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Washburn Rural High School logoWashburn Rural Junior Blues

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

    Rick Peterson

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

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

    All-County first-team capsules:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    ALL-SHAWNEE COUNTY GIRLS GOLF

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers Oct. 25, 2021

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Malachi BergMalachi Berg

    MALACHI BERG, Topeka West

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

    MadelineCarternewMadeline Carter

    MADELINE CARTER, Washburn Rural

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

    FCjVnLNXsAI6QX6Branton DeWeese

    BRANTON DeWEESE, Washburn Rural

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

    21letcher james 1James Letcher Jr.

    JAMES LETCHER JR., Washburn University

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

    TannerNewkirkmugTanner Newkirk

    TANNER NEWKIRK, Hayden

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

    korysuttonmugKory Sutton

    KORY SUTTON, Shawnee Heights

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

     

  • 1-2-3 x 4: Rural girls XC completes city, league, regional sweep

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural's girls cross country team rode its fourth straight 1-2-3 individual finish to a Class 6A regional team title Saturday at Milford State Park, with the Junior Blues completing a sweep of the city, Centennial League and regional championships.

    Rural junior Madeline Carter captured the individual championship in a five-kilometer time of 18:46.20, while senior Khloi Bird finished second in 19:11.70 and freshman Payton Fink finished third in 19:19.10 to lead the was as the Junior Blues took the team title by a 41-52 margin over Manhattan.

    MadelineCarternewMadeline Carter

    KhloiBirdnewKhloi Bird

    PaytonFinkPayton Fink

    Freshman Rylee Ismert finished 15th (20:30.10) for the Junior Blues while sophomore Sydney Laster rounded out Rural's top five with a 20th-place finish (21:08.60).

    Washburn Rural also qualified its boys team for next Saturday's 6A state meet at Augusta, with the Junior Blues (65 points) finishing third behind Free State (36) and Manhattan (41).

    Alex HolmesAlex Holmes

    Senior Alex Holmes placed third individually in 16:19.30 and sophomore Hayden Keller was sixth in 16:49.00 to lead the Junior Blues, while senior Spencer Haddock was 14th (17:18.30), junior Davin Johnson 18th (17:33.00) and senior Ishaan Patel 25th (18:00.90) to complete Rural's scorers.

    Junior Michael Christopher qualified for state as an individual for Topeka High, finishing 21st (17:43.30).

  • 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.''

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    DeLeye agreed.

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

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

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

    CLASS 6A SUB-STATE VOLLEYBALL

    Match results

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

    SEAMAN ROLLS TO 5A BERTH

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

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

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

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

    WEST COMES UP SHORT

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

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

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

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

     

     

     

  • Washburn Rural tops Seaman in Centennial League shootout

    By KYLE MANTHE

    The Washburn Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • State champion trio headlines All-Shawnee County girls tennis

    Rick Peterson

    FBvfhTGWQBQJd C2021 All-Shawnee County girls tennis team -- Front row, from left: Nina Del-Zio, Seaman; Mena DiMarzio, Washburn Rural; Meredith Kucera, Washburn Rural; Sheriden Wichman, Washburn Rural; Lauren Sweeney, Seaman; Ainzley Zulueta, Hayden; Emily Sheetz, Hayden; Haley Carpenter, Topeka High. Back row, from left: Kate Fritz, Washburn Rural; Shelby Schmutzler, Washburn Rural; Hailey Beck, Washburn Rural; Grace Unruh, Seaman; Lauren Sandstrom, Hayden; Adisyn Caryl, Topeka High. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Seaman state doubles champions Grace Unruh and Lauren Sweeney and Hayden singles champ Ainzley Zulueta headline the 2021 All-Shawnee County girls tennis team, which includes nine state medalists.

    Unruh, a senior, and junior Sweeney capped a perfect 36-0 season with the Class 5A state doubles championship Saturday at Emporia while freshman Zulueta finished off a 35-5 season with a 4A state singles title at Winfield.

    Washburn Rural placed all six of its varsity players on the All-Shawnee County team after sweeping team championships in the city, Centennial League and 6A regional tournaments.

    The Junior Blues got ninth-place finishes in the 6A state tournament from senior singles player Sheriden Wichman and the junior doubles team of Kate Fritz and Meredith Kucera while senior Shelby Schmutzler and junior Hailey Beck made it to state in doubles and sophomore Mena DiMarzio advanced in singles.

    Hayden's doubles team of sophomore Lauren Sandstrom and freshman Emily Sheetz placed seventh in the 4A state tournament, helping the Wildcats win the third-place team trophy, while Seaman junior Nina Del-Zio earned a 5A state medal with an 11th-place finish in singles.

    Topeka High juniors Haley Carpenter and Adisyn Caryl made the All-City team after advancing to the 6A state tournament for the second straight season as doubles partners. Caryl has made it to state three straight years in doubles.

    All-Shawnee County capsules:

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers Oct. 18, 2021

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    MadelineCarternewMadeline Carter

    MADELINE CARTER, Washburn Rural

    Carter, a junior, captured the individual girls title in Saturday's Centennial League cross country championships at Milford State Park, clocking a five-kilometer time of 18 minutes, 43.3 seconds. Carter led a 1-2-3 finish by the Junior Blues for the third straight meet, with Rural winning the league team championship by a 50-52 margin over Manhattan.

     CoreyCatronCorey Catron

    COREY CATRON, Rossville

    A senior running back/linebacker, Catron was pressed into duty at quarterback after an injury to Torrey Horak and sparked undefeated Rossville to a 24-19 come-from-behind win over rival Silver Lake. Catron rushed for 136 yards and a touchdown and passed for 33 yards and a TD.

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    CLASS 5A

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

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

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

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

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

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

    CLASS 4A

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

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

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

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

    CLASS 3A-1A

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

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

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

    SHAWNEE COUNTY STATE GIRLS GOLF QUALIFIERS

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

    Now the real work begins.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    CLASS 6A STATE GOLF

    Team scores

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

    Individual results

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

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

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

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

    ROEDER, HAYDEN PLACE SECOND IN 4A

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

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

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

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

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

  • Hayden freshman Zulueta rolls to 4A singles title, Cats third as team

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Like most any high school tennis player who picks up a racket, Hayden freshman Ainzley Zulueta dreamed of winning a state championship some day.

    But even Zulueta wasn't quite sure that title would come quite this early.

    "I was hoping to get to state and win it, but I wasn't expecting myself to,'' Zulueta said in a phone interview. "I was just kind of setting a standard and hoping I could reach it.

    "Winning it kind of feels surreal, so it feels really good right now.'' 

    The Hayden phenom capped an impressive season and an even more impressive run through the Class 4A state tournament Saturday at Winfield's T.H. Vaughan Tennis Center, claiming the 4A singles title with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Bishop Miege freshman Breanna Quigley in the championship match.

    Hayden freshman singles standout Ainzley Zulueta won the Class 4A state championship in her first state meet Saturday at Winfield. [Photo courtesy of Jeff Jacobsen/Action Images]Hayden freshman singles standout Ainzley Zulueta won the Class 4A state championship in her first state meet Saturday at Winfield. [Photo courtesy of Jeff Jacobsen/Action Images Photography]

    Zulueta, who finished the season 35-5, said she fought her nerves both Friday and Saturday, but it didn't show, with Zulueta dropping just five games in her four matches at state.

    "I was probably more nervous today, especially since it was the semifinals,'' she said. "I really wanted to prove myself and I think I did pretty well with that even though it was really cold so it was a bit tough, but I somehow got through it.''

    Zulueta dropped an early-season match to Quigley, but came back to take decisive wins over the Miege standout the past two weeks in regional and state competition and said her familiarity with her opponent helped.

    "It really did because I knew how to play her and I knew how to win,'' Zulueta said. "I just hit all the shots that I could that I knew could damage her.

    "Playing her so many times before in the USTA tournaments also helped to bring up my confidence when playing her.''

    Zulueta advanced to the final with a 6-0, 6-2 semifinal win over Wellington's Kami Reichenberger.

    SheetzSandstromEmily Sheetz (left) and Lauren Sandstrom posted a seventh-place doubles finish in the Class 4A state tournament. [Submitted]

    Hayden also got a seventh-place doubles finish from sophomore Lauren Sandstrom and freshman Emily Sheetz, with Sandstrom and Sheetz taking a 9-4 decision over Wellington's Ashlyn Gerten and Kadynce Aufdengarten in the seventh-place match.

    HaydenteamHayden tied for second as a team and finished third on a tiebreaker in the Class 4A state tennis tournament. [Submitted]

    Hayden tied for second as a team, taking home the third-place trophy on a tiebreaker.

    McPherson won the team championship with 44 points, followed by Wellington and Hayden with 25.

