2024 Shawnee County Hall of Fame inductee, Jim Golden

TSN to name top 100 athletes in Shawnee County...Will Nijaree Canady be on the list?

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TSN to name top 100 greatest athletes in Shawnee Cty....Will Gary Woodland be on the list?

[PGA Tour]

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By RICK PETERSON

TopSports.news

Shawnee County athletes have starred in a variety of sports at the high school, collegiate, national amateur and professional levels over the years, with county high schools producing Super Bowl and World Series champs, national individual and team champions, Olympians, local and national Hall of Famers and even U.S. Open champs.

MikeTorrezTHighHOF 1Topeka sports legend Mike Torrez was a world champion with the New York Yankees and won 185 games as a Major League pitcher in an 18-year career. [File photo]

 GaryWoodlandTop100 2Former Shawnee Heights star Gary Woodland won the 2019 U.S. Open and continues to compete on the PGA Tour. [PGA Tour]

ChrisBarnesTHighHOF 2Topeka High grad Chris Barnes is a PBA Hall of Famer, who also helped the Trojans win a state basketball title. [PBA Tour]

SheriNorrisTop100 2Topeka West state champion Sheri Norris was an All-American tennis player at Arizona State before playing on the pro tennis tour. [File photo]

And while some of the county greats are probably household names among local sports fans, there are others who have carved out impressive careers that you may not be as familiar with, including some you've probably never head of.

This summer TopSports.news will try to change that.

Beginning in early July and continuing throughout the summer, TopSports.news will post its selections for the Top 100 greatest athletes in Shawnee County.

 NiJareeCanadyTop100 2Former Topeka High star NiJaree Canady has received national pitcher of the year and player of the year as a sophomore pitcher for Stanford. [Stanford Athletics]

BrooklynDeLeyeTop100 4Former Washburn Rural multi-sport star Brooklyn DeLeye is currently a star for Kentucky's volleyball team. [Kentucky Volleyball]

Past Top 100 and Top 125 lists, which I had the pleasure of helping select, combined men's and women's athletes, but, quite frankly, that is unfair in 2024, with female athletes very deserving of their own Top 100 list as athletes like NiJaree Canady and Brooklyn DeLeye continue to make their own mark on sports' biggest stages.

As TSN embarks on this very amibitious understaking, we want the public to be involved.

We want to know who you rate as the best athletes in the history of the county and not just in marquee sports like football, basketball and baseball but in a plethora of other sports, including many that may not normally get the same attention.

Shawnee County Olympians Melvin Douglas (wrestling), Preston Carrington (track and field) and Margaret Murdock (shooting), former Major League Baseball stars Mike Torrez and Ken Berry, U.S. Open golf champion Gary Woodland, PBA Hall of Fame and U.S. Open champion  bowler Chris Barnes, Super Bowl participants like Tom Dinkel, Troy Wilson and Michael Wilhoite and Silver Lake and Kansas State basketball star Lon Kruger are likely to receive a lot of support from their fans as are national college champions like Lisa Carey (softball), Tom Meier (basketball) and Fred Slaughter (basketball) and Topeka West tennis great Sheri Norris

But we certainly can't overlook the late Steve Tilford, one of the greatest cyclists in United States history, and athletes like boccia champ Austin Hanson, handball star Max Gaither, polo's Jack L. Bybee, Paralympian Dan Cnossen or multi-sport Cair Paravel Latin and K-State star Peyton Williams.

Or ... well, who knows? That's why TSN is asking for your assistance.

Please email your nominees and any information you deem necessary to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The only requirement is that eligible candidates must have grown up in Shawnee County or attended one of Shawnee County's 10 high schools.

Final selections will be made by the TSN staff after receiving input from currernt and former coaches as well as from current and past local sports media professionals.

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