TSN-gold-partner-envista2.png

Washburn Rural High School logoWashburn University Ichabods

Click on the article titles below to read the full story.
  • Second-half surge leads Washburn to overtime victory over Fort Hays State

    By Kyle Manthe

    The Washburn Review 

    Just like the last time the two played in 2019, Washburn football and Fort Hays State would need more than 60 minutes to settle the score Saturday.

    This time around it would be the Ichabods who walked off with a 23-20 MIAA victory to move to 4-2 on the season and remain undefeated at Yager Stadium.

    “That was fun, we haven’t had one of those in awhile, we haven’t had a walk-off in awhile so that was cool,” said Washburn coach Craig Schurig.

    JJLetcher2Washburn senior receiver James Letcher Jr. caught the game-winning touchdown pass in Saturday's 23-20 overtime win over Fort Hays State. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    WUjubeFHSUWashburn coach Craig Schurig gets out of the way as the Ichabods celebrate Saturday's 23-20 overtime win over Fort Hays State. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN] 

    After scoring at least 24 points in each game, offense was hard to come by for Washburn in the Hall of Fame game.

    The Ichabods' offense in the first half gained only 122 yards on the way to its first scoreless half of the year.

  • No. 1 WU volleyball drops set but picks up win over Missouri Southern

    By KYLE MANTHE

    The Washburn Review

    After sweeping both matches the weekend prior, No. 1-ranked Washburn volleyball began another weekend at home with a match against Missouri Southern, which entered Friday winless in the conference and 3-12 overall.

    Washburn's success has set high standards for the team each night out and although Friday's match was a somewhat suprising four-setter, the Ichabods remained undefeated in MIAA play, taking a 25-8, 25-8, 22-25, 25-14 victory at Lee Arena. 

    “We should have beat them in five more minutes and then gotten out of the gym,” said Head Coach Chris Herron. 

    IMG 7691Washburn senior Genna Berg had a match-high 18 kills in Saturday's 3-1 Ichabod home win over Missouri Southern. [Photo by Kyle Manthe/The Washburn Review]

    The first set was business as usual for Washburn as it jumped out to an early 8-1 lead and cruised from there to a 25-8 victory. Five Ichabods up front had at least three kills in the set while senior libero Faith Rottinghaus recorded 8 digs. 

    “We were just connecting really well with the setters, and I think confidence was really big,” said senior outside hitter Genna Berg, who recorded 5 kills in the first set. 

    There was more resistance early in the second set as it began 4-4 but Washburn took control from that point, going on a 21-4 run to win the set, 25-8. The Ichabod defense was stout, forcing the Lions to record six errors in the set compared to just three kills. 

  • WU's Rose gets memory of a lifetime with 75-yard touchdown ramble

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn University defensive end Braden Rose isn't likely to make the switch to running back any time soon.

    But the 6-foot-1, 255-pound junior did record the Ichabods' second-longest touchdown of the 2021 season last Saturday, scooping up a Central Oklahoma fumble in the closing seconds and rambling 75 yards for Washburn's game-clinching TD in a 29-17 road victory over the Bronchos.

    Rose admitted he was out of gas by the time he reached the end zone, but said that was a small price to pay to achieve what he called the biggest moment of his football career. 

    "I definitely didn't have a lot left,'' Rose said. "It took everything I had to get the touchdown because obviously I don't do that type of running all the time, but the experience of a lifetime scoring that was what kept me going.

    "That's No. 1 for sure. That's definitely a play I'll never forget.''

    Ironically, Rose's 75-yard TD with nine seconds remaining came just three minutes after James Letcher Jr. recorded Washburn's longest scoring play of the season on a 90-yard kickoff return as the 6-2 Ichabods rallied from a late 17-16 deficit.

    Washburn junior defensive end Braden Rose (right) battles for a loose ball in the Ichabods' 17-16 win over then-No. 2-ranked Northwest Missouri. [File photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]Washburn junior defensive end Braden Rose (right) battles for a loose ball in the Ichabods' 17-16 win over then-No. 2-ranked Northwest Missouri. [File photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Rose's highlight-reel score was part of another strong performance by the Washburn defense, which has not allowed an opponent to score more than 20 points over its current three-game winning streak.

    Going into Saturday's 1 p.m. MIAA home game against 2-6 Northeastern State at Yager Stadium, Rose has registered 22 tackles (16 solos), with 3.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and three quarterback hurries.

    "It's a great time, just having the camaraderie of our defense as a whole,'' said Rose, also a standout thrower for the Ichabods' track and field team. "I feel like we all get along very well and it's just fun playing with your brothers out there, making plays and getting things done. I love our defense.''

    Rose, a former state high school champion in the shot put and javelin, said that the Ichabods used the COVID-canceled 2020 season to get closer as a team, which is paying dividends this fall.

    "I think that whole year was just a year to get through it all because obviously we didn't know what was going to happen, we didn't know when we were going to play again,'' Rose said. "But at the same time everyone showed up every day, everyone came back to practice, came back to weights and I definitely think that showed that everyone wants to be here.

    "It definitely built that closeness for us.''

     

     

     

  • Big-time player, big-time plays: Neal's takeaways help key Ichabod wins

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    How big were Kevin Neal Jr.'s defensive takeaways in back-to-back Washburn University wins over then-No. 2-ranked Northwest Missouri and Central Oklahoma?

    Big enough that Neal himself isn't sure which play he enjoyed the most.

    Neal, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound junior defensive back, came up with a game-saving interception at the goal line in the Ichabods' 17-16 win over perennial MIAA power Northwest two weeks ago and turned in another huge takeaway in 6-2 Washburn's 29-17 road win at Central Oklahoma last Saturday, preventing a Broncho touchdown when he stripped the ball away from a UCO ball-carrier in the first half.

    "To be honest, in both circumstances I was just trying to make a play for the team, do whatever I could to help the team,'' Neal said. "They were both super cool and both big plays in the game obviously, but neither one of them sticks out.

    "I was just glad to make the plays for the team.''

    KevinNealJrNWKevin Neal Jr. is congratulated by his Washburn teammates after a game-saving interception against Northwest Missouri. [File photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Neal said big defensive plays, particularly the strip against Central Oklahoma, come down to anticipation and a little bit of gambling.

    "It was just taking a chance,'' said Neal, a native of Platte City, Mo. "I saw the ball-carrier running with the ball and I could tell that he didn't know I was behind him, so I thought if I could get close enough before he got to the end zone hopefully I could pop it out.

    "I saw the ball at the last second so I just took a chance and it worked out.''

    Neal, who ranks third on the team with 37 tackles (28 solo), said Ichabod co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach Zach Watkins works with Washburn's players on putting themselves in position to get takeaways.

    "Coach Watkins does a great job of having us work on different types of situations and drills on how to take the ball away,'' Neal said. "That's something we definitely practice and we've been trying to make big plays and help our offense out for the whole season.

    "We've done a pretty good job of it, so that's definitely thanks to coach Watkins and having us do drills and extra work.''

     KevinNeal2Washburn junior defensive back Kevin Neal Jr. makes a game-saving interception in the Ichabods' 17-16 win over Northwest Missouri. [File photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Washburn's defense has been solid most of the season, but has stepped up its game during the Ichabods' current three-game winning streak, with none of WU's last three opponents scoring more than 20 points.

    "We have a lot of trust in each other and we've been with each other a long time and played a lot of snaps together,'' said Neal, whose Ichabods will host 2-6 Northeastern State Saturday at Yager Stadium (1 p.m.). "Everything's based on us getting better each week and we try to make sure we don't get too high or too low and just try to get better and I feel that's what we've been doing a great job of.

    "It's been pretty good so far, but we know how much better we can still get and we just keep working at practice to get better and better and reach our maximum potential.''

     

     

  • Ichabod men's basketball to begin 2021-2022 season ranked No. 11 in nation

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn University's men's basketball team was tabbed No. 11 in the National Association of Basketball Coaches 2021-22 Preseason Poll announced Tuesday. 

    The Ichabods, who finished No. 17 in the final NCAA Division II poll last season, will open the year in Kansas City, Mo. on Nov. 12, facing off against No. 15 Northern State at 12:45 p.m. in Municipal Auditorium. The Ichabods will then take on Augustana (S.D.), which received votes in the poll, at 6 p.m. on Nov. 13 as part of the Central Region Tipoff Challenge.

    Washburn was picked second behind defending national champion Northwest Missouri in both the MIAA Preseason Coaches and Media Polls that were released at the 2021 Basketball Media Day earlier this month.

    The Ichabods return four starters from last season's 20-7 team that finished second in the MIAA in the regular season and won the MIAA Tournament Championship before reaching the second round of the NCAA Regional.

    TylerGeiman2Senior point guard Tyler Geiman returns to lead Washburn, which will start the season ranked No. 11 in NCAA Division II. [File photo]

    The Ichabods will be led by senior guard Tyler Geiman, who was a third-team D2CCA All-American and first-team all-MIAA pick after averaging 20.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 6.0 assists while starting all 27 contests.

    The Ichabods also return honorable mention All-MIAA selection and MIAA Tournament Most Valuable Player Jalen Lewis, a junior who averaged 13.4 points a year ago. Jonny Clausing was an honorable mention all-MIAA pick after averagin 9.6 points and 4.6 rebounds while shooting 61 percent from the field.

    This season the Ichabods return 85 percent of their scoring, 67 percent of their rebounds, 84 percent of their field goals, 93 percent of their 3-pointers, 83 percent of their free throws and 89 percent of their minutes played from a season ago.

     

  • No. 4-ranked Washburn volleyball sweeps Emporia State on road

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    No. 4-ranked Washburn volleyball captured its 14th sweep of the season in a 3-0 win at rival Emporia State on Tuesday evening, with senior outside hitter Genna Berg becoming the 10th player in program history to eclipse 1,000 career digs and 1,000 career kills.
     
    Washburn took a 25-16, 25-16, 25-21 win over the Hornets to improve to 20-3 overall and 12-2 in the MIAA.

    GennaBergTuesdayWashburn senior Genna Berg became the 10th player in school history to surpass 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in her career Tuesday night at Emporia State. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]
     
    The Ichabods got off to a slow start and trailed 3-0 in the first set before responding with three consecutive points of their own to even the match.

    The Hornets (4-17, 2-12 MIAA) knotted the score at four when a kill by Kelsey Gordon, a former Emporia High standout, ignited an 8-1 scoring run to give Washburn the lead for good. Emporia State pulled within five points at 20-15, but the Ichabods won five of the next six points to claim the opening set.

  • 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.

     

  • Ichabods take wild 29-17 road victory at UCO, improve to 6-2

    Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

    Washburn's football team moved to 6-2 on the season Saturday, taking a wild 29-17 road win at Central Oklahoma, the Ichabods' third straight victory.

    The Ichabods scored on a 90-yard kickoff return by James Letcher Jr. and a 75-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by Braden Rose in the final minutes to pull out the victory.

    21letcher jamesJames Letcher Jr.

    21rose bradenBraden Rose

    After the Bronchos (4-4) blocked an Ichabod punt to take over at Washburn 41-yard-line, UCO needed only two plays to take a 17-16 lead with just over three minutes to play in the game.

    However, on the ensuing kickoff Letcher returned the ball 90 yards to paydirt as the Ichabods went back in front 22-17 (conversion failed).
     
    With the Ichabods holding a five-point lead, Central Oklahoma drove to the Washburn 20, but UCO's Keats Cahool was sacked at the 25 by Malick Fall and Rose picked up the ball and ran 75 yards for the game-clinching score, staking the Ichabods to a 29-17 lead with nine seconds left.

  • Super sub: WU's Simoncic makes patience pay off in win over No. 2 Bearcats

    Rick Peterson

    THE PENNANT PLAYER PROFILETSN gold partner Pennant

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    After more than two years of waiting his turn, redshirt freshman quarterback Kellen Simoncic was suddenly "the guy'' for Washburn University's offense last week against then-No. 2-ranked Northwest Missouri, pressed into service early in the game when senior standout Mitch Schurig went down with an injury.

    And the 6-foot-3, 205-pound Smithville, Mo. native responded exactly the way he and his coaches and teammates hoped he would, helping the Ichabods end a 15-game losing streak to the Bearcats with a 17-16 MIAA win at Yager Stadium.

    KellenSimoncic2Redshirt freshman quarterback Kellen Simoncic came off the bench to help Washburn knock off No. 2-ranked Northwest Missouri, 17-16, last Saturday. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Simoncic, who had seen mopup duty earlier in the year against Lincoln, admitted it took him a few moments to grasp the situation he was in when Schurig went down (concussion protocol), but then just tried to concentrate on the task at hand.

    "My first thought was, 'Is he OK, is he getting up, how's he doing?' '' Simoncic said of Schurig. "After that I went and grabbed my helmet and started playing catch a little bit and kind of mentally preparing to get in the game.

    "You never want to see anybody get hurt, especially Mitch because he's helped me so much throughout the years, but it was also very exciting. You couldn't ask for a better opportunity.''

  • Washburn volleyball drops top-five duel against Jennies in four sets

    By KYLE MANTHE

    The Washburn Review

    It was a top-five showdown in Lee Arena as No 2 Washburn University volleyball faced the third-ranked University of Central Missouri in a battle to remain atop the MIAA standings.

    And with the end of the regular season in sight Washburn is looking for a leader to help the Ichabods get to the end on a strong note.

    “At some point you know you think when you have this old of a group that someone on the floor has got to step up and be lead,” said Washburn coach Chris Herron.

    Leadership will be important going forward as Washburn fell in four sets, 19-25, 25-17, 28-30, and 22-25. The loss moves WU to third place in the MIAA and snaps the team's undefeated home record.

    “I think we just move onto the next game, like obviously it’s disappointing but we can’t let one game define us so we are just focusing on practicing and getting better from here on out,” Washburn senior middle hitter Allison Maxwell said.

     Maxwell 1Allison Maxwell

    SadlerAllison Sadler

    The match started back and forth, tied at eight points each before the attack errors piled up for the Ichabods putting them in a deficit. A strong offensive attack from Central Missouri, which logged a nearly .400 attack percentage as a team in the set, helped them claim the first set of the match. On the other end senior middle hitter Sydney Fitzgibbons knocked down six kills on her way to hitting .458 in the match.

    “But (Kersti) Nix killed us, we couldn’t stop her. I mean hell we could have put a surfboard up there, we couldn’t block her,” Herron said. “I think that’s the key to the match was she just did so much and we did little with her.”  

  • No.2 Washburn volleyball back on track with sweep of Fort Hays

    By KYLE MANTHE

    The Washburn Review

    After four weeks at the top of the AVCA rankings Washburn volleyball had dropped to No. 2 ahead of its match against Fort Hays State Tuesday night at Lee Arena.

    With a top-five matchup against Central Missouri looming later this week the focus was still on the task at hand.

    “I think we needed to get some momentum tonight and I think we did that,'' said senior setter Allison Sadler, who reached 3,000 career assists the weekend prior. "We know Thursday is going to be a really big game and so we didn’t overlook this game whatsoever, but we really wanted to get that momentum going,”

    Allison SadlerAllison Sadler

    Washburn would take care of the Tigers in straight sets, 25-19, 25-14, and 25-18. The win was the Ichabods' second in a row and moved them to 19-2 overall.

    Mis-communication early on caused the Ichabods to fall into an early 10-6 deficit but once the defense settled in Washburn tied the set at 15 and rode five straight points to end the set.

    Sadler helped control the offense, with 15 assists in the set and a kill of her own, while senior middle hitter Allison Maxwell picked up three blocks up front.

    “I think forcing the middle early helped and our passers did a really good job this game of getting me up at the net, so I had all three options most of the time,” Sadler said.

