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  • Thursday prep BB roundup: CPLS boys, Rural girls notch big season-opening tournament wins

    Rick Peterson



    Cair Paravel Latin's boys basketball team opened the Chip Kueffer era with a come-from-behind 46-42 win over Burlingame in the opening round of the Waverly tournament.

    Kueffer was making his debut as the Lions' coach and picked up the win as CPLS closed with a strong fourth-quarter rally.

    EvanWillBB 1Cair Paravel senior Evan Will scored 14 points, including the game-winning 3-pointer, in the Lions' 46-42 win over Burlingame on Thursday. [Photo by Jan Pabitzky/Special to TSN]

    Evan Will led the Lions with 14 points and hit the game-winning 3-pointer from the left wing off a pass from Ian Brian.

    Brian also came up with an offensive rebound off a missed Lion free throw with 10 seconds remaining to clinch the win.

    SimonEverhartBB 1CPLS senior Simon Everhart scored 10 points in Thursday's 46-42 season-opening win over Burlingame in the Waverly tournament. [Photo by Jan Pabitzky/Special to TSN]

    TyGossardBB 1Ty Gossard goes to the hoop in Thursday's 46-42 Cair Paravel win over Burlingame. [Photo by Jan Pabitzky/Special to TSN\

    Ty Gossard and Simon Everhart added 10 points apiece for the Lions.

    Cair Paravel will face tournament host Waverly at 7:30 p.m. Friday.


    Maddie Vickery, a 6-foot-1 freshman, scored 18 points in her high school debut, helping lead Washburn Rural to a 53-13 win over Newton in the first round of the Hays Shootout.

    In addition to Vickery's game-high performance, the Junior Blues got 13 points from junior Kate Hinck.

    Washburn Rural played without senior standout Zoe Canfield.

    The Junior Blues, who won the Class 6A state title in 2022 and finished second in 2023, advanced to a 6:30 p.m. Friday semifinal game to face tournament host Hays.

    Rural will close out its tournament appearance on Saturday.


    Burlingame topped Cair Paravel Latin 57-30 in the opening round of the Waverly tournament.

    The Lions will play Waverly at 6 p.m. Friday.


  • Rural's DeWeese headlines 12 city All-Centennial League first-team picks

    Rick Peterson



    Twelve city players earned first-team spots on the 2023 All-Centennial League football team, led by Washburn Rural senior quarterback Branton DeWeese, who was named the offense player of the year.

    BrantonDeWeeseMan 1Washburn Rural senior quarterback Branton DeWeese has been named the Centennial League offensive player of the year after helping lead the Junior Blues to the league title and an 11-1 record overall. [File photo/TSN]

    SteveBuhlerTW 1Steve Buhler has been named the Centennial League coach of the year after leading Washburn Rural to the league title and an 11-1 record on the year. [File photo/TSN]

    DeWeese, who was also a first-team pick on offense, is one of 11 players to receive first-team recognition from Washburn Rural, which won the Centennial League championship on the way to an 11-1 record and advanced to the semifinals of the Class 6A playoffs.

    Washburn Rural coach Steve Buhler was selected as the Centennial League coach of the year.

    Senior wide receiver Titan Osburn, junior offensive linemen Caden Estrada and Jacob Hawks and sophomore running back TJ Minikwu also earned first-team honors for Washburn Rural on offense along with DeWeese while senior linemen Packson Bettis and Jamond Lane, senior linebackers Jaren Heim and JC Heim and junior defensive back Kingston Leonard first-team picks on defense and Rural sophomore Trevon Creager was named the first-team punter.

    Topeka High junior Jayden Norman earned a first-team berth on the all-league offense at wide receiver. 

    Junction City senior Michael Boganowski was named the Centennial defensive player of the year.


  • 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:

  • Prep parade: Bordewick's Junior Blues looking to mount another late-season charge in Class 6A

    Rick Peterson



    After losing a talented senior class, led by Shawnee County player of the year Brooklyn DeLeye, from last year's team that made a run to the Class 6A state championship game, Washburn Rural's girls basketball team might experience some growing pains early in the 2023-2024 season.

    KevinBordewickWR2024 2Washburn Rural coach Kevin Bordewick, who has led Rural to two straight Class 6A championship games, talks to his Junior Blues during a preseason practice. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    But by March, veteran Junior Blues coach Kevin Bordewick is hopeful Washburn Rural can play itself into position for another late-season run after capturing two state titles since 2019.

    "People forget that last year we started off 1-2,'' said Bordewick, whose team went 18-6 a year ago after winning the championship in 2022. "We understand that we want to end up somewhere up there (in 6A), but it doesn't matter where you start. It's where you end up.''

    In addition to graduating DeLeye off last year's team, the Junior Blues also lost All-Shawnee County Top 10 pick Chloe Carlgren and Second 10 pick MaRyah Lutz, but Washburn Rural will be looking to Kansas signee Zoe Canfield and several other players with varsity experience to help the Junior Blues become a title contender in 6A and the Centennial League.

