn Athletics]

  • Best of the Best men's swimming ballot loaded with state champs

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the coming weeks, TopSports.news will recognize hundreds of Shawnee County's all-time greats in 25 sports/categories as part of our Best of the Best project. Readers will have the opportunity to vote through July, with the Top 25 in all categories announced in August. To cast a vote for the Best of the Best, click on:  https://linkto.run/p/65AV2OBQEmail votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

    Former Topeka High superstar Glenn Trammel set the standard for Shawnee County's men's swimmers, winning five individual state titles from 1982-85 before going on to become a seven-time All-American at Kansas.

    But while Trammel has to be on the short list of contenders to be named the top men's swimmer in county history, he has plenty of company.

    Glenn TrammelGlenn Trammel [Submitted]

     John Martin SchmidtJohn Martin Schmidt [Miner Athletics]

  • State champs, college stars top TSN women's tennis candidates

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

    There's certainly a few names that pop out when talking about the greatest women's tennis players in Shawnee County history.

    Sheri Norris was a three-time state champion for Topeka West and went on to earn All-America honors at Arizona State and play on the professional circuit while former Hayden star Brooklyn Hunter became the first city girls player and one of a select few statewide to capture four state singles championships.

    Sheri Norris2Sheri Norris [Submitted]

    BrooklynHunterBrooklynHunter [Lopers.com]

    Madeline HillMadeline Hill [Washburn Athletics]

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

    The hard part is deciding who gets the nod.

    Tommy HunterTommy Hunter [Washburn Athletics]

    JohnGranthamJohn Grantham [Submitted]

  • 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

  • TSN's Best of the Best project turns focus to men's basketball

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    EDITOR'S NOTE: Over the coming weeks, TopSports.news will recognize hundreds of Shawnee County's all-time greats in 25 sports/categories as part of our Best of the Best project. Readers will have the opportunity to vote through July, with the Top 25 in all categories announced in August. To cast a vote for the Best of the Best, click on: https://linkto.run/p/QT6XB7WCEmail votes/nominations will also be accepted atThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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

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

    That's a toughie!

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

     Tom MeierTom Meier

    KyleWeems4Kyle Weems

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

     BrendaShaffer DahlBrenda Shaffer-Dahl

    TatyanaLegette1Tatyana Legette

  • 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.

  • 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: 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.'' 

  • Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards: Winter Female Nominees

    WINTER SPORTS: OUTSTANDING FEMALE NOMINEES

    RhenCalhoonmug

    RHEN CALHOON | Hayden

    PARENTS: Brian and Stacey Calhoon.

    SPORT: Basketball GPA  4.02

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

    IsabellaCarter2Isabella Carter

    ISABELLA CARTER | Highland Park

    PARENTS: Tim and Ambroja Watson

    SPORT: Basketball | GPA: 3.0

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

  • Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards: Winter Male Nominees

    WINTER SPORTS: OUTSTANDING MALE NOMINEES

    Dylan BirkenbaughDJ Birkenbaugh

    DJ BIRKENBAUGH | Seaman

    PARENTS: Richard and Rebecca Birkenbaugh

    SPORT: Bowling | GPA: NA

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

    Jonathan EglyJonathan Egly

    JONATHAN EGLY | Shawnee Heights

    PARENTS: Jeremy and Tiffany Egly

    SPORT: Bowling | GPA: 3.7

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

  • Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards: Spring Female Nominees

    SPRING SPORTS: OUTSTANDING FEMALE NOMINEES

    OliviaBrunomug2 2Olivia Bruno

    OLIVIA BRUNO | Washburn Rural

    PARENTS: Tom and Shawna Bruno

    SPORT: Softball | GPA: 3.8

    Bruno, who is headed to Kansas to play softball, was a three-time All-Centennial League and Class 6A All-State honoree and was named the Centennial League player of the year this spring. Bruno is tied for the No. 1 spot on Rural's all-time list with 25 home runs despite having her junior season canceled due to COVID-19 and is also tied for the No. 1 spot with a career batting average of .545. Bruno ranks No. 2 at Rural in career doubles and third in runs batted in. "She started for us as a freshman and played every game for us on the varsity field since,'' former Rural coach Tricia Vogel said. "She was a big part of our third and second-place finishes at state.''