    "I got really excited when they said our name because it was kind of between a few teams for second and third,'' Zulueta said.

    RURAL EIGHTH AS A TEAM IN 6A

    Senior singles player Sheriden Wichman and junior doubles players Kate Fritz and Meredith Kucera posted ninth-place finishes Saturday at Wichita's Riverside Tennis Center to lead Washburn Rural to an eighth-place team finish in Class 6A.

    Wichman, who earned her second state medal, took a 9-3 win over Shawnee Mission South's Livia Andriole in her final match while Fritz and Kucera took a 9-4 win over Garden City's Sage Riggs and Sydney Nanninga.

    Topeka High's Adisyn Caryl and Haley Carpenter won a doubles match at state, but did not place.

    Manhattan's Jillian Harkin won the 6A singles championship.

    SHERER NINTH IN 3A-1A STATE MEET

    Rossville junior Alivia Sherer placed ninth in singles in the Class 3A-1A state tournament Saturday at Maize South.

    Sherer took a 9-8 (7-2 tiebreaker) victory over Marysville's Shea Kramer in the ninth-place match.

    Sherer became the first girls state tennis medalist in Rossville history.

  • 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.

  • '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

  • Washburn Rural volleyball sweeps quad to improve to 30-0

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    The juggernaut that is Washburn Rural volleyball continued to roll Tuesday night, with the Junior Blues improving to 30-0 on the season with three straight-set wins in Hayden's quadrangular.

    But as good as the Junior Blues have been all season, veteran Rural coach Kevin Bordewick firmly believes that his team can still get better with postseason rapidly approaching.

    "I think we're in a good spot, but man there's a lot of things that we can sure work on,'' Bordewick said. "You see film every day and you see something new that maybe we can get a little bit better at.''

    RuralVBjubeHaydenWashburn Rural's volleyball team, celebrating a point, improved to 30-0 Tuesday night with a 3-0 night in the Hayden quadrangular. [Photo by Doug Walker/Special to TSN]

    The Junior Blues opened Tuesday's quad with a 25-10, 25-10 romp past host Hayden before dispatching Lawrence, 25-10, 25-6, and ending their night with a 25-15, 25-12 win over Manhattan.

    Rural got a solid performance from every player it put on the floor, including a dominating performance at the net from juniors Brooklyn DeLeye and Taylor Russell and sophomore Jada Ingram and a solid night from sophomore Zoe Canfield as the Junior Blues' setter.

    RussellIngramWRWashburn Rural's Taylor Russell (1) and Jada Ingram (6) team up for a block Tuesday night against Hayden. [Photo by Doug Walker/Special to TSN]

    Rural's win streak has now reached 31 straight matches, dating back to the third-place match at state last fall, but Bordewick said he doesn't worry about his team feeling the pressure of the unbeaten streak.

    "No, because we don't talk about it and we just approach it as the next thing is tomorrow's practice,'' Bordewick said. "We're going to get some stuff done and work and then we'll see what happens Thursday (triangular at Olathe West, with Topeka High).''

    Lawrence went 2-1 on the night, taking a 25-15, 23-25, 25-7 win over Manhattan and ending the night with another three-set win over Hayden, 25-17, 20-25, 25-16.

    Manhattan's lone win was a 25-19, 25-22 win over Hayden while the Wildcats went 0-3 against their three Class 6A opponents.

    MATCH RESULTS

    Washburn Rural def. Hayden, 25-10, 25-10; Lawrence def. Manhattan, 25-15, 23-25, 25-7; Washburn Rural def. Lawrence, 25-10, 25-6; Manhattan def. Hayden, 25-19, 25-22; Washburn Rural def. Manhattan, 25-15, 25-12; Lawrence def. Hayden, 25-17, 20-25, 25-16.

  • Washburn Rural volleyball climbs to No. 8 in national rankings

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural's volleyball team has climbed to No. 8 in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association/USA Today Super 25 National Rankings, released Wednesday.

    Now 32-0 after wins over Olathe West and Topeka High Thursday night, the Junior Blues are one of just five undefeated teams in the Super 25.

    Washburn Rural beat Olathe West 25-8, 25-11 on Thursday and beat Topeka High, 25-7, 25-5.

    Rural, ranked No. 1 in the Kansas Volleyball Association Class 6A rankings, is 5-0 on the week, taking wins over Hayden, Lawrence and Manhattan on Tuesday at Hayden.

    The Junior Blues will close out their regular season Saturday in the Emporia Invitational.

    RuralVBjubeHaydenWashburn Rural's volleyball team, celebrating a point earlier this week, is ranked No. 8 nationally in the American Volleyball Coaches Associaiton/USA Today National Volleyball Rankings. [Photo by Doug Walker/Special to TSN]

    American Volleyball Coaches Association/USA Today Super 25 Volleyball Rankings

    Rank | High School

    1. Marymount High School (Los Angeles, Calif.)

    2. Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana, Calif.)

    3. Flower Mound High School (Flower Mound, Texas)

    4. Ponte Vedra High School (Ponte Vedra, Fla.)

    5. Cathedral Catholic (San Diego, Calif.)

    6. Brandeis High School (San Antonio, Texas)

    7. Berkeley Prep (Tampa, Fla.)

    8. Washburn Rural High School (Topeka)

    9. Penn High School (Mishawaka, Ind.)

    10. Papillion-LaVista South High School (Papillion, Neb.)

    11. Marin Catholic High School (Kentfield, Calif.)

    12. Wayzata High School (Plymouth, Minn.)

    13. Skyview High School (Nampa, Idaho)

    14. Sacred Heart Academy (Louisville, Ky.)

    15. Highland Park High School (Dallas, Texas)

    16. St. Thomas Aquinas High School (Overland Park, Kan.)

    17. Marian High School (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.)

    18. Cherry Creek High School (Greenwood Village, Colo.)

    19. Martin High School (Arlington, Texas)

    20. Mira Costa High School (Manhattan Beach, Calif.)

    21. Iolani School (Honolulu, Hawaii)

    22. Assumption High School (Louisville, Ky.)

    23. Liberty North High School (Liberty, Mo.)

    24. Eaton High School (Ft. Worth, Texas)

    25. Santa Fe High School (Alchula, Fla.)

  • Rural runs away with 58-18 win over Highland Park

    By KYLE MANTHE

    The Washburn Review

    Coming off a big road win over Manhattan the week before, the Washburn Rural Junior Blues were back at home and taking on the Highland Park Scots. 

    The Junior Blues continued to roll while the Scots continued to struggle as Washburn Rural ran away with a 58-18 Centennial League win.

    “I was happy with the performance early, and we were able to get some young guys into the game and get them some experience on a Friday night, but the most important thing is we got our sixth win,” said Rural coach Steve Buhler.

    It was Highland Park which scored first, when junior Tyrell Reed took a rush 71 yards for a touchdown on just the fourth play of the game, providing a 6-0 lead.

    That would be the last lead for the Scots as Washburn Rural scored a touchdown of its own four plays later on a pass from sophomore Branton DeWeese to senior Robby Bolin. That was one of two touchdown passes on the day from DeWeese.

    Bolin would follow the play with a 27-yard interception return for a touchdown to double the lead.

    DSC 2579Washburn Rural's JC Heim (25) celebrates a touchdown with teammate Shane Sexton during Friday's 58-18 Centennial League win over Highland Park. [Photo by Doug Walker/Special to TSN]

    The Junior Blues would score three more touchdowns in the quarter, including two from sophomore JC Heim on the ground.

    “Our run game and our offensive line was amazing up front and the pass game did really well,” said Heim.

    Two 35-yard passing scores from Washburn Rural in the second quarter would make it a 51-6 game at halftime as the offense continued to roll and the defense was suffocating.

    “We talked about how we need to gang tackle and everyone needs to come to the ball, we did pretty good,” Heim said.

    DSC 2654Washburn Rural's defense sacks Highland Park quarterback Kellan Spruce during Friday's 58-18 Rural win over the Scots. [Photo by Doug Walker/Special to TSN]

    The longest play for the Junior Blues came in the third quarter when junior Dayten Smoot took a 49-yard pass from junior Aiden Boleski for a touchdown.

    The Scots would score twice in the final quarter including an 83-yard run from junior Tre Richardson right before time expired with the game ending 58-16.

    The win moved Washburn Rural to 6-1 on the year while Highland Park fell to 0-7.

    Washburn Rural will be back in action next Friday, hosting Seaman for Senior Night.

    “It’s a big game for both of us, we got a lot at stake in the brackets that we are playing for so I am looking forward to a great game,” said Buhler. 

