Shawnee Heights Thunderbirds vertSilver Lake Eagles

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  • TopSports.news' Top 100 Athletes in Shawnee County History: Men's No. 41-50

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    The latest men's picks in TopSports.news' Shawnee County All-Time Top 100 are not only a testament to some of the county's all-time greats in six different sports but also provide a bit of a history test for even the most seasoned of local sports fans.

    TSN's latest group of 10 Top 100 honorees (picks No. 41-50) includes athletes who achieved the bulk of their athletic greatness in seven different decades covering more than 100 years.

    Included are "Dink'' Mothell, who made his professional baseball debut in 1914, while Highland Park's Ed Delk excelled in the 1950s, Seaman and Washburn star Dode Lesser and Washburn Rural grad Tom Bunger made their mark in the '60s, Silver Lake and Shawnee Heights legends Tony Leiker and Marcel Carter ruled the '80s and Seaman's Justin Glasgow was a multi-sport state champ in the 1990s.

    Highland Park's Jared Huske was one of the nation's best hurdlers in the opening decade of the 21st century while Hayden's Nick Stringer celebrated an undefeated state football title before going on to an All-Big 12 career at Kansas State.

    For fans that prefer more contemporary achievements, Seaman and Kansas star pitcher Ryan Zeferjahn is still blazing his path, currently pitching at the AAA level for the Boston Red Sox.    

    TSN SHAWNEE COUNTY ALL-TIME TOP 100 MEN’S ATHLETES

  • TopSports.news' Top 100 Athletes in Shawnee County History: Women's No. 41-50

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Five All-Americans, including a national player of the year, headline women's picks No. 41-50 on TopSports.news' Shawnee County All-Time Top 100 list. 

    The late Arica Shepard, a volleyball star at Rossville and a three-time All-American for Emporia State, earned the No. 41 berth on the Top 100 while former Topeka High basketball star Kiki Smith was named the national player of the year in her first college season after helping Hutchinson Community College win the national junior college championship.

    Washburn University basketball All-Americans Nikki Olberding (Seaman) and Kelly Jennings (Topeka High) and Fort Hays State All-American Tatyana Legette (Seaman) also earned spots in the latest installment of Top 100 selections as did four-time Class 6A volleyball state champion Alexa Bordewick of Washburn Rural and multi-sport standouts Cierra Ceazer (Shawnee Heights) and Erika Lane (Washburn Rural).

    Lauren Mills was a state softball champion at Seaman before a standout career at Wichita State while Ceazer, Jennings, Lane and the late Tisharria Huggins (Topeka West) also won state titles at the high school level.  

    TSN SHAWNEE COUNTY ALL-TIME TOP 100 WOMEN’S ATHLETES

  • TopSports.news' Top 100 Athletes in Shawnee County History: Men's No. 51-60

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    The latest men's picks in TopSports.news' Shawnee County All-Time Top 100 range from a player who competed at the top level of professional tennis to a Major League baseball player who was teammates with legends "Shoeless Joe'' Jackson and Cy Young to local stars who made their mark in various other sports.

    TSN's latest group of 10 Top 100 honorees is headed by former Topeka High tennis star Joel Hoffman, who won a pair of state titles for the Trojans before competing at the Division I level for Houston and on the International ATP men's circuit.

    Picks No. 51 through 60 also includes Art Griggs, who made his big league baseball debut in the early 1900s, as well as storied amateur golfer Bill McDonald, star swimmer Glenn Trammel, pro bowling history maker Bob Benoit, MLB pitcher Jim Golden, track and field stars Dan O'Mara and Jason Stuke and multiple-sport standouts Duane "Blackie'' Melvin and Scott Leon.

    TSN SHAWNEE COUNTY ALL-TIME TOP 100 MEN’S ATHLETES

  • TopSports.news' Top 100 Athletes in Shawnee County History: Women's No. 51-60

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Local greats who made their mark in six sports at the high school, college and amateur level earned spots No. 51-60 on TopSports.news' Shawnee County All-Time Top 100 list. 

    Shawnee Heights product Faith Rottinghaus, No. 51 on the Top 100 list, helped the T-Birds win Class 5A state titles in volleyball and softball before going on to earn first-team All-America honors for Washburn University, which posted a second-place national finish her senior season.

    Rottinghaus is joined on the Top 100 by Washburn Hall of Famers Rhonda Matzke (Silver Lake) and Billie Jean Moore (Highland Park), with the late Moore going down in history as a legendary women's basketball coach.

