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  • A1 Lock & Key Performers Dec. 4, 2023

    Rick Peterson



    KaeVonBonnerSeaman2024mug 1KaeVon Bonner


    A 6-foot-1 sophomore, Bonner opened his 2023-2024 basketball season with a 28-point performance in Seaman's 58-49 home United Kansas Conference victory over Lansing last Thursday. Bonner went nine of 16 from the field and hit four 3-pointers on the night as the Vikings built a game-high 18-point lead early in the fourth quarter on the strength of eight straight points by Bonner. 

    JalenFoy2023mug 1Jalen Foy

    JALEN FOY, Topeka West

    Foy, a 6-foot-2 junior, scored a game-high 23 points as Topeka West opened its basketball season on Friday with a 52-37 home United Kansas Conference win over Basehor-Linwood, a Class 5A state tournament team last season. Foy connected on 10 of 16 field goal attempts on the night, including a pair of 3-pointers, as the Chargers pulled away down the stretch for their biggest lead of the game.

    NormaGreco2023mug 1Norma Greco

     NORMA GRECO, Hayden

    A 5-foot-6 junior, Greco led the way with a game-high 17 points in just three quarters of action as Hayden's girls, ranked No. 2 in Class 3A by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association, opened their season with a 74-12 non-league victory over Kansas City-Washington last Friday at Hayden.

  • Hayden coaching legend Tom Stringer thankful for Hall of Fame induction, great news in cancer fight

    Rick Peterson



    Saturday was a night of celebration as Hayden Catholic High School welcomed its six newest members into the school's Hall of Fame.

    And 2023 inductee Tom Stringer had even more to celebrate than being recognized for one of the most successful football coaching careers in Topeka history.

    TomStringerHOF 3Hayden coaching Legend Tom Stringer chats with friends during Saturday's Hayden Hall of Fame induction ceremony. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    The last eight months Stringer has faced a fight tougher than any football game he ever played in or coached after being diagnosed with blood cancer on Easter weekend, but the Hayden legend was happy to report that he has finally turned the corner in that battle and was all smiles Saturday as he shared the night with many of his closest friends and family members.

    "I'm in remission,'' Stringer said. "The first two months about killed me, but it's been good now. I feel normal again, and it definitely changes your outlook on life.

    "Every day's a gift. You get up every day and thank God every day for another day.''

    TomStringerHOF 2Hayden 2023 Hall of Fame inductee Tom Stringer (left) shares a laugh with his former star quarterback, John Tetuan, Saturday night at Hayden. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Stringer, a former All-American lineman, is also a member of Pittsburg State's Hall of Fame, but said that being back at the school that has meant so much to him throughout his life was extra sweet.

    "It's really special because you get to re-live one of the best parts of your life,'' said Stringer, a 1979 Hayden grad who went to coach the Wildcats' football team during for 15 seasons. "You don't know how bad you liked something until you get away from it, so this is good. I'm very proud and very grateful that I got selected to do this.

    "It's been 17 years since I've been here and every day I think about this place. Every day.''

    Stringer was inducted Saturday for alumni achievent, along with the late Kevin Sloan, a former state track and field champion and state record-holder in the long jump.

    Hayden basketball legend Tom Meier was inducted for student athletic/activity achievement while Mary Beth McCarthy and the late George Silovsky were inducted for staff achievement and the late Judy (McGivern) Row was inducted for contributor achievement.

    Hall of Fame capsules:

  • Greco leads Hayden girls to 74-12 non-league win over KC-Washington



    Friday was the season-opener for the Class 3A No. 2-ranked Hayden girls basketball team and the Wildcats rolled to a 74-12 home non-league victory over Kansas City-Washington.

    HaydengirlsBBWashington 1Hayden's girls basketball team sings the school song after Friday's season-opening 74-12 win over KC-Washington. [Photo by Kyle Manthe/Special to TSN]

    The Lady Wildcats took off from the tip with a 15-0 run before Washington scored their first basket of the game.

    Hayden then went on a 36-1 run to go into halftime with a commanding 51-3 lead to but put the game away.

    The hosts were led by 5-foot-6 junior Norma Greco, who finished with 17 points in three quarters.

    “Thanks to my teammates for forcing turnovers and dishing assists for easy layups” Greco said. “I’m really excited to play with this team, we have a great group of girls and we have hopes for big things this season.''

  • Weekend prep wrestling roundup: Five county teams capture team titles on opening weekend

    Rick Peterson



    Highland Park, hosting the first of back-to-back tournaments, claimed the girls team championship in Saturday's Highland Park Invitational by a 64-48 margin over city rival Topeka West.

    KylishaJamesHPwrestling 1Kylisha James won the 170-pound championship in last Saturday's Highland Park Invitational, helping the Scots capture the girls team championship. (Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    The Scots got individual championships from Kim Rodriguez at 105 pounds, Renea Easter at 125 and Kylisha James at 170.