  • Washburn football knocks off No. 2-ranked Northwest Missouri, 17-16

    By KYLE MANTHE

    The Washburn Review

    After a walk-off win the week before Washburn football returned to action Saturday at Yager Stadium to face No.2 ranked Northwest Missouri State University in a game between top-five MIAA teams that was both an offensive struggle and defensive battle.

    It was the Ichabods who came out on top, with a 17-16 comeback victory late to knock off the undefeated Bearcats and move to 5-2 overall and 4-0 at home on the year.

    “I’m really proud of them, the kids stuck together and it is hard, the schedule we have had six games in a row with, those teams are quality teams,” Washburn coach Craig Schurig said of the Ichabods' recent stretch.

    The Bearcats dominated possession early, with an 18-play drive in the first quarter that went over 80 yards but resulted in no points after a missed field goal. Offensively, the Ichabods were slow to get started after an injury to senior quarterback Mitch Schurig on the first possession of the game.

    KellenSimoncicRedshirt freshman quarterback Kellen Simoncic helped Washburn knock off No. 2-ranked Northwest Missouri after entering the game after senior Mitch Schurig was injured. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    “I’ve been here two years and I felt like I was ready for it,'' said freshman Kellen Simoncic, who replaced Schurig (concussion protocol). "It was a little overwhelming at the start, but Mitch has been such a good leader and example of how to prepare,” 

    Midway through the second quarter Simoncic got the offense moving on a 13-play drive, setting up a 36-yard field goal by freshman kicker Trenton Brehm, putting the first points on the board.

    MalickFallWashburn senior Malick Fall moves in to sack Northwest Missouri quarterback Mike Hohensee Saturday at Yager Stadium. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    The ensuing drive highlighted the stout defensive effort from Washburn, as senior defensive end Malick Fall picked up his second sack of the half and junior safety Peyton Lane recorded an interception in the end zone to end the drive and half.

    After allowing Northwest Missouri into the end zone for the first time midway through the third quarter, the Ichabods responded with a touchdown drive of their own, capped off by a 15-yard catch by senior wide receiver James Letcher Jr. from Simoncic.

    A third and goal sack from Fall the following drive would keep the Bearcats out of the end zone and set up another missed field goal early in the fourth quarter.

    “I wasn’t thinking of anything crazy, I wasn’t trying to do anything extra, just trying to do my job and things fell my way,” said Fall.

    An interception from Simoncic set up Northwest Missouri with good field position which they used to pound the ball into the end zone and take a four-point lead.

    However, the Washburn offense remained unfazed and moved down the field to reclaim the lead on a 15-yard touchdown catch and run by sophomore Taylon Peters from Simoncic.

    “You just try to take every drive like it’s 0-0 and just start over,'' Simoncic said. "We just tried to stay calm, and when adversity struck I think we took it head on and capitalized when we needed to.''

    KevinNealJrjpgWashburn junior Kevin Neal Jr. is congratulated by teammates after sealing the Ichabods' 17-16 win over No. 2-ranked Northwest Missouri with a late interception. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    The Bearcats' desperate attempt to score was cut short by junior defensive back Kevin Neal Jr., who hauled in an interception with eight seconds left to seal the win.''

    “Back-to-back weeks our kids figured out a way to come through, and defense played outstanding all game and our offense had just enough,” said Craig Schurig.

    WASHBURN 17, NORTHWEST MISSOURI STATE 16

    NORTHWEST MISSOURI (5-1, 5-1) 0 0 7 9

    WASHBURN (5-2, 5-2) 0 3 7 7

    Second quarter

    Washburn –- Brehm 36 FG, 4:39.

    Third quarter

    Northwest Missouri -- Davis 4 pass from Hohensee (Lammel kick), 5:08.

    Washburn -– Letcher Jr. 15 pass from Simoncic (Brehm kick), 1:16.

    Fourth quarter

    Northwest Missouri -– McKeller 1 yard rush (Lammel kick), 4:15.

    Washburn -- Peters 15 pass from Simoncic (Brehm kick), 0:48.

    Northwest Missouri – Simoncic safety, 0:05.

    Individual statistics

    Rushing -- Northwest Missouri: McKeller 30-166, Green 6-31, Moya 2-14, Tatum 2-0. Washburn: Willis 7-25, Peters 10-17, Williams, 1-4, Letcher Jr. 1-2.

    Passing -- Northwest Missouri: Hohensee 22-32-2, 217 yards. Washburn: Simoncic 15-29-1, 157; Schurig 2-3-0, 33.

    Receiving -- Northwest Missouri: Tatum 8-59, McKeller 5-58, Donadelle 3-35, Davis 2-24. Washburn: Letcher Jr. 6-59, Williams 5-64, Peters 3-31, Simmons 2-28.

    Punting -- Northwest Missouri: Williams 3-119. Washburn: Spiker 4-137.

    Tackles -- Northwest Missouri: Smith 4 solo-0 assist-4 total, Strambler 4-0-4, Nimmers 2-2-4, Anderson 2-2-4. Washburn: Barnett-Kruger 6-3-9, Fall 6-3-9, Neal Jr. 3-3-6, Lane 5-1-6.

    Attendance – 4,820

  • Washburn star James Letcher Jr.: 'This is definitely home'

    Rick Peterson

    THE PENNANT PLAYER PROFILETSN gold partner Pennant

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    The grass, or in the case of college football, the turf, isn't always greener elsewhere and Washburn University star receiver/returner James Letcher Jr. is thankful he figured that out before making a life-changing decision.

    JJLetcherWashburn star receiver/returner James Letcher Jr. is having another banner season for the 4-2 Ichabods, who host Northwest Missouri on Saturday. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    There was a recurring rumor this past spring and summer that Letcher was mulling over the possibility of entering the NCAA Transfer Portal and trying to make the jump to a Division I program.

    The rumor wasn't that hard to believe, considering the fact that Letcher was coming off an All-MIAA year in 2019 and that the transfer portal had became the 'in' thing to do for players all over the country.

    But while the former Piper star admits that he did consider all his options during the Ichabods' long layoff due to COVID-19, he also knows he made the right decision in staying right where he was. 

    "A lot of it was just talk, a lot of it was looking at things,'' Letcher said. "I got pulled into a bit of the conversation because my roommate, Collin Wilson, ended up entering the transfer portal. Since we were so close and we were kind of feeding off each other back in 2019, I could see why people thought that.There were some long talks I had with a few of my teammates and my family back home and I feel like we all made the right decision for me to stick it out here.

    "This is definitely home and it's right down the street from my personal home. I've been here so long I've got good connections with the coaches and the players and it was the right decision for me to stay.''

    There were several family and football factors that entered into Letcher's decision to remain at Washburn.

    For one thing, Letcher wanted to be close to home to help his father, a former football star himself, recover from serious health problems.

    "He ended up getting sick right before COVID hit with his gallbladder,'' Letcher said. "He had to get that removed and he ended up having a lot more complications with that. He ended up having two massive strokes and went into a coma, but he's doing much better now. He's getting back to his old self and walking a lot better than he was and he's getting his feet back under him.''

    Over the summer Letcher spent a lot of time in Kansas City, Kan. doing what he could to help out.

    "That's one of the main reasons I stayed home, so he could see me working hard and I could see him getting better and better.every day.''

    JJLetcherFHSuWashburn star James Letcher Jr. has caught 34 passes for 559 yards and six TDs for the 4-2 Ichabods. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Another major consideration was the fact that Letcher knew the 2021 season could be a big one for himself and the Ichabods.

    That is proving to be true thus far, with Washburn taking a 4-2 record into Saturday's home tilt with undefeated and second-ranked Northwest Missouri State (1 p.m. kickoff) while Letcher has caught 34 passes for 559 yards (16.4 yards per catch) and six touchdowns and ranks 13th in the nation in all-purpose yards with 158.8 yards per game.

    Letcher and the Ichabods are coming off a big 23-20 overtime win over Fort Hays State, with Letcher hauling in the 19-yard game-winning touchdown pass from senior quarterback Mitch Schurig. On the day Letcher had five catches for 56 yards and two TDs. 

    "It was great, it felt amazing,'' Letcher said. "It's always good to get another 'W' under our belts, especially coming off a hard loss (35-30 at Emporia State). It's good to get the momentum back and we've got to keep it going.

    "Me and my teammates know it's going to be a dogfight every game and we're going to have to fight to the best of our ability.''

     

     

  • Walk-on Brehm comes through in a pinch for Washburn football

    Rick Peterson

    THE PENNANT PLAYER PROFILETSN gold partner Pennant

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Freshman Trenton Brehm came to Washburn University to play baseball, but almost on a lark decided he might as well try to double up in football.

    The Ichabods are sure glad he did.

    "I wanted to play baseball in college, that's what I wanted to do,'' said Brehm, a native of Papillion, Neb. "But then I was like, 'Maybe I should just try kicking in college, too.' I asked the baseball coach (Harley Douglas) if I could get the football coach's number and see if I could come play for the team. I texted coach (Zach) Watkins (WU assistant) and I came down on a visit and this is where I ended up.''

    TrentonBrehmTrenton Brehm

    A second baseman in baseball, Brehm had impressive kicking credentials in high school for Papillion La Vista South, making nine of 12 field goal attempts as a senior, including a long of 52 yards.

    But with the Ichabods returning standout Kameron Lake, the plan was for Brehm to redshirt this season and then most likely serve as Lake's backup.

    That all changed when Lake started experiencing problems with his leg early in the season.

    Despite the pain Lake handled Washburn's kickoff and placement duties through the first two weeks of the season, but in Week 3 Brehm was installed as the Ichabods' kickoff man for the road game at Nebraska-Kearney.

    "About midway through the week of preparation for Kearney, coach (Craig) Schurig came up to me and asked I would be OK with traveling to Kearney and doing kickoffs,'' Brehm said.

    The move caught about everybody by surprise, including Brehm's family.

    "My dad didn't believe me the first week when I said I going to go play,'' Brehm said. "I was a little nervous getting thrown out there. It was in my home state that first game, so that was kind of cool, but I was definitely pretty nervous going out there for my first college game.''

    The next week, against Missouri Western, Brehm handled all of Washburn's place-kicking duties, a role he has filled the past three games for the 4-2 Ichabods.

    "When I started doing everything, that's when the real nerves kind of kicked in,'' Brehm said.

    TrentonBrehmactionTrue freshman Trenton Brehm has turned in a solid performance as Washburn's place-kicker after taking over for injured starter Kameron Lake. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

    Brehm has connected on two of three field goal attempts and 10 of 12 extra-point tries and is coming off his best game in last Saturday's 23-20 overtime win over Fort Hays State, kicking a 35-yard field goal and going two 2 of 2 on extra points.

    "I feel like I'm doing pretty good,'' Brehm said. "I feel like I've gained a lot of confidence over the weeks and everyone's been super supportive of me getting thrown in there. I feel like I've definitely gotten a lot better and have continued to progress throughout this year.

    "I feel a little more confident going out there each and every time.''

    Schurig is quick to praise Brehm for how he's handled a challenging situation.

    "He's just handled it beautifully,'' Schurig said. "I think that whole (kicking) unit has handled it well, and Kam has been very supportive. (Brehm's) done a tremendous job and we're thankful.''

    "It's fun,'' Brehm said. "It's really fun.''

     

     

     

     

  • Ichabod volleyball holds No. 1 national ranking for fourth straight week

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    The Washburn University volleyball team holds down the No. 1 spot in the AVCA Top 25 NCAA Division II Poll for the fourth straight week after picking up two victories last week to extend its winning streak to eight in a row and improve its record to 16-1 overall and 8-0 MIAA.

    Washburn received 40 first-place votes and 1,163 total points to remain atop the AVCA Top 25 Poll.

     Washburnjube 2Washburn's volleyball team remains No. 1-ranked in NCAA Division II for the fourth straight week. [File photo]

    Metro State-Denver and Angelo State remained No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, while MIAA member Central Missouri moved up one place to fourth Wayne State also moved up one spot to round out the top five.

    In addition to the Ichabods and Jennies, the MIAA continues to be well-represented in the national rankings as Northwest Missouri moved up to No. 9 and Nebraska-Kearney dropped one place to check in at No. 15. Central Oklahoma continues to receive votes and is just outside the Top 25.

    The Ichabods face another week of tough competition as they host Nebraska-Kearney Tuesday in Lee Arena before traveling to Northwest Missouri and Missouri Western this weekend.

    Washburn is 4-1 this season against teams ranked in the Top 20, including two victories against teams ranked in the Top 10.

  • Ichabod women picked No. 6 in MIAA preseason basketball polls

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn University's women's basketball team has been picked for a sixth-place finish in the MIAA 2021-22 preseason coaches and media polls.

    Fort Hays State, the defending MIAA regular-season champion, was tabbed the league favorite in the coaches poll while the Tigers tied with Central Missouri for the top spot in the media poll.

    Fort Hays State received six first-place votes in the coaches poll for a total of 159 points, while Central Missouri received three first-place votes and 154 points.

    Defending MIAA Tournament champion Nebraska-Kearney was picked No.3 with three first-place votes and 153 points, followed by Emporia State in fourth with two first-place votes and 136 points. Central Oklahoma rounded out the top five.

    Hunter Bentley actionHunter Bentley is a top returning player for Washburn's women's basketball team, picked No. 6 in the MIAA coaches and media preseason polls. [File photo]

    Washburn, 12-12 last season, was voted sixth and received 106 points, followed by Pittsburg State, Missouri Western, Missouri Southern, Northwest Missouri, Northeastern State, Rogers State, Lincoln and Newman. Missouri Southern tied for the No. 9 spot in the coaches poll and Lincoln and Newman tied for the 13th position.

    Fort Hays State and Central Missouri both finished with 118 points in the media poll, with Central Missouri receiving five first-place votes and Fort Hays Stat four.

    Nebraska-Kearney followed in third 112 points with Emporia State fourth with 98 points and Central Oklahoma fifth with 87 points.

    The media picked Washburn sixth, followed by Pittsburg State, Missouri Western, Northwest Missouri, Missouri Southern, Northeastern State, Rogers State, Newman and Lincoln. Northeastern State and Rogers State tied for 13th in the media poll.

  • Washburn men picked No. 2 in MIAA preseason basketball polls

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Northwest Missouri State, the 2021 NCAA Division II National Champion and MIAA regular-season champion, was picked first in the 2021-22 MIAA preseason men’s basketball coaches and media polls, with Washburn garnering the No. 2 spot in both polls after winning the MIAA postseason tournament and advancing to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

    Northwest received 13 of 14 votes in the coaches poll for a total of 169 points while Washburn, 20-7 last season, received the remaining first-place vote and 157 points.

    TylerGeimanRogersStateactionAll-America point guard Tyler Geiman returns to lead Washburn's men's basketball team, which was picked No. 2 in the MIAA preseason polls. [File photo]

    Central Oklahoma was picked third in the poll while Missouri Southern was selected fourth and NCAA tournament qualifier Missouri Western fifth.

    Fort Hays State, Rogers State, Pittsburg State, Emporia State and Lincoln rounded out the top 10 in the coaches poll, followed by Central Missouri, Nebraska-Kearney, Northeastern State and Newman. 

    Northwest Missouri also dominated the media poll, receiving all nine first-place votes and 126 points.

    Washburn was picked second with 116 points followed by Missouri Western, Missouri Southern and Central Oklahoma to round out the top five. 

    Fort Hays State was voted sixth, followed by Emporia State, Rogers State, Pittsburg State, Lincoln, Central Missouri, Nebraska-Kearney, Northeastern State and Newman.

  • Seniors show out for No. 1 Washburn in sweep over No. 15 Lopers

    By KYLE MANTHE

    The Washburn Review

    Starting off a fourth consecutive week at No. 1, Washburn University volleyball was faced with a matchup against No. 15 Nebraska-Kearney Tuesday night.

    The match ended a five-game homestand as the Ichabods are hitting their stride while entering the thick of conference play.