    WASHBURN RURAL 58, HIGHLAND PARK 18

    Highland Park (0-7) 6 0 0 12

    Washburn Rural (6-1) 37 14 7 0

    First quarter

    Highland Park -- Reed 71 run (conversion failed)

    Washburn Rural -- Bolin 17 pass from DeWeese (Smoot kick)

    Washburn Rural -- Bolin 27 interception return (Smoot kick)

    Washburn Rural -- Lukas Hanks 3 pass from DeWeese (Smoot kick)

    Washburn Rural -- Heim 16 run (Smoot kick)

    Washburn Rural -- Team safety

    Washburn Rural -- Heim 30 run (Smoot kick) 

    Second quarter

    Washburn Rural -- Tibbetts 35 pass from DeWeese (Smoot kick)

    Washburn Rural -- Sabbarini 35 pass from Boleski (Smoot kick)

    Third quarter

    Washburn Rural -- Smoot 49 pass from Boleski (Smoot kick)

    Fourth quarter

    Highland Park -- Drew-Gregory 6 pass from Spruce (conversion failed) 58-12

    Highland Park -- Tre Richarson 83 run (conversion failed) 58-18

    Individual statistics

    Rushing- Highland Park: Reed 15-98, Richardson, 2-83, Spruce 7-2, James 4-6, Crawford 1-7. Washburn Rural: Heim 7-93, Keller 2-16, Krueger 3-1, Leonard, 1-5.

    Passing- Highland Park: Spruce 6-11-1, 63 yards. Washburn Rural DeWeese 5-7-0, 102; Boleski 3-4-0, 87; Leonard 1-2-0 9. 

    Receiving- Highland Park: Drew-Gregory 4-35, McNair 1-2, Richardson, 1-26. Washburn Rural -- Tibbetts 2-72, Smoot 1-49, Sabbarini 1-33, Bolin 1-17, Hanks 2-13, #39 1-9(Not listed on roster), Hayes 1-5.

     

  • 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.

  • Prep football roundup: Junior Blues, T-Birds post breakout wins

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    In Week 4 of the 2021 high school football season Washburn Rural came painfully close to knocking off traditional Centennial League power Junction City on the Blue Jays' home field, dropping an 18-17 heartbreaker.

    The Junior Blues were back on the road Friday to take on another league heavyweight and this time Washburn Rural closed the deal, handing Manhattan is first defeat of the season, 21-14.

    Washburn Rural never trailed against the Indians, taking 7-0 and 14-7 leads before Manhattan answered to force a pair of ties.

    The Junior Blues broke the tie on a 1-yard fourth-quarter touchdown from sophomore quarterback Branton DeWeese and the Rural defense threw a second-half shutout to close out the victory, coming up with three second-half pass interceptions.

    Now 5-1 on the season and 4-1 in the league, Washburn Rural put itself in a position to gain at least a share of the league championship. Rural, Manhattan and Junction City all currently have one league loss with two regular-season games remaining.

    Washburn Rural will host Highland Park on Friday before hosting Seaman in its regular-season finale.

    DeWeese hit senior Robby Bolin for a 38-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring in addition to his game-winning score while senior Ma’kenttis Adams had a 100-yard rushing night, including a 5-yard score and Bolin caught six passes for 86 yards. 

    RobbyBolin 1Robby Bolin

    Ty WeberTy Weber

    Bolin, Connor Conklin and Landon MacEwan all picked off passes for Rural, while JC Heim and Ty Weber also came up with big plays defensively.

    SHAWNEE HEIGHTS 21, DE SOTO 20 -- Shawnee Heights was stung by three straight losses by a total of 11 points to start the season, but the T-Birds turned the tables Friday night, getting a tough one-point road win over traditional 5A power De Soto.

    The T-Birds have now won two of their past three games to improve to 2-4. 

    "These kids never quit believing in themselves and have been resilient all season. A special victory for the TBIRDS!'' veteran Shawnee Heights coach Jason Swift posted on Twitter.

    JarinSandersJarin Sanders

    Senior running back Jarin Sanders and senior quarterback Callan Carver both had big nights for Shawnee Heights, while Jaxon Correll went 3 for 3 on extra-point attempts, including the difference-maker.

    Sanders rushed for 155 yards on 31 carries while Carver rushed for 71 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries and completed 10 of 19 pass attempts for 140 yards, including TD passes to Sanders and senior Carter Olson. Olson had two receptions for 66 yards.

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    CITY BOYS CROSS COUNTRY

  • Washburn Rural tennis wins 6A regional, qualifies entire team for state

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural's girls tennis team finished off its sweep of city, Centennial League and Class 6A regional championships Saturday at Kossover Tennis Center.

    The Junior Blues, who have not lost a competition this fall, qualified all six of its players for Friday and Saturday's state tournament at Wichita en route to a 22-19 regional victory over runner-up Manhattan.

    FBTvguiXMAE6qsKWashburn Rural's girls tennis team poses with its Class 6A regional championship trophy Saturday at Kossover Tennis Center. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Washburn Rural got a one-two finish in doubles from the teams of Kate Fritz and Meredith Kucera and Hailey Beck and Shelby Schmutzler while Sheriden Wichman finished second and Mena DiMarzio fifth in singles.

    "I'm really proud of these gals,'' Hedberg said. "It's a team effort. We're not star-laden, but we have good solid players at the top.

    "They all pull together for each other and it's been really satisfying to watch them have some success.''

    Fritz and Kucera, both juniors, captured the regional doubles title with a 6-3, 6-4 win over junior Beck and senior Schmutzler in the championship match, while Wichman, a senior, advanced to the singles final, dropping a 6-1, 6-1 decision to Manhattan star Jillian Harkin. DiMarzio closed out the Junior Blues state qualifiers, finishing fifth in singles with a 6-1, 6-0 win over in the fifth-place match.

    Topeka High also turned in a solid regional performance, with the Trojans qualifiying both their doubles teams for state while finishing third as a team.

    Juniors Adisyn Caryl and Haley Carpenter finished fourth on Saturday, dropping a 6-3, 7-5 decision to Manhattan in the third-place match while senior Mary Dietrick and sophomore McCall Beall finished sixth, dropping a three-set decision in the fifth-place match.

    Dieterick and Beall turned in what was arguably the match of the two-day tournament, surviving a 3 hour, 40-minute three-set match on Friday to punch their ticket to state.

    "In over 50 seasons of coaching that's got to be clearly one of my all-time favorite matches to watch, to not only see what it meant to them, but just the effort,'' Topeka High coach Duane Pomeroy said. "They were dead tired and just kept digging down deeper and deeper and going longer and longer and never gave up.

    "We're really excited to be able to take four girls to state.''

    CLASS 6A GIRLS TENNIS REGIONAL

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    CITY GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers Oct. 4, 2021

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    TylanAlejos 2Tylan Alejos

    TYLAN ALEJOS, Topeka High

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

    Carter BrianCarter Brian

    CARTER BRIAN, Cair Paravel Latin

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

  • North, Scott power Washburn Rural to 6A regional golf championship

    Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural's girls golf team got top-four finishes from senior Aliyah North and junior Avery Scott to lead the way as the Junior Blues claimed a Class 6A regional team championship Monday at Heritage Park Golf Course in Olathe.

    FBdjjwPX0AYJEhLWashburn Rural's girls golf team poses for a picture with its Class 6A regional championship trophy after winning Monday's tournament in Olathe. [Submitted]

    North shot an 81 to finish second individually while Scott finished fourth with an 83 for the Junior Blues.

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

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

    The 6A state tournament will be played at Emporia Municipal Golf Course next Monday and Tuesday.

    CLASS 6A REGIONAL GOLF

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    CENTENNIAL LEAGUE GIRLS TENNIS

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

    Lois DeeterLois Deeter

    Aliyah NorthAliyah North

    KaitlynCroughKaitlyn Crough

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

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

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

    MANHATTAN INVITATIONAL GOLF

  • Unbeaten Washburn Rural soccer survives OT scare from Seaman

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Rural volleyball blanks Olathe Northwest in battle of 6A powers

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Before Tuesday, the last time Class 6A volleyball powers Washburn Rural and OIathe Northwest had done battle was in last season's state semifinals, with the Ravens outlasting the Junior Blues in a three-set marathon on the way to a runner-up state finish.

    Kevin Bordewick's nationally-ranked Junior Blues haven't forgotten that heartbreaker, which deprived them of a shot at an eighth state title, and Rural gained a measure of revenge with a 3-0 sweep of Northwest in Tuesday's home dual.

    Washburn Rural, which improved to 21-0, blitzed the Ravens in the first two sets, 25-8 and 25-9, before rallying from seven points down to close out the match with a 26-24 third-set victory.

    Washburn Rural volleyball celebrates a point during Tuesday's dual win over Olathe Northwest. [Photo by Doug Walker/Special to TSN]Washburn Rural volleyball celebrates a point during Tuesday's dual win over Olathe Northwest. [Photo by Doug Walker/Special to TSN]

    Rural junior Chloe Carlgren said the Junior Blues had added incentive entering Tuesday's rematch with Northwest.