    In addition to hoops star Matzke, the latest group of 10 honorees include prolific Rossville scorer Jennifer Perine and Washburn Rural state champion Jamie Blakely, who both went on to standout careers at Emporia State. 

    Three of the county's most decorated cross country and track performers -- Washburn Rural's Avery Clifton and Jaybe Shufelberger and Seaman's Sydney Messick -- all earned spots in TSN's fifth installment of Top 100 picks as did former Rural multi-time state golf champions Abby Glynn and Megan Lucas, who both went on to Division I college careers.

    TSN SHAWNEE COUNTY ALL-TIME TOP 100 WOMEN’S ATHLETES

  • TopSports.news' Top 100 Athletes in Shawnee County History: Men's No. 61-70

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    A pair of athletes who played in the NFL, a Major League Baseball alum and a United States Olympian are part of the fourth installment of men's picks in TopSports.news' Shawnee County All-Time Top 100 project.

    TSN's latest group of 10 Top 100 honorees is headed by former Topeka High star Lamar Mady, who played for the Raiders before putting together a long and continuing career in professional indoor football, while Washburn Rural and Kansas State alum Will Cokeley also got a taste of the NFL with the Buffalo Bills while also playing in the United States Football League and Canadian Football League.

    Picks No. 61 through 70 is top heavy with Topeka High products, including U.S. volleyball Olympian Chuck Nelson, Major League pitcher Ken "Hook'' Johnson, Trojan football stars Levi Lee and Troy Slusser and local softball legends Milo Mitchell and Joe Douglas.

    Seaman grad and Washburn University baseball star J.P. Wright, a former NAIA Player of the Year, earned a spot in the Top 100 along with Washburn Rural product Luke Yarnell, who played Arena Football League for 10 seasons after starring at Coffeyville Community College and Southwestern Louisiana. 

    TSN SHAWNEE COUNTY ALL-TIME TOP 100 MEN’S ATHLETES

  • TopSports.news' Top 100 Athletes in Shawnee County History: Women's No. 61-70

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Five of the best known names in Shawnee County softball earned spots on TopSports.news' fourth group of Shawnee County All-Time Top 100 honorees while spots No. 61-70 also included three local soccer greats as well as swimming and golf stars. 

    Silver Lake product Brenda Stolle, who helped Emporia State capture a national softball title, earned the No. 61 spot on the Top 100 while the latest grouping also includes former Washburn Rural and ESU All-American Taylor Zordel, Silver Lake star and Washburn University Hall of Famer Kathy Mohler, Seaman state champ and Division I standout Hailey Reed and Rural multi-sport standout and Kansas pitcher Kasey Hamilton. 

    The group of honorees also includes former soccer national champion Leea Murphy of Shawnee Heights as well as Washburn Rural stars Kaira Houser and Darby Hirsch while Topeka West product Kadence Jeffries won six state swimming titles in as many tries and Topeka High grad Rachel Stous established herself as one of the area's top women's golfers.

    TSN SHAWNEE COUNTY ALL-TIME TOP 100 WOMEN’S ATHLETES

  • TopSports.news' Top 100 Athletes in Shawnee County History: Men's No. 71-80

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    A former world record-holder in track, two of Shawnee County's all-time tennis greats, a Major League Baseball alum, a top MLB draft pick, three Division I athletes in basketball and football and a pair of record-setting quarterbacks comprise the third group of men's picks in TopSports.news' Shawnee County All-Time Top 100 project.

    TSN's group of 10 Top 100 honorees in the No. 71 through 80 spots includes former American and world record-holder Clardy Vinson of Topeka High and Topeka West multi-sport star and Kansas Jayhawk C.B. McGrath as well as four-time state tennis champ Tommy Hunter of Hayden and three-time champ John Grantham of Topeka High.

    Picks No. 71 through 80 also include former Division I athletes Bennie Simecka of Rossville and Theron Wilson of Highland Park, former MLB pitcher Rick DeHart and top draft pick David Proctor and former Silver Lake and Rossville stars Shannon Kruger and Tucker Horak.

    TSN SHAWNEE COUNTY ALL-TIME TOP 100 MEN’S ATHLETES

  • TopSports.news' Top 100 Athletes in Shawnee County History: Women's No. 71-80

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    A group of Shawnee County greats that excelled in five different sports earned spots No. 71-80 on the women's TopSports.news Shawnee County All-Time Top 100 list.