    “Just be humble, play, and enjoy the dadgum year. It's been a good year, so lets just keep enjoying it,” said coach Chris Herron.

    The Ichabods did keep having fun Tuesday on the way to completing a sweep over the Lopers in three sets, all ending 25-22.

    AllisonMaxwellUNKWashburn senior Allison Maxwell (8) goes up for a kill during Tuesday's 3-0 MIAA sweep over Nebraska-Kearney. [Photo by Kyle Manthe/The Washburn Review]

    The win continued Washburn’s undefeated march through MIAA play, as well as completed a regular-season sweep for the Ichabods over their previously top-ranked conference rivals.

    “Our class, we want to win everywhere we go at this point, so beating them on our floor one last time was really good, you know I hope we get them in the postseason again, beating a team three times is really hard, but I’m so excited for that opportunity as well,” senior setter Allison Sadler said.

    The match looked murkey to start, with the Ichabods in a 4-0 hole from the jump. That is when Washburn’s offense came alive to the tune of 16 kills and a .314 attack percentage in the set. The attack came from the middle as the trio of Kelsey Gordon, Allison Maxwell and Sydney Fitzgibbons combined for 14 kills.

    “I think Syd and Kelsey came through for us and did a tremendous job and that was the difference in the match,” Herron said.

    The second set started with Washburn out in front 3-0 and they would have Kearney on its heels the entire set before closing the door on another 25-22 set. The set was nearly spotless for the Ichabods, as they committed only two errors compared to nine from the Lopers.

    There was no separation early on in the third set as the two sides split the first 12 points before Washburn broke it open. The offensive attack was balanced, with five players recording at least three kills, and it was all orchestrated by Sadler who notched 17 assists in the set.

    AllisonSadlerUNKWashburn senior Allison Sadler sets the ball during the Ichabods' 3-0 sweep over Nebraska-Kearney. [Photo by Kyle Manthe/The Washburn Review]

    “They just make my job so easy and that’s incredible to say. I mean we have two All-Americans, and they just make my job so easy,” Sadler said.

    Maxwell led the way for the Ichabods with 12 kills while Gordon and Fitzgibbons added nine and 10 kills, respectively, with an attack percentage above .550 for both.

    In the back row, senior libero Faith Rottinghaus had 22 digs, while Sadler had 40 assists at a .400 assist rate to go along with nine digs.

    WUjubeUNKNo. 1-ranked Washburn celebrates a point against Nebraska-Kearney Tuesday night. [Photo by Kyle Manthe/The Washburn Review]

    The win moved the team to 17-1 on the year, with nine wins in a row led by fifth-year seniors all-around.

    “I’m the one that’s benefiting from this more than anything,” said Herron on all of the seniors who returned for a fifth year. “I like them so dang much that I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do without them next year.”  

    Next up for Washburn is a road trip to take on No. 9-ranked Northwest Missouri State on Oct. 15.

    MATCH RESULTS

    Washburn def. Nebraska-Kearney, 25-22, 25-22, 25-22

  • Washburn volleyball puts away Pitt State in three sets

    By KYLE MANTHE

    The Washburn Review

    Following a 3-1 victory the night before, No. 1-ranked Washburn volleyball was back in action Saturday against Pittsburg State University, which was fresh off a sweep of Emporia State.

    After a slow finish on Friday the Ichabods were looking for a clean, strong effort all the way through.

    “It was really important, that was one thing that we made sure to talk about last night and then focus on today,” said senior middle hitter Allison Maxwell, who finished with a game-high 15 kills.

    AllisonMaWashburn senior Allison Maxwell (8) celebrates a kill during Saturday's 3-0 win over Pittsburg State at Lee Arena. [Photo by Kyle Manthe/TSN]

    Washburn got back to finishing the job in three sets, winning 25-14, 25-18, and 25-17. The sweep moved the Ichabods to 16-1 on the year.

  • Ichabod football looking to get back on track in Hall of Fame Day tilt

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn University football returns to Yager Stadium for Hall of Fame Day Saturday, hosting Fort Hays State in a 1 p.m. MIAA contest.

    The 3-2 Ichabods are coming off a 35-30 loss at Emporia State, with Washburn's late-game rally coming up short. Fort Hays State, meanwhile, rallied from a 21-point halftime deficit to beat previously-unbeaten and No. 12-ranked Nebraska-Kearney, 42-35, improving to 3-2 with its third straight win.

    Washburn holds a 44-27-3 lead over Fort Hays State in the all-time series, but the Tigers have won three straight over the Ichabods.

    After a year off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Washburn's 2021 Hall of Fame class which will be enshrined Saturday in a morning breakfast ceremony. 

    The induction class includes Kate Hampson (volleyball), Matt Cahill (football), Joe Hastings (football), Zach Watkins (football), Sam Sissom (football) and Logan Stutz (basketball), who will join the 149 former student-athletes, coaches and administrators who have been honored for their contributions to Washburn Athletics.

    The six former Washburn greats will also be recognized at halftime of the football game against the Tigers.

    "It's a big deal to be playing at home and playing another in-state rival,'' Washburn coach Craig Schurig said. "It's the Hall of Fame game and with coach Watkins (current Washburn assistant) getting inducted that should be a big boost for us.''

    MitchSchurigMitch Schurig and the Washburn Ichabods will be looking to bounce back from last week's 35-30 loss to Emporia State in Saturday's Hall of Fame game against Fort Hays State. [File photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Washburn senior quarterback Mitch Schurig threw for a career-high 410 yards and four touchdowns last week against Emporia State, completing 34 of 53 passing attempts. His 34 passing completions tied the school record set in 1980 by Mike Atkins against Wayne State and his 400 passing yards was the first by an Ichabod quarterback since Dane Simoneau threw for 424 against Abilene Christian on Nov. 19, 2011 in the first round of the NCAA Playoffs.

    Schurig has passed for 5,769 yards in his Washburn career, ranking fourth on the Ichabod career chart, and his 53 touchdown passes are third all-time at WU.

    Junior James Letcher Jr.'s 26.36-yard average on kickoff returns is third all-time at Washburn.

    Letcher finished with 233 all-purpose yards against Emporia State and topped the 100-reception mark in his Washburn career.

    "I still feel really confident in our team,'' Craig Schurig said. "And you know, in this conference you have to play your A-game to win and hopefully we're on our A-game this week.''

    Fort Hays State coach Chris Brown was the defensive coordinator for Washburn for nine years.

    Fort Hays State quarterback Chance Fuller has passed for 1,525 yards and 12 touchdowns while Adrian Solo is averaging 87.4 rushing yards per game with six touchdowns.

    Former Highland Park standout Will White, a sophomore defensive back, is Fort Hays State's fifth-leading tackler with 19 tackles (12 solo) while Washburn Rural product Tyler Cummings, a sophomore defensive back, has registered five tackles (three solo).

    Fort Hays State topped Washburn 41-38 in overtime in the 2019 meeting between the two schools.

    Washburn will also be at home on Oct. 16, hosting No. 2-ranked Northwest Missouri (1 p.m. kickoff).



  • New Jersey native Manning finds home away from home at WU

    Rick Peterson

    THE PENNANT PLAYER PROFILETSN gold partner Pennant

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Bayonne, N.J. will always be home for Washburn University defensive back Marquise Manning.

    But after six years with the Ichabods, Topeka is definitely a strong 1-A.

    "I came with Malick Fall and we went to the same high school and that made it a bit easier because we had each other,'' Manning said. "We would go out and experience things and talk to people. Guys like (teammate) Jacob Anderson and Phil Anderson (Jacob's father) and Mitch and the Schurigs showed us a lot of hospitality and we were just shocked at how nice and genuine people are here.

    "They genuinely care about you.''

    MarquiseManningWashburn senior defensive back Marquise Manning returns a pass interception 41 yards earlier this season in the Ichabods' win over Central Missouri. [File photo by Rex Wolf/TSN] 

    And as he spent more and more time in Topeka and with the Washburn football family he learned to love it even more.

    "My home became the team and my mentors became the older players,'' Manning said. "There was Zach Franklin and Corey (Ballentine) and you'd pick a couple of guys you wanted to imitate and be like.

    "I gravitated towards Josh Wright and me and Josh got close and I figured out how he was doing things and I started copying and did the same things he did because I wanted to be the player he was. I'm just trying my best now.''

    Manning gets back to New Jersey, about a 20-hour drive, once or twice a year, but spends the bulk of his time in Topeka, at least through this year.

    "I'll go home for about a week, but I don't want to be home for too long because this is where I should be, with the team,'' he said.

    Slowly but surely the 6-foot, 195-pound Manning has become an Ichabod leader himself.

    After redshirting in 2016 and seeing action in three games in '17 and five games in '18 Manning earned All-MIAA honorable mention in '19, registering 28 tackles (24 solo) and intercepting three passes.

    Manning has continued to be an Ichabod standout this fall, registering 15 tackles (12 solo) with two tackles for loss and two interceptions for Washburn, which will take a 3-2 record into Saturday's home MIAA game against Fort Hays State.

    "I've had six years to get comfortable, so that's a lot of practice and a lot of preparation towards just being your best player,'' Manning said.

    "I can't even think about how many times I've been yelled at, how many times you messed up, but the more you mess up eventually you'll cut that out. You learn from your mistakes and that's really what I did.''

  • Washburn's Rottinghaus maintains hold on MIAA defensive honor

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn University senior libero Faith Rottinghaus has been named the MIAA Volleyball Defensive Athlete of the Week for the fourth straight week after another stellar weekend on the court for the No. 1-ranked Ichabods.

    FaithWashburn senior Faith Rottinghaus has been named the MIAA defensive athlete of the week for the fourth straight week. [File photo/TSN]

    The former Shawnee Heights multi-sport standout averaged 5.17 digs per set in two victories last week while also successfully receiving all 12 service attempts that came her way with zero errors. In a sweep over Newman, Rottinghaus led the Ichabods with 14 digs and also added 17 digs in a shutout win over Central Oklahoma.

    For the season, Rottinghaus is leading the conference with 6.02 digs per set, which also ranks eighth in the nation, and she is also tied for the team lead in service aces with 18.

    There has been at least one Ichabod receive MIAA Athlete of the Week honors every week this season.

    Washburn remains at home this weekend taking on Missouri Southern Friday and Pittsburg State Saturday.

  • Ichabod volleyball holds No. 1 national ranking for third straight week

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    The Washburn University volleyball team holds down the No. 1 spot in the AVCA Top 25 NCAA Division II Poll for the third straight week after posting two sweeps at home last weekend.

    The Ichabods received 39 first-place votes and hold an overall record of 14-1 with a perfect 6-0 mark in MIAA matches.

    Washburn is on a six-match winning streak and has recorded nine 3-0 victories this season.

    IMG 7340 1Washburn University's volleyball team is ranked No. 1 in the nation for the third straight week. [File photo by Kyle Manthe/TSN]
    Washburn leads the conference in several statistical categories, including hitting percentage (.317 percent, second in D-II), kills per set (14.96 kills/set, third in D-II), assists per set (13.57 assists/set, fifth in D-II) and blocks per set (2.42 blocks/set, 19th in D-II).

    The top five teams in the AVCA rankings remain the same as last week as Metro State-Denver checks in at No. 2 behind Washburn. Angelo State remains No. 3, Concordia-St. Paul is No. 4 and Central Missouri rounds things out at No. 5. 

    The MIAA continues to be well-represented in the top 15 as the Ichabods and Jennies are joined by Northwest Missouri, which moved up three places to No. 10 and Nebraska-Kearney at No. 14. Central Oklahoma also received votes in the poll.

    Washburn is back in Lee Arena this weekend, hosting Missouri Southern and Pittsburg State on Friday and Saturday. Both matches are scheduled for 6 p.m. starts

    AVCA NATIONAL VOLLEYBALL RANKINGS 

  • Stevenson making up for lost time with No. 1-ranked Washburn VB

    Rick Peterson

    THE PENNANT PLAYER PROFILETSN gold partner Pennant

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Jalyn Stevenson's senior high school volleyball season was a nightmare.

    Comparatively, her first college campaign has been a dream, with the 5-foot-10 freshman outside hitter helping Washburn University's volleyball team achieve a No. 1 national ranking and a 14-1 record entering Friday's MIAA 6 p.m. home match against Missouri Southern.

    Stevenson's 2020 season at Spring Hill was one she had waited her entire career for, but a freak on-court collision with a teammate early in the season resulted in a fractured ankle and put her on the sidelines for the remainder of the season.

    "It was heartbreaking because I had played on that team for three years up until then and it was my senior year and I was like, 'Here we go,' '' Stevenson said. "The year before we were really, really good. We were very successful and we made it to state for the first time and we had another chance and then I got hurt.''

    Stevenson still attended all of the Broncos' practices and games after her injury, but it wasn't easy.

    "That was even worse, to sit and watch,'' she said. "I tried to help as much as I could. I shagged balls on my crutches and things like that, but it was tough.''

    Fortunately Stevenson, who played for former Shawnee Heights and Washburn standout Erica Cowhick at Spring Hill, had already orally committed to Washburn so her college plans were set, but she had to presevere through a long rehabilitation period.

     JalynStevenson4Jalyn Stevenson has bounced back from an injury as a senior in high school with a strong freshman season for the top-ranked Washburn volleyball team. [File photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Fast forward to this fall and Stevenson is well on her way to replacing all bad memories with good ones.

  • Hornets capitalize on Washburn turnovers, hold on for 35-30 win

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    EMPORIA -- Washburn University put together a spirited comeback late in Saturday's rainy MIAA football game against rival Emporia State, but the Ichabods dug themselves a huge hole earlier in the day that was just too deep to escape.

    Five Washburn turnovers helped Emporia State build a 35-10 second-half lead and the Hornets were able to hold on for 35-30 victory at Welch Stadium. 

    "The way the weather was in the first half the turnovers just crush you and then you feel like you're playing uphill,'' Washburn coach Craig Schurig said. 

    JJ Letcher 2Washburn receiver/returner James Letcher Jr. had a big game Saturday in a losing cause against Emporia State, catching 10 passes for 132 yards and a touchdown. [Photo by Phil Anderson/Special to TSN]

    The Ichabods (3-2, 3-2 MIAA) took an early 3-0 lead on a 32-yard Trenton Brehm field goal, but the Hornets answered with a 5-yard touchdown pass from Braden Gleason to former Topeka High standout Corey Thomas as Emporia State (3-2, 3-2) took advantage of an Ichabod fumble at WU's 10-yard-line.

    Washburn took one more lead, with Mitch Schurig hitting Peter Afful for an 11-yard TD pass with 32 seconds left in the opening quarter, but Emporia State would score 28 straight points to take control 

    The Hornets took the lead for good at 14-10 with 12:39 to play in the first half when Gleason found Seaman product Dalton Cowan for a 5-yard touchdown..
     
    The Hornets came up with a huge play later in the second when Jace McDown picked off a Schurig pass and rambled 56 yards for a TD to put Emporia State in front 21-10 at the half.

    "Part of our DNA is turnovers and we really haven't got that this season -- I think we've only got one a game -- so we knew it was going to be rainy and we knew (turnovers) were going to be a possibility today and that was the difference in the game,'' McDown said. "That's what we built on and I'm glad we could do that today.''

    Things got worse for Washburn when ESU scored on its first drive of the second half and another Ichabod turnover set the Hornets at the WU 12 and Emporia State scored four plays later to go in front 35-10 with 12:35 to play.

    Washburn would end the game with 20 unanswered points to make things interesting.

    Schurig connected on a 58-yard touchdown pass to James Letcher with 10:21 to go and Schurig found Jace Williams for an 11-yard TD with 6:22 remaining and connected with Williams for a 21-yard score with 29 second left.

    After missing a two-point conversion attempt Washburn tried an onside kick, but the Hornets recovered to clinch the victory.