    "There definitely was,'' Carlgren said. "We wanted to come back with more fight than last year and we really wanted to beat them because we lost to them at state and if felt good to get back at them.''

    Bordewick said that last year's state semifinal loss was a topic of conversation in the days leading into the Northwest dual.

    "We talked about last year and how we were a little disappointed and we didn't think we competed as well as we should have,'' said Bordewick, whose Junior Blues finished third in 6A a year ago.

    The Junior Blues, who are No. 10-ranked in the AVCA/USA Today national rankings, started off the night in the best way possible, scoring the first eight points with junior Taylor Russell serving as junior Brooklyn DeLeye and sophomore Jada Ingram dominated the net.

    Rural went on to build 12-3 and 13-4 leads on Russell kills and took a 20-6 lead on a service ace from senior Katelynn Brogan and closed out the set with five straight points as Russell recorded an ace, DeLeye and Ingram combined for three kills and the set ended on a Northwest hitting error.

    The second set was more of the same, with Rural opening up leads of 9-3, 16-5 and 21-6 en route to the 16-point win, which ended on a kill from Carlgren.

  • Friday prep FB roundup: Bulldawgs roll to 5-0 start with 62-0 romp

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Rossville's football team, which has not lost since 2019, rolled to its fifth straight win this fall and its 18th overall Friday night, taking a 62-0 Class 2A district victory over Oskaloosa.

    The Bulldawgs put their latest win away by the end of the opening quarter, putting 56 points on the board.

    Rossville emptied its bench the rest of the way, adding its final touchdown in the final quarter to account for the final margin.

    TorreyHorakTorrey Horak

    CoreyCatronCorey Catron

    The Bulldawgs scored the only points they would need at the 10:22 mark of the opening quarter, with senior quarterback Torrey Horak finding senior Tagen Kippes for a 35-yard touchdown pass. Pedro Arantes added the extra point.

    Horak scored on an 11-yard run at the 8:35 mark and the Bulldawgs also got first-quarter touchowns on a 10-yard run from Corey Catron, a 1-yard run from Raphael Cooney, a 32-yard interception return from Kippes, a 26-yard interception return from Cooney, a 10-yard run from C. Catron and a 7-yard run from Seth Catron.

    Arantes kicked all eight extra points in the quarter.

    Camden Horak scored Rossville's final points on a 1-yard run with 3:54 left.

    Rossville will be at home Friday for a district matchup with Pleasant Ridge.

    WASHBURN RURAL 45, EMPORIA 9 -- Washburn Rural bounced back from a tough overtime loss to Junction City, improving to 4-1 on the season with Friday's home Centennial League romp past Emporia (1-4).

    Sophomore quarterback Branton DeWeese had a big game foir the Junior Blues, throwing for three touchdowns and running for another score as Rural opened up a 45-0 advantage.

    DeWeese threw for touchdowns to Robby Bolin (16 yards), Ma'Kenttis Adams (9 yards) and Lukas Hanks (5 yards) and ran for a 3-yard TD.

    In addition to his touchdown reception Adams ran for 24 and 16-yard touchdowns.

    Washburn Rural kicker Giles Frederickson kicked a 25-yard field goal and converted all six of his extra point attempts.

    Emporia scored its lone touchdown on a 77-yard fourth-quarter pass from Cam Geitz to Parker Lane and the Spartans also scored a late safety.

    Rural goes on the road Friday to face unbeaten Manhattan. 

    HAYDEN 38, OSAWATOMIE 0 -- Hayden improved to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in 3A district play with a 38-0 romp at Osawatomie.

    The Wildcats put the game on ice early, getting a pair of first-quarter touchdown runs from TL Thompson and a touchdown pass from Gavin Arnold to Kaelin Rice.

    Jack Chisham added a scoring run to put the Wildcats in front 32-0 at the half and Curtis Morrisey scored Hayden's final TD in the second half.

    Hayden's offense converted 2-point conversions after its first four touchdowns while the Wildcat defense extended its shutout streak to 11 straight quarters.

    The Wildcats will play a district game at Santa Fe Trail on Friday.

    BASEHOR-LINWOOD 42, SHAWNEE HEIGHTS 7 -- Basehor-Linwood improved to a perfect 5-0 with Friday's 42-7 home United Kansas Conference victory over Shawnee Heights.

    Bobcat quarterback Brady Garrison threw for three touchdowns and ran for another score while Zach Sizemore scored a pair of TDs.

    Shawnee Heights (1-4) scored its lone touchdown on a 32-yard pass from quarterback Callan Carver to Jayden Moore.

    Carver completed 15 of 29 passes for 135 yards (one interception) while Moore had four catches for 71 yards.

    Jarin Sanders carried the ball 25 times for 95 yards for the T-Birds.

    Shawnee Heights will play at De Soto on Friday.

    MANHATTAN 48, SEAMAN 21 -- Centennial League-leading Manhattan improved to 5-0 with a decisive 48-21 win over Seaman.

    The Indians were never threatened after opening up a commanding 34-14 halftime advantage.

    Seaman, which fell to 3-2 on the season, will be at home Friday for a league matchup with Emporia.

    JUNCTION CITY 54, TOPEKA WEST 16 -- Junction City (4-1) opened up a 20-0 halftime lead over the 1-4 Chargers en route to the Centennial League victory.

    The Blue Jays went in front 41-0 before Topeka West was able to find the end zone for a couple of scores.

    Junction City got a big night from quarterback Xavion Felton, who ran for two scores and threw for three TDs as the Blue Jays opened up their 41-0 lead. 

    Topeka West will play Highland Park on Friday at Hummer Sports Park.

    SILVER LAKE 63, MISSION VALLEY 0 -- Silver Lake improved to 4-1 with its second straight 2A district victory.

    The Eagles jumped on Mission Valley early to build a 21-0 first-quarter lead and led 35-0 at the half.

    Silver Lake boosted its lead to 49-0 in the third quarter before adding a pair of TDs in the fourth.

    Silver Lake will host McLouth in a district game Friday.

     

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    SEAMAN INVITATIONAL CROSS COUNTRY

    Girls

    Team scores

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

    Individual results

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    SEAMAN INVITATIONAL CROSS COUNTRY

    Boys

    Team scores

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

    Individual results

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

     

  • Rural girls golf cards season-low team score in runner-up finish

    Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

    Senior Kaitlyn Crough shot a 72 to lead the way as Washburn Rural's girls golf team shot a season-low 310 as a team Wednesday to post a second-place finish in the 23-school Lawrence Invitational at Eagle Bend Golf Course. 

    KaitlynWashburn Rural senior Kaitlyn Crough carded a 72 to tie for second Wednesday in the 23-school Lawrence Invitational. [File photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Crough tied for second individually while Washburn Rural also got top-10 finishes in the 125-player field from senior Aliyah North and junior Avery Scott.

    North tied for eighth with a 76 and Scott tied for 10th with a 77 for the Junior Blues, who have won city and Centennial League titles this fall.

    Sophomore Raegan Petersen placed 18th with an 81 while senior McKenna Merrick tied for 28th with an 85 and juniors Mallory Nelson and Annika Peterson tied for 35th with 87s.

    Blue Valley West senior star Julia Misemer shot a 66 to win the individual title by six strokes while West won the team championship with a four-person score of 304.

    LAWRENCE INVITATIONAL GIRLS GOLF

  • 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

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 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] 

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

    JarinSandersJarin Sanders

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

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

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

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

    CarterBrianmugCarter Brian

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    TreRichardsonnew2Tre Richardson

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

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

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

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

    Topeka High fell to 1-3 on the season. 

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

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

     

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    DRUSE, ESQUIBEL, NEWKIRK SHINE IN RIM ROCK CLASSIC

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Sweeney agreed.

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

    TOPEKA CITY GIRLS TENNIS TOURNAMENT

  • Rural, Seaman shine in Washburn Rural Invitational tennis

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    WASHBURN RURAL TENNIS INVITATIONAL

  • Rural volleyball No. 10 in AVCA/USA Today national rankings

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural's volleyball team, which is off to a perfect 12-0 start in the 2021 season, is ranked 10th nationally in the American Volleyball Coaches Association/USA Today national rankings.

    Washburn Rural, which is coming off wins over defending Class 6A state champion and De Soto last Thursday, is one of two Kansas teams in the national poll, with perennial 5A power St. Thomas Aquinas currently No. 7 in the AVCA/USA Today rankings.

    WRVBWashburn Rural's volleyball team is ranked No. 10 nationally in the most recent AVCA/USA Today national rankings. [Photo by Doug Walker/Special to TSN]

    Washburn Rural has won seven 6A state championships under coach Kevin Bordewick and finished third in 6A last fall.