    The third installment of the TSN women's picks is widely diverse, including college softball All-Americans Susan Punzo (Shawnee Heights) and Chris Torrez (Topeka West), tennis stars Danielle Knipp of Washburn Rural and Meg Griffin of Topeka West, who went on to excel at Division I Oklahoma and Maryland, respectively, as well as Topeka West star swimmer Kelli Dudley, who helped Truman State win three straight national swimming titles. 

    The group of honorees also includes Shawnee Heights product Stefine Pease, who put together a Hall of Fame volleyball career for Lipscomb, along with former T-Bird basketball standout Lori Roenbaugh, a 1,000-point career scorer for Washburn University, and former city tennis stars Tonna Rieger (Topeka West), Alex O'Neal (Hayden) and Zebbie Roberson (Hayden), who all won three state high school championships.

    TSN SHAWNEE COUNTY ALL-TIME TOP 100 WOMEN’S ATHLETES

  • TopSports.news' Top 100 Athletes in Shawnee County History: Men's No. 81-90

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    A national golfer of the year, a pair of baseball All-Americans, two of Shawnee County's all-time wrestling greats, an individual and state team-champion swimmer and multiple athletes who competed in NCAA Championships are included in the second group of men's picks in TopSports.news' Shawnee County All-Time Top 100 project.

    TSN's second group of 10 Top 100 honorees (No. 81 through 90) includes former NCAA Division II golfer of the year Andrew Beckler, a Washburn Rural product, as well as former wrestling greats Tagen Lambotte of Rossville and Bishop Murray of Washburn Rural, who combined for seven individual state titles, baseball All-Americans Chris Carlson of Seaman and Shane Wright of Hayden and former Seaman star Zeke Metz, who helped lead the Vikings to the city's first swimming state team championship.

    Picks No. 81 through 90 also include former NCAA track and field qualifier Mikey Hoffer of Shawnee Heights, former Highland Park basketball star Lamont Austin, who won high school and national junior college titles and played in the NCAA basketball championships, and multi-sport stars and Division I standouts Rapheal Posey of Highland Park and Duane Zlatnik of Rossville.

    TSN SHAWNEE COUNTY ALL-TIME TOP 100 MEN’S ATHLETES

  • TopSports.news' Top 100 Athletes in Shawnee County History: Women's No. 81-90

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Seven of Shawnee County's most accomplished athletes in swimming and wrestling are among the second group of 10 women's honorees in TopSports.news' Shawnee County All-Time Top 100 project.

    Picks 81-90, which also includes three local volleyball greats, features five former swimmers who were multi-time state champions, including Hayden's Kristin Strecker, who went on to swim at Nebraska, and Washburn Rural alums Haley Molden and Sammie Schurig, who went on to become standouts at Kansas, as well as former Hayden stars Kristen Carlson and Katie Merriam.

    Washburn Rural's Dajia Anderson and Addison Broxterman, who helped Rural establish itself as the state's most dominant girls wrestling program, also earned Top 100 berths along with former county volleyball stars Sandy Werner of Washburn Rural, Seaman's Breanna Lewis and Silver Lake's Alyssa Schultejans.

    Both Werner and Schultejans played at Kansas State while Lewis earned All-America honors at Washburn University and is a member of the WU Hall of Fame.

    TSN SHAWNEE COUNTY ALL-TIME TOP 100 WOMEN’S ATHLETES

  • TopSports.news' Top 100 Athletes in Shawnee County History: Men's No. 91-100

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Six former state champs, a pair of baseball All-Americans, a Major League Baseball alum and a current Division I football standout headline the opening men's picks in TopSports.news' Shawnee County All-Time Top 100 project.

    TSN's first group of 10 Top 100 honorees includes athletes who participated in seven different sports, including recent stars Tanner Newkirk of Hayden, Tre Richardson of Highland Park and Desmond Purnell of Hayden, who are currently participating at the college level.

    The first men's Top 100 selections also include Washburn Rural product Austin Halsey, one of the city's most decorated soccer athletes, as well as former MLB pitcher Larry Miller, college baseball All-Americans Jordan Cooper (Shawnee Heights) and Ben Carlson (Seaman) and NCAA cross country qualifiers Jacob Morgan (Washburn Rural) and Rob Hays (Topeka West).