    Alyssa Carlson Alyssa Carlson

    ALYSSA CARLSON | Cair Paravel Latin

    PARENTS: Mike and Connie Carlson

    SPORT: Soccer | GPA: 3.52

    A first-team All-Shawnee County selection, Carlson was a star defender for the Lions as Cair Paravel earned a Class 4A-1A regional championship in its first season as a full Kansas State High School Activites Association member. Carlson was a four-year starter for the Lions and plans to play collegiately at Emporia State. "(Alyssa) is a true leader both on and off the field,'' Cair Paravel soccer coach Doug Woolery said. "During the offseason Alyssa led a group of athletes in a strength and conditioning program to be better prepared for the season. She was stronger, faster and more physical than at any point in her career.''

  • Heights' Battle of the Bigs puts the focus on linemen

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Once the 2021 high school football season gets under way this fall, linemen will go back to doing their jobs in relative obscurity.

    But Monday's Battle of the Bigs at Shawnee Heights was all about the guys up front, with more than 80 linemen from eight city and area schools taking part in the event.

    Participating athetes from Shawnee Heights, Topeka West, Washburn Rural, Royal Valley, Santa Fe Trail, Blue Valley, Basehor-Linwood and Lansing took part in the 40-yard scoop and score, tractor tire flip, pro agility drill, 10-yard sled pull, 185-pound bench press for reps, medicine ball toss, 10-yard sled drive, pursuit drill and obstacle course, with players competing as teams and individuals.

    E4c6rIfWEAkW ueShawnee Heights lineman Garrett Peery goes through a drill during Monday's Battle of the Bigs at Heights. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    "The reality is all summer the seven on sevens are going on so all the skill kids get to play -- the quarterbacks, the D-backs, the receivers -- but the linemen don't get to do anything fun,'' Shawnee Heights coach Jason Swift said. "So what we wanted to do is we wanted to put on an event where linemen only could participate.

    "It's a non-contact event and it's a great way to build unity and team bonding with your line. Line coaches usually show up to be a part of it. The linemen as teammates, they're together pushing each other, so it's just a good day for them to compete against each other whether as an individual or a team, pick up a T-shirt and eat a lot of hot dogs and chips.''

    E4c4xEjWEAkhGKkShawnee Heights' Matthew Etzel finishes off the obstacle course in Monday's Battle of the Bigs at Heights. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    E4c4GGaXoAAT3lsDawson Block, a Shawnee Heights lineman, runs an agility drill in Monday's Battle of the Bigs at Heights. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    A lot of Shawnee Heights' skill position players were still on hand Monday, albeit in a different role.

    "Today is all about the linemen,'' Swift said. "All of our skill guys, they're the volunteers today.''

    2021 LINEMAN CHALLENGE - Final Standings
    Monday, June 21, 2021
    1st Place   2nd Place
    School: Blue Valley   School:  Shawnee Heights
      Players Grade Pts       Players Grade Pts  
    1 Levi Bittel Sr 213     1 Matthew Etzel Sr 203  
    2 Nick Herzog Sr 213     2 Garett Peery Sr 200  
    3 Andrew Long Sr 205     3 Alex Dawkins So 191  
    4 Gianni Scavuzzo Sr 198     4 Dawson Block Sr 189  
    5 Jack Cecil Sr 185     5 Caleb Seelbach So 183  
        Total 1014         Total 966  
                         
                         
    3rd Place   4th Place
    School:  Basehor-Linwood   School:  Washburn Rural
      Players Grade Pts       Players Grade Pts  
    1 Peyton McGee Sr 198     1 Packson Bettis So 196  
    2 Pete Best Sr 186     2 Lukas Hanks Jr 185  
    3 Jordan Johnson Sr 186     3 Shane Sexton Jr 173  
    4 Dalton Harris Sr 184     4 Zach Franco Jr 151  
    5 Logan Gall Jr 181     5 Andrew Holman So 150  
        Total 935         Total 855  
                         