    "You lose an athlete like Brooklyn, who was a three-sport stud, and you lose that leadership, it just takes a while to find your bearings and the leadership that has to come through and shine through,'' said Bordewick, 253-76 at Rural. "But we do have a lot of parts that know what it takes and know what it was like getting there.

    "They understand it's a process. You don't win a state championship in December. You build on that, but those girls last year really embraced the idea that every day you come to practice and you try to get better. It's just one day at a time and I think this is a group that's going to understand that, too.''

  • 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.

  • Rural stars Zoe Canfield, Jada Ingram excited to take next step after signing Division I letters of intent

    Rick Peterson



    Zoe Canfield and Jada Ingram have been side by side for the bulk of their sports careers, so it really wasn't a surprise that the two Washburn Rural stars were together for one of the biggest days of their lives Thursday at Rural.

    With a large group of friends and family on hand, Canfield signed her ceremonial letter of intent with the University of Kansas women's basketball program while Ingram signed to play volleyball at the University of Nevada Las Vegas after the duo helped Washburn Rural win Class 6A state championships in basketball and volleyball during their prep careers.

    IngramCanfieldsigning 1Washburn Rural's Jada Ingram (left) and Zoe Canfield sign their Division I letters of intent Thursday in the Washburn Rural cafeteria. Ingram signed to play volleyball at UNLV and Canfield signed to play basketball at Kansas. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    IngramCanfieldsigning 2Washburn Rural stars Jada Ingram (left) and Zoe Canfield beam Thursday after signing their Division I letters of intent. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    Canfield said that she had decided long ago that she wanted to share her signing with Ingram.

    "We've been friends for like eight years and we played sports together that whole time, so this was definitely something we always dreamed of doing together and it's awesome that if finally happened,'' Canfield said.

    Ingram agreed.

    "It's so cool,'' Ingram said. "That's my best friend for life and I'm so proud of her and all of her accomplishments. Going to KU, that's amazing. I know we're going to stay best friends.''

  • Derby stuns Washburn Rural with walk-off field goal, advances to Class 6A title game with 29-28 victory

    Rick Peterson



    One of the best seasons in Washburn Rural football history came to a heartbreaking end Friday night, with perennial state power  Derby roaring back from a 15-point deficit to take a 29-28 victory on senior Grady Jesseph's walk-off 25-yard field at Bowen-Glaze Stadium.

    Derby, which has won six Class 6A state titles since 2013, advanced to next Saturday's state final at Emporia with an 11-1 record while Washburn Rural finished 11-1.

    PacksonBettisDerby 2Washburn Rural senior Packson Bettis (56) and junior Conner Danielson (40) put pressure on Derby senior quarterback Braxton Clark, who threw for 274 yards and four TDs in the Panthers' 29-28 win Friday night. [Photo by Doug Walker/TSN]

    BrantonDeWeeseDerby 2Washburn Rural senior quarterback Branton DeWeese scrambles for yardage in Friday's 29-28 loss to Derby in a Class 6A state semifinal. [Photo by Doug Walker/TSN]

    "Like we're talking about with the kids right now, nobody likes the ending,'' Washburn Rural coach Steve Buhler said. "We felt like we let one get away and they're going to remember that part, but in the long run, as you get older, you start to remember the good times and it's a team that's won 11 games, and looking back in the history books, they're only the second team at this school to win 11 games.

    "That's something to be very proud of, and I want them to understand that, that their effort and the things they accomplished this year are things to be proud of. Yeah, we don't make it to the last weekend of the season, but when you look back at all this team and this group of seniors has accomplished in this program, you couldn't ask for anything better over the last four years for these guys and the effort and what they've given this program means an awful lot.''

    Rural's season has been ended by the Panthers in back-to-back seasons, with Derby's only lead of the night coming on the final play as the game hinged on a handful of plays down the stretch.

    "That's how semifinals of state playoffs are,'' Buhler said. "You're usually playing equal teams and it's whoever is going to make a play and whichever way the ball bounces every once in a while.

    "They made some great plays down at the end to finish it off.''

  • 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:

  • Fantastic finish! Washburn Rural finishes third in 6A on late Heinen goal

    Rick Peterson



    Washburn Rural's soccer team certainly didn't plan on or want to be playing in Saturdays Class 6A third-place game.

    But once the Junior Blues were forced into that situation they made the most of it, taking a dramatic last-minute 2-1 win over Dodge City at Hummer Sports Park.