    "We didn't give up,'' Craig Schurig said. "We made some big plays, scramble plays the receivers made, and the O-line was blocking well and we got back to where we made it something exciting at the end.''
     
    Letcher caught 10 passes for 132 yards and also had a touchdown on a punt return wiped out by penalty, while Williams had six catches for 88 yards and the two TDs.

    Schurig threw for a career-high 410 yards and four touchdowns, completing 34 of 53 passes.

    Zach Willishad 10 carries for 86 yards for the Ichabods.

    Peyton Lane led the Ichabods with eight tackles while Jacob Anderson and Landen Urban both had six stops, with Urban registering 3.5 tackles for loss and a sack.

    Letcher finished with 233 all purpose yards and went over the 100-reception mark for his career as an Ichabod. Schurig threw his 50th touchdown pass on the pass to Afful and finished the day with 53 career TDs.

    Gleason was 18 of 25 on the day passing for 183 yards and four touchdowns.

    "We were just trying to get the ball in playmakers' hands early and let them do their thing,'' Gleason said.

    Cowan and Thomas both had three catches while Rossville product Cole Schumacher had two grabs for the Hornets and former Bulldawg Dawson Hammes was in on six tackles (five solo).

    The Ichabods will return to action on Oct. 9 hosting Fort Hays State at 1 p.m. in Yager Stadium as part of Hall of Fame Saturday.

  • Ichabod volleyball bucks Bronchos in second sweep of weekend

    By Kyle Manthe

    The Washburn Review 

    After a sweep the night before, the No. 1-ranked Washburn volleyball team looked to complete a third straight perfect match in an afternoon matchup Saturday against the streaking Bronchos of Central Oklahoma, who entered second in the MIAA behind only the Ichabods.

    The match was one that the Ichabods were excited about heading into the week.

    “They were coming off of a big win over Nebraska-Kearney also, I mean we were kind of geared up for it to be honest with you, we knew that they were going to be a really good team,” said Washburn coach Chris Herron.

    Washburn was able to buck the Bronchos, defeating them in three sets, 25-15, 25-15, 25-16, building its lead in the MIAA standings with a perfect 6-0 conference record.

     IMG 7445Senior setter Allison Sadler had a big match Saturday afternoon as No. 1-ranked Washburn volleyball swept Central Oklahoma. [Photo by Kyle Manthe/The Washburn Review]

    The first set started slow by the Ichabods' high standards, as they trailed 10-9 nearly halfway through. Ultimately efficient attacking and all-around play from senior setter Allison Sadler was enough to secure a set win. Sadler notched 12 assists and six digs in the first set alone on her way to a career-high 20 digs in the match for the fifth-year senior.

    “I don’t know, it was just working and clicking, when we are on we are on and so everything just felt good,” said Sadler.

    Washburn started slow again in the second set but would once again storm back in the back half, winning 10 of the last 15 points to take the set. That time it was freshman outside hitter Jalyn Stevenson who led the way with six kills in another standout performance.

    By the third set the Ichabods had begun to wear down Central Okahoma, and the team's persistent attacking forced the Bronchos into six attack errors in the set. The balanced offense of Washburn kept it in control for the entirety of the set as they completed the sweep.

    “Well, we were pretty good, I can’t say that every time we play, but we were pretty good tonight,” said Herron. “We were able to beat them in transition, they didn’t handle us in transition, so I think that was the difference in the game.”

    In addition to her career high 20 digs Sadler recorded 45 assists, her third highest total of the year. Behind her senior libero Faith Rottinghaus finished with 17 digs.

    IMG 7340 1Washburn volleyball celebrates a kill from freshman Jalyn Stevenson (10) during Saturday's 3-0 sweep over Central Oklahoma. [Photo by Kyle Manthe/TSN]

    Up front Stevenson led the way with 13 kills while seniors Kelsey Gordon and Genna Berg were in double digits with 11 and 10 kills, respectively, as the Ichabods moved to 14-1 on the season.

    MATCH RESULTS

    Washburn def. Central Oklahoma, 25-15, 25-15, 25-16.

  • Ichabods, Hornets set for 117th meeting in longstanding rivalry

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Longstanding football rivals Washburn University and Emporia State will meet for the 117th time on Saturday, with the Hornets hosting the Ichabods in a 1 p.m. MIAA contest at Welch Stadium.

    Washburn is 3-1 after a 47-41 home win over Missouri Western while 2-2 Emporia State is coming off a 30-28 road loss at Pittsburg State and its two losses have been by a total of three points.

    The Ichabods and Hornets will be meeting for the first time since 2019, when Washburn took a 37-17 win in Emporia. Washburn trails the all-time series to the Hornets, 57-53-6.

    "Rivalries are part of the fabric of college football and ours is a perfect rivalry,'' Washburn coach Craig Schurig said. "We're right down the street, the games are close.

    "They're good. We feel like we're good and it should be a very intense, heated game. It's going to be a good game. They're talented across the board.''

    Craig SchurigWashburn coach Craig Schurig is 11-7 against Emporia State entering Saturday's 117th game between the longstanding rivals. [File photo/TSN]

    The Washburn-Emporia State series is the second-most played series in NCAA Division II history as South Dakota Mines and Black Hills State have reclassified to NCAA Division II. Those two schools have met 134 times dating back to 1895.

    Washburn senior quarterback Mitch Schurig, the reigning MIAA Offensive Player of the Week, needs one touchdown pass to reach 50 for his career. He currently ranks fourth on the all-time chart, trailing Dane Simoneau (102), Jordan Brill (57) and Tyler Schuerman (53) on the Ichabod chart.

    Schurig has passed for 4,971 yards in his career, which is sixth on the Ichabod career chart. He needs 525 yards to move into the top five all-time.

    The Washburn quarterback completed 24 of 30 pass attempts in the win over Missouri Western with five touchdown passes.

  • Former High stars to put brotherly bond on hold for Turnpike Tussle

    Rick Peterson

    THE PENNANT PLAYER PROFILETSN gold partner Pennant

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn University senior linebacker Jacob Anderson and Emporia State junior wide receiver Corey Thomas are best friends dating back to their days as standouts for Topeka High, and nothing is going to change that.

    But Anderson and Thomas will put that unbreakable bond on hold for about three hours Saturday afternoon when the rival Ichabods and Hornets hook up in the Turnpike Tussle at ESU's Welch Stadium (1 p.m. kickoff). 

    "I'm always wishing Corey the best, but this week we both know that out there on that field we're just going to be competing and our main goal is to win,'' Anderson said. "We both want to win, we're both super competitive and we're going to give it everything we have while we're out there and then it will be all love after the game. That's the type of relationship we have.

    "We know that when we're out there on that field, it's war and we're going to be battling and fighting, but after the game we're going to shake it up and go back to being brothers.''

    JacobAnderson2Senior linebacker Jacob Anderson leads Washburn in tackles heading into Saturday's Turnpike Tussle at Emporia State. [File photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

     CoreyThomasFormer Topeka High standout Corey Thomas, in action against Northeastern State in 2019, is coming off a six-catch game for Emporia State against Pittsburg State. [Photo courtesy of ESU Athletics]

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

    Rick Peterson

    THE PENNANT PLAYER PROFILETSN gold partner Pennant

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers Sept. 27, 2021

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Lois DeeterLois Deeter

    LOIS DEETER, Seaman

    A junior former state medalist and Centennial League champion, Deeter captured her first city individual girls golf championship last Monday at Western Hills, shooting an even-par 70 to win the city title by a five-stroke margin over Washburn Rural's Kaitlyn Crough, a former city champ.

    JarinSandersJarin Sanders

    JARIN SANDERS, Shawnee Heights

    Sanders, a senior running back, had a career night last Friday as Shawnee Heights picked up its first football victory of the season, a 54-6 romp past Kansas City-Schlagle. Sanders carried the ball 15 times for 178 yards and scored five touchdowns as the T-Birds improved to 1-3.

  • Rottinghaus stars as No. 1 WU takes 3-1 win over No. 7 Jennies

    Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

    Senior libero Faith Rottinghaus tied Washburn University's single-match dig record and three Ichabods finished with double-digit kills as No. 1 Washburn volleyball won another top-10 battle on Saturday with a four-set victory at No. 7 Central Missouri.

    Washburn defeated the Jennies, 25-14, 19-25, 25-19, 25-23, improving to 12-1 overall and 4-0 in the MIAA.

    FaithFormer Shawnee Heights standout Faith Rottinghaus tied Washburn's school record for single-match digs with 51 in Saturday's 3-1 win at Central Missouri. [File photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Rottinghaus, a former Shawnee Heights state champ, dominated defensively as her 51 digs tied the program's single-match record, which another Heights grad, Erica Cowhick, set in 2006 in a five-set match at Pittsburg State.

    Rottinghaus is now the record-holder for the most digs in a four-set match, finishing with seven more than Cowhick did in 2006 against Northwest Missouri.


     
    With the score knotted up at three to start the match, Washburn went in front on a service error by Central Missouri (10-2, 3-1) and led for the remainder of the opening set. The Ichabods won six of the final eight points as they cruised to an 11-point victory.
     
    The Jennies jumped out to an 10-3 advantage in the second set, thanks to a 7-0 scoring run. Genna Berg put an end to the run with a kill and the Ichabods started to chip away at the deficit, winning five of the next seven points to pull within four at 12-8.

    UCM responded with another mini-run to create some space at 16-9. Washburn continued to fight and got within three points at 17-14 and then at 22-19, but were unable to complete the comeback as Central Missouri evened the match with its 25-19 win.
     
    Allison Maxwell hammered down a kill to start the third set and Washburn quickly took a 4-1 lead. Central Missouri got within one at 6-5, but a 6-1 scoring run and then a 7-1 scoring run by the Ichabods pushed their lead to 22-12. Washburn held off a late 7-2 rally by the Jennies and won the set by six points on a Jennies service error.
     
    The fourth set went back and forth early before the Ichabods went on a 4-1 run to go in front, 8-6.

  • Ichabods outlast Griffons, 47-41, improve to 3-1 on the year

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    The offensive units for Washburn University and Missouri Western combined for 1,116 yards and 88 points Saturday at Yager Stadium.

    But the Ichabod defense came up with just enough big plays to help Washburn outlast Western, 47-41.

    Mitch SchurigWashburn quarterback Mitch Schurig threw for 388 yards and five TDs in the Ichabods' 47-41 MIAA win over Missouri Western. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Washburn allowed 584 total yards, including 448 passing yards and four touchdowns from Griffons quarterback Anthony Vespo, and the Ichabods trailed three times, but Brooks Peavler and Marquise Manning came up with big second-half interceptions to help turn the tide as WU improved to 3-1 overall and in the MIAA.

    "They're a good team and they came out and threw the ball on us a little bit, but luckily our offense put up a lot of points for us and we got the stops when we needed to,'' said Peavler, a former Hayden standout.

    With Washburn nursing a 41-34 lead late in the third quarter, Manning picked off Vespo at the Ichabod 17 and the Ichabods capitalized with an eight-play, 83-yard scoring drive, capped by a 5-yard Will Evans touchdown to put Washburn in front 47-34 with 11:21 remaining.

  • Ichabods looking for bounce-back win against Griffons

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    There's no doubt that last week's 28-24 MIAA road loss at then-No. 23-ranked Nebraska-Kearney was a gut punch for Washburn University's football team.

    It's a game Ichabod coach Craig Schurig and his team knows that it could have and perhaps should have won, but now the key for 2-1 Washburn is to bounce back with a strong effort in Saturday's 1 p.m. MIAA Family Day contest against 2-1 Missouri Western at Yager Stadium.

    Washburn took a 24-21 lead on a Kameron Lake field goal with 8:34 left to go in the game, but 3-0 Nebraska-Kearney got the game-winning touchdown from quarterback TJ Davis with less than a minute remaining.

    "We knew it was going to be close and we knew Kearney is good,'' Schurig said. "I felt like it was a good football game live, obviously, and then afterwards you're like, 'Man, we left some points on the field,' and that ended up costing us.

    "Defensively we got them in third and long, which you wanted, and they made the plays, so your hat's off to them. It was frustrating, but you're also like, 'We've got a good team, we've got to rebound.' This conference, week-in and week-out you've got to be ready.''

    Mitch SchurigWashburn senior quarterback Mitch Schurig has passed for 732 yards and six touchdowns entering Saturday's home tilt against Missouri Western. [File photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Ichabod senior quarterback Mitch Schurig has completed 52 of 87 passes for 732 yards and 6 touchdowns while sophomore Taylon Peters has carried the ball 39 times for 351 yards and three TDs. Senior James Letcher Jr. has caught 14 passes for 258 yards and two scores.

    Senior linebacker Jacob Anderson leads Washburn with 17 tackles (13 solo).

    The Griffons, who beat Washburn 46-21 in 2019, have won their last two games, rallying from a 28-7 deficit against Emporia State with 31 second-half points to post a 38-37 win over the Hornets. It was the second straight game the Griffons trailed at the half before coming back for the win.

    Missouri Western has outscored its opponents 82-23 in the second half, including a 48-10 advantage in the third quarter.

    The Griffons' opponents have outscored Western 69-24 in the first half and 38-7 in the second quarter.

    All tickets for Saturday's game must be pre-purchased. There will be no walk-up ticket sales at the gate on Saturday. Tickets are available at wutickets.com.

    Washburn will be on the road at Emporia State on Oct. 2 (1 p.m.).

  • WU's Maxwell not big on stats, but reaching 1,000 kills a highlight

    Rick Peterson

    THE PENNANT PLAYER PROFILETSN gold partner PennantBy RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    About the only stat Washburn University senior volleyball star Allison Maxwell pays a lot of attention to is the final score.

    "It's pretty much the parents that pick out stats and will tell us afterwards, like, 'Oh, you had this many kills,' '' Maxwell said. "Then you're like, 'That's, cool,' but mainly we focus on winning and mostly having fun.''

     AllisonMaxwellESU2Washburn senior Allison Maxwell (8) delivers a kill in Tuesday's 3-0 MIAA volleyball sweep over Emporia State. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    But the 6-foot-1 middle hitter out of Jefferson City, Mo. is proud of the statistical milestone she reached last Saturday at Nebraska-Kearney, with Maxwell becoming the 23rd player in Washburn history to reach the 1,000 kill mark for their career.

    Even though Maxwell knew she was getting close to 1,000, it still kind of snuck up on her.

    "I think it was during preseason and I checked and I saw I had like 800 (893),'' Maxwell said. "I think that was the only time I ever checked and then I kind of forgot about it since then.''

    But after recording 13 kills in a 3-1 win over the then-No. 1 ranked Lopers, a win that propelled the 11-1 Ichabods to the top spot in this week's national rankings, Maxwell found out that she had more than one reason to celebrate that huge road win.

    "It was a really cool moment,'' Maxwell said. "We were in the locker room and one of my teammates looked at her phone and it was a notification on her phone and she goes, 'Oh my God, Alli got 1,000 kills tonight!' So we all just screamed and it was a good moment.''

  • 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.

  • Cair Paravel product Woolery stars as ESU soccer edges Ichabods

    Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

    Cair Paravel Latin product Hannah Woolery scored both goals as No. 6-ranked Emporia State soccer took a 2-1 victory in the first round of the Turnpike Tussle over Washburn University, handing the Ichabods their first loss of the season on Sunday afternoon at the ESU Pitch.
     
    Woolery got the Hornets on the board just under nine minutes into the match, scoring on a free kick from about 30 yards out that got over Ichabod keeper Raegan Wells into the left-hand side of the goal.

    HannahWooleryCair Paravel product Hannah Woolery scored both goals in Emporia State's 2-1 MIAA win over Washburn Sunday at Emporia. [ESU photography]

  • Lopers score late to hand Washburn football first loss, 28-24

    Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

    KEARNEY, Neb. -- Washburn University's football team lost for the first time in 2021 Saturday, falling to 2-1 after a 28-24 loss to No. 23-ranked Nebraska-Kearney at Cope Stadium. 