    Player Grade School Bench Sled Push Pro-Ag Throw Obst Sled Pull 40 yd Pursuit Tire Flip Total  
    Levi Bittel Sr BVHS 25 21 23 18 20 29 24 23 30 213  
    Nick Herzog Sr BVHS 23 21 25 17 23 28 23 23 30 213  
    Andrew Long Sr BVHS 16 21 24 16 24 29 24 22 29 205  
    Matthew Etzel Sr SHHS 15 19 23 15 25 27 24 25 30 203  
    Garett Peery Sr SHHS 20 19 21 18 24 26 24 18 30 200  
    Peyton McGee Sr BLHS 5 20 27 15 23 27 27 24 30 198  
    Gianni Scavuzzo Sr BVHS 20 21 24 13 16 27 25 24 28 198  
    Packson Bettis So WRHS 8 26 26 14 17 27 27 23 28 196  
    Alex Dawkins So SHHS 11 17 23 17 23 25 25 21 29 191  
    Dawson Block Sr SHHS 14 19 24 13 17 24 26 22 30 189  
  • Wilkerson, Alexander combine for 32 points for Blue in KBCA romp

    TopSports.news

    Former Topeka West stars Marque Wilkerson and Trevion Alexander ended their high school careers with a bang, helping lead the Blue to a 125-106 romp past the Gold in Saturday's Kansas Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Game at Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina.

    Wilkerson and Alexander, who led the Chargers to a runner-up finish in the Class 5A state tournament this past season, combined for 32 points and 20 rebounds as the Blue opened up a commanding 55-38 halftime advantage and cruised the rest of the way.

    Wilkerson led six players in double figures for the Blue with a team-high 20 points and also grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds while Alexander added 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds.

    MarqueWilkersonhays 2Former Topeka West star Marque Wilkerson scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as the Blue rolled to a 125-106 win in Saturday's KBCA All-Star Game at Salina. [File photo/TSN]

    TrevionAlexanderMaizeTopeka West product Trevion Alexander had 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the Blue in Saturday's KBCA All-Star Game at Salina. [File photo/TSN]

  • West stars set to close out prep careers in KBCA All-Star tilt

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Recent Topeka West graduates Trevion Alexander and Marque Wilkerson, who helped lead the Chargers to the Class 5A state championship game in 2020-21, are scheduled to play one last high school game in Saturday's 2021 Kansas Basketball Coaches Association Boys All-Star Game at Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina.

    The KBCA boys game is scheduled to tip off at 6:30 p.m., following the 4:45 girls game. Alexander and Wilkerson are scheduled to play for the Blue team.

    Saturday's games will be live-streamed at kwucoyotes.com/live.

    Topeka West coach Rick Bloomquist is also set to be honored Saturday, receiving the KBCA's Don Jones Courage Award.

    TrevionAlexanderStateTopeka West senior Trevion Alexander is scheduled to play in Saturday's KBCA Boys All-Star Game in Salina. [File photo/TSN]

    MarqueWilkersonMaizeTopeka West senior Marque Wilkerson and teammate Trevion Alexander will play in the KBCA All-Star game Saturday in Salina. [File photo/TSN]

  • Five Shawnee County golfers earn All-State recognition

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Five Shawnee County high school golfers have earned All-State honors from the Kansas Golf Coaches Association, led by second-team picks Luke Leonetti of Washburn Rural and Alex Valdivia in 5A.

    Luke LeonettiLuke Leonetti

    Alex ValdiviaAlex Valdivia

    A junior, Leonetti was named to the All-Class 6A second team after winning individual titles in the city and Centennial League tournaments while Valdivia, a sophomore, was a second-team pick in 5A after finishing sixth in the state meet.

    E4G6mAlWEAoAkXCTurner Depperschmidt

    E4G5ZtmXEAg 3j7Myles Alonzo

    E4G4wi8XIAIawKRBryce Badsky

    Junior Tanner Depperschmidt of Washburn Rural earned honorable mention in 6A while Topeka West freshman Myles Alonzo received honorable mention in 5A and Silver Lake freshman Bryce Badsky received honorable mention in 3A after placing 13th at state.

    KANSAS GOLF COACHES ASSOCIATION ALL-STATE

    CLASS 6A

    First team

    Ty Adkins, Hutchinson; Thomas Gogel, Shawnee Mission East; Ian McCrary, Blue Valley Northwest; Eoin McLaughlin, Blue Valley; Patrick Neal, Olathe North; Chance Rinkol, Blue Valley.

    Second team

    James Ackerman, Blue Valley; Carson Baker, Blue Valley West; Theo Juhl, Garden City; Luke Leonetti, Washburn Rural; Davan Smith, Dodge City; Myles Tarvin, Olathe West.