    GriffinHeinenSaturday 1Washburn Rural senior Griffin Heinen (right) celebrates his game-winning goal in Saturday's Class 6A third-place game with teammates Pierce Cannon (11) and and Hayden Shriver (15). [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    WRuralSaturdaytrophy 1Washburn Rural's soccer team hoists its Class 6A third-place trophy after Saturday's 2-1 win over Dodge City. [Photo by Rex Wolf/TSN]

    The Junior Blues, who finished off a 19-2 season, began and ended things with a flourish, scoring just 1:26 into the contest and then breaking a 1-1 tie on a goal from senior Griffin Heinen off a corner kick from fellow upperclassman Devon Rutschmann with 56 seconds remaining.

    "Third feels a lot better than fourth, I'll say that,'' Heinen said. "The three years I've been on varsity, sophomore year we took second and that was heartbreaking. Last year we took fourth and lost to these guys in the consolation game. I'll take third over fourth any day.

    "I think this group of guys just loves the environment, loves Washburn, and we have 11 seniors on this team and they're not ready to leave it, especially the younger guys behind, so I think we were just excited for one more game with everybody.''

  • Vikings end Washburn Rural's 6A soccer title bid with 2-0 semifinal win

    Rick Peterson



    Washburn Rural's boys soccer team saw its Class 6A title hopes come to an end Friday night, with Shawnee Mission West handing Rural a 2-0 semifinal defeat at Hummer Sports Park.

    WRuralsoccerSMW 1Shawnee Mission West coaches and players console Washburn Rural after the Vikings' 2-0 win over the Junior Blues in a Class 6A semifinal Friday night. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    The Vikings scored a goal in both halves en route to handing Rural only its second loss of the season and first against a Kansas opponent as the Junior Blues endured a frustrating offensive night. .

    Shawnee Mission West advanced to Saturday's 3 p.m. championship game against Olathe East, a 3-2 overtime winner over Dodge City, while Washburn Rural will play Dodge City in the third-place game at 12 o'clock.

    Shawnee Mission West, which improved to 15-3-2, got on the scoreboard at the 21:39 mark of the opening half when senior Phillip Mutantika found the back of the net and that goal held up for a 1-0 halftime advantage.

    "That's the sport of soccer,'' veteran Washburn Rural coach Brian Hensyel said. "You've got to finish your chances. We had some in the first half where maybe we could have grabbed the lead and then one of their kids made a special play. That's a top level goal to give them the lead.

    "At this level teams are tight and one person has to go finish a play off.''

    WRuraloffsidescall 1Washburn Rural players react after having a potential game-tying goal disallowed by an offsides call. [Photo by Rick Peterson/TSN]

    The biggest play of the night for Rural came early in the second half when an apparent game-tying goal by the Junior Blues was wiped out by an offsides call.

    Although the call was a heartbreaker for the 18-2-0 Junior Blues, Hensyel did not question the official's decision.

    "The ref down here is one of the best we've got and he's looking right at it,'' Hensyel said. "We'll see it tomorrow (on video tape) but at the end of the day I just have to trust his judgement.''

  • Chooncharoen, Mills the Dan Key Farmers Insurance Agency Rising Stars of the Week

    Rick Peterson, Top Sports News Writer

    By RICK PETERSON                                                                                                           


    Washburn Rural sophomore soccer player Draden Chooncharoen and Seaman junior volleyball star Maegan Mills have been selected by the Dan Key Farmers Insurance Agency as the Rising Stars of the Week.

    The Dan Key Agency will recognize top Shawnee County underclassmen throughout the bulk of the 2023-2024 school year.

    Here’s a brief look at the accomplishments of Chooncharoen and Mills over the past week:

     DradenChooncharoen 2Sophomore Draden Chooncharoen (23) scored the game-winning goal in Washburn Rural's 2-1 overtime win over Garden City in Tuesday's Class 6A state quarterfinal. [File photo/TSN]


    A sophomore forward/midfielder, Chooncharoen scored the game-winning goal in overtime Tuesday night as Washburn Rural advanced to the Class 6A state semifinals with a 2-1 win over Garden City at McElroy Field.

    Chooncharoen's goal, off an assist from senior Devon Rutschmann, came with 3:10 remaining in the first overtime period.

    Chooncharoen helped Rural remain unbeaten against Kansas competition while improving to 18-1-0 on the season and earning the Junior Blues' fourth straight trip to the 6A final four.

    MaeganMillsUKC 2Seaman junior Maegan Mills (13) earned All-State Tournament honors for the second time and was named the UKC offensive player of the year after helping the Vikings capture their first Class 5A state volleyball title. [File photo/TSN]

    MAEGAN MILLS, Seaman

    Mills, a 6-foot-1 junior outside hitter, helped lead Seaman to its first-ever Class 5A state volleyball championship last Saturday in Salina, with the Vikings capping a 38-6 season with a 25-19, 25-22 win over 2022 state champ St. Thomas Aquinas in the final at Tony's Pizza Events Center.

    Mills was named to the All-State Tournament team for the second straight season was selected as the All-United Kansas Conference offensive player of the year.

    Seaman won the state title after posting back-to-back fourth-place state finishes in 2021 and 2022. 



Top Sports News Team

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