    TSN SHAWNEE COUNTY ALL-TIME TOP 100 MEN’S ATHLETES

  • TopSports.news' Top 100 Athletes in Shawnee County History: Women's No. 91-100

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    A group of nine former Shawnee County standouts and one rising star who represent seven different sports kick off the TopSports.news' Shawnee County All-Time Top 100 project.

    From gymnastics, which is no longer offered at county high schools, to shooting, which was never a KSHSAA sport, to more traditional sports like volleyball, golf, track and field and cross country and the state's fastest growing sport of girls wrestling, TSN's first group of 10 Top 100 honorees includes seven individual state champions as well as three state champions, including four-time Class 6A team volleyball champ Kelsey Lewis of Washburn Rural.

    The first group out of the gate also features the youngest Top 100 honoree, Seaman track and cross country star Ryin Miller, who has already earned her spot as one of Kansas' all-time bests in just two years of high school.

    TSN SHAWNEE COUNTY ALL-TIME TOP 100 WOMEN’S ATHLETES

  • TopSports.news set to kick off Top 100 project

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    On Tuesday, July 9, TopSports.news will kick off its three-week project picking its Top 100 greatest women's and men's athletes in Shawnee County history. 

    After receiving input from current and past media professionals with more than 100 years of combined experience, TSN will kick things off with its No. 91 through 100 picks on its all-time women's list and will continue posting women's and men's picks 10 at a time before culminating with the Women's Top 10 on July 27 and the Men's Top 10 on July 28.

    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]

     NiJareeCanadyTop100 2Former Topeka High star NiJaree Canady received national pitcher of the year and player of the year honors 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 and a member of the U.S. Under21 national team. [Kentucky Volleyball]

    County athletes have made their mark in a variety of sports at the high school, collegiate, national amateur and professional levels over the years and TSN's goal is to recognize as many of those athletes as possible.

    The only Top 100 requirement is that eligible candidates must have grown up in Shawnee County or attended one of the county's 10 high schools.

    While it's an impossible task to honor all the deserving individuals and not everybody will agree with TSN's selections, we hope that you enjoy this trip down memory lane that recognizes local athletes dating from those born in the 1800s to those just beginning to make their mark.

    TSN SHAWNEE COUNTY ALL-TIME TOP 100 ATHLETES TENTATIVE SCHEDULE

    July 9 -- Women's No. 91 through 100.

    July 10 -- Men's No. 91 through 100.

    July 11 -- Women's No. 81 through 90.

    July 12 -- Men's No. 81 through 90.

    July 13 -- Women's No. 71 through 80.

    July 14 -- Men's No. 71 through 80.

    July 15 -- Women's No. 61 through 70.

    July 16 -- Men's No. 61 through 70.

    July 17 -- Women's No. 51 through 60.

    July 18 -- Men's No. 51 through 60.

    July 19 -- Women's No. 41 through 50.

    July 20 -- Men's No. 41 through 50.

    July 21 -- Women's No. 31 through 40.

    July 22 -- Men's No. 31 through 40.

    July 23 -- Women's No. 21 through 30.

    July 24 -- Men's No. 21 through 30.

    July 25 -- Women's No. 11 through 20.

    July 26 -- Men's No. 11 through 20.

    July 27 -- Women's No.10 through 1.

    July 28 -- Men's No. 10 through 1.

     

     

     

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  • Trojans' Beall named Topeka Shawnee County Most Inspirational Female

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Recent Topeka High graduate McCall Beall was selected as the Topeka Shawnee County Most Inspirational Female Athlete of the Year Wedneday night at Washburn University.

    Beall was a team captain for the Topeka High softball team while earning first-team All-Class 6A and All-Centennial League and second-team All-Shawnee County recognition as a senior.

    McCallBeallTSCOaction 2Recent Topeka High graduate McCall Beall played on two Class 6A state championship softball teams for the Trojans and was also a multi-time state qualifier in tennis. [Submitted photo]

    McCallBeallTSCOaction 1Topeka High product McCall Beall was named the Topeka Shawnee County Female Most Inspirational Athlete of the Year Wednesday night at Washburn University. [File photo/TSN]

    A part of back-to-back state championship softball teams as a freshman and sophomore, Beall was also a tennis standout for the Trojans, qualifying for the Class 6A state tournament in as a junior and senior.

    "As much as she has excelled on the field, she also helped to lead the Topeka High student body as the student body president,'' Beall's nomination form stated.