    Honorable mention

    Turner Depperschmidt, Washburn Rural; Ben Elgas, Blue Valley; Cooper Scheck, Dodge City; Ben Slicker, Shawnee Mission East; Ryan Stonecash, Olathe West; Tyler Strong, Olathe South.

    CLASS 5A

    First team

    Noah Holtzman, Carroll; Joey Langstraat, Basehor-Linwood; Nicklaus Mason, Mill Valley; Brent Rientjes, Kapaun Mt. Carmel; Asher Whitaker, Kapaun Mt. Carmel; Michael Winslow, St. Thomas Aquinas.

    Second team

    Austin Goodrum, Andover Central; Connor Hanrahan, St. Thomas Aquinas; Kyle Kasitz, Maize South; Cole Streck, Great Bend; Trent Sutherland, Arkansas City; Alex Valdivia, Shawnee Heights.

    Honorable mention

    Myles Alonzo, Topeka West; Taben Armstrong, Maize South; Jason Krannawitter, Hays; Layton Love, Maize South; Grant Waggoner, Maize South; Cooper Ward, Andover Central.

    CLASS 4A

    First team

    Drayton Cleaver, Chanute; Jacob George, Winfield; Deitrik Gill, Wellington; Blake Saffell, Wellington; Dylan Tyner, Wamego; Zachary Vandervoort, Pratt.

    Second team

    Richard Blevins, Ottawa; Karson Kuepker, Andale; Levi Long, Wamego; Jimmy Welsh, Bishop Miege; Andrew Willson, Tonganoxie; Jack Winkler, Bishop Miege.

    Honorable mention

    Chadd Brown, Augusta; Carson Floersch, Clay Center; Zach Hoang, Rose Hill; Jace Lawrence, Wellington; Laken Smith, Wellington; Brett Wyckoff, Wellington.

    CLASS 3A

    First team

    Blake Buessing, Santa Fe Trail; Tyler Duncan, Santa Fe Trail; Harrison Middleton, Cheney; Jackson Rader, Marysville; Lucas Schueffler, Wichita Trinity; Lane Workman, Santa Fe Trail.

    Second team

    Kyle Eggers, Neodesha; Riley Johnson, Frontenac; Josh Martin, Anderson County; Vinny Pile, Frontenac; Anthony Rogers, Caney Valley; Lucas Roth, Hesston.

    Honorable mention

    Bryce Badsky, Silver Lake; Keegan O'Shea, Cheney; Lane Prewitt, Santa Fe Trail; Lane Richards, Anderson County; Ty Sides, Phillipsburg; Kordell Webb, Wichita Trinity.

    CLASS 2A

    First team

    Caleb Gilliland, Sacred Heart; Nick Ison, Colgan; Parker Krob, Plainville; Easton Reynolds, Yates Center; Kameron Shaw, Sacred Heart; Zach Surface, Sterling.

    Second team

    Ashton Dowell, Hoxie; Brady Frickey, Ellis; Will Hedges, Seabury; Jon Hoover, Berean Academy; Kobe Hoover, Washington County; Jack King, Yates Center.

    Honorable mention

    Mark Bogner, Erie; Nate Elmore, Sacred Heart; Ian Fink, Oakley; Drew Heinz, Ellinwood; Mikey Matteucci, Sacred Heart; Hunter Newell, Sacred Heart.

    CLASS 1A

    First team

    Brandon Befort, Osborne; Isaac Domsch, Atwood; Jaxon Koehn, South Gray; Trent Mars, Centralia; Spencer Wishon, Oberlin; Kendrick Woody, Atwood.

    Second team

    Reagan Bowles, Atwood; Aiden Gerstner, Frankfort; Cali Kellinberger, Ashland; Connor Langlais, Hutchinson Central Christian; Grant Theurer, South Central; Grady Wolters, Osborne.

    Honorable mention

    Spencer Coup, Solomon; Jaydon Hahn, Hodgeman County; Joey Hardwick, Frankfort; Dayton Lantz, Osborne; Cade Mangan, Tribune; Landon Uhl, South Central.

  • Nominees set for 2021 TopSports.news' high school senior awards

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    All 10 Shawnee County high schools have nominted multiple senior athletes for the 16th annual Topeka Shawnee County High School Sports Awards, which will be presented on June 30 at the Capitol Plaza Hotel's Maner Conference Center Sunflower Ballroom.