    Ichabod sophomore Kameron Lake put Washburn in front 24-21 on a 26-yard field goal with 8:34 to go in the game, but 3-0 Nebraska-Kearney pulled out the MIAA victory with an 8-yard touchdown run from quarterback TJ Davis with 57 seconds remaining. 

    The Lopers converted a third and 10 to the UNK 48 and then after a gain of two and an incomplete pass, the Lopers converted another third down play to the Ichabod 33 on a 17-yard pass completion with 3:35 to go.

    UNK converted another third down conversion to the Ichabod 18 with just under two minutes to play as Davis went over the 250-yard rushing mark on the play.

    Davis then completed a 10-yard pass and moved the ball to the Ichabod 8-yard-line before scoring the game-winning TD.

    Washburn took over at its 25 with 57 seconds to play, but after reaching the UNK 50, the Ichabod drive ended with an interception as Washburn had its five-game winning streak, dating back to 2019, snapped.

    James Letcher JrjpgWashburn's James Letcher Jr. makes a diving catch in Saturday's 28-24 road loss at Nebraska-Kearney. [Photo by Phil Anderson/Special to TSN]
     
    The Ichabods were outgained 483 to 372 in the game as the Lopers accounted for 317 yards on the ground with 258 on 30 carries by Davis, who rushed for three scores in the game and was 16 of 26 passing for 166 yards.

    The Ichabods opened the scoring with a seven-play, 84-yard drive, wrapped up by a Taylon Peters 4-yard touchdown run with 11:09 to play in the first quarter. The Lopers came right back with a scoring drive of their own with a 14-play, 78-yard drive on their only possession of the first 15 minutes.
     
    The Lopers put together a 99-yard scoring drive on six plays, highlighted by 30 and 62-yard runs by Davis, to take a 14-7 lead with 3:30 left in the first half.
     
    Washburn then marched 55 yards on six plays capped by Mitch Schurig's 2-yard toss to Connor Searcy, tying the score at 14.

    The score remained 14-all entering the fourth quarter before the Lopers scored on the second play of the frame on a 51-yard touchdown run by Davis with 14:20 to play in the game.
     
    Schurig hit James Letcher Jr. on a 35-yard strike to the UNK 3-yard line before Zach Willis scored to force another tie.
     
    The Ichabod defense forced a fumble when Davis was sacked by Braden Rose and it was recovered by Malick Fall at the UNK 30.

    A 28-yard run by Peters moved the ball to the UNK 11, but the Washburn drive stalled before WU took the lead on Lake's field goal.

    TaylonPeters 2Taylon Peters (21) is congratulated by his Washburn teammates after scoring the game's first touchdown Saturday at Nebraska-Kearney. [Photo by Phil Anderson/Special to TSN]

    Peters finished with 113 rushing yards and a touchdown on 13 carries while Schurig (Washburn Rural) was 17 of 31 passing for 214 yards and Letcher had five catches for 64 yards.

    Jacob Anderson (Topeka High) led the Ichabod defense with seven tackles while K.J. Turner, Landon Urban and Brooks Peavler (Hayden) all had six stops.

    Washburn will return to Topeka to face Missouri Western on Family Day on Sept. 25.
     
     

    Related Stories and Videos

  • No. 3 Ichabod volleyball knocks off No. 1 Nebraska-Kearney, 3-1

    Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

    KEARNEY, Neb. – A balanced offensive attack paired with a dominate defensive effort powered No. 3 Washburn University volleyball past top-ranked Nebraska-Kearney in four sets on Saturday, handing the Lopers their first loss of the season and snapping their 28-match home winning streak.

    The Ichabods jumped out to a 2-0 lead with 25-22 and 25-20 wins before the Lopers bounced back to take a 25-21 win in the third set.

    Washburn then closed out the match with a convincing 25-16 win to improved to 10-1 overall and 2-0 in the MIAA.

    Washburn's last victory against a No. 1-ranked team was a 3-1 win against Nebraska-Kearney on Sept. 15, 2018 in Topeka. That same season, the Ichabods defeated the Lopers again in four sets in Kearney on Oct. 20 when UNK was ranked No. 2 in the nation.
     
    Washburn made a statement to start the match and claimed the first four points. Nebraska-Kearney (9-1, 1-1 MIAA) quickly began to chip away at the deficit and took its first lead of the match at 8-7.

    Jalyn StevensonFreshman Jalyn Stevenson led a balanced Washburn attack with 16 kills as the No. 3-ranked Ichabods knocked off No. 1 Nebraska-Kearney, 3-1. [Rex Wolf file photo/TSN]

    Trailing 10-8, the Ichabods called a timeout and responded with a 5-0 scoring run to re-take the lead. UNK evened the score at 18-all, but a kill from JalynStevenson  started a 5-2 spurt for the Ichabods and Kelsey Gordon finished off the 25-22 set win with her seventh kill of the set.
     
    The script flipped for the start of the second set as the Lopers jumped out to a 5-1 lead, forcing an early Washburn timeout.

  • Washburn volleyball sweeps MIAA weekly awards

    Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

    No. 3-ranked Washburn University claimed all three of the MIAA's weekly volleyball awards Monday as seniors Allison Sadler, Faith Rottinghaus and Allison Maxwell were recognized for their performances on the court last weekend.

    The Ichabods (10-1, 2-0 MIAA) opened conference play on the road last week, sweeping Fort Hays State on Friday before taking down No. 1 Nebraska-Kearney in four sets on Saturday. The win against the Lopers marked the fourth victory over a No. 1-ranked opponent in Chris Herron's tenure at Washburn and the first since WU defeated UNK on Sept. 15, 2018 in Topeka.

    Allison SadlerAllison Sadler [Washburn Athletics]

    Sadler was named the MIAA Setter of the Week after she averaged 12.86 assists per set and finished the weekend with 90 total assists and zero errors for a .415 setting percentage. In the win at Nebraska-Kearney, she recorded a double-double with 58 assists and 12 digs to go with three assisted blocks and a service ace. This marks the second time in Sadler's career that she has earned an MIAA weekly award, as she was named the conference Specialist of the Week on Oct. 28, 2019.

  • Washburn volleyball top-ranked in latest AVCA national rankings

    Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

    For the first time in program history, Washburn University volleyball is the No. 1-ranked team in the AVCA national poll.

    The Ichabods hold a 10-1 record to start the season and are coming off a four-set victory at previously No. 1-ranked Nebraska-Kearney last Saturday at Kearney. 

    Prior to Monday, the highest Washburn had been ranked was No. 2 on four occasions. Washburn held down the No. 2 spot for the first three weeks of the 2008 season and then again in the seventh week during the 2010 season.

    The Ichabods received 25 first-place votes and tallied 1,077 total points as they moved up two places from last week's ranking.

    ChrisHerronChris Herron's Washburn University volleyball team has climbed to the No. 1 spot in the national rankings for the first time in program history. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Angelo State remains at No. 2 and Metro State-Denver jumped up three places to No. 3. Nebraska-Kearney fell down to No. 4 and Southwest Minnesota rounded out the top five after previously being ranked eighth.

    Joining the Ichabods and Lopers from the MIAA in the top 15 are Central Missouri at No. 7 and Northwest Missouri at No. 13. Central Oklahoma is receiving votes in the poll.

    Washburn will host Emporia State on Tuesday at Lee Arena before closing out the month at Central Missouri on Saturday.

  • Washburn volleyball sweeps ESU in debut as nation's No. 1 team

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Veteran Washburn University volleyball coach Chris Herron knows that being the No. 1 ranked team in NCAA Division II doesn't mean that anybody in the MIAA or across the D-II ranks are going to cut the Ichabods any slack.

    But Herron, whose team took the court Tuesday night as a No. 1 for the first time in program history, also knows that being top-ranked is a nice reward for the school and Washburn players past and present who got the Ichabods to this point.

    "It's cool for the program,'' Herron said after the Ichabods made their debut as a No. 1 with a 25-18, 25-15, 25-15 home MIAA win over Emporia State. "It's cool for our kids and all these kids that have come before, the (Dani) McHenrys and the Corrinne Stringers and Alyssa Carneys and all these kids that are from Topeka, Sarah Vicory and those kind of folks.

    "Those folks helped build this program, so it's cool for them, too, and I hope that all of them are sharing in that. It only took us 20 years to get it.''

    AllisonMaxwellEsuWashburn senior Allison Maxwell registers one of her 13 kills in Tuesday's 3-0 win over Emporia State. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Herron said the key now is for the Ichabods to continue doing the things that got them to No. 1.

    "It's pretty cool, but what you have to do is just eliminate the noise, basically,'' Herron said. "You've got to manage all those expectations that now come with that.''

  • 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.''

     

  • Shawnee Heights, Washburn star Ballentine picked up by Lions

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

    CoreyBallentineCorey Ballentine

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

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

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

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

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

    Rick Peterson

    THE PENNANT PLAYER PROFILETSN gold partner Pennant

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Ichabod volleyball moves up to No. 3 in AVCA national rankings

    Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

    Washburn University's volleyball team moved up one place in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association rankings to become the No. 3 team in the nation.

    The Ichabods begin MIAA play this week on the road at Fort Hays State Friday and at No. 1-ranked Nebraska-Kearney on Saturday.

    Washburn went 3-1 last weekend at the Mountain Lion Invitational to improve to 8-1 on the young season. The Ichabods' only loss came on Saturday to then-ranked No. 15 Colorado School of Mines.

    dsc 0755 9315 1200 1200 100Freshman outside hitter Jalyn Stevenson celebrates a kill in a recent Washburn University volleyball match. The Ichabods moved up to No. 3 in the latest AVCA national rankings. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Nebraska-Kearney moved up two places to take over the No. 1 spot in the national rankings with a perfect 7-0 record.

    Angelo State remains at No. 2 with Washburn No. 3. Concordia St. Paul and Wayne State round out the top five.

  • Ichabods' Lake named MIAA Special Teams Athlete of the Week

    Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

    Washburn University sophomore place-kicker Kameron Lake has been named the MIAA Special Teams Athlete of the Week after his performance in the Ichabods' 29-10 win over Central Missouri last Thursday.

    A former Free State standout, Lake went 3 of 4 on field goal attempts against Central Missouri, connecting from distances of 32, 39 and a career-long 48 yards.

    KameronLakeWashburn sophomore kicker Kameron Lake has been named the MIAA Special Teams Athlete of the Week. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Lake's 48-yard field goal is tied for eighth on the Ichabod distance. He also averaged 64.1 yards per kickoff with three touchbacks in seven attempts and was two for two on extra points.

    The Ichabods will be back in action Saturday when they travel to Nebraska-Kearney, which moved up to No. 23 in this week's AFCA Coaches Poll. The Ichabods are receiving votes just outside of the top 25.

     

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers Sept. 13, 2021

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    E TJMpXXIAINwEhCamden Barta

    CAMDEN BARTA, Seaman

    A senior quarterback/defensive back, Barta accumulated 285 total offensive yards, including 244 passing yards, as Seaman's football team improved to 2-0 with a 35-14 win over Hayden. Barta passed for three touchdowns and also had a pass interception.

     E0eklkQXoAE1xPyBethany Druse

    BETHANY DRUSE, Seaman

    A returning Class 5A state medalist, Druse finished second in last Saturday's Joe Schrag Invitational cross country meet at the Kanza Park Course in a five-kilometer time of 19 minutes, 45.51 seconds, leading Seaman to the girls team championship by a 30-41 margin over Blue Valley.

    TorreyHorakTorrey Horak

    TORREY HORAK, Rossville

    Horak, a senior, rushed for 163 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries and completed 16 of 26 pass attempts for 239 yards and two TDs as the defending 2A state-champion Bulldawgs improved to 2-0 with a 56-14 romp past Rock Creek.

    TannerNewkirkmugTanner Newkirk

    TANNER NEWKIRK, Hayden

    Newkirk, who won the Class 4A state cross country championship last fall at Wamego Country Club, returned to that course last Saturday for the Wamego Invitational, posting a 14-second victory in a field of 114 runners, clocking a five-kilometer time of 15 minutes, 47.50 seconds.

     21schuckman khloeKhloe Schuckman

    KHLOE SCHUCKMAN, Washburn University

    A freshman, the Bishop Carroll product scored two goals, her first two goals of her college career, over the final 20 minutes of last Thursday's 2-1 road victory at Missouri-Saint Louis, helping Washburn University's soccer team improve to 3-0 on the season.

     korysuttonmugKory Sutton

    KORY SUTTON, Shawnee Heights

    Hampered by injuries in the 2020 cross country season, Sutton posted his second individual victories in as many races this fall, winning the boys title in last Saturday's Topeka West Joe Schrag Invitational in a personal-record five-kilometer time of 15:58.84.

  • Rottinghaus named MIAA Defensive Athlete of the Week

    Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

    Washburn University senior libero Faith Rottinghaus has been named the MIAA Volleyball Defensive Athlete of the Week, the conference office announced Monday afternoon.

    FaithRottinghausmugFaith Rottinghaus

    Rottinghaus, who helped Shawnee Heights win the Class 5A state title in 2016, passed the 2,000 career digs milestone last week as she helped the Ichabods to a 3-1 record at the Mountain Lion Invitational.

    Rottinghaus averaged 5.29 digs/set in four matches and scooped up 20 digs against No. 15 Colorado School of Mines to reach the milestone. She was also named to the All-Tournament team and finished the weekend with 74 digs, 57 receptions with zero errors, five service aces with one error in 48 total attempts and eight assists.

    Rottinghaus now has 2,005 digs and is 88 away from moving up to second on Washburn's all-time record list. Shawnee Heights product Erica Cowhick (2004-07) is Washburn's career digs record holder with 2,464.

    The Ichabods will begin MIAA play this weekend on the road at Fort Hays State (Sept. 17) and No. 3 Nebraska-Kearney (Sept. 18).

  • Schuckman keys come-from-behind victory as WU improves to 3-0

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Led by freshman forward KhloeSchuckman, Washburn University's soccer team scored two goals in the final 20 minutes Thursday to pull out a 2-1 road victory over Missouri-St. Louis, improving to 3-0 on the season.

    Washburn's offense struggled to produce any shots until the 61st minutes, but the Ichabod defense held strong, allowing only one goal to keep WU in the game.

    At the 21st minute, Kelli Junglewaelter scored off the bench to give the Tritons a 1-0 halftime lead, but that would be the lone goal of the day for the hosts.

    Freshman Carlee Thompson (Omaha, Neb.) and junior MattieMiano (Olathe) played all 90 minutes on defense to keep Washburn within reach. 

    Khloe SchuckmanKhloe Schuckman

  • After time away, Sadler setting herself, WU volleyball up for success

    Rick Peterson

     THE PENNANT PLAYER PROFILETSN gold partner Pennant

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    This past spring was one of the toughest times of Allison Sadler's life.

    But after surviving that stretch, the senior setter for Washburn University's No. 4-ranked volleyball team is determined to make this fall one of her best.

    When the 2020 fall season was wiped out by COVID-19 and pushed back to an unofficial/abbreviated season in the spring, Sadler was left trying to navigate her first semester of law school while also continuing to play volleyball.

    AllisonSadlernewAfter getting through a tough spring semester, Washburn senior setter Allison Sadler says she is enjoying herself more than ever. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

  • Ichabod defense shines as Washburn rolls past Mules, 29-10

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    The last time Washburn University played Central Missouri back in 2019, the Mules hung 55 points on the Ichabods in a 55-27 victory.

    Washburn's defense turned the tables in a big way Thursday night, limiting Central Missouri to 187 total yards and one touchdown as the Ichabods improved to 2-0 with a 29-10 victory in their home opener in front of 6,354 fans at Yager Stadium.