    ZionaJacksonTWwrestling 1Topeka West's Ziona Jackson (top) won the 135-pound championship in last Saturday's Highland Park Invitational. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN[

    Runnerup Topeka West got a title from Ziona Jackson at 135 while Hayden got gold medals from Kylie Carswell (115), Kate Mead (120) and Natalie Hopper (140).

    Topeka High posted a runnerup team finish in the boys division with 159 points while Hayden finished third with 139 points. De Soto won the team championship with 226.5 points.

    The Trojans got individual titles from Luis Marones at 113 points and Jordan Stiner at 138 while Hayden's Jude Krentz claimed the 175-pound individual championships.

    Highland Park will host the Melvin Douglas Invitational on Saturday.

    Rural girls take Leavenworth Challenger title

    Washburn Rural, the reigning Class 6A state girls team champion, rolled up 393 points to take the title in Saturday's season-opening 14-school Leavenworth Challenger.

  • Junior Blues rally late to give Janson Garman team championship in Washburn Rural coaching debut

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer


    It's only been a few short years ago that Janson Garman did everything he could to beat Washburn Rural's swimming team

    Now, as the Junior Blues' first-year head coach, Garman is doing everything he can to help Rural win.

    WashburnRuralswimming2024 3Washburn Rural's swimming team celebrates after being announced as the team champion in Wednesday's 13-school Topeka West Invitational. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    When Garman starred at Seaman, helping the Vikings win the 2018 Class 5A-1A state team title, Washburn Rural was the Vikings' biggest city rival.

    But when Garman, who coached Topeka West last season, got the opportunity to take over the Junior Blues' boys program this season, he realized it was too good of a chance to pass up, rival or not.

    JansonGarmanWR2024 3Washburn Rural's swimming team rallied late to give Jason Garman a team championship in his debut as the Junior Blues' coach Wednesday at the Capitol Federal Natatorium. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    "Let's just say I never thought I'd be coaching at Washburn Rural,'' Garman said. "If you would have asked me when I was in high school I would have said, 'Heck no,' but I'm very grateful. This is a great team, great guys that work hard and I'm happy to be in the position I am right now. 

    "I thought it was a great opportunity. I'd still be able to coach and do what I love to do, swimming, and still be able to finish my schooling up (in physical therapy). Rural has a great swim culture and I hope we can continue to grow and build on it.''

    Garman made his debut as Rural's coach on Wednesday at the Capitol Federal Natatorium and his Junior Blues made it a happy occasion with a late rally, pulling out the team championship by a 405-396 margin over Centennial League rival Manhattan.

    Manhattan got individual wins from freshman Daniel Allen in the 200-yard individual medley (2 minutes, 04.56 seconds) and from senior Brogan Meier in the 100 backstroke (56.98) and the Washburn Rural foursome of Will Powell, Allen, Luke Lemke and Jack Miranda won the meet-ending 400 free relay (3:22.72).

  • Rural, Hayden headline 2023 TopSports.news All-Shawnee County football team

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer


    Hayden, which advanced to the Class 3A state championship game, and 6A semifinalist Washburn Rural combined for 11 Top 22 spots on TopSports.news' 2023 All-Shawnee County football team while Seaman's Max Huston and Rural's JC Heim garnered the top individual honors.

    JCHeimJC 3Washburn Rural senior linebacker JC Heim has been named the TopSports.news All-Shawnee County defensive player of the year after registering 173 tackles for the 11-1 Junior Blues. [File photo/TSN]

    MaxHustonPiper 2Seaman junior quarterback Max Huston has been tapped as the TopSports.news Shawnee County offensive player of the year after passing for 3,257 yards and 39 touchdowns. [File photo/TSN]

    Hayden, which posted a 12-1 record this fall, is represented on the Top 22 by seniors Carter Charvat, Finn Dunshee and Jude Konrade and junior Jensen Schrickel while Washburn Rural, 11-1 on the year, put seniors Packson Bettis, Jaren Heim, JC Heim, Branton DeWeese, Jamond Lane and Titan Osburn and junior King Leonard on the Top 22.

    'Seaman quarterback Huston, who led the Vikings to a 6-5 season and the third round of the 5A playoffs, was named the Shawnee County offensive player of the year while Heim, a linebacker, was named the county defensive player of the year.

    Huston, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound junior, completed 230 of 379 passes for 3,257 yards and 39 touchdowns, with just two interceptions. Huston also carried the ball 134 times for 706 yards and eight TDs.

    Heim, a 6-3, 225-pounder, was in on 173 tackles (102 solos) with 17 tackles for loss, eight sacks, two interceptions, three forced fumbles, two recovered fumbles (one for a touchdown), two blocked extra points and a blocked punt. Offensively, Heim rushed for 530 yards and 10 TDs on 90 carries.