    TopSports.news, in conjunction with Envista Credit Union and A-1 Lock and Key, will present awards to top female and male athletes in the fall, winter and spring seasons, as well as overall female and male athletes of the year and the most inspirational female and male. A complete of nominees is listed below.

    ZoeCarylHRTopeka High's Zoe Caryl (right), who helped lead the Trojans to the Class 6A state softball title, is a nominee for the 2021 Topeka Shawnee County High School Sports Awards, which will be presented on June 30. [File photo/TSN]

    Alex ShereractionRossville's Alex Sherer, who captured the Class 3A-1A state singles tennis title, is a nominee for the 2021Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards. [File photo/TSN]

  • Frustrating '20-'21 HS sports year still produced plenty of highlights

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    The 2020-21 high school sports year began last fall with a great deal of uncertainty due to COVID-19 and ended late last month with general optimism about the future.

    In between there were a lot of frustrating times as administrators, coaches, athletes and fans were forced to deal with a school year like none other, but '20-'21 also produced moments that all 10 Shawnee County high schools can be proud of, particularly in light of the circumstances.

    Shawnee County schools combined to claim four state team championships while 15 county standouts, including eight underclassmen, claimed 18 individual titles.

    And while a case could be made for any number of stories to sit at the top of the list, here's one opinion on the Top 10 Shawnee County stories of '20-'21:

     Ruraljube 2Washburn Rural's boys wrestling Coach Damon Parker delivered the news that the Junior Blues had clinched their first-ever state team title during the Class 6A state tournament in February. [Photo by Jeff Jacobson/Action Images Photography]

    1. RURAL RULES -- Washburn Rural became the first school in Kansas to win girls and boys state wrestling championships in the same season while producing five state individual champs. The Junior Blue girls won their second straight Division I championship by a 100-74 margin over Wichita North while Rural win its first-ever Class 6A boys title in a 159.5-112 margin over Olathe North after finishing second two of the previous three seasons.

    GeivonniiRossville junior quarterback Torrey Horak helped lead the Bulldawgs to the Class 2A state championship, the school’s fourth state title since 2014. [File photo/TSN]

    2. DAWG DOMINANCE -- Derick Hammes’ Rossville Bulldawgs captured their fourth state football title since 2014, capping a perfect 13-0 season with a 27-20 win over previously-unbeaten Hoisington in the Class 2A state championship game. Rossville had earlier won three straight state championships in '14, '15 and '16. 

  • State champ Anderson, medalists headline all-county track and field

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Seaman senior shot-putter JahnAsia Anderson, the Class 5A state champion, headlines the TopSports.news All-Shawnee County girls track and field team, which includes 17 state medalists.

    Anderson completed her first and only track and field season with a 5A gold medal, winning the shot put title by nearly a foot with a personal-best throw of  37 feet, 7 inches.

    E2e7Pe2XEAE3KNkSeaman senior JahnAsia Anderson, won the Class 5A state shot put title with a throw of 37 feet, 7 inches, headlines the TopSports.news 2021 All-Shawnee County girls track and field team. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Anderson was the only county girls athlete to win a state championship, but Shawnee Heights junior Nadia Emperley posted a second-place finish in the 5A girls javelin and nine county athletes took home multiple state medals.

     E3NjOukX0AYXCwXWashburn Rural sophomore Madeline Carter (left) and senior Keely Wagner both earned spots on the TopSports.news All-Shawnee County girls track and field team after earning Class 6A state medals.. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Washburn Rural sophomore Madeline Carter earned three 6A medals, posting a sixth-place individual finish in the 800 meters while also running on the Junior Blues' fourth-place 4x400 relay and fifth-place 4x800 relay.

    Rural freshman Jada Ingram took fifth in the 6A high jump and ran on the Junior Blues' fourth-place 4x400-meter relay.

    Seaman sophomore Bethany Druse picked up a pair of 5A state medals, placing fifth in the 1,600 meters and fifth in the 800, while Viking freshman Taylin Stallbaumer finished seventh in the 5A 100 hurdles and placed eighth in the 300 hurdles.

    Shawnee Heights senior Shelby Butterfield also picked up a seventh-place state medal in the 5A javelin and finished fourth in the long jump.