    The Ichabod 'D' set the tone in the first half, allowing Washburn to take a 16-10 lead to the locker room at halftime despite committing four first-half turnovers. WU then pitched a shutout in the second half as the Ichabods pulled away for the decisive 19-point victory. 

    "We definitely wanted to get back at these guys,'' junior safety Kevin Neal Jr. said. "We've been working super hard with the COVID year and everything, so we wanted to come out here and put our best foot forward and that's what we did tonight.''

    ChristianClarkWashburn cornerback Christian Clark, a Shawnee Heights product, comes up with a diving interception in the first half of the Ichabods' 29-10 MIAA win over Central Missouri. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Central Missouri, which fell to 0-2, was held to just 70 rushing yards on 28 attempts and 117 passing yards on a 15 of 33 performance.

    "The defense just played lights out,'' Washburn coach Craig Schurig said. "We were just all over the place on offense. It was like, 'Man, we should be up.' We had good field position and just not putting in points, but the second half I thought our defense even played better than the first half and it felt like we were playing downhill and it would eventually break.''

    Former Shawnee Heights standout Christian Clark stopped one Mules scoring threat with a diving interception and senior Marquise Manning stopped another threat with an interception and 41-yard return.

    "We knew we had them,'' Manning said. "We out-played them physically and we knew coming in we had a really good team.''

    Neal paced the Ichabods with six solo tackles while former Topeka High standout Jacob Anderson, a senior, added five stops, including two tackles for loss.

    Despite its first-half turnover woes (three interceptions and an inadvertant touch on a punt), Washburn rolled up 485 yards of total offense while scoring the final 23 points of the game.

    MitchSchurigUCM

    Senior quarterback Mitch Schurig threw for 249 yards and three TDs on a 19 of 34 night (two interceptions) while Washburn rushed for 236 yards on 43 attempts.

  • Turner, WU looking to take next step after 64-point opening win

    Rick Peterson

     THE PENNANT PLAYER PROFILETSN gold partner Pennant

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    K.J. Turner grew up in Texas and even started his college football career there.

    But the Mesquite, Texas native has found a second home in Kansas after being lured to the state to finish his career at Washburn.

    "I played at Tyler Junior College and I transferred here in February of 2019 and it was a great decision,'' said Turner, a 5-foot-10, 190-pound defensive back. "I came here and met a lot of fun guys and a lot of them are my close friends now. That's really what's made the experience even better.''

    TurnerWashburn senior K.J. Turner and the Ichabods will be looking to improve to 2-0 when WU hosts Central Missouri Thursday night. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

  • Washburn volleyball jumps to No. 4 in AVCA national rankings

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    After opening the 2021 season with a perfect 5-0 record, including two victories over ranked opponents, Washburn volleyball moved up four places in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25 Poll to No. 4 in the nation.

    Last week the Ichabods swept Cameron, Minot State and then No. 19-ranked Harding and also picked up a pair of four-set wins over Colorado-Colorado Springs and No. 15-ranked Northern State. 

    Chris HerronChris Herron's Washburn University volleyball team has climbed to the No. 4 spot in the national rankings. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Concordia-St. Paul moved up one place to claim the No. 1 spot in the AVCA rankings while Angelo State moved down to second.

    There are now four undefeated MIAA teams represented in the top 10 of the AVCA rankings as Nebraska-Kearney checks in at No. 3, Northwest Missouri No. 8 and Central Missouri No. 10.

    Washburn will travel to Colorado Springs, Colo. this week to play four matches in the Mountain Lion Invitational, starting Friday at 9 a.m. against Lubbock Christian.

    AVCA NATIONAL VOLLEYBALL RANKINGS 

    RankSchool (First-Place Votes)Total Points Adjusted

    2021 Record

    Previous Week Rank
    1 Concordia - St. Paul (20) 1114 4-0 2
    2 Angelo State (21) 1086 4-0 1
    3 Nebraska-Kearney (2) 979 4-0 4
    4 Washburn 911 5-0 8
    5 Lewis 895 4-0 6
    6 Cal State San Bernardino (1) 860 3-1 3
    7 Tampa 718 3-1 5
    8 NW Missouri State 698 4-0 16
    9 Western Washington 648 3-0 14
    10 Central Missouri 619 4-0 17
    11 Minnesota Duluth 610 3-1 7
    12 Oklahoma Baptist 594 3-1 9
    13 St. Cloud State 555 4-0 19
    14 Winona State 496 4-0 NR
    15 Colorado School of Mines 464 3-1 12
    16 Southwest Minnesota State 441 4-0 NR
    17 Wayne State (Neb.) 347 3-0 24
    18 Hillsdale 324 2-2 13
    19 Northern State 287 2-2 15
    20 MSU Denver 277 2-2 11
    21 West Florida 231 4-0 NR
    22 Colorado Mesa 208 2-2 10
    23 Texas-Tyler 192 4-0 20
    24 Simon Fraser (3) 162 4-0 NR
    25 Rockhurst 146 3-1 25


    Others receiving votes and listed on two or more ballots: Harding 128; Ferris State 107; Texas A&M-Kingsville 98; Regis 97; Alaska-Anchorage 93; Gannon 84; Chaminade 79; Michigan Tech 62; Missouri-St Louis 50; West Texas A&M 49; Cal Poly Pomona 44; Southern Indiana 43; Wheeling 43; Lynn 39; Nova Southeastern 32; Cal State L.A. 31; Wingate 28; Hawai'i-Hilo 27; Palm Beach Atlantic 25; Northern Michigan 20; Barry 17; Grand Valley State 17; Central Oklahoma 7; Colo State-Pueblo 6; Embry-Riddle Aeronautical (FL) 5.

    Related Stories and Videos

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Dani McHenryDani (McHenry) Schmidt [Washburn Athletics]

  • 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.

  • Rural's Carter takes individual win in Manhattan Invitational

    Rick Peterson

     TopSports.news

    Washburn Rural junior Madeline Carter claimed the girls individual title in Saturday's Manhattan Invitational cross country meet at Warner Park, posting a five-kilometer time of 18 minutes, 52.6 seconds to win by nearly 34 seconds.

    Madeline CarterWashburn Rural junior Madeline Carter, last year's city champion, won the girls individual title in Saturday's Manhattan Invitational. [File photo by Craig Strever/Special to TSN]

    Carter was one of three Junior Blues in the top seven places individually as Washburn Rural tied Manhattan for the team title with 58 points. The Indians won the championship on a tiebreaker (higher sixth runner).

    Payton Fink placed sixth for Rural (20:02.3) while Khloi Bird was seventh (20:03.7). 

    Seaman placed third as a team, just four points behind Manhattan and Washburn Rural, with Bethany Druse leading the way with a fifth-place finish (19:56.3) while Anna Becker finished ninth (20:13.1).

    Washburn Rural and Seaman placed third and fourth in the boys team standings, just a point apart (120 and 121).

    Seaman's Jace Moore paced the local contingent with a 13th-place finish (17:17.4) while Hayden Keller placed 17th (17:28.7) to lead Washburn Rural.

    MANHATTAN INVITATIONAL

  • No. 8 Ichabod volleyball team goes perfect 4-0 in home tourney

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    The No. 8-ranked Washburn University volleyball team capped a 4-0 run in the Washburn Invitational with a 3-1 win over No. 15 Northern State Saturday at Lee Arena.

    The Ichabods, now 5-0 on the season, took a 25-14, 25-15, 25-27, 25-20 win over the Wolves after dispatching Minot State, 25-11, 25-10, 25-11 earlier in the day.

    MaxwellWashburn senior Allison Maxwell (right) celebrates a kill with her teammates Saturday at Lee Arena. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    The win over Northern State capped a stretch of five matches in three days, with WU playing a regular-season match against Cameron on Thursday before opening tournament play with wins over Colorado-Colorado Springs and No. 19 Harding on Friday.

    The third-set loss to the Wolves was one of just two sets the Ichabods dropped in their season-opening five matches.

    "I'm very happy,'' Washburn coach Chris Herron said. "I thought we played really, really well against (Northern State) in the first two sets especially. We just got in one rotation twice where we couldn't get out of it and they took advantage of that in the third set and that was the difference in that set, but overall we played really well.''

    "We did a lot of nice things, so I'm extremely happy.''

    Ichabod senior Allison Maxwell said Washburn enjoyed the busy stretch of matches.

    "We love to play,'' Maxwell said. "Practice is definitely a vital part of it all, but it was really nice to play and this was a great weekend for us. I'm really happy with our performance.''

    Genna BergWashburn senior Genna Berg was named the most valuable player in the Washburn Invitational after helping lead the Ichabods to a perfect 4-0 record in the tournament. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Maxwell was one of four Ichabods that earned post-tournament recognition, with Maxwell and senior teammates Kelsey Gordon and Faith Rottinghaus named to the all-tournament team while Washburn senior Genna Berg was named the tournament's most valuable player.

    Berg contributed 19 kills and eight digs in the win over Northern State.

    Washburn jumped out to a 12-4 first-set lead against Northern State on a kill from freshman Jalyn Stevenson and the Wolves got no closer than four points the rest of the set, with a kill from Maxwell closing out the 11-point win.

    The Ichabods jumped out to 15-5 lead in the second set and went up 17-7 on a kill from Sydney Fitzgibbons and 20-11 on a kill from freshman Payton Van Veen and Northern State got no closer than seven points the remainder of the set.

    Washburn had a set point at 25-24 in the third set to close out the sweep, but the Wolves scored three straight to take the 27-25 victory and force a fourth set.

    Northern State led early in the fourth set, but Washburn took the lead for good on a Maxwell kill and Berg, senior Taylor Antonowich and Fitzgibbons followed with kills to put WU in front, 10-6.

    Back to back kills from Fitzgibbons put Washburn up 23-16 and the Ichabods went on to close out the five-point win. 

    WASHBURN INVITATIONAL

    Most valuable player -- Genna Berg, Washburn University.

    All-tournament team

    Washburn University -- Kelsey Gordon, Allison Maxwell, Faith Rottinghaus. Northern State -- Sally Gaul, Taylor Buckley. Cameron -- Alanni Carter. Rockhurst -- Morgan Conner, Averi Vosmastic. Harding -- Ally Stoner, Libby Hinton. William Jewell -- Lilly Johnson. Colorado-Colorado Springs -- Hannah Ammerman.   

  • No. 8 Ichabod volleyball opens '21 season with 3-0 sweep

    Rick Peterson

    WUvolleyballjube2Washburn's volleyball team celebrates a point during Thursday's 3-0 win over Cameron. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

    TopSports.news

    The No. 8-Washburn University volleyball team opened its 2021 season with a 3-0 sweep over Cameron Thursday night at Lee Arena, rolling to a 25-11, 25-16, 25-9 victory.

    Washburn never trailed during the entire match, starting things off by taking the first three points of the opening set. Washburn claimed eight of the final 10 points, capped off by a service ace from Jalyn Stevenson.
     
    The second set started similar to the first as Washburn took a 3-0 early lead. Cameron (0-1) recorded back-to-back points to make it 3-2 before the Ichabods rattled off 11-straight points to take a 14-2 advantage.

    Washburn led by as many as 15 when the Aggies put together two scoring runs of four points to chip away at the deficit, but it wasn't enough as the Ichabods closed out the second-set victory on a kill by GennaBerg.
     
    The Ichabods quickly took control of the third set, going up 6-1 and then extending their lead to 14-5 thanks to a four-point scoring run. Washburn held Cameron to under 10 points and secured the sweep with a 25-9 decision.
     
    Washburn had a .341 hitting percentage while Cameron finished the match at -.072 percent. The Ichabods recorded 41 kills and the Aggies knocked down 19.
     
    Berg landed 10 kills for the Ichabods and was a part of three blocks at the net. Allison Maxwell and Kelsey Gordon each knocked down eight kills and hit above .429. Setter Allison Sadler achieved a double-double with 18 assists and 12 digs. In the back court, Faith Rottinghaus had 13 digs and added four assists.
     
    Alanni Carter led the Aggies with eight kills and added four digs and two blocks. Sydney Bolin and Noemie Narbonne each recorded eight digs.

    Washburn opened play in the Washburn Invitational Friday morning with a 25-5, 24-26, 25-11, 25-13 win over Colorado-Colorado Springs.

    The Ichabods are slated to play No. 19 Harding at 6:30 p.m. Friday before playing a pair of matches on Saturday, taking on Minot State at 11 a.m. and No. 15 Northern State at 4 p.m.

    The Ichabods began play in the Washburn Invitational Friday morning with a 3-1 win over Colorado-Colorado Springs.

  • Lynch goal gives Washburn soccer 1-0 season-opening victory

    Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

    The long wait ended for Washburn University's women's soccer team Thursday night, with the Ichabods opening their 2021 season with a 1-0 victory over William Jewell at Yager Stadium.

    Tera LynchTera Lynch

    In a slow first half, the Washburn defense kept the Cardinals to just one off-target shot while the Ichabods held possession on William Jewell's side of the field for a lot of the half, taking three shots on goal.

    The game remained scoreless into the second hallf before a Washburn possession five minutes into the second half in the Cardinals box led to a goal from senior Washburn senior Tera Lynch off an assist from Khloe Shuckman. 

    Ichabod goalkeeper RaeganWells needing to make just one save en route to her sixth career shutout (second against William Jewell) in the first game of her sophomore campaign.
     
    With the win against the Cardinals, Washburn takes the 2-1 series lead and a two-game win streak.

    The Ichabods will be back at Yager Stadium to host Augustana on Sunday, Sept. 12 (1 p.m.).

  • Ichabod football blitzes Lincoln 76-12 in season-opener

    Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- After losing the 2020 football season to COVID-19, Washburn University kicked off 2021 in grand style Thursday night, scoring the final 55 points of the game in a 76-12 road rout over the Lincoln Blue Tigers.

    Washburn (1-0, 1-0 MIAA) rolled to its fifth-highest single-game point total in program history in the 64-point win. 
     
    After a punt snap was muffed by the Blue Tigers, it took the Ichabods just two plays to score their first points of the season as Taylon Peters scored on a 2-yard run with 13:01 to play in the first quarter.
     
    After a Lincoln punt, Washburn marched 68 yards in five plays, capped by a 20-yard touchdown pass from Mitch Schurig to Jace Williams as Washburn went in front, 14-0.

    Lincoln got on the board on its next drive on a 74-yard touchdown pass from Zamar Brake to Chrissuhn Robinson.

    ZachWillisWashburn’s Zach Willis scores a second-quarter touchdown in the Ichabods’ 76-12 season-opening win over Lincoln Thursday night in Jefferson City, Mo. [Photo by Phil Anderson/Special to TSN]
     
    The Ichabods used a five-play, 71-yard drive to push their lead to 21-6, with Zach Willis scoring on a 1-yard plunge. WU coughed the ball up on its next drive and the Blue Tigers cut the WU lead to 21-12.

    Kameron Lake connected on a 23-yard field goal with 4:35 to play in the first half to put Washburn up 24-12.

    Then, after the Ichabods forced a punt, Washburn went 61 yards in six plays for a 1-yard Connor Searcy TD to open up a 31-12 advantage. 

    WUpuntblockWashburn blocks a second-quarter punt in the Ichabods’ 76-12 season-opening win at Lincoln on Thursday night in Jefferson City, Mo. [Photo by Phil Anderson/Special to TSN]

    Washburn's special team unit blocked a Blue Tigers' punt to take over at the Lincoln 15 and Schurig found Williams for his second score of the game as Washburn took a 38-12 lead into the halftime break.

    The second half was all Wasburn as the Ichabods outscored Lincoln by a 38-0 margin.

    In the third quarter Washburn got a 31-yard scoring run from Peters, a 29-yard touchdown pass from Kellen Simoncic to JJ Letcher and a second scoring pass from Simoncic to Washburn Rural product Hunter Browning on a 15-yard pass as the Ichabods led 59-12 at the end of three quarters.