    Beall also participated in band and the Topeka High Drumline, Scholars Bowl and numerous academic-based clubs. 

    The daughter of Thomas Beall and Andrea Palmer, Beall compiled a 4.3 grade point average in high school.

    SPRING SPORTS: MOST INSPIRATIONAL FEMALE NOMINEES

  • Stallbaumer named Topeka Shawnee County Fall Female Athlete of the Year

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Seaman multi-sport standout Taylin Stallbaumer, who helped lead the Vikings to their first Class 5A state volleyball championship, was named the TopSports.news Topeka Shawnee County Fall Female Athlete of the Year during Wednesday's awards banquet at Washburn University.

    TaylinStallbaumerTSCOaction 2Recent Seaman graduate Taylin Stallbaumer was named the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards Fall Female Athlete of the Year Wednesday night. [File photo/TSN]

    "Taylin was a three-sport athlete at Seaman, excelling in all of them,'' Seaman coach Tatiana Dowling said. "She is highly competitive and athletic. She makes people around her better, leads by example and is a great teammate.''

    Stallbaumer ranks second on Seaman's all-time list in assists (1,394), fourth in aces (134), fifth in kills (663), sixth in digs (873), seventh in hitting percentage (.205) and ninth in blocks (91).

    Stallbaumer also helped the Vikings win the 5A state basketball title and helped Seaman reach the state quarterfinals in soccer.

    Stallbaumer will play volleyball at Johnson County Community College.

    The daughter of Todd and Tonya Stallbaumer, Taylin compiled a 3.5 cumulative grade point average.

    Other candidates:

    FALL SPORTS: OUTSTANDING FEMALE NOMINEES

  • T-Birds' Esquibel, Vikings' Merritt Topeka Shawnee County Co-Spring Male Athletes of the Year

    Rick Peterson

     By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Class 5A state track champions Jackson Esquibel of Shawnee Heights and Aaron Merritt of Seaman were selected as the Topeka Shawnee County Co-Spring Male Athletes of the Year Wedneday night at Washburn University.

    JacksonEsquibelSTATETRACK1600Shawnee Heights product Jackson Esquibel (left) was named the Co-Shawnee County Spring Male Athlete of the Year Wednesday night. [File photo/TSN]

    AaronMerrittSTATESTRACKJesse 1Recent Seaman graduate Aaron Merritt (middle) won the Class 5A 100-meter and 110 hurdles championships as a senior. [Photo by Jesse Bruner/Special to TSN]

    As a senior Esquibel won his second straight 5A 3,200 meters state championship after winning the 5A state cross country title last fall. Esquibel set school records in the 3,200 (9 minutes, 13.85 seconds), 1,600 (4:15.26) and 800 (1:56.43). Esquibel finished second in the 5A 1,600 meters as both a junior and senior.

    "Jackson has been a leader in both sports, always being a great mentor and teammate,'' Shawnee Heights track and cross country coach John Oshel said.

    Esquibel will compete collegiately in cross country and track at Kansas State. As a junior Esquibel was selected as the male Rising Star of the Year for Shawnee County.

    Esquibel, the son of Scott and Amy Esquibel, carried a 3.96 grade point average at Shawnee Heights.

    Merritt was a double 5A gold medalist in track and field as a senior, winning the 110-meter hurdles and the 100-meter dash. Merritt also anchored the Vikings' 4x100 relay to a second-place finish at state.

    "Aaron is very dependable, talented, and has an incredible work ethic,'' Seaman track coach Scott Petersen said. "He has been fantastic to coach and deserves all the success he earned this spring.  As great of an athlete as he is, with all of his accolades, he’s an even better person.''

    Merritt's winning times in the 110 hurdles and 100 dash in the state meet were the fastest in all classes.

    The ton of Toby and Robin Merritt, Aaron compiled a 3.6 grade point average in high school.

    SPRING SPORTS: OUTSTANDING MALE NOMINEES

  • TopSports.news to honor Shawnee County's top senior student-athletes on Wednesday

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    Forty-seven of Shawnee County's premier high school student-athletes from the class of 2024 will be recognized Wednesday night as part of the 19th annual Topeka Shawnee County High School Sports Awards banquet.

    TopSports.news, in partnership with A-1 Lock and Key, Washburn University, Capital Label, Peggy's Tax and Accounting and the Jamie Hornbaker State Farm Insurance Agency, will host the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards and Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and honor Washburn's athletes of the year at the Washburn University Memorial Union (6 p.m. start).