    ConnorHanikaBillArnoldHolton 2Hayden coach Bill Arnold (right) has been named the TopSports.news 2023 Shawnee County coach of the year while sophomore quarterback Connor Hanika (3) was tapped as the co-offensive newcomer of the year. [File photo/TSN]

    Hayden's Bill Arnold, now 211-66 as a head coach, was named the Shawnee County coach of the year. 

    KadeMitchellSFT 1Hayden sophomore Kade Mitchell (25) is the TSN Shawnee County co-offensive newcomer of the year after rushing for 764 yards and scoring 15 total touchdowns. [File photo/TSN]

    WilsonMillerMan 1Washburn Rural junior cornerback Wilson Miller (2) has been named the Shawnee County defensive newcomer of the year after helping the Junior Blues post an 11-1 record this fall. [File photo/TSN]

    Hayden sophomores Connor Hanika and Kade Mitchell were named the county co-offensive newcomers of the year while Washburn Rural junior Wilson Miller was named the defensive newcomer of the year.

    Hanika, 6-3, 165, took over as the Wildcats' quarterback after an injury to starter Jett Wahlmeier and completed 38 of 60 passes for 470 yards and seven touchdowns while MItchell, a 5-9, 165 running back, rushed for 764 yards on 79 attempts, caught 13 passes for 209 yards, had five kickoff returns for 174 yards and scored 15 total touchdowns.

    Miller, a 6-0, 190 cornerback, was in on 48 tackles (40 solos) with five interceptions, returning one for a touchdown. Miller also handled the Junior Blues' place-kicking duties for much of the season.

    Shawnee Heights put seniors Allen Baughman, Rykan Carver and Christian Gonzales on the All-Shawnee County Top 22, while Seaman is represented by Huston and senior Callen Barta, Silver Lake by seniors Tanner Martin and Blake Redmond, Cair Paravel Latin by senior Jesiah Bonura, Highland Park by junior Adrian Burney, Rossville by senior Barrett Lietz and Topeka West by senior Kyrece Robinson.

    Hayden's Dunshee and Schrickel, Rural's Bettis, DeWeese, JC Heim and Osburn, Shawnee Heights' Baughman, Rossville's Lietz and Silver Lake's Martin are All-Shawnee County Top 22 repeat picks.

    All 10 Shawnee County high schools have representatives on either the Top 22 or Second 22 teams. Eight county teams posted winning records this fall, with seven winning at least one playoff contest.

    TopSports.news selected the 2023 All-Shawnee County team after receiving input from all 10 county head coaches.

    All-Shawnee County Top 22 capsules:

  • TopSports.news' 20 boys basketball players to watch in 2023-2024

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer

    By RICK PETERSON             


    TamirAndersonHP2024mug 1Tamir Anderson

    TAMIR ANDERSON, Highland Park

    A 6-foot-4 senior, Anderson earned TopSports.news All-Shawnee County honorable mention last season after helping Highland Park post a 24-1 record and a third-place finish in the Class 5A state tournament. Anderson was one of Shawnee County's top 3-point shooters, hitting 47 treys on the season. 

    KadenBallardWR2024 4Kaden Ballard

    KADEN BALLARD, Washburn Rural

    Ballard, a 5-10 junior, was a key player off the bench for the 15-6 Junior Blues last season, averaging 6.1 points, 2.0 assists and 1.7 rebounds. Ballard received TSN All-Shawnee County and All-Centennial League honorable mention as a sophomore.

    KaeVonBonnerSeaman2024mug 1KaeVon Bonner  


    Bonner, a sophomore, was named the TSN All-Shawnee County co-newcomer of the year as a freshman while also earning All-United Kansas Conference honorable mention. Bonner averaged 8.4 points for the 13-8 Vikings while canning 32 3-pointers and shooting 39 percent on 3-point attempts. Bonner shot 77.4 percent from the free throw line. 

    BrennonDodge2024mug 1Brennon Dodge

    BRENNON DODGE, Shawnee Heights

    A senior guard, Dodge was the lone underclassman on the TSN All-Shawnee County Top 10 last season after helping lead Shawnee Heights to a 15-7 record. Dodge averaged 13.8 points a year ago to go with 2.9 assists and 1.8 steals per game. Dodge shot 52.5 percent on 2-point field goal attempts and hit 19 3-pointers on the season.

    JackDonovanRossville2024mug 2Jack Donovan

    JACK DONOVAN, Rossville

    Donovan, a sophomore, was named the TSN All-Shawnee County co-newcomer of the year and earned all-county honorable mention as a freshman for the Bulldawgs, who showed strides in a 7-14 season. Donovan also was named to the Valley Falls All-Tournament team and earned second-team All-Mid-East League recognition.