    DSC 4147Topeka West freshman Victoria Reed (middle) and Charger sophomore Ala'Jah Brooks (left) were Class 5A regional champions and state medalists. [File photo/TSN]

    Topeka West senior Adina Davis placed sixth in the 5A triple jump and freshman Victoria Reed was eighth in the 100-meter dash and both Davis and Reed earned a second state medal as part of the the Chargers' sixth-place 4x100 relay.

    Rossville junior Briar Gillum posted a third-place finish in the 3A girls shot put and she added an eighth-place state finish in the discus.

    Sophomore Amelia Foster was also a double state medalist for the Bulldawgs, taking sixth in the 3A girls 400 and seventh in the 800.

    West freshman Mikayla Wilkerson earned a state medal with a seventh-place finish in the 5A discus while sophomore Ala'Jah Brooks picked up a medal as part of the Chargers' 4x100 relay.

    T-Bird sophomore Taylor Rottinghaus placed fourth in the 400 while Hayden freshman Natalie Hillebert placed fourth in the 4A 400, Wildcat junior Jadyn Paige Falley eighth in the girls shot put and Washburn Rural senior Keely Wagner ran on the Junior Blues' fifth-place 4x800 relay.

    West sophomore MaKinsey Jones and Rural freshman Raegan Petersen also earned spots on the All-Shawnee County team, with Jones a state qualifier in the 5A high jump and Petersen a 6A state qualifier in the discus.

    Peterson was the Centennial League discus champ and also won a 6A regional title while Jones was the Centennial League and city high jump champ.

    ALL-SHAWNEE COUNTY GIRLS TRACK

    Name, school                                            Class    Events

    Jahn'Asia Anderson, Seaman                   Sr.         Throws

    Ala'Jah Brooks, Topeka West                   So.         Sprints

    Shelby Butterfield, Shawnee Heights        Sr.         Hurdles, jumps, throws

    Madeline Carter, Washburn Rural             So.        Distance

    Adina Davis, Topeka West                         Sr.         Jumps

    Bethany Druse, Seaman                          So.         Distance

    Nadia Emperley, Shawnee Heights          Jr.          Throws

    Jadyn Paige Falley, Hayden                     Jr.          Throws

    Amelia Foster, Rossville                           So.         Sprints, middle distance

    Briar Gillum, Rossville                               Jr.          Throws

    Natalie Hillebert, Hayden                          Fr.        Sprints

    Jada Ingram, Washburn Rural                  Fr.          Jumps

    MaKinsey Jones, Topeka West                 So.        Jumps

    Reagan Petersen, Washburn Rural          Fr.          Throws

    Victoria Reed, Topeka West                      Fr.         Sprints

    Taylor Rottinghaus, Shawnee Heights      So.        Sprints

    Taylin Stallbaumer, Seaman                     Fr.          Hurdles

    Keely Wagner, Washburn Rural                Sr.         Distance

    Makayla Wilkerson, Topeka West             Fr.          Throws

  • All-Shawnee County boys track and field loaded with state champs

    Rick Peterson

    JeremiahSmith1Shawnee Heights sophomore Jeremiah Smith headlines the 2021 All-Shawnee County boys track and field team after winning three events in the Class 5A state meet. [File photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Triple gold medalist Jeremiah Smith is one of five state champions on the TopSports.news 2021 All-Shawnee County boys track and field team. 

    Smith, a Shawnee Heights sophomore, turned in a dominating performance in his first Class 5A state meet at Wichita State's Cessna Stadium, going three for three with wins in the 110-meter high hurdles and the 100 and 200-meter dashes.

    And while Smith was undoubtedly the biggest star of Shawnee County's large state boys contingent, he certainly wasn't the only star, with four other county athletes making it to the top of the podium and 17 members of the All-Shawnee County team earning state medals.

    Joining Smith as state champions were 6A state champions Marquel Russell and Zsamar Sipple of Washburn Rural, 4A champ Jake Muller of Hayden and 3A titlist Woodrow Rezac of Rossville.

    Sipple won the 6A long jump while his Junior Blue teammate, Russell, won the championship in the 110-meter hurdles.

    MarquelRussellWashburn Rural senior Marquel Russell won the Class 6A title in the 110-meter hurdles. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    ZsamarSippleWashburn Rural junior Zsamar Sipple won the Class 6A state long jump championship. [File photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Muller became the third Shawnee County hurdler to win a state title when he won the 4A 300-meter event while Rezac added a 3A crown in the 200.