    WU got a career-long 41-yard field goal from Lane and a pick six from Micah Skebo before Percy Mitchell ended the scoring with a 4-yard TD with 7:36 remaining.

    Schurig finished 16 of 22 passing for 269 yards and the two scores to Williams while Letcher led the Ichabods with 116 receiving yards and one touchdown and Williams had 75 yards receiving on four catches. Peters led the Ichabod ground attack with 75 yards on 10 carries.
     
    Defensively the Ichabods were led by Topeka High product Jacob Anderson's five stops as Washburn held the Blue Tigers to 203 total yards. 
    Washburn finished with 28 first downs compared to Lincoln's six.

    The Ichabods will make their home debut next Thursday, hosting Central Missouri at Yager Stadium.

  • Rottinghaus, Ichabod volleyball stoked to end long layoff

    Rick Peterson

    THE PENNANT PLAYER PROFILETSN gold partner Pennant

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

  • WU football set to end 656-day layoff at Lincoln Thursday night

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    A layoff of 656 days will end Thursday night for Washburn University's football team, with the Ichadods traveling to Jefferson City, Mo. to face Lincoln in WU's 2021 MIAA season-opener (6 p.m. kickoff).

    Washburn has been idle since ending the '19 season with a 57-41 win over Nebraska-Kearney.

    Prior to the 2020 season being canceled due to the COVID pandemic, 1895 was the last time the Ichabod football team had a season in which no games counted toward its record.

    And although the Ichabods have continued to practice off and on over the last year-plus, Washburn coach Craig Schurig said it's way past time to play a game.

    "If you look at all the practices we've had, it was around 25 in the fall, 25 or so in the spring plus the 20-plus we've had now, so that's about 75 practices without a game,'' Schurig said. "That's a lot of practice, so even the coaches are like, 'Yeah, we're ready to play.'

    "Usually coaches are like, 'We could use another week,' but we're ready.''

    Schurig said he feels like his team is coming off a very productive fall camp.

    "We feel like our practices went well,'' Schurig said. "We have a pretty veteran group, so it was pretty smooth. We just feel like we're prepared and hopefully we play well.''

    James Letcher JrjpgJames Letcher Jr. is top returner for Washburn's football team, earning honorable mention All-America honors in 2019 for the 6-5 Ichabods. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

  • Hutchinson to transition into new role with Washburn athletics

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Topekan Matt Hutchinson, a former multi-sport standout at Hayden, has been named associate athletic director/director of development at Washburn University.

    Matt HutchinsonMatt Hutchinson

    Washburn director of athletics Loren Ferré and president of Washburn alumni association and foundation Marshall Meek announced the hiring of Hutchinson, who will be moving from his previous position of assistant athletics director for external relations, a position he held at WU since 2018.
     
    "I'm incredibly excited for this new role within athletics and to join the Washburn alumni association and foundation team," Hutchinson said in a Washburn release. "I'm thankful to Marshall Meek and Loren Ferré for the opportunity. I was fortunate to grow up around Washburn and I've considered it home for a long time. This is a unique opportunity to work with an administration, coaches, and supporters that I've admired."  

  • A kid's dream could become a reality for Ichabods' Jace Williams

    Rick Peterson

    THE PENNANT PLAYER PROFILETSN gold partner Pennant

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    It was the kind of conversation that children have with their parents all the time, expressing their hopes and dreams for the future.

    But it's starting to look like what Washburn University receiver Jace Williams promised his father, Jason, some 15 years ago could actually come true.

    "Growing up I remember telling my dad before bed, 'Dad, I'm going to be a professional football player, I'm going to be a professional athlete,' '' Williams said. "At the time I didn't know which sport I was going to play, but I knew I wanted to be a pro athlete and my dad would just be like, 'OK, work hard and we'll see.' ''

    With a big senior season what was once a pipe dream could be well within reach for the 6-foot-5, 235-pounder, who has already caught the eye of NFL scouts.

    JaceWilliamsWashburn senior receiver Jace Williams has received attention from  NFL scouts heading into the 2021 season. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

    "He's just a phenomenal athlete, a very fast learner, and I think he can truly play on at the next level,'' Washburn coach Craig Schurig said of Williams. "He just needs to get a shot at it.

    "That's kind of a hot position right now, that H-back, tall receiver, and he's got a unique skill set.''

  • Ichabod infielder Tamiya turns setbacks to success

    Rick Peterson

    By ISAAC DEER

    TopSports.news

    Teagan Tamiya, a redshirt freshman infielder for Washburn University, has never had it easy in baseball.

    Tamiya stands at around 5-foot-5 and weighs in at 120 pounds, but luckily in the sport of baseball, there aren’t any height or weight restrictions.

    Tamiya told TopSports.news that he's had some setbacks in his journey, but said, "Size does not limit your effort and passion for the game.”

    WUTamiya 2Teagan Tamiya, who grew up in Hawaii, is a redshirt infielder for the Washburn University baseball team.

  • Football cultivates even closer bond between Peavler brothers

    Rick Peterson

    THE PENNANT PLAYER PROFILETSN gold partner Pennant

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Brothers Brooks and Brent Peavler are extremely close, and football has made them a lot closer... literally.

    Not only are the former Hayden stars the only brothers on the Washburn University roster, but they both play the same position, inside linebacker, with Brooks a senior starter and Brent one of his top backups.

    It's a situation that works for the Peavlers.

     E9uqG UWUBEi8J Former Hayden stars Brooks Peavler (left) and his younger brother, Brent, are set to play their final season together for Washburn University's football team. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    "We get along really well,'' said Brooks a 6-foot-2, 235-pound six-year senior. "He's one of my best friends I'd say. We're are very competitive, always kind of talking smack on each other, but he knows and I know I've got two years on him, I've just got more experience, and I'll try to help him out whenever I can.

    "He's pretty independant, but if he needs something he can come ask me for anything and especially in football, asking about plays and what not.''

  • Anderson fired up to make the most of final season with Ichabods

    Rick Peterson

    THE PENNANT PLAYER PROFILETSN gold partner Pennant

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn University football coach Craig Schurig has never had to worry about firing up linebacker Jacob Anderson for a practice or game since the former Topeka High standout stepped on campus.

    "At first he was like a special teams phenom,'' Schurig said. "He was the best special teams player you could possibly have and then he made himself into a really good inside linebacker with his fire, his speed, his enthusiasm. He doesn't have an off switch.''

    E90t0FOWUAMz5OMJacob Anderson [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN] 

    That figures to be especially true this fall as the 5-foot-10, 200-pound six-year senior sets his sights on ending his collegiate career with a bang, beginning with next Thursday night's season-opener at Lincoln.

    "When our season got canceled in 2020 it was a really weird feeling knowing we wouldn't play for a year and there wasn't a doubt in my mind that I was going to come back and finish my career off the right way and give it everything I have one last season and get a senior day, get my last fall camp, get my last home game,'' Anderson said.

    "I just wanted to finish everything off the right way. There was no doubt that I wanted to do that.''

  • Washburn announces six-member 2021 Hall of Fame class

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    The Washburn University Athletic Department has announced its six-member 2021 Hall of Fame class, which will be enshrined on Oct. 9 in a morning ceremony prior to the Ichabods' MIAA football game against Fort Hays State.

    The Hall of Fame class of six accumulated nine All-America awards earned during their combined 29 years competing for Washburn teams.
     
    The induction class Kate Hampson, Matt Cahill, Joe Hastings, Zach Watkins, Sam Sissom and Logan Stutz will join the 149 former student-athletes, coaches and administrators who have been honored for their contributions to Washburn Athletics.

    The six former Washburn greats will also be recognized at halftime of the Oct. 9 football game against the Tigers.

    Washburn Hall of Fame capsules:
     
    Web_cahill.jpgMatt Cahill – Football – 1979-82
    Matt Cahill finished his career as WU's all-time leader in total tackles and assisted tackles on the Ichabod charts. In 1982 his 120 total tackles were the highest single-season tally in school history and his 69 assisted tackles were second that same season. He had a career-high 16 tackles against Nebraska-Kearney on Nov. 13, 1982. As a sophomore in 1980, he was fifth on the team in tackles with 65 total stops adding a fumble recovery. His junior season he recorded 64 tackles which was the second-highest total on the team, leading to his outstanding senior campaign.


  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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, 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

  • 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.''

  • Leap of faith pays off for Bruner, Washburn football

    Rick Peterson

    THE PENNANT PLAYER PROFILETSN gold partner Pennant

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Grant Bruner took a leap of faith in 2017 when he made the decision to play his college football at Washburn University.

    Not only was Bruner, a former All-Stater at Gretna High School, leaving his home state of Nebraska but came to Washburn without a scholarship, joining WU as a walk-on.

    It's a decision that has paid off for Bruner and the Ichabods.

    "Coming out of high school I wasn't a big camp guy, I didn't go to a lot of camps and I didn't have a lot of exposure,'' said Bruner, a 6-foot, 220-pound linebacker. "Coach (Eric) Eisenbarth (former WU assistant) came up and visited me and got me down here on a visit and just talking with coach (Craig) Schurig and then coach (Zach) Watkins was the big seller.

    "(Watkins) was a really good linebacker here and it was worth taking a chance coming down here as a walk-on. I knew I could compete at this level and I'm just glad that I chose Washburn. I wouldn't change anything.''

    Grant BrunerAfter coming to Washburn as a walk-on out of Gretna, Neb., junior linebacker Grant Bruner (43) led the Ichabods in tackles in 2019. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

  • Ichabods picked middle of the pack in MIAA football polls

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Washburn was tapped for middle-of-the-pack finishes in both MIAA preseason football polls released Tuesday as part of the conference's Media Day activities at the Kansas City Convention Center. 

    The Ichabods were picked sixth in the coaches poll and seventh in the media poll after posting a 6-5 record in 2019 and having the 2020 season canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

    Washburn coach Craig Schurig said he never puts much stock in polls, noting that this year's projections were even more of a crapshoot due to the long layoff. 

    "You're probably (picked) the way the season was in 2019, maybe," Schurig said of the polls. "We feel good about our team, and obviously polls are polls and you get rewarded for past performance. We realize, 'Hey, we got some work to do.'

    "You hope to use it as motivation. When people doubt you, it should motivate you to do higher things.''

    E7VHxi9XEAUTgbzVeteran Washburn University football coach Craig Schurig, flanked by Washburn University standouts Grant Bruner and Mitch Schurig, speaks at Tuesday's MIAA Media Day in Kansas City, Mo. [Photo by Rick Peterson]

  • 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.''

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

    Lisa Carey [Submitted]Lisa Carey [Submitted]

     

    Lauren MillsLauren Mills [GoShockers.com]

    Latisha YarnellLatisha Yarnell [Washburn Athletics]

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

    That's a toughie!

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

     Tom MeierTom Meier

    KyleWeems4Kyle Weems

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

     BrendaShaffer DahlBrenda Shaffer-Dahl

    TatyanaLegette1Tatyana Legette

  • Special bond between Weems, Wilhoite makes for special night

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    No matter what, Wednesday night would have been special for Kyle Weems and Michael Wilhoite.

    After all, it's a very rare occasion when an athlete get the opportunity to be enshrined in their hometown hall of fame.

    The fact that the former Highland Park teammates and close friends got the chance to be inducted into the Topeka Shawnee County Hall of Fame on the same night added to the excitement... a lot.

    "It doesn't get any better," Weems said. "I said it before and I said it up there tonight, 'That's my brother. He's not a friend, he's my brother.' We've been through so much together and we've seen each other struggle trying to get to the place in our careers that we thought we deserved. To see us do that was awesome."

    "It's everything, the world," Wilhoite said. "I say this all the time, 'Me and Kyle are so much better together than we are apart.' To be able to share this moment with him and his family, which is my family, and my family, which is his family, is priceless. There is nothing I can put into words to describe it."

    MikeWilhoite2 2Michael Wilhoite (right) proudly displays his Topeka Shawnee County Hall of Fame plaque Wednesday night after being introduced by his former teammate and fellow NFL assistant coach Joe Hastings (left). [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    KyleWeemsHOFFormer Highland Park great Kyle Weems gives his induction speech into the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame Wednesday night. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

  • Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards: WU Athletes of the Year

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    AndrewBeckleraction 2Washburn University golf star Andrew Beckler was named TopNews.Sports' Washburn University Co-Male Athlete of the Year after earning the Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year for Division II. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics}

    ANDREW BECKLER

    CO-MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

    The Ichabod senior golf star was named the 2021 Division II Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year to cap his outstanding college career with the highest individual honor in college golf. Prior to Beckler, Washburn had never had a finalist for the Nicklaus Award, nor had there ever been a golfer from the MIAA or the NCAA Division II Central Region to win it.

    Beckler, a Washburn Rural graduate, was earlier named the 2021 MIAA Player of the Year after turning in a record season for the Ichabods this spring as he claimed five individual titles in 10 competitions and placed in the top three at the other five events. He lost to just seven total golfers the entire season. At the NCAA Golf National Championships, Beckler recorded the highest individual finish in program history as he tied for second place out of 84 total golfers.

    AndrewBecklerAndrew Beckler

    Beckler, a former Class 6A individual and team champion for Washburn Rural, finished his career with Washburn's best scoring average with a 72.00 in 67 rounds played and he holds the best season scoring average (70.4). Beckler joined the team in 2018 after beginning his college career at Kansas State and was named to the all-MIAA team twice and received the conference Men's Golf Athlete of the Week award three times this past season.

    Off the course, Beckler excelled in the classroom as he earned a place on the MIAA Academic Roll three times and was an MIAA Scholar Athlete twice.

     TylerGeimanWednesdayaction 2Tyler Geiman, a third-team NCAA Division II All-American for the Washburn men's basketball team, will be honored as WU's co-men's athlete of the year Wednesday in conjunction with the Topeka Shawnee County sports awards banquet. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

  • Washburn stars Henry and Scardanzan take aim on Olympic berths

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn University track and field stars Romain Henry and Virgi Scardanzan will compete on the international stage this weekend, vying to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games.

    Scardanzan will compete in the Absolute Italian Championships in the pole vault while Henry will compete in the 110-meter and 400-meter hurdles in the French National Championships.

     VirgiScardanzanactionWashburn University star pole-vaulter Virgi Scardanzan will compete for a berth in the Olympics this weekend in Italy. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

  • Stromgren to retire after nine seasons as Washburn golf coach

    TopSports.news

    Jeff Stromgren is retiring as Washburn University's golf coach after nine years leading the program.

    WU athletic director Loren Ferré announced the retirement of Stromgren, formerly a state-championship coach at Washburn Rural, on Monday. 
     
    "Jeff has done a great job leading the program over the last nine years," Ferré said in a statement. "From success on the course and in the classroom coaching All-MIAA, All-Region players, including an NCAA Division II Player of the Year, and the postseason tournament appearances, he has been very successful and we wish him the best in his retirement and we're going to miss him."

    Jeff StromgrenJeff Stromgren has announced his retirement as Washburn University's golf coach after nine seasons. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]
     
    Stromgren began his stint at Washburn prior to the 2012-13 season and the Ichabods are coming off one of the best seasons in program history with a 12th-place finish at the NCAA Championships.

    While at Washburn Stromgren has coached 75 players who have been named to the MIAA Academic Honor Roll as well as 13 all-MIAA golfers, 11 team tournament wins, eight individual tournament champions, seven NCAA appearances and most recently a MIAA Golfer of the Year and the Jack Nicklaus NCAA Division II Golfer of the Year in senior Andrew Beckler.
     
    Prior to joining the Ichabod coaching staff, Stromgren won three Class 6A state titles at Washburn Rural (1997, 2005, 2008) and 17 city titles.