    MalakyahDuncanTW2024mug 1Malakyah Duncan

    MALAKYAH DUNCAN, Topeka West

    Duncan, a 6-4 sophomore, saw varsity action as a freshman for Rick Bloomquist's 14-8 Chargers and will be counted on to fill a more extensive role this season after Topeka West graduated several key players.  

  • TopSports.news’ 20 girls basketball players to watch in 2023-2024

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer

    By RICK PETERSON        

    LaDayshaBairdTH2024mug 2LaDaysha Baird

    LaDAYSHA BAIRD, Topeka High

    A 5-foot-4 senior, Baird earned TopSports.news All-Shawnee County Second 10 recognition last season after helping Topeka High post a 16-6 record. Baird averaged 7.7 points as a junior and shot 50 percent from 3-point range with 32 made treys. Baird also averaged 1.3 assists for the Trojans. 

     AnnaBeckerSeaman2024mug 2Anna Becker

    ANNA BECKER, Seaman

    A 5-foot-10 junior point guard, Becker is a two-time TopSports.news All-Shawnee County Top 10 pick and was named the United Kansas Conference player of the year last season after helping lead Seaman to a 21-2 record and a Class 5A state tournament berth. Becker, who has made an oral commitment to Drake, averaged 12 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.3 steals and 3.7 assists last season.

     BreezyCanadySH2024mugBreezy Canady

    BREEZY CANADY, Shawnee Heights

    Canady, a 5-5 senior guard, is a top returner for Shawnee Heights after helping the T-Birds post a 15-7 record last season. Canady averaged 6.7 points, 2.6 assists, 2.5 rebounds and 2.3 steals as a junior for the T-Birds, earning All-Shawnee County and All-United Kansas Conference honorable mention.  

    ZoeCanfieldWR2024mugZoe Canfield

    ZOE CANFIELD, Washburn Rural

    A 5-foot-11 senior, Canfield's junior season was cut short after nine games by an ACL injury after helping lead the Junior Blues to the Class 6A state title as a sophomore. Canfield, who has signed with Kansas, averaged 12.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, hit 18 3-pointers and shot 77.1 percent from the free throw line prior to her injury. As a sophomore Canfield earned TSN All-Shawnee County Top 10 TSN recognition.

    ZoeClarkTW2024mugZoe Clark

    ZOE CLARK, Topeka West

    A 5-7 senior, Clark received TSN All-Shawnee County Second 10 and All-United Kansas Conference second-team honors last season for Topeka West, which posted a five-win improvement in the 2022-2023 campaign. Clark, who has played varsity basketball since her freshman year will be counted on to provide leadership for the Chargers this winter.

  • Hayden runs into tough sledding against Cheney, conditions in 34-7 loss in Class 3A title game

    Todd Fertig

    By Todd Fertig


    The Hayden football team ran into tough sledding against the Cheney Cardinals and fell 34-7 in the Wildcats’ bid for a 3A championship Saturday in Hutchinson. 

    ConnorHanikaCheney 1Hayden sophomore quarterback Connor Hanika loses the handle on a slick football as he attempts a pass in Saturday's 34-7 loss to Cheney in the Class 3A state championship game. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]


    LoganSaenzCheney 1Hayden sophomore Logan Saenz (18) tackles a Cheney ball-carrier in Saturday's Class 3A state championship game at Hutchinson. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    With the Gowans Stadium field at Hutchinson Community College blanketed with several inches of snow, Hayden was unable to tap into its diverse bag of offensive tricks and failed to match the handful of big plays mustered by Cheney. 

    Hayden kept the game tight for three quarters, trailing just 13-7. But the Cardinals took command with three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to put the game away. 

    “It was just a tough day. We didn’t make the plays when we had our opportunities,” Hayden coach Bill Arnold said. “Cheney is a good team. I’m not going to take anything away from them whatsoever. They did a good job offensively, but at the same time, we missed some opportunities out there.  

    “It would have been nice if we could have utilized our speed a little bit more today. But it was tough getting your footing out here. The kids battled, but it just wasn’t our day.” 

    FinnDunsheeCheney 1Hayden senior Finn Dunshee (33) follows Jude Konrade (52) in Saturday's Class 3A championship game. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    JensenSchrickelCheney 1Hayden senior Jensen Schrickel looks for running room in Saturday's Class 3A championship game at Hutchinson. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    Hayden senior Finn Dunshee and junior Jensen Schrickel, track stars who provided explosive plays for the Wildcats all season, were both bogged down by the snow. Dunshee amassed just 55 total yards on 16 touches while Schrickel was limited to 27 yards on seven touches.   

    “Any advantage of speed that we had, we lost,” Dunshee said. “It really leveled the playing field. Our line is a lot smaller than (Cheney’s) and they are a great team. We were both dealing with (the snow), so you can’t just blame it on that.” 