    Rezac also posted a runner-up finish in the 100 while Muller picked up second state medal when he helped the Wildcats to a fifth-place finish in the meet-ending 4x400 relay while Sipple finished seventh in the triple jump.

     E2kEWltXIAAcsSGRossville's Woodrow Rezac (3249) won the Class 3A 200-meter dash and finished second in the 100 while Silver Lake's Brogan Renfro earned four state medals. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Silver Lake junior Brogan Renfro captured four 3A state medals, placing second in the triple jump, fourth in the 200 (22.27), fifth in the 100 and eighth as part of the Eagles' 4x100 relay.

    Renfro's Eagles teammate, junior Carson Johnson, took home three 3A medals, finishing third in the 300 hurdles, seventh in the 110 hurdles and ran on Silver Lake's 4x400 relay as the Eagles finished fourth as a team while junior Cameron TenEyck placed seventh in the boys 3,200  and he ran on the Eagles' 4x800 relay team that finished third.

    Highland Park sophomore Tre Richardson earned a pair of 5A state medals, finishing third in the triple jump and fourth in the 200 while Seaman senior Cadin Worcester tied for third in the 5A high jump and helped the Vikings place sixth in the 4x100 relay.

    Rural senior Joel Goering placed fourth in the 6A pole vault while his Junior Blue teammate, senior Sam Shonka, tied for third in the high jump, and Rural junior Zach Sulzen Watson took fifth in the discus.

    Topeka West sophomore Tyrell Reed finished third in the 5A 100 while Shawnee Heights senior Aidan Hicks placed fourth in the javelin (167-10), T-Bird freshman Jackson Esquibel seventh in the 3,200 and Hayden senior Jack Konrade third in the 4A long jump.

    Star distance runners Tanner Newkirk of Hayden and Lenny Njoroge of Topeka West were unable to compete in the state meet due to injuries.

    Newkirk, the 4A state cross country champion last fall, ranked No. 1 in the county in the 800, 1,600 and 3,200-meter runs while Njoroge, a two-time 5A state placer in cross country, was the city champion in the 3,200

    JakeMullerHayden sophomore Jake Muller won the Class 4A state title in the boys 300 hurdles. [File photo/TSN] 

    ALL-SHAWNEE COUNTY BOYS TRACK AND FIELD

  • State qualifiers Rural, Seaman headline all-county baseball team

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Class 6A state tournament qualifier Washburn Rural and 5A qualifier Seaman combined to earn 11 first-team berths on the 2021 All-Shawnee County baseball team.

    The Centennial League-champion Junior Blues (17-6) are represented by seniors Cooper Carlgren (pitcher), Davan Brady (infielder), Andre Chavez (outfielder), Brady Patterson (catcher) and Hunter Vondemkamp (utility) and junior Brock Howard (infielder) while Seaman (19-4) put seniors Kevin Mannell (pitcher), Cole Askew (outfielder) and Kolden Howerton (outfielder), junior Dagen Brewer (infielder) and sophomore Bryson Vawter (designated hitter) on the first team.

    Washburn Rural's Carlgren was tapped as the Shawnee County pitcher of the year while Seaman's Askew earned the player of the year award and Rural's Jay Mastin was named coach of the year.

     ColeAskew2Seaman senior Cole Askew was named the Shawnee County player of the year after previously receiving the same honor in the Centennial League. [File photo/TSN]

    Also earning spots on the all-county team are senior pitcher Connor Pruyser and senior outfielder Trent Reamer of Silver Lake, senior pitcher Chase Carson of Shawnee Heights and junior infielder Max Colombo of Topeka High.

  • Undefeated state-champion Trojans headline all-county softball

    Rick Peterson

    NiJareeCanadyregional2Topeka High junior NiJaree Canady has been named TopSports.news' All-Shawnee County softball player of the year after leading the Trojans to a 25-0 record and the Class 6A state championship. [Photo by Jeff Jacobsen/Action Images Photography]

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Fresh off a historic 25-0 season and a first-ever Class 6A state championship, Topeka High headlines the 2021 TopSports.news All-Shawnee County softball team.

    Trojan junior star NiJaree Canady was named the Shawnee County player of the year while sophomore Adisyn Caryl got the nod as newcomer of the year and High coach Shane Miles was named the county coach of the year.