    Assumption High School (Louisville, Ky.) is currently top-ranked in the Super 25 while Marymount (Los Angeles) No. 2, and Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) No. 3 while Eaton (Ft. Worth, Texas) and Ponte Vedra (Ponte Vedra, Fla.) round out the top five. 

    Washburn Rural is scheduled to travel to Emporia on Tuesday to face Junction City and Emporia in a Centennial League triangular and Rural will host its invitational tournament on Saturday.

    AMERICAN VOLLEYBALL COACHES ASSOCIATION/USA TODAY SUPER 25

    (As of September 15)

    Rank | High School |

    1. Assumption High School (Louisville, Ky.)

    2. Marymount High School (Los Angeles, Calif.)

    3. Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana, Calif.)

    4. Eaton High School (Ft. Worth, Texas)

    5. Ponte Vedra High School (Ponte Vedra, Fla.)

    6. Flower Mound High School (Flower Mound, Texas)

    7. St. Thomas Aquinas High School (Overland Park)

    8. Brandeis High School (San Antonio, Texas)

    9. Wayzata High School (Plymouth, Minn.)

    10. Washburn Rural High School (Topeka)

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers Sept. 20, 2021

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    TylanAlejos 2Tylan Alejos

    TYLAN ALEJOS, Topeka High

    Alejos, a senior, rushed for 223 yards and three touchdowns on 32 carries and also had two pass receptions for 19 yards and a TD as Topeka High's football team picked up its first victory of the season, a 28-20 Centennial League decision over Emporia last Thursday at Hummer Sports Park.

    E s5HjcXEAMrq1LJack Chisham

    JACK CHISHAM, Hayden

    A senior running back/defensive back, Chisham rushed for 182 yards on 14 attempts and scored on runs of 2 and 69 yards in Hayden's 39-6 victory over Topeka West last Friday night at Hummer Sports Park, helping the Wildcats improve to 2-1 on the season.

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    CITY GIRLS GOLF TOURNAMENT

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

    MadelineCarternewMadeline Carter

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

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

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

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

    CoreyCatronCorey Catron

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    CarterBrianCarter Brian

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    JarinSandersJarin Sanders

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

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

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

    WasRelated Stories and Videos

  • Position switch pays dividends for Browning, Ichabods

    Rick Peterson

    THE PENNANT PLAYER PROFILETSN gold partner Pennant

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    After playing running back for most of his career, including his first season at Washburn University, former Washburn Rural standout Hunter Browning made the switch to wide receiver in 2019.

    It's a move that has paid off for both Browning, a 5-foot-11, 195-pound redshirt junior, and the 2-0 Ichabods, with Browning ranking second on the team with six receptions for 83 yards entering Saturday's 1 p.m. game at 2-0 Nebraska-Kearney while also carrying the ball once for 22 yards.

    HunterBrowningHunter Browning

    Browning rushed for 360 yards and two touchdowns on 85 attempts as a redshirt freshman in 2018, including a 116-yard performance against Northeastern State, but after suffering an injury to his shoulder as well as nerve damage in a subsequent injury, Browning and Washburn coach Craig Schurig made the decision for Browning to move outside for the '19 season.

    "After my injury that year I had a meeting with coach and he said, 'You know we could really use you out at wide receiver because with our running backs, a lot of them are just really explosive and if we could have you and all of them on the field at the same time, that would be the most ideal thing for us,' '' Browning recalled.

    "He told me I could think about it and get back to him, but I thought it was the right move at the time, and so far it's worked out. I just worked hard at it, on my route-running and watching film and all of that, and it's been really good.''

    Browning caught eight passes for 78 yards and a TD in '19 and continues to feel more and more at home as a wideout after having basically two more years to learn the position.

    Browning has already established a career-high yardage total in just two games this fall and needs just three catches to establish a career-high for single-season receptions.

    "His speed was such that he played early as a tailback, but his body wasn't built to be a tailback in this conference,'' Schurig said. "By moving him we got a little bit more depth at that position and we liked his speed. We knew it was going to be a transition. It's hard to learn receiver, there's a lot going on, but with his body type and speed and quickness we felt like he could do some really good things at receiver and not take the pounding like he did at tailback.

    "He's done a great job, he really has. He's so conscientous, works very hard and has really come on. He was making plays in practice and he's making them in games. He had a big touchdown pass against Lincoln and a huge catch in the first drive (against Central Missouri). He gets open.''

    Looking back on it, Browning is glad he made the move.

    "It was just a decision that was best for the team and for me, too,'' Browning said. "It's really fun being out there at receiver.''

     

  • Volleyball a perfect match for former Rural, Iowa State star Manns

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Kaylee Manns loves playing volleyball.

    But the former Washburn Rural state champion and multi-time Iowa State All-America setter never dreamed she'd still be playing professionally at 33 years old or that the sport would open the doors it has for her around the world.

    "I literally remember saying to one of my really good friends that played at KU, 'I don't want to be that girl that's 30 and still playing,' and here we are,' '' Manns told TopSports.news.

    But Manns, a three-sport star at Washburn Rural before concentrating on volleyball at Iowa State, has absolutely no complaints, thankful for every opportunity and experience the sport has provided.

    KayleeMannsmugKaylee Manns [auprosports.com]

    Manns was named the Topeka Shawnee County overall senior female prep athlete of the year in 2006, is a member of the Kansas Volleyball Association Hall of Fame and has played professionally for more than a decade after finishing a record-setting career at Iowa State, with stints in Turkey, Switzerland, Germany, Brazil, Albania, the Phillipines and Puerto Rico. 

    "I didn't even know this was possible,'' Manns said. "I didn't even know you could play overseas. I went to college and I was like, 'OK, I guess I'm going to play volleyball here and I'll see how it goes.' 

    "The sport has grown so much that there's a lot more opportunities. I had no idea. Not even a thought in my mind.''

    Most recently Manns, who now lives in Grand Rapids, Mich. after getting married to former USA National Team member Graham Mcilvaine this summer, played in the inaugural Athletes Unlimited league in February and March and has re-upped for a second season.

    "I definitely still enjoy it,'' Manns said. "I'm done with the nine months, 10 months overseas for sure, but thankfully Athletes Unlimited happened and I can play in the states and it might in Kansas City this year I believe. I think it's between Kansas City and Dallas, so that would be really cool.

    "I know the athletes and the season is like six weeks, which is pretty great. You just go really hard for six weeks and you play three matches a week, all over the weekend. It's so nice.''

    Manns, who TopSports.news named the top volleyball athlete in Shawnee County history last month, will have another opportunity to celebrate her life in volleyball in late October when she is inducted into the Iowa State Hall of Fame.

  • Schafersman, Rural soccer continue hot streak in 5-0 victory

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    A player scoring three goals in a game is normally a rare accomplishment in high school soccer.

    For Washburn Rural standout Porter Schafersman, hat tricks are starting to become just another night at the office.

    Schafersman, a senior captain, recorded his third straight three-goal game Thursday night at McElroy Field, leading the way as the Junior Blues improved to a perfect 6-0 on the season with a 5-0 Centennial League victory over Hayden.

    E dMt PXIAkk9MZWashburn Rural senior Porter Schafersman (right) advances the ball past Hayden junior Nick Padilla Thursday. Schafersman recorded his third straight three-goal hat trick as Rural improved to 6-0 with a 5-0 win. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Schafersman scored off corner kicks from senior Ashton Rake and sophomore Devon Rutschmann and also converted a penalty kick, all in the second half, as the Junior Blues broke open a tight game with four goals after halftime.

    "I feel like we all know each other very well and we're comfortable with each other and we trust each other on the ball,'' Schafersman said. 

    And while Schafersman doesn't want to make a big deal of his goal-scoring flurry, he's definitely enjoying himself.

    "It puts me in a good mood,'' Schafersman said. "I'm just happy we came out with the win.''

    Hayden, which fell to 2-3, was still very much in the hunt at halftime, trailing 1-0 on a Rural goal from sophomore Benett Hallauer at the 22:04 mark of the opening half (Rutschmann assist), but the Junior Blues put the game away with three goals over the first 6:38 of the second half.

    E dKdfUXoAIOC zWashburn Rural senior Joe Morse scored Rural's fourth goal in Thursday's 5-0 win over Hayden at McElroy Field. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Schafersman scored back-to-back goals to put Rural in front 3-0 with 34:01 remaining and then senior Joe Morse scored at the 33:22 mark off an assist from junior Easton Bradstreet before Schafersman added his third goal on a penalty kick with 7:30 left.