    TaylinStallbaumer2023 1Recent Seaman graduate Taylin Stallbaumer has been nominated in two seasons for the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards after helping the Vikings win Class 5A volleyball and basketball titles. [File photo/TSN]

    MaKenzieMcDanielRoss 1Silver Lake senior Makenzie McDaniel is a nominee for the 2024 Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards after helping the Eagles win the Class 3A state basketball title as a senior. [File photo/TSN]

    BroganMeierCentennial3A Class 6A state swimming champion as a senior, Washburn Rural's Brogan Meier is a nominee for the 2024 Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards. [File photo/TSN]

    FinnDunsheeSTATTRACKSATJesse 1Hayden's Finn Dunshee (middle) was a three-time state champion in the 2024 state track championships and also helped lead the Wildcats to a Class 3A runnerup finish in football. [File photo/TSN]

    TopSports.news will present awards to the 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 list of nominees is listed below.

    To be eligible, an athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.0. Athletes were nominated by their schools' athletic directors and coaches.

    In addition to the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards, Khloe Schuckman and Braden Rose will be honored as Washburn University Athletes of the Year and Bob Benoit, Jim Golden, Kelsey (Chipman) Stringer and Nick Stringer will be inducted as the 2024 Topeka Shawnee County Hall of Fame class.

    A  committee of local media members selected the 2024 high school winners, including the selection of overall female and male athletes of the year. 

    TOPEKA SHAWNEE COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS AWARDS NOMINEES

  • Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame set to add four new members on Wednesday

    By VINCE FRYE, Chairman

    Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame Selection Committee

    Local sports greats Bob Benoit, Jim Golden, Kelsey (Chipman) Stringer and Nick Stringer will be inducted into the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame on Wednesday at Washburn University.

    BobBenoitHOF 1Former PBA bowling star Bob Benoit, now the head coach at Seaman, will be inducted into the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame on Wednesday at Washburn University. [PBA Facebook]

    JimGoldenHOF 10Silver Lake baseball legend and former Major Leaguer Jim Golden will be inducted into the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame on Wednesday. [Submitted photo]

    KelseyStringerHOF 1Kelsey (Chipman) Stringer, a former volleyball star at Washburn Rural and Kansas State, is a member of Wednesday's 2024 Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame induction class. [Kansas State Athletics]

    NickStringerHOF 7Former Hayden state champion and Kansas State All-Big 12 offensive lineman Nick Stringer will be inducted into the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame on Wednesday. [Kansas State Athletics]

    TopSports.news, in partnership with A-1 Lock and Key, Washburn University, Capital Label, Peggy's Tax and Accounting and the Jamie Hornbaker State Farm Insurance Agency, will host the 19th annual Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards/Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Wednesday at Washburn's Memorial Union.

    Benoit was a star on the Professional Bowlers Association Tour in the 1980s and 1990s with four PBA titles and he was the first bowler to ever roll a perfect 300 game in a televised title match. Benoit is currently the boys and girls bowling coach at Seaman High School and he has coached the Vikings to three state team championships.

    Golden carved out a legendary high school career at Silver Lake, leading the Eagles to back-to-back state baseball titles while establishing strikeout records that still stand today. Golden went on to pitch in the Major Leagues for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Colt .45s.

    Kelsey (Chipman) Stringer and Nick Stringer will become the second husband-wife duo inducted into the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame, joining James Patrick and Nadira (Hazim) Patrick.

    Kelsey starred at Washburn Rural and Nick at Hayden, where they both were part of state championship teams, before both went on to play at Kansas State, with Kelsey earning All-Big 12 recognition in volleyball and Nick earning first-team All-Big 12 honors in football as an offensive lineman.

    Shawnee County's top senior high school student-athletes will be also be honored on Wednesday.

    Shawnee County high schools Cair Paravel Latin, Hayden, Highland Park, Rossville, Seaman, Shawnee Heights, Silver Lake, Topeka High, Topeka West and Washburn Rural were asked to nominate one female and male candidate with a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average as outstanding student-athlete nominees for the fall, winter and spring seasons. County high schools were also asked to nominate a female and male candidate for most inspirational athlete.

    A  committee of local media members selected the 2024 winners, including the selection of overall female and male athletes of the year.