  • Prep parade: Trey Brown unfazed by getting late start to his first season with Hayden basketball

    Rick Peterson



    Hayden boys basketball coach Trey Brown has yet to see his entire Wildcat team for preseason practice.

    But while Brown could use that practice time to get ready for his first season at Hayden, it's a situation that he would be happy to deal with each and every year.

    TreyBrownHay2024 1First-year Hayden boys basketball coach Trey Brown talks to his team during a preseason practice. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    And when Brown does get his full team in the gym, probably early next week, he's counting on the Wildcats coming in with a great mindset after their run to the Class 3A state championship game in football.

    "I'd probably say about 75 percent of our guys are still in football, which is a good thing at the end of the day,'' said Brown, a former multi-sport athlete himself at Shawnee Heights. "I know they've got a big senior class and a lot of those guys play basketball so just getting to experience the run in football that they've had and all of that, I think it will just bring them closer together for basketball and it will be the same thing, that they'll expect to win and compete at a high level.''

  • Hayden football overcomes key injuries to earn shot at Class 3A title, undefeated season

    Rick Peterson



    Football coaches are always quick to preach the next-man-up philosophy to their teams while hoping they rarely have to use it.

    But due to a rash of key injuries, Hayden coach Bill Arnold and his staff have had to rely on that next man up time and time and time again this fall, and it's a major reason why the Wildcats will take a perfect 12-0 record into Saturday's 12 p.m. Class 3A state championship game against 12-0 Cheney at Hutchinson's Gowans Stadium.

    ConnorHanikaBillArnoldHolton 2Hayden coach Bill Arnold, who has a career coaching record of 211-65, talks to Wildcat sophomore quarterback Connor Hanika during last Friday's 42-14 Class 3A semifinal win over Holton. [File photo/TSN]

     "I would classify this group as very resilient,'' Hayden coach Bill Arnold said. "They've really bought into the next-guy-up mentality.

    "We didn't really change a lot of guys' positioning. It was just the next guy that was on the depth chart was the one that stepped in and everybody just kind of pulled together and played.''

    Hayden played without star senior running back Finn Dunshee for a full five games while the Wildcats also lost senior lineman Doug Peterson, senior receiver/defensive back Cooper Colboch and starting junior quarterback Jett Wahlmeier and sophomore linebacker Jackson McGivern missed the entire season.

    But in the wake of the injuries, Arnold said the Wildcats did a great job of coming together and continuing to get the job done. 

    "They've just been real resilient in terms of coming to work every day and getting better,'' Arnold said.

  • Hayden star Finn Dunshee fights back from knee injury to get chance to play for 3A title: 'It's really just pure joy'

    Rick Peterson



    Playing for a state championship is something every high school athlete dreams of.

    FinnDunsheeSLake 1Hayden senior Finn Dunshee has rushed for 821 yards and 14 touchdowns entering Saturday's Class 3A state championship game despite missing five full games with an injury. [File photo/TSN]

    And no athlete feels more blessed to get that opportunity than Hayden senior star running back Finn Dunshee, who will help lead the 12-0 Wildcats into Saturday's 1 p.m. Class 3A title game against 12-0 Cheney at Hutchinson's Gowans Stadium. 

    "I'm just happy to be here,'' the 5-foot-10, 185-pounder said. "I wouldn't want to be here with any other team, these boys are great. It's really just pure joy.''

    That joy was heartbreak just a few weeks ago after Dunshee suffered a torn medial collateral ligament in his knee early in Hayden's Week 5 district game against Perry-Lecompton.

    "It was just a normal sweep, our bread and butter, and someone was being blocked downfield and he got off his block and he pulled me down from behind,'' Dunshee explained. "I just kind of got spun around and landed on it wrong and it just went.

    "I could feel that something wasn't right in my knee. I think I stayed in for one play and then I came off. It was a complete tear.''

     Dunshee's initial fear was that his senior season was over.

    "At first the doctor said I'd be done, so I'm just happy to be out here and have gotten another chance,'' Dunshee said.

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers Nov. 20, 2023

    Rick Peterson



     FinnDunshee2023 2Finn Dunshee

    FINN DUNSHEE, Hayden

    A 5-foot-10, 185-pound senior, Dunshee carried the ball 13 times for 129 yards and scored four touchdowns as Hayden advanced to the Class 3A state football championship game with a 42-14 playoff win over Holton Friday night at Hayden. Dunshee, who saw his most extensive action since suffering a knee injury in Week 5, scored on a 65-yard run on the Wildcats' first play from scrimmage and also added a 4-yard TD run and hooked up with Connor Hanika for 4 and 30-yard TD passes.