    "We were doing lots of nice things (in the first half), but it felt like we were doing it at about an 80-percent pace,'' Rural coach Brian Hensyel said. "We have very athletic guys, we're fast, so don't play at a slower pace. Let's really put pressure on people. We were doing a lot of the same things (in the second half), we just really had the energy, an A-plus kind of energy.

    "Hayden always does a great job. They have a great keeper (senior Gabe Rankey) and they're always very organized. No. 3 on top (junior Jake Muller) is a good player.''

    Senior Wyatt Arnold picked up his fourth shutout of the season in goal for the Junior Blues.

    WASHBURN RURAL 5, HAYDEN 0

    Hayden (2-3)               0 0 -- 0

    Washburn Rural (6-0) 1 4 -- 5

    Washburn Rural -- Goals: Porter Schafersman 3, Benett Hallauer, Joe Morse. Assists: Devon Rutschmann 2, Ashton Rake, Easton Bradstreet. Shutout: Wyatt Arnold. 

  • North, Washburn Rural sweep titles in Olathe Northwest tourney

    Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural tuned up for Monday's city girls golf tournament with an impressive performance in Thursday's Olathe Northwest Invitational at Heritage Park Golf Course, with the Junior Blues sweeping the team and individual championships.

    Senior Aliyah North carded a three-over-par 74 to take individual medalist honors by two strokes while Rural rolled to the team title by 18 strokes over host Olathe Northwest.

    E yXEYxXMAAH 5pAliyah North

    North led the way as all of Rural's top four finished in the top 10.

    Junior Blue senior Kaitlyn Crough tied for third with an 80 while junior Avery Scott tied for sixth with an 82 and junior Mallory Nelson tied for eighth with an 84.

    Washburn Rural will enter Monday's city tournament at Western Hill as the eight-time defending team champion, winning the 2020 title by a 49-stroke margin over runner-up Hayden. 

    OLATHE NORTHWEST INVITATIONAL

    Team scores

    Washburn Rural 320, Olathe Northwest 338, Olathe East 352, Olathe West 357, Free State 394, Olathe South 443.

    Individual results

    1. Aliyah North, Washburn Rural, 74; 2. Claire Sullivan, Olathe Northwest, 76; 3. (tie) Kaitlyn Crough, Washburn Rural, and Claire Berquist, Free State, 80; 5. Camryn Scott, Olathe East, 81; 6. (tie) Avery Scott, Washburn Rural, and Liz Lyons, Olathe West, 82; 8. (tie) Mallory Nelson, Washburn Rural, and Avery Hearshman, Olathe Northwest, 84; 10. Mackenzie Locke, Olathe East, 85.

    Other Washburn Rural -- 22. (tie) Raegan Peterson 99; 

     

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

    KANSAS VOLLEYBALL ASSOCIATION STATE RANKINGS

    Class 6A

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

    Class 5A

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

    Class 4A

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

    Class 3A

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

    Class 2A

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

    Class 1A Division I

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

    Class 1A Division II

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

  • 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. 

  • Bagshaw eager to join former Rural teammates in KU softball fold

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Kansas' softball team already has a definite Washburn Rural flavor, with Kasey Hamilton finishing her freshman season this past spring and Olivia Bruno just beginning her Jayhawk career.

    Now Campbell Bagshaw is set to join her former Junior Blue teammates at KU in 2022-23 after orally committing to the Jayhawks over the weekend.

    "It's definitely a stress reliever,'' Bagshaw said about getting her college pick out of the way. "I went on a visit to William Jewell and I was also looking into Murray State, but after everything was all said and done, KU just seemed like the best fit for me.''

    CampbellBagshaw2Campbell Bagshaw [Twitter]

    Bagshaw said she's looking forward to reuniting with Hamilton and Bruno in the fall of '22.

    "I've always looked up to them and admired them for their leadership and their work ethic and they always were just super encouraging and always supported me through it all, whatever decision I made,'' Bagshaw said. "But they love KU and I know that I can trust both of them with everything, so it was good to have those two as kind of like my mentors.''

    Bagshaw, who earned All-Shawnee County and All-Centennial League first-team honors as a junior infielder, said it will be nice to get a chance to play her college softball so close to her Topeka home.

    "It was definitely whatever felt right,'' Bagshaw said of her college choice. "I know personally I am a homebody and that was one of the reasons that Murray State wasn't quite a good fit for me because I knew I wouldn't be able to go eight hours away.

    "I was OK to go a couple of hours away maybe, but just being around the atmosphere of Lawrence itself and then also the campus, I knew it was definitely the right fit.''

    With her future set, Bagshaw will turn her focus on her senior seasons in basketball this winter and softball next spring.

    "I'll play travel fall ball and then I'll play basketball and I'll play travel softball after our high school season,'' Bagshaw said.

    Bagshaw played on Rural's Class 6A state championship basketball team as a freshman in 2019 and hit .419 with 37 runs scored, two homers and 18 runs batted in for the Junior Blue softball team this past season as Rural posted a 20-3 record and advanced to the 6A state quarterfinals.

    Now Bagshaw wants to do whatever she can to end her prep career in both sports with a bang.

    "Last year our seniors were great leaders,'' Bagshaw said. "I know for basketball we only had one senior, but I think the chemistry between the girls is great and I think that is definitely a key in both sports to have success.''

     

  • Newkirk, Hayden boys shine in Wamego Invitational XC

    Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

    Returning to the Wamego Country Club course Saturday where he won the Class 4A cross country title in 2020, Hayden star Tanner Newkirk was just as impressive.

    In fact, the Wildcat senior was even better than he was in his state-winning run.

    Newkirk clocked a winning 5-kilometer time of 15 minutes, 47.50 seconds on Saturday to top a field of 114 competitors in the Wamego Invitational while paring nearly six seconds off the 15:53.32 time that he recorded in the 4A state meet last fall.

    TannerNewkirkmugTanner Newkirk

    Newkirk won Saturday by 14 seconds over Buhler senior star Tanner Lindahl.

  • Washburn Rural rolls past Topeka High, 42-13

    Isaac Deer

    By ISAAC DEER

    TopSports.news

    In the previous three meetings between Topeka High and Washburn Rural, the Trojans won all three games and outscored Rural, 164-73.

    Before Friday the last time the two collided was in 2019, with Topeka High defeating the Junior Blues, 42-28.

    Friday was a different a story from years past, however, as Rural thwacked the Trojans, 42-13.

    Washburn Rural’s special teams set the tone early that carried them to success for the entire four quarters.

    Senior Austin Fager forced three blocked punts on the night, sigh two of his blocked punts resulting in Rural touchdowns and the other block going for a safety.

    “We realized the center had his head down the whole time, so we had to shoot the left gap since they were blocking heavier on the right side,'' Fager said. "It was wide open the whole time.”

    AustinFagerAustin Fager

    The defense played a crucial part in the decisive victory for Washburn Rural, with just two of the Junior Blues' touchdowns coming on offense

    Coach Steve Buhler said he was “proud of the staff and the defense for having an excellent week of practice.” “Coach Smith and the defensive coaches did a really good job prepping the defense. There wasn’t anything new from Topeka that we didn’t see on tape. What benefited us was that our guys were playing really hard and really fast all night long.”

    image 50349825Washburn Rural and Topeka High go through the handshake line after Friday's 42-13 Rural win at Bowen-Glaze Stadium. [Photo by Isaac Deer/TSN]

    Blues running back Ma’kenttis Adams broke off a 31-yard rushing touchdown at the 4:26 mark of the second quarter to give Rural its first offensive touchdown, putting the Junior Blues up, 22-7. Rural's other offensive touchdown came on a dart from Aiden Boleski to Adrian Tibbetts for a 13-yard touchdown at the furthest left corner of the end zone.

  • Happy anniversary! North makes most of first year with Rural golf

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Tuesday marked Aliyah North's one-year anniversary in high school golf and the Washburn Rural senior gave herself and the Junior Blues a gift to mark the occasion.

    After playing primarily softball and volleyball growing up, North took up golf last fall as a junior and made her competitive debut as a member of the Junior Blues' split squad (second six) in the Washburn Rural Invitational last September at Wamego Country Club.

    E yXEYxXMAAH 5pAliyah North

    And although her score of 105 wasn't anything to send ripples through the golfing community, North knew right away that she had made the right decision.

    "I kind of just saw my brother and dad playing a lot and I figured I'd give it a shot,'' North said. "I wasn't planning on playing my junior year, but after getting a lesson from Josh (Nahm, a teaching pro), he convinced me it would be good to join the team my junior year and I'm so extremely glad that I did.

    "I was pretty nervous (for the first meet) and it was really rainy and windy that day, so it was a rough one to start off on, but after the first couple of holes I kind of settled in. I loved it.''