    Canady posted a perfect 21-0 pitching record this spring with an 0.26 earned run average and 226 strikeouts while also hitting .478 with 13 home runs.

    Canady was at her best in the 6A state tournament, not allowing an earned run in three complete-game pitching performances while hitting a solo home run in a 1-0 semifinal win over Gardner-Edgerton that provided the impetus for the Trojans' 7-1 win over Olathe North in the state championship game.

    E20aKB X0AkFQU1Topeka High sophomore shortstop Adisyn Caryl has been named the Shawnee County softball newcomer of the year after helping lead the Trojans to the Class 6A state championship. [File photo/TSN]

    Adisyn Caryl, a shortstop, was tapped as Shawnee County's top newcomer after completing her first high school season while Miles led Topeka High to its second straight Class 6A state tournament berth and its first Centennial League title.

    Topeka High star senior catcher Zoe Caryl joined Canady and Adisyn Caryl on the first team while Class 6A state quarterfinalist Washburn Rural (20-3) also put three players on the All-Shawnee County first team, with the Junior Blues represented by senior Olivia Bruno, junior Campbell Bagshaw and sophomore Emmerson Cope. Bruno was earlier named the Centennial League player of the year.

    OliviaBrunoWashburn Rural senior Olivia Bruno, earned first-team honors on the All-Shawnee County softball team after helping lead the Junior Blues to a Class 6A state tournament berth. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN

    EllingtonHogleSilver Lake senior Ellington Hogle, (15) has been named to the All-Shawnee County softball first team after helping lead the Eagles to a runner-up finish in the Class 3A state tournament. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Class 3A state runner-up Silver Lake (22-4) landed senior Ellington Hogle and freshman Makenzie McDaniel on the first team while 5A state qualifier Shawnee Heights is represented by senior Adysen Burghart and junior Abby Schulte on the all-county squad after helping the T-Birds post an 18-5 record. 

    Seaman (16-6) put senior Raigan Kramer and junior Emma Smith on the first team while Hayden (12-9) is represented by senior Lauren Cook and junior Carly Stuke and Rossville (19-4) by senior Destiy Bergstresser.

    2021 ALL-SHAWNEE COUNTY SOFTBALL

  • Leonetti, state placers Valdivia, Badsky headline all-county golf

    Rick Peterson

    E3Dv2ZFXEAMWELSThe 2021 All-Shawnee County boys golf team: Fronm left -- Bryce Badsky, Silver Lake; Myles Alonzo, Topeka West; Alex Valdivia, Shawnee Heights; Luke Leonetti, Washburn Rural; Turner Depperschmidt, Washburn Rural; Gavin Wilhelm, Seaman. Not pictured: Giles Frederickson, Washburn Rural. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    City and Centennial League individual champion Luke Leonetti of Washburn Rural and state placers Alex Valdivia of Shawnee Heights and Bryce Badsky of Silver Lake headline the 2021 All-Shawnee County boys golf team.

    A junior, Leonetti was a regional runner-up and led the Junior Blues to a sweep of city, league and regional team championships while Valdivia, a sophomore, placed sixth in the Class 5A state tournament and Badsky, a freshman, finished 13th in the 3A state tournament.

    Also earning berths on the all-county teams are Washburn Rural juniors Turner Depperschmidt and Giles Frederickson, Topeka West freshman Myles Alonzo, the Centennial League runner-up, and Seaman junior Gavin Wilhelm, who helped lead the Vikings to a 5A regional team championship.

     E3D4TgbXEAIbRyBWashburn Rural junior Giles Frederickson has been named to the 2021 All-Shawnee County boys golf team. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    All-City capsules:

    MYLES ALONZO, Topeka West -- A freshman, Alonzo placed third in the city tournament with a 27-hole total of 124, finished second in the Centennial League tournament with a 76 and placed third in 5A regional competition with a 73. The Centennial League newcomer of the year, Alonzo finished his season with a tie for 38th in the 5A state tournament, posting a 36-hole score of 165.

    BRYCE BADSKY, Silver Lake -- Badsky capped his freshman season with a 13th-place finish in the 3A state tournament, shooting a 36-hole score of 161. Badsky took fifth in a 3A regional tournament with an 87, was the runner-up in the Mid-East League tournament with a 92 and was fourth in the Silver Lake Invitational with an 82.