    YibariNwidadahWUmug 2Yibari Nwidadah

    YIBARI NWIDADAH, Washburn University

    Nwidadah, a 6-2 sophomore center, was named the Most Outstanding Player in the Hansen Speark Funeral Home Classic at Quincy, Ill. after helping lead the 3-1 Washburn women's basketball team to a pair of lopsided wins and the Ichabods' third straight win overall. Nwidadah, an Olathe North product, scored 10 points and grabbed five rebounds in just 14 minutes of action in Friday's 80-64 win over McKendree and scored 15 points and grabbed eight rebounds in 20 minutes in Saturday's 97-62 win over Quincy, Ill. Nwidadah is averaging 13.5 points and 10.5 rebounds, with two double-doubles.

    JensenSchrickel2023 2Jensen Schrickel


    A 5-10, 150 junior, Schrickel scored a pair of touchdowns in Friday's 42-14 Class 3A state semifinal win over Holton at Hayden. Schrickel returned a kickoff 60 yards for a TD after Holton had scored its first touchdown of the night to cut Hayden's lead to 21-7 and Schrickel scored on a 28-yard touchdown pass from Connor Hanika to help Hayden put the game away after Holton had cut the Wildcats' lead to 28-14. Schrickel also scored on a two-point conversion pass from Hanika.

  • Washburn Rural tops 2023 All-City boys soccer team with four first-team picks

    Rick Peterson



    Washburn Rural, which captured its 29th straight Centennial League boys championship (outright or shared) and finished third in the Class 6A state tournament, leads the 2023 Topeka All-City boys soccer team with four first-team picks.

    GriffinHeinen2023 2Griffin Heinen, Washburn Rural

    CohenNimzSH 2Cohen Nimz, Washburn Rural

    DevonRutschmann2023 2Devon Rutschmann, Washburn Rural

    EthanUhlrig2023 2Ethan Uhlrig, Washburn Rural

    The Junior Blues are represented on the 13-member first team, selected by city coaches, by seniors Griffin Heinen (midfielder), Cohen Nimz (defender), Devon Rutschmann (forward) and Ethan Uhlrig (goalkeeper) while Washburn Rural coach Brian Hensyel was named the city co-coach of the year with Topeka West's Josh Kutter.

  • A game-by-game look at Friday night's Shawnee County FB playoff games

    Rick Peterson




    Class 6A

    JCHeimWRuralWEast 1Washburn Rural senior JC Heim scored three touchdowns, including a 95-yard run, in last Friday's 35-14 Class 6A playoff win over Wichita East. [File photo/TSN]

    DERBY (10-1) at WASHBURN RURAL (11-0)

    Washburn Rural, the No. 1 West seed, is coming off a 35-14 home playoff win over Wichita East last Friday while Derby advanced with a 23-21 win over 2022 Class 6A state champion Manhattan. Rural has won 11 straight games since dropping a 36-21 state quarterfinal decision at Derby a year ago while Derby has won 10 straight since a 33-19 loss to Manhattan in the opening game of the '23 season.

    Rural senior quarterback Branton DeWeese has completed 111 of 180 pass attempts for 1,644 yards and 27 touchdowns while junior Lafayette Thompson has rushed for 559 yards and four TDs on 93 attempts and senior JC Heim has 453 yards and nine TDs on 67 carries.

    Senior Titan Osburn has 29 pass receptions for 528 yards and 11 touchdowns and Thompson has 22 catches for 278 yards and three scores.

    Defensively, JC Heim has been in on 153 tackles (91 solo) with 17 tackles for loss while Jaren Heim has 116 tackles (62 solo) with 10 tackles for loss and senior Jamond Lane has 67 stops (38 solo) with eight tackles for loss and four sacks.

    Junior King Leonard has nine interceptions on the season while junior Wilson Miller has five interceptions. Both Leonard and Miller have returned interceptions for touchdowns.

    Derby senior quarterback Braxton Clark has completed 80 of 110 pass attempts for 1,246 yards and 14 touchdowns in seven games and has rushed for 268 yards and seven TDs on 59 attempts.

    Panther senior Derek Hubbard has rushed for 917 yards and 13 TDs on 124 carries while senior Colton Ruedy has 40 receptions for 706 yards and four TDs and junior Da'saahn Brame has 39 catches for 807 yards and 12 scores.

  • A game-by-game look at Friday's Shawnee County FB playoffs

    Rick Peterson

    TopSports.news (Games at 7 p.m.)


    Class 6A

    BrantonDeWeeseWRural 2Senior Branton DeWeese threw for three touchdowns in Washburn Rural's 27-20 Class 6A playoff win over Junction City last Friday. [File photo/TSN]


    Washburn Rural, the No. 1 West seed, is coming off a 27-20 home playoff win over Junction City last Friday while Wichita East advanced with a 48-28 win over Wichita Northwest. Rural has won 10 straight games for the first time since a perfect 12-0 season in 1989 and has won 10 games in a season for the first time since 1992. Rural senior quarterback Branton DeWeese threw for three touchdowns against Junction City, including a 69-yard game-winning strike to senior Calvin Hayes with 6:15 left in the game. Senior JC Heim scored a pair of TDs and starred defensively for the Junior Blues in last week's win while junior King Leonard had a pair of pass interceptions. Washburn Rural will be playing a Wichita East team that it faced in the opening game of the 2023 season, with the Junior Blues taking a 26-25 win in that game at Bowen-Glaze Stadium. The winner of Friday's game will advance to the 6A sub-state round to face the winner of Friday's game between Manhattan (9-1) and Derby (9-1) at Manhattan. With a win Friday Rural will be at home for the sub-state contest.