  • Rural golf rides balance to 15-stroke invitational championship

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    WASHBURN RURAL INVITATIONAL

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers Sept. 6, 2021

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Genna BergGenna Berg

    GENNA BERG, Washburn University

    A 5-foot-9 senior outside hitter from Blue Springs, Mo, Berg was named the Most Valuable Player in the Washburn Invitational volleyball tournament after helping lead the Ichabods to a perfect 4-0 tournament record. Berg recorded 19 kills and eight digs as No. 8-ranked Washburn ended its tournament run with a 3-1 win over No. 16 Northern State Saturday at Lee Arena. 

    CarterBrianCarter Brian

    CARTER BRIAN, Cair Paravel Latin

    Brian, a senior quarterback, completed 15 of 16 pass attempts for 298 yards and five touchdowns as the Lions opened their 2021 football season with a 60-14 victory over Kansas City East Christian Academy last Friday night at Highland Park.

    MadelineCarternewMadeline Carter

    MADELINE CARTER, Washburn Rural

    A returning Class 6A state medalist, Carter opened her junior cross country season with a dominating individual win in last Saturday's Manhattan Invitational at Warner Park. The reigning city champion, Carter clocked a five-kilometer time of 18 minutes, 52.6 seconds to win by just under 34 seconds and lead the Junior Blues to a tie with Manhattan for the team championship.

    Brooklyn DeLeyeBrooklyn DeLeye

    BROOKLYN DeLEYE, Washburn Rural

    A junior two-time All-Stater, DeLeye turned in a dominating performance as Washburn Rural's volleyball team improved to 5-0 on the season with a sweep of last Thursday's home-opening triangular against 25-time state champion Bishop Miege and Gardner-Edgerton. DeLeye, who has orally committed to NCAA national champion Kentucky, was a force at the net throughout the triangular while also recording five straight service aces during a nine-point run against Miege.

    TorreyHorakTorrey Horak

    TORREY HORAK, Rossville

    A returning All-State senior quarterback, Horak rushed for 211 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries and completed eight of 15 pass attempts for 77 yards and a TD as the defending 2A state-champion Bulldawgs opened their season with a 38-0 romp past traditional small-school power Centralia.

    TannerNewkirkmugTanner Newkirk

    TANNER NEWKIRK, Hayden

    The defending 4A individual state cross country champion, Newkirk made his 2021 debut with individual and team championships in last Saturday's Missouri Western Griffon Invitational at St. Joseph, Mo. A senior three-time state medalist, Newkirk won by more than a minute in a time of 16:25.18 while leading Hayden to the team title by a 30-48 margin over West Platte, Mo.

  • 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.

  • Rural volleyball dominates home triangular, improves to 5-0 on year

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Traditionally, Washburn Rural loads up its early-season non-conference volleyball schedule with quality opponents, with veteran Junior Blues coach Kevin Bordewick figuring that win or lose the tough mathes will make his team better in the long run.

    The 2021 campaign has been no different, with Rural taking on a Missouri state champion as well as perennial Kansas powers St. James Academy and Bishop Miege over the first week of the season.

    So far the Junior Blues have passed each and every test, however, including an impressive sweep in Thursday's home triangular, improving to 5-0 on the season.

    DSC 8059Washburn Rural's volleyball team celebrates a point during Thursday's triangular sweep at Rural. [Photo by Doug Walker/Special to TSN]

    Washburn Rural opened Thursday night's home opener with a 25-19, 25-14 victory over 25-time state champion Bishop Miege before taking a 25-6, 25-16 win over Gardner-Edgerton.

    "Just in a week's time we've had five matches and I think we've had a lot of improvement with every match in some area,'' Bordewick said. "Now we've had some where we kind of regressed a little bit, but I thought against Gardner we were passing well, setting well, defending well.

    "That first set against Gardner I thought we were pretty sharp all the way around.''

    DSC 7989Washburn Rural senior Katelynn Brogan (9) makes a return as teammate Jada Ingram stands by Thursday night at Rural. [Photo by Doug Walker/Special to TSN]

    While happy with the Junior Blues' start to the year, Bordewick knows that there are still plenty of challenges coming up.

    "Even over the next two or three weeks we've got Olathe Northwest, Blue Valley West,'' Bordewick said. "We've still got a tough schedule ahead of us so whatever is done is done. We've got to look to the future and that starts tomorrow in practice.''

    DSC 7876Washburn Rural junior star Brooklyn DeLeye goes up for a kill Thursday night at Rural. [Photo by Doug Walker/Special to TSN]

    Bishop Miege, the defending Class 4A state champion, led 9-7 in the first set against Rural, but 6-foot-2 Junior Blue junior star Brooklyn DeLeye, who has orally committed to defending NCAA national champion Kentucky, took over the match at that point.

    A DeLeye kill ended a Miege mini-run and then DeLeye delivered five straight service aces during a long service run as Rural opened up a commanding 17-9 lead.

    The Stags fought back to get as close as 21-18, but got no closer as the Junior Blues closed out the win on a DeLeye kill and a dink from junior Chloe Carlgren.

    Miege hung around for awhile in the second set but Rural turned a 10-7 lead into advantages of 15-7 and 21-11 en route to the 11-point win.

    The Junior Blues put on a clinic in the first set against Gardner-Edgerton, ending the rout with a long service run from 5-11 senior Katelynn Brogan.

    The Trailblazers put up more of a fight in the second set, but Rural was never seriously challenged after opening up an early 14-4 advantage.

    Gardner-Edgerton topped Miege 25-23, 27-25 in the middle match of the night.

    MATCH RESULTS

    Washburn Rural def. Bishop Miege, 25-19, 25-14; Gardner-Edgerton def. Bishop Miege, 25-23, 27-25; Washburn Rural def. Gardner-Edgerton, 25-6, 25-16.

    WasRelated Stories and Videos

  • DeLeye happy to have future set, focusing on present with Blues

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Just a junior, Washburn Rural volleyball star Brooklyn DeLeye still had plenty of time to make her college choice.

    But once DeLeye visited NCAA Division I national volleyball champion Kentucky, she knew there was no reason to wait.

    DSC 7994Washburn Rural junior star Brooklyn DeLeye is pleased to have her future set, committing to national champion Kentucky earlier in the summer. [Photo by Doug Walker/Special to TSN]

    A two-time Class 6A All-Stater, the 6-foot-2 DeLeye received recruiting interest from many of the nation's top programs and narrowed her choices down to powerhouses Kentucky and Nebraska before announcing her decision on July 22. 

    "A lot of people commit when they're juniors in volleyball and it's just kind of a thing that volleyball players do, and when I went to Kentucky I just didn't see any place else that I wanted to play at,'' DeLeye said. "It just felt right to me and why wait?''

    DeLeye, also a two-time All-City and All-Centennial League pick in basketball and a member of Rural's soccer team that finished third in 6A last spring, said that even though she knew it was time to end the recruiting process she enjoyed the ride.

    "I definitely loved it,'' DeLeye said. "Just the interest that coaches showed in me, I felt really special and just honored to be in that position, so I definitely thank all of them who came to every game and recruited me and took the time to talk to me.''

    DSC 7876Washburn Rural junior Brooklyn DeLeye, a standout in volleyball, basketball and soccer, has helped the Junior Blues get off to a perfect 5-0 volleyball record this fall. [Photo by Doug Walker/TSN]

    But having said that, DeLeye admitted she also felt a sense of a relief to get her future plans decided.

    Now all of DeLeye's focus is on doing her best to help Washburn Rural win championships over her final two years with the Junior Blues.

    "Definitely a wait has been lifted off because it was a stressful time for me,'' said DeLeye, who has helped Rural get off to a perfect 5-0 record this volleyball season.

    "When I got to talk to the coaches directly it was very stressful, so now that I committed all that is over with and now I can just focus on all my sports and volleyball specifically.''  

    WasRelated Stories and Videos

  • 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.

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • TopSports.news' Shawnee County volleyball players to watch

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

    E9 1Z1TWUAQpO9IDrew Baxter

    Drew Baxter, Seaman

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

    E9 2s1kXoAciEckLaynee Brown

    Laynee Brown, Seaman

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

    E9 3YcDXsAMu3GBZoe Canfield 

    Zoe Canfield, Washburn Rural

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

  • Washburn taps Ronnie McHenry to guide Ichabod golf program

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

    Ronnie McHenryRonnie McHenry [Washburn Athletics]

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

  • TopSports.news' six Shawnee County girls golfers to watch

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    E9p3fchXoAIXFp6Kaitlyn Crough

    Kaitlyn Crough, Washburn Rural

    A senior, Crough is a returning two-time All-City pick and a former city champion and Class 6A state medalist for the Junior Blues. Crough was the city runner-up and placed third in the Centennial League tournament last fall before an injury prevented her from competing in regional and state tournaments. Crough won the city championship and tied for 16th in the state meet as a sophomore.