    His Junior Blues teams finished in the top five in state 15 times and he had 25 league and 21 regional titles in his career. He was city coach of the year 19 times and state coach of the year in 2005.

    Stromgren coached more than 30 players who went on to play college golf, including nine who played at NCAA Division I schools. 
     
    Stromgren is a 1979 Washburn graduate and was named the Ichabod men's basketball team most valuable player following the 1978-79, season earning all-CSIC honors as a senior.
    Ferré said a national search will begin immediately.

  • Wilkerson, Alexander combine for 32 points for Blue in KBCA romp

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

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

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

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

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

  • Washburn women's basketball adds pair of transfers

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn's women's basketball team has announced that transfers Emma Chapman and Mya Johnson will join the Ichabods for the 2021-22 season. 

    Johnson is a 6-foot-1 senior who is transferring from Northwestern Oklahoma State while the 6-3 Chapman has spent the past two seasons on Kansas State's roster.
     
    Johnson played in 19 games with 10 starts in the 2020-21 season for Northwestern Oklahoma State and averaged 10.3 points, 7.9 rebounds and 18.4 minutes while recording a 59.3 field goal percentage.

    Johnson started her collegiate career at Collin County Community College in Plano, Texas, where she played in 25 games and averaged 13.5 points and 8 rebounds on her way to earning first-team All-America honors. At Parkway North High School in St. Louis, Mo. she earned first-team All-America accolades her senior year in 2016.

    "Mya is a very talented post player," Washburn coach Ron McHenry said. "She can score, defend well, and is a very skilled inside player. With her ability to score, rebound, and just play the game she gives us a big threat inside."

    Chapman, a 6-3 forward originally from Columbia, Mo., appeared in 22 games with 125 minutes of action for Kansas State in 2019-2020. She totaled 15 points, 22 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals.

    She made her career debut against Omaha and notched two points, one rebound and one steal. Off the court, Chapman was named to the 2019-20 Big 12 Academic All-Rookie Team and was a two-time member of the Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll. 

    Chapman opted out of the 2020-21 season.

    Prior to joining the Wildcats, Chapman was a four-year varsity member of the Hickman High School basketball team. As a senior, she averaged 16 points and shot 54 percent from the field and 33 percent from 3-point range, 9 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, 1.7 assists and 1.3 steals. 
     
    "Emma shoots the ball well, she can put the ball on the floor, and is very athletic," McHenry said. "She gives the ability for us to put bigger guards on the floor. We're excited to get the length from the perimeter and skill level she will add. She can shoot the ball well from three, she adds in length, and she adds in skill. She will be another kid that will come in right away and be an impact player." 
     
    Washburn went 12-12 (11-11 MIAA) last season and advanced to the MIAA Tournament semifinals.

    Related Stories and Videos

  • Hands claims men's singles title in 81st Jayhawk Tennis Tournament

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Due to COVID-19, former Drake University tennis standout Thomas Hands' fledgling professional career has consisted of a lot more practice than competition over the past several months.

    But the 81st Jayhawk Open Tennis Tournament at Kossover Tennis Center was a chance for Hands to get back in the swing of things and the 2019 Drake graduate took full advantage, with the No. 2 seed claiming the men's open singles title with a 6-3, 6-2 win over top seed Ray Lo of Wichita State on Sunday. 

    E339vDxXEAItpzRFormer Drake standout Thomas Hands claimed the men's open singles championship in the Jayhawk Open Tennis Tournament Sunday, taking a 6-3, 6-2 win over Wichita State's Ray Lo in the final. [Photo by Jeff Jacobsen/Action Images Photography]

  • Moser rallies late to win fourth TGA City Match Play championship

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Ben Moser didn't look at Sunday's championship match against Rachel Stous in the Topeka Golf Association City Match Play tournament as a battle of the sexes.

    Instead, he approached it as a match against an exceptional player he knew was capable of beating him or any other player in the city.

    "A fantastic golfer,'' Moser said of Stous. "She's unreal. Watching her play, she doesn't really make any mistakes, she hits it down the middle and she makes putts.

    "I looked at her as another golfer that can come out here and whoop my butt if I don't play good."

    Going into the final two holes of the final at Cypress Ridge Golf Course, it appeared as if Stous, two up at that point, was poised to become the first-ever female to win the City Match Play event.

    But after playing virtually error-free golf all day, the former Topeka High star faltered a bit down the stretch and Moser took advantage of three straight Stous bogeys to win his fourth Match Play title, believed to be the most in city history.

    E3zPnZVXwAIrQj7Ben Moser (right) exchanges a hug with Rachel Stous after he won the TGA City Match Play championship on the 19th hole Sunday at Cypress Ridge. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Moser, a Washburn Rural and Washburn University product, claimed the final two holes of regulation to force an extra hole and then took the title when Stous lipped out a short parr putt on the No. 1 19th hole.

    "I'm happy to win, not happy to win that way, but always happy to win,''  said Moser, who had won three straight Match Play crowns from 2016-18.

    Stous holed a long putt on No. 15 to go 1-up and then took a two-hole advantage on No. 16 when Moser lost his ball off the tee, but was unable to close out the win.

    "It was just great to be able to come out here and play in the finals in this, just go out and have fun,'' Stous said. "I just didn't quite get it done. I just made a bad couple of shots when it counted.''

    Stous is hoping to turn professional in the coming months and said her performance in the City Match Play tournament was another step in that direction.

    "This honestly didn't hurt my confidence at all,'' Stous said. "I'm still feeling pretty good. I was pretty solid most of the day until the end, so I'll just work on a couple of things and keep going.''

    Scot Duddy won the President's Flight championship with a 4 and 2 win over Dustin Caldwell.

    TOPEKA GOLF ASSOCIATION CITY MATCH PLAY TOURNAMENT

    Championship flight final

    Ben Moser def. Rachel Stous, 19 holes

    President's flight final

    Scot Duddy def. Dustin Caldwell, 4 and 2

  • Goehring, Beckler teaming up to host youth golf clinics

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    National NCAA Division II player of the year Andrew Beckler and his high school coach, Jared Goehring of Washburn Rural, will host a series of golf clinics at Pure Golf Topeka for young players.

    Clinics for boys and girls 12 and under will begin on Thursday, June 17, with clinics also set for June 24 and July 8, running from 6 to 7:15 p.m. each night.

    E3npmOsX0AUWYkjWashburn Rural golf coach Jared Goehring and NCAA Division II player of the year Andrew Beckler, a former Junior Blues state champ, will host a series of clinics for young golfers this summer at Pure Golf Topeka. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    AndrewBeckleraction 2National player of the year Andrew Beckler will team with his high school coach, Jared Goehring, to hold a series of summer clinics for young golfers. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

    All three clinics will be held at Pure Golf Topeka, located at 7523 SW 21st Street, and sponsored by Pure Golf Topeka and Topeka Junior Golf.

    The cost for attending a clinic is $40 or $100 to participate in all three clinics.

    A pair of clinics for boys and girls aged 13 and over will follow on July 15 and 22 from 6 to 7:15 p.m. at Pure Golf Topeka.

    The clinics will focus on the fundamentals of golf, including short game, full swing, vocabulary and rules/etiquette of the game.

    Players can register for the clinics athttps://goehringgolfclinics.weebly.com/ or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    Beckler, who was recently named the winner of the Jack Nicklaus Award as the NCAA Division II player of the year, won Class 6A team and individual state championships under Goehring at Washburn Rural.

    Goehring, who also runs the Topeka Junior Golf program, has coached Rural to a total of five state team championships and has coached individual boys and girls champs.

  • A look at Wednesday's Washburn Basketball Summer Camp

    Rick Peterson

    E3fInlFX0AImx8QWashburn men's basketball coach Brett Ballard talks to campers at the end of Wednesday's morning session at Lee Arena. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    E3fAoj5XoAAJ3CrKansas freshman guard Bobby Pettiford signs an autograph for a camper at Wednesday's Washburn Basketball Camp at Lee Arena. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

     

  • Beckler named Jack Nicklaus National Division II Player of The Year

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn University senior golf star Andrew Beckler has been named the 2021 Division II Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year. 

    Beckler, a Washburn Rural graduate, was announced as the player of the year Sunday morning during The Memorial Tournament at Dublin, Ohio.

    AndrewBeckleractionWashburn senior golf standout Andrew Beckler has been named the winner of the Division II Jack Nicklaus Player of the Year Award. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

    Beckler capped off his collegiate career by earning the highest individual honor in college golf, which was announced by the Golf Coaches Association of America.

    The award, given annually to the nation's top collegiate golfer across Divisions I, II and III, plus the NAIA and NJCAA, is one of college golf's most esteemed honors.

    AndrewBecklerAndrew Beckler

    Prior to Beckler, Washburn had never had a finalist for the Nicklaus Award, nor had there ever been a golfer from the MIAA or NCAA Division II Central Region to win it.

    The award was first given out to only Division I golfers from 1988-2002 until Divisions II and III were added in 2003. Many notable golfers have won the award, including Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods, and Justin Thomas.

    "If you look at the records of these recipients, each one put together dominating seasons and are very deserving of this honor," Jack Nicklaus said.

    The 2021 MIAA Player of the Year turned in a record season for the Ichabods this spring as he claimed five individual titles in 10 competitions and placed in the top-three at the other five events. He lost to just seven total golfers the entire season.

    At the NCAA Golf National Championships, he recorded the highest individual finish in program history as he tied for second place out of 84 total golfers.
     
    Beckler, a former Class 6A individual and team champion for Washburn Rural, finished his career with Washburn's best scoring average with a 72.00 in 67 rounds played and he holds the best season scoring average (70.4).
     
    Beckler joined the team in 2018 after beginning his college career at Kansas State and was named to the all-MIAA team twice and received the conference Men's Golf Athlete of the Week award three times this season.

    Off the course, Beckler also excelled in the classroom as he earned a place on the MIAA Academic Roll three times and was an MIAA Scholar Athlete twice.

    2021 JACK NICKLAUS AWARD WINNERS
    Division I -- John Pak, Florida State.
    Division II -- Andrew Beckler, Washburn. 
    Division III -- James Mishoe, Guilford.
    NAIA -- Ruan Pretorius, Point.
    NJCAA -- Ben Partridge, Hutchinson Community College.

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers May 31, 2021

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

     JahnAsia Andersonmug 2JahnAsia Anderson

    JAHNASIA ANDERSON, Seaman

    In her first year competing in track and field as a senior, Anderson eclipsed her previous personal-best by more than a foot and a half en route to winning the Class 5A state girls shot put championship with a throw of 37 feet, 7 inches last Thursday at Wichita State's Cessna Stadium.

     NiJaree Canady 2NiJaree Canady

    NiJAREE CANADY, Topeka High

    Canady, a junior pitcher, turned in a masterful performance in the Class 6A state softball tournament, leading Topeka High to its first-ever state softball title. Canady recorded three complete-game performances, allowing just one unearned run while striking out 48 batters as the Trojans capped a perfect 25-0 season. Canady also hit the game-winning home run in a 1-0 semifinal win over Gardner-Edgerton.

  • Beckler finalist for Jack Nicklaus National Player of The Year Award

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn University senior Andrew Beckler has been named one of five NCAA Division II finalists for the 2021 Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award. 

    The recipient of the award will be announced during The Memorial Tournament scheduled for June 3-6.

    AndrewBeckleractionWashburn senior golf standout Andrew Beckler has been named a finalist for the Division II Jack Nicklaus Player of the Year Award. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

    A Washburn Rural product, Beckler joins Dan Bradbury (Lincoln Memorial), Keegan Bronnenberg (Indianapolis), Trevor Norby (Oklahoma Christian) and Alejandro Restrepo (West Florida) as a Division II finalist.

    The award, given annually to the nation's top collegiate golfer across NCAA Divisions I, II and III, plus the NAIA and NCJAA, is one of college golf's most esteemed honors.

    Beckler is Washburn's first-ever finalist for the Jack Nicklaus Award and there has never been a golfer from the MIAA or NCAA Central Region to win it.

  • Washburn's Mead receives third-team All-America softball honors

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn University freshman softball star Marrit Mead has been named a third-team NCAA Division II All-American at third base as voted on by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America.

    MarritMeadWUWashburn softball star Marrit Mead, a Santa Fe Trail product, has been named a third-team NCAA Division II softball All-American. [File photo/TSN]

    Mead, a Santa Fe Trail product, is the first All-American selection for the Ichabod softball team since 2002.

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers May 24, 2021

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    AndrewBeckler

    ANDREW BECKLER, Washburn University

    Beckler, who was earlier named the MIAA player of the year, ended his collegiate golf career with a runner-up individual finish among 84 competitors in the NCAA Division II National Championships in Palm Beach Springs, Fla., the highest national tournament finish by an Ichabod in program history. Beckler finished with a 54-hole total of 222 with rounds of 73, 74 and 75. 

     NiJaree Canady 2

    NiJAREE CANADY, Topeka High

    Canady, a junior, pitched a one-hitter and struck out 16 batters to key the Trojans' 3-1 victory over Manhattan in a Class 6A regional championship softball game at Hummer Sports Park. With the win Topeka High improved to 22-0 on the season and advanced to Thursday's 6A state tournament.

  • TopSports.news to honor Ichabod stars Beckler, Geiman, Scardanzan at Topeka Shawnee County sports awards banquet

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    TopSports.news, in conjunction with Envista Credit Union and A-1 Lock and Key, will honor Washburn University stars Andrew Beckler, Tyler Geiman and Virgi Scardanzan as WU Athletes of the Year on June 30 in conjunction with the 16th annual Topeka Shawnee County sports awards banquet.

    Beckler was named the MIAA player of the year this spring and finished his college golf career with a second-place individual finish in the NCAA Division II Championships while Geiman earned third-team NCAA Division II All-America men's basketball honors after leading the Ichabods to the MIAA Tournament title and the second round of the NCAA Tournament and Scardanzan, the No. 1-ranked D-II women's pole-vaulter in the nation, will compete in the NCAA Division II Championships this week in Allendale, Michigan after finishing second in the nation in the national indoor meet.

    AndrewBeckleraction 2Washburn golf star Andrew Beckler, a Washburn Rural grad, will be honored on June 30 as the co-WU men's athlete of the year in conjunction with the Topeka Shawnee County sports awards banquet. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

     TylerGeimanWednesdayaction 2Tyler Geiman, a third-team All-American for the Washburn men's basketball team, will be honored as WU's co-men's athlete of the year on June 30 in conjunction with the Topeka Shawnee County sports awards banquet. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

    VirgiScardanzanactionWashburn star pole-vaulter Virgi Scardanzan will be honored as the WU women's athlete of the year on June 30 in conjunction with the Topeka Shawnee County sports awards banquet. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]

    Beckler, Geiman and Scardanzan will be recognized along with the county's top high school senior student-athletes and the induction of the 2021 Topeka Shawnee County Hall of Fame class of Kyle McNorton, Kyle Weems and Michael Wilhoite at the Capitol Plaza Hotel's Maner Conference Center Sunflower Ballroom.

    Beckler, Geiman and Scardanzan will the first Washburn Athlete of the Year honorees to be recognized as part of the Topeka Shawnee County awards.

  • Topekan Andrew Beckler posts second-place finish in NCAA-II golf

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Washburn University senior Andrew Beckler tied for second among 84 competitors in the NCAA Division II National Golf Championships in Palm Beach Springs, Fla., the highest national tournament finish by an Ichabod in program history.

    Washburn finished 12th as a team, falling short of advancing to the eight-team match play bracket.

    Beckler shot a 3-over-par 75 at the PGA National Resort in Wednesday's final round to finish the tournament with a three-day total of 6-over-par.

    AndrewBeckleractionWashburn senior Andrew Beckler tied for second place in the NCAA Division II Golf Championships, putting together rounds of 73, 74 and 75. [Photo courtesy of Washburn Athletics]