    Class 5A

    MaxHustonPiper 1Seaman junior quarterback Max Huston helped lead the Vikings to a 31-28 upset win over No. 1 Class 5A seed De Soto last Friday. [File photo/TSN]

    SEAMAN (6-4) at MILL VALLEY (8-2)

    Seaman, the No. 9 seed in the 5A East, posted its second straight Class 5A road playoff win over a higher seed last Friday, knocking off No. 1 East seed De Soto 31-28 on junior Ethan Geiger's 25-yard field goal with 7:08 remaining. Four-time defending state champion Mill Valley advanced with a 56-7 win over Spring Hill. Seaman junior quarterback Max Huston ran for two touchdowns and threw for two TDs in the win over De Soto. Huston has completed 188 of 309 passes for 2,774 yards and 34 touchdowns while senior Callen Barta has caught 63 passes for 1,254 yards and 16 TDs and junior Bryer Finley has 43 receptions for 529 yards and nine TDs and senior Holden Finley has 41 catches for 548 yards and six TDs. Huston is also Seaman's leading rusher with 581 yards and seven TDs on 115 attempts. Mill Valley senior Tristan Baker has carried the ball 161 times for 1,132 yards and 16 touchdowns while

  • Individual stars Fink, Miller, team power Rural top All-Shawnee County girls XC

    Rick Peterson

    All ShawneeCountygirlsXCThe 2023 All-Shawnee County girls cross country team: Front row, from left -- Sofia Harper, Hayden; Elliot Wrench, Hayden; Savannah Sampson, Seaman; Stella Appelhanz, Seaman; Payton Rice, Topeka West; Juliahnna Savago, Topeka High. Back row, from left -- coach Matt Swedlund, Washburn Rural; Emily Graf, Washburn Rural; Brooklyn Nolte, Washburn Rural; Rylee Ismert, Washburn Rural; Payton Fink, Washburn Rural; Brynn Spencer, Seaman; Ryin Miller, Seaman. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]



    Washburn Rural, which swept city, Centennial League and Class 6A regional championships, put four runners on the 2023 All-Shawnee County girls cross country team, which includes top-three state finishers Payton Fink of Rural and Seaman's Ryin Miller and four state medalists overall.

    Fink, a junior, was the 6A individual runnerup after winning Centennial League and regional titles and is joined on the all-county team by Rural state medalists Rylee Ismert and Emily Graf and first-team repeat pick Brooklyn Nolte.

    Rural coach Matt Swedlund was named the girls Shawnee County coach of the year for 2023.

    Miller, a sophomore, finished third in the 5A state meet after sweeping city, United Kansas Conference and 5A regional titles and is joined on the all-county first team by fellow Seaman all-county repeat pick Stella Appelhanz, senior Savannah Sampson and freshman standout Brynn Spencer.

    Also earning All-Shawnee County first-team recognition are Hayden state qualifiers Elliot Wrench and Sofia Harper, Topeka West two-time state qualifier Payton Rice and Topeka High freshman standout Juliahnna Savago.

    All-Shawnee County girls capsules:

  • T-Bird state champion Esquibel headlines All-Shawnee County boys XC

    Rick Peterson

     All ShawneeCountyboysXCThe 2023 All-Shawnee County boys cross country team: Front row, from left -- Max Gutierrez, Washburn Rural; Evan Carter, Shawnee Heights; Elijah Phelps, Topeka West; Jack Walker, Seaman; Brody Anderson, Seaman; coach Luke Wiens, Seaman. Back row, from left -- coach John Oshel, Shawnee Heights; Higgins Hawks, Washburn Rural; Brooks Kehoe, Washburn Rural; Conner Olsen, Washburn Rural; Adrian Lehman, Topeka West; Aiden Amis, Hayden. Not pictured: Jackson Esquibel, Shawnee Heights. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]



    Shawnee Heights senior star Jackson Esquibel headlines the 2023 All-Shawnee County boys cross country team after winning his first Class 5A state XC title this fall after winning a state track championship last spring.

    JacksonEsquibelUKC 1Shawnee Heights senior Jackson Esquibel headlines the 2023 All-Shawnee County cross country team after winning the Class 5A state title. [File photo/TSN]

    Esquibel, a four-time state qualifier and three-time state XC medalist, won the 5A title in a five-kilometer time of 15 minutes, 34 seconds at Rim Rock Farm to complete a sweep of the city, United Kansas Conference, regional and state individual titles as a senior.