    In addition, TSN will recognize Braden Rose and Khloe Schuckman as Washburn University's 2023-2024 male and female Athletes of the Year.

    Hall of Fame Class of 2024 capsules:

  • Rossville's Hurla, Silver Lake's McDaniel Co-Winter Female Athletes of the Year

    Rick Peterson

    By RICK PETERSON

    TopSports.news

    State champions Kendra Hurla of Rossville and Makenzie McDaniel of Silver Lake were named the TopSports.news Topeka Shawnee County Co-Winter Female Athletes of the Year Wednesday at Washburn University during the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Awards banquet and Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

    KendraHurlaTSCOaction 2Recent Rossville graduate Kendra Hurla was named the Topeka Shawnee County Co-Winter Female Athlete of the Year Wednesday at Washburn University. [Submitted photo]

    MakenzieMcDanielTSCOAction 1Silver Lake product Makenzie McDaniel was named the Topeka Shawnee County Co-Winter Female Athlete of the Year Wednesday at Washburn University. [Submitted photo]

    Hurla joined a very elite group of high school athletes when she won her fourth straight Class 4A-1A state wrestling championship in February while McDaniel helped lead Silver Lake to the 3A state basketball championship.

    Hurla posted a career wrestling record of 127-3 with more than 100 career pins, including a 38-0 record as a senior. 

    "Kendra is the definition of a leader,'' Rossville coach Bryce Gfeller said. "Throughout the year she was constantly the one setting our practice pace and making sure that everyone was following her lead. She has inspired many of our younger girls to try wrestling for the first time after watching her compete.''

    Hurla also competed in volleyball, track, cheer and dance and will cheer at Washburn University. 

    McDaniel finished her prep career with 1,493 points, 952 rebounds and 155 blocked shots while ranking No. 1 on Silver Lake's all-time career list in two-point field goals made, defensive rebounds and offensive rebounds and ranking No. 2 in career points and career blocks.

    McDaniel holds the single-season school record in total points, two-point field goals made, points per game, offensive rebounds and defensive rebounds.

    A four-year starter, the Emporia State signee was named the co-Shawnee County player of the year as a senior after averaging 19.8 points and 10.4 rebounds.

    McDaniel was also a standout in volleyball, softball and track and field for the Eagles.

    Hurla is the daughter of Chris and Angie Hurla while McDaniel is the daughter of Lucas and Kelli McDaniel. 

    WINTER SPORTS: OUTSTANDING FEMALE NOMINEES

  • Topeka Shawnee County 2024 Sports Awards: Most Inspirational Male Nominees

    Editor's note: Over the coming days, TopSports.news will take a look at all of the nominees for the 2024 Topeka Shawnee County High School Sports Awards. All nominees will be recognized at the June 26 awards banquet, which will be held in conjunction with the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame induction at Washburn University's Memorial Union.

    SPRING SPORTS: MOST INSPIRATIONAL MALE NOMINEES

    RykanCarverStatemug 1Rykan Carver

    RYKAN CARVER | Shawnee Heights

    PARENTS: Corey and Tricia Carver

    SPORT: Football/Wrestling/Track and Field | GPA: 4.53

     Carver was a three-sport star for Shawnee Heights in football, wrestling and track and field. Carver was an All-United Kansas Conference offensive tackle in football, the Class 5A 285-pound state champion in wrestling and a state qualifier in track in the shot put. Carver was a three-year starter on offense and a two-year starter on defense in football and was a four-year letterman in wrestling. Academically, Carver ranked No. 1 in a graduating class of 251 while compiling a grade point average of 4.53. Carver was a Kansas Governor's Scholar and a member of the National Honor Society, ranking in the top one percent of GPAs for the entire state of Kansas. Carver will study engineering at Kansas State.

    DougPetersonTSCOmug 2Doug Peterson

    DOUG PETERSON | Hayden

    PARENTS: Charles and Amanda Peterson

    SPORT: Football/Track | GPA: 4.019

    "Doug tore his ACL during football season and as a senior missed a great season as Hayden played in the (Class) 3A state championship game,'' Peterson's nomination form stated. "Doug was the biggest cheerleader on the sideline and constantly gave advice to the player that took his place on offense and defense -- a kid with a never say die attitude. He was very positive throughout his injury and rehab.'' He was cleared to participate in track this spring. He was the recipient ot the Kansas State High School Activities Association Citizenship Award from Hayden. "Doug was a leader through example and truly loves his school.''

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