     LoisDeeter2Lois Deeter

    Lois Deeter, Seaman

    Deeter, a junior, returns for Seaman this fall after opting out of the 2020 high school season. As a freshman for the Vikings in '19, Deeter placed sixth individually in the 5A state tournament and won the Centennial League championship. Deeter earned runner-up finishes in the city tournament and 5A regional competition.

    E9p2SSKX0AYxhyeMcKenna Merrick

    McKenna Merrick, Washburn Rural

    A senior, Merrick is a returning first-team All-City selection for the Junior Blues. Merrick tied for third and finished fourth in a scorecard playoff in last year's city meet and tied for 12th place in the Centennial League tournament. Merrick missed regional and state competition in 2020 due to an injury.

  • TopSports.news' Shawnee County boys soccer players to watch

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    E97GT2OXIAIT 1aWyatt Arnold

    Wyatt Arnold, Washburn Rural

    A senior team captain, Arnold is in his fourth season as the Junior Blues' starting goalkeeper, helping 16-4-1 Rural post a fourth-place finish in the Class 6A state tournament last fall, recording 11 shutouts. A first-team All-City and All-Centennial League pick as a junior, Arnold is No. 3 on Rural's all-time list with 28 career shutouts.

    E97CoIiXEAUayszKyson Evans

    Kyson Evans, Seaman

    Evans, a senior, will be counted on as a leader this fall for the Vikings, who are coming off a 7-7-1 season in 2020, advancing to a 5A regional final. Evans earned All-City and All-Centennial League honorable recognition as a junior.

    Jordan GarvinJordan Garvin

    Jordan Garvin, Shawnee Heights

    Garvin was a first-team All-City and All-United Kansas Conference first-team selection and earned second-team All-Class 5A honors last season as a sophomore. Garvin scored 18 goals and recorded six assists as Shawnee Heights posted a 14-5-1 record and finished third in the 5A state tournament.

  • Rural golf opens '21 with 19-stroke victory in Olathe West tourney

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Perennial city girls golf power Washburn Rural got the 2021 season off to an impressive start Monday at Prairie Highlands, rolling to the team championship in the Olathe West Invitational.

    Junior Avery Scott tied for second with a 76 to pace the Junior Blues, who claimed the team title by a 327-346 margin over Olathe Northwest.

    E9kO oLWYAgQp9EWashburn Rural poses for a team picture after winning Monday's season-opening Olathe West Invitational by 19 strokes. [Submitted]

    Senior Aliyah North shot a 78 to tie for fifth while senior Kaitlyn Crough placed 10th with an 84 and senior McKenna Merrick finished 17th with an 89 to round out the Junior Blues' top four.

    Junior Mallory Nelson shot a 94 and Raegan Peterson a 100 for Washburn Rural.

    Shawnee Mission South's McLain Neal took individual medalist honors with a 73.

    OLATHE WEST INVITATIONAL

    Team scores

    Washburn Rural 327, Olathe Northwest 346, Shawnee Mission East 347, Mill Valley 358, Olathe West 363, Shawnee Mission Northwest 369, Olathe East 376, Free State 396, Shawnee Mission West 552.

    Individual results

    1. McLain Neal, Shawnee Mission South, 73; 2. (tie) Hillary Currier, Blue Valley Southwest, and Avery Scott, Washburn Rural, 76; 4. Tess Roman, Shawnee Mission East, 77; 5. (tie) Libby Green, Mill Valley, and Aliyah North, Washburn Rural, 78; 7. Claire Berquist, Free State, 79; 8. M. Kelso, Olathe Northwest, 81; 9. Addie Ramaekers, Olathe Northwest, 83; 10. Kaitlyn Crough, Washburn Rural, 84.

    Other Washburn Rural -- McKenna Merrick 89, Mallory Nelson 94, Raegan Peterson 100.

    Related Stories and Videos

  • 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

  • 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

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

    Rick Peterson

     

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

    Whitney ProckishWhitney Prockish

    MakenzieMillard2Makenzie Millard

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

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

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST WOMEN'S BOWLERS

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

    Rick Peterson

     

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

    Trisa NickoleyXCTrisa Nickoley [Submitted]

    Avery CliftonAvery Clifton [Submitted]

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

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

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

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

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

  • 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

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

    Rick Peterson

     

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

    Men's golf wasn't one of those.

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

    Gary WoodlandGary Woodland [PGA Tour]

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

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

    AndrewBeckleraction 2Andrew Beckler [Washburn Athletics]

     Justice ValdiviaJustice Valdivia

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

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

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

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

    TSN TOP 25 BEST OF THE BEST MEN'S GOLFERS

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

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

    Jessica MainzJessica Mainz [Washburn Athletics]

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

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

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

    KellyLemkeKelly Lemke [Twitter]

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

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

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

  • 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

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

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

     AustinHalseyAustin Halsey [BakerWildcats.com]

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

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

    Ross BoydRoss Boyd [FHSU Athletics]

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

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

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

    Kaylee MannsKaylee Manns [Cyclones.com]

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

    Dani McHenryDani McHenry [Washburn Athletics]

    Jazz SweetJazz Sweet [Huskers.com]

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

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

    AmandaDeschAmanda Desch [Bronchosports.com]

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

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

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

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

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

    Dajia AndersonDajia Anderson [File photo]

    RebekahSmithactionRebekah Smith [File photo]

    MarissaPattersonMarissa Patterson [Twitter]

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

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

    AddiBroxtermanAddison Broxterman

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

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

    TSN TOP 20 BEST OF THE BEST WOMEN'S WRESTLERS

  • Like father, like son: WU's Mitch Schurig eyes career in coaching

    Rick Peterson

    THE PENNANT PLAYER PROFILETSN gold partner Pennant

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    It's only been the last couple of years that Washburn University senior quarterback Mitch Schurig decided for sure that he wanted to coach when his playing days are done.

    "That's probably when I figured, 'You know what, I'll have an education degree, I love football, I like basketball and all those sports, so why not try to continue to coach and be a part of the game?' '' Schurig said.

    Mitch Schurig2Washburn senior quarterback Mitch Schurig plans to follow his father, Ichabod head coach Craig Schurig, into the coaching field after completing his senior season. [Washburn Athletics]

    But even Mitch knows that decision was probably a given, considering the fact that he has spent his entire life as the son of a coach -- Ichabod head coach Craig Schurig.

    "The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree,'' Mitch Schurig said. "It was probably inevitable but I love the game, so I'd love to share my knowledge with the young kids.''

  • "Never Seen A Finer Day:'' Ridley completes Bowen biography

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    By the time Chris Ridley finished his first book on his high school football coach, Baldwin legend Merle Venable, his book on another one of his coaching idols, Washburn Rural's Ron Bowen, was already in the works.

    Buoyed by the success of "Venable: Part Legend, All American,'' which was released last fall, Ridley almost immediately turned his focus to writing "Never Seen A Finer Day,'' which chronicles the long coaching career of Bowen, who compiled a record of 156-73 in 23 seasons as Rural’s head football coach with three Class 5A state championships in the 1980s and a 6A runner-up finish.

    E7QxWXvXsAAGr54Ron Bowen, the subject of the biography "Never Seen a Finer Day,'' guided Washburn Rural to three Class 5A state football championships and a runner-up finish in 6A during his 23-year tenure at the school. [Submitted]

    Chris RidleyLongtime Washburn Rural football assistant and former Rural athletic director Chris Ridley is the author of "Never Seen A Finer Day,'' a biography on former Junior Blues football coach Ron Bowen. [Submitted]

  • 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

  • Moser goes wire to wire for TGA Stroke Play championship

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Beginning Sunday's final round of the Topeka Golf Association Ed Bozarth City Stroke Play tournament with a three-stroke lead, Ben Moser's only goal was to make sure he didn't do anything to beat himself.

    Moser, a Washburn Rural and Washburn University product, accomplished that goal with a closing 75 at Topeka Country Club to take the championship by two strokes over perennial contender Mark Elliott.

    E6EBTtjXoAM2HleBen Moser (left) accepts the City Stroke Play championship trophy from the Topeka Golf Association's Stacy Kramer Sunday at Topeka Country Club. [Photo by Rick Peterson

    "I had a chance to be stupid on 18,'' said Moser, who won the City Match Play event earlier this summer. "I was sitting there with my driver while we were waiting on the group in front of us and I was like, 'You know what, I've been here before, I know not to do this,' so I decided to go back to the golf cart and I hit my 3-iron instead and it worked out great.

    "Having a big lead like that is a lot tougher than you think because you've got that thought, 'Don't blow it,' so I was just trying not to blow it and luckily this golf course yields more high scores so that gave me a little bit more comfort or a little bit more cushion.''

  • 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