    Washburn Rural, which won the city team championship, is represented on the all-county team by senior Max Gutierrez, junior Conner Olsen and sophomores Brooks Kehoe and Higgins Hawks, with Kehoe and Olsen qualifying as individuals for the state meet. .

    Seaman, which qualified as a team for the 5A state meet, put sophomores Brody Anderson and Jack Walker on the all-county team while Topeka West is represented by senior Elijah Phelps and junior Adrian Lehman and Shawnee Heights by junior Evan Carter.

    Hayden senior Aiden Amis, a 3A state qualifier, represents the Wildcats on the All-Shawnee County team.

    Shawnee Heights coach John Oshel and Seaman coach Luke Wiens were named the boys co-coaches of the year for 2023.

    All-Shawnee County boys capsules:

  • A1 Lock & Key Performers Nov. 6, 2023

    Rick Peterson



    AllenBaughman2023 2Allen Baughman

    ALLEN BAUGHMAN, Shawnee Heights

    A 5-foot-8, 180-pound senior running back, Baughman carried the ball 12 times for 177 yards and three touchdowns in the first half last Thursday night as Shawnee Heights rolled to a 56-20 win over Highland Park in the regional round of the Class 5A football playoffs. Baughman scored on runs of 4, 70 and 20 yards as Shawnee Heights improved to 8-2 on the season.

    JCHeim2023mug 1JC Heim

    JC HEIM, Washburn Rural

    Heim a 6-2, 225-pound running back/linebacker, starred on both offense and defense Friday night as Washburn Rural improved to 10-0 with a 27-20 win over Junction City in the regional round of the Class 6A playoffs. Unofficially, Heim rushed for 67 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries and caught three passes for 21 yards and a touchdown. Heim scored on a 2-yard run and a 23-yard pass from Branton DeWeese.

    GriffinHeinenmug 4Griffin Heinen

    GRIFFIN HEINEN, Washburn Rural

    A senior midfielder, Heinen had an assist and the game-winning goal on Saturday as Washburn Rural's soccer team capped a 19-2 season with a 2-1 win over Dodge City in the third-place game of the Class 6A state tournament. Heinen was credited with the assist on Hayden Shriver's goal 1:26 into the game and scored the game-winning goal with just 56 seconds remaining off an assist from Devon Rutschmann.

  • State champion Seaman headlines 2023 TSN All-Shawnee County VB

    Rick Peterson



    Seaman, which won its first Class 5A state championship, put four players on the TopSports.news 2023 All-Shawnee County volleyball team, led by player of the year Maegan Mills.

    MaeganMillsUKC 2Seaman junior Maegan Mills has been named the Shawnee County volleyball player of the year after heping lead the Vikings to a 38-6 record and the Class 5A state title. [File photo/TSN]

    TatianaDowlingSeaman coach Tatiana Dowling was named the TSN Shawnee County coach of the year after leading the Vikings to the Class 5A state volleyball title. [File photo/TSN]

    Mills, a junior, is joined on the all-county first team by Viking seniors Brooklyn Gormley and Taylin Stallbaumer and junior Reagan McGivern while Seaman's Tatiana Dowling, a Seaman grad, was named the coach of the year after leading the Vikings to a 38-6 record, including five straight-set wins in the state tournament.

    Mills and Gormley are first-team repeaters while Stallbaumer and McGivern move up to the first team after being second-teamers in 2022.

    Silver Lake, which placed third in the 3A state tournament, is represented on the first team by seniors Mckinley Kruger and Sarah Wehrli and junior Ella Bolan, with Kruger and Wehrli earning all-county honorable mention a year ago.

    Washburn Rural seniors Jada Ingram and Zoe Canfield and junior Layla Collins are first-team selections after helping the Junior Blues win the Centennial League championship and advance to the 6A state tournament.

    Ingram and Canfield are both first-team All-Shawnee County repeat picks while Collins moves up from the second team.

    Rossville, which posted a 31-8 record, is represented on the first team by seniors Kinsey Perine, a three-time All-Shawnee County first-teamer, and Kinley Porter, who moves up from the second team. 

    Cair Paravel Latin is represented by senior Mayah Pridgett while Topeka West senior Addison Brooks, Shawnee Heights junior Kaydence Torrez and Hayden sophomore Ella Foster also earned all-county first-team recognition.

    Pridgett has been a second-team all-county pick the last two seasons while Brooks received honorable mention the past two seasons and Foster and Torrez received honorable mention a year ago.

    Rossville freshman Nora Burdiek was selected as the county newcomer of the year after compiling 312 kills and 181 digs in her first season of high school volleyball.

    All-Shawnee County first-team capsules:

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