No, the headline is not referencing the famous meltdown of former Arizona Cardinals coach Dennis Green. But, you can check out one of the greatest rants by researching that.
I’m talking about the incredibly successful year of high school athletics in Shawnee County. There were 10 different team state championships from the county. That’s not including the individual state titles grabbed by student-athletes.
There are so many memories from all these teams. I decided to list something about each squad and included interviews from a few coaches. Congrats to all the champions and to all athletes and coaches on a magical year!
4A-DI champions: Hayden Wildcats (24-1)
How they won it: Beat Bishop Miege 1-0, Augusta 9-2 and McPherson 11-0.
What I’ll remember most: Complete balance and near perfection. An ERA of entire pitching staff under one is unreal. Defense was solid and lineup had great speed and power.
What coach Bill Arnold said:
5-1A champions: Topeka West Lady Chargers
Individual 6A champion: Junior Whitney Prockish
How they won it: Nipped Goddard-Eisenhower by 43 pins with score of 2258. Prockish blew away competition at 6A with 758 score. Next best was 679.
What I’ll remember most: Came out of nowhere. Junior Renee Howland led the charge with a score of 689 and freshman Makaila Cowdin ended up 13th with score of 561.
3A champions: Rossville Bulldawgs (14-0)
How they won it: Two huge offside penalties on fourth downs, really. Dawgs also had to snap a losing streak to rivals Silver Lake and they beat them once in regular season and once in postseason to get to title game.
What I’ll remember most: Explosive offense with an underrated defense. Led by junior quarterback Tucker Horak, the offense kept defenses off-balance. Senior Thatcher Horak made catch of the year versus Centralia. Dawgs were comfortable in every situation.
What coach Derick Hammes said:
6A champions: Washburn Rural Junior Blues
How they won it: Tiebreaker that was decided by fifth-player score and a five-foot putt to save par.
What I’ll remember most: Depth. Senior Andrew Beckler headlined the group (and really, who can argue with a four-time city champion), but the complete cast won the title. Junior Lukas McCalla, freshman Parker Beal and senior Ryan Clatterbuck were in top eight. Beckler drilled five-foot putt for the championship, but seniors Cody Dillon and Conner Hansen both did their parts with a pair of 77’s.
6A champions: Washburn Rural Lady Junior Blues
How they won it: Consistency and four players in top eight.
What I’ll remember most: Exceptional chemistry. Each player pushed each other to get better each day. Carly Rasmussen, Haley Flory, Anna Eichten, Abby Glynn and Sam Mitchell were all in the top 15. Candance Dawson tied for 22nd.
What coach Jared Goehring said:
4-1A champions: Hayden Lady Wildcats (16-5)
How they won it: Unlike the other times in the year, they beat Bishop Miege in a sport.
What I’ll remember most: Rock-solid defense. Senior defensive captain Kirah Lohse set the tone. Ten seniors on the squad go out on top. Margaret Dunshee scored lone goal in championship game versus McPherson.
What coach Klaus Kreutzer said:
3A champions: Silver Lake Lady Eagles (23-2)
How they won it: Dominating pitching and bats. Pretty simple formula at the end of the year.
What I’ll remember most: Maybe I should switch “that” to “who.” The whole team was great, but I don’t think we’ll see another weekend performance like senior Megan Deiter’s. She allowed one hit in three games and tossed a no-hitter in the championship. Oh, and she struck out 19 batters.
What coach Mark Workman said:
Individual 4-1A champion: Hayden senior John-Martin Schmidt
What events he won: 200 freestyle in 1:41.83, 100 freestyle 46.75.
What I’ll remember most: Unique. A decorated swimmer, who will be remembered for quite some time.
4A singles champion: Hayden junior Tommy Hunter
His record: 31-2.
What I’ll remember most: Domination. Just two losses is incredible. And he rose to the occasion without his big brother Blake Hunter.
Track & Field
5A boys champions: Shawnee Heights Thunderbirds
How they won it: By claiming the final event. If they don’t win the 1,600 relay, then there’s no title.
Consistent scoring made that chance possible, too.
What I’ll remember most: Strong finishers. To open the season, Shawnee Heights was struggling to get in a groove. The T-Birds capped the year with regional and state championships.
What coach Brad Nicks said:
3A girls champions: Silver Lake Lady Eagles
How they won it: With a team score of 66, 23 more points than the next best team.
What I’ll remember most: Very consistent. Alexandra Ferguson grabbed two gold medals to lead the charge.
3A champions: Silver Lake Lady Eagles (35-9)
How they won it: In impressive fashion. Closest win was second set 25-23 in semifinals versus Wellsville.
What I’ll remember most: Domination. The Lady Eagles didn’t have to go to a third set in any of their matches at state. Just two of their 10 sets resulted in 20 points or more for their opponents.
3-1A individual champion: Rossville’s Isaac Luellen
Overall record: 25-0 at 182 pounds
3-1A individual champion: Rossville’s Bryce Gfeller
Overall record: 31-2 at 113 pounds
What I’ll remember most: Excellence. Both were flat-out incredible and key to Rossville’s third-place finish at state.
Just a bit outside
A tribute to those that almost made it to the top:
Baseball – Seaman (18-7) took second at 5A after 2-1 loss to Blue Valley Southwest. Still, Vikings made it to the semifinals for the 12th straight year; Shawnee Heights (18-5) couldn’t make it past Blue Valley West in first round of 5A.
Boys basketball – Shawnee Heights (20-3) earned the second seed at 5A, but lost to Blue Valley West.
Girls basketball – Washburn Rural (18-7) grabbed a third-place trophy after avenging a loss against Shawnee Mission Northwest in 6A; Seaman (15-8) was a six seed in 5A, but ran into one of the tournament’s best players from Kapaun Mount Carmel; Hayden (19-6) almost took down eventual state champion Bishop Miege, but settled for third in 4A-DI; Silver Lake (23-3) took third in 3A after edging Sabetha by one point.
Boys bowling – Seaman finished sixth at 5-1A state; Topeka West followed with an 8th-place day; TW freshman Adam Wood played great, earning second with a score of 718.
Girls bowling – Topeka High wrapped up the season with a 7th-place finish at 6A state; T-High’s Carley Sullivan tied for 12th to medal with a score of 606; Shawnee Heights took ninth at 5-1A; SH’s Jenni Pheigaru was eighth with a score of 616; Seaman’s Allayna Bell grabbed 16th with a 550 score.
Boys cross country – Washburn Rural took 11th at 6A state; Seaman and Shawnee Heights were 10th and 12th at 5A; Seaman’s Dawson Podlena finished 10th; Hayden finished seventh at 4A state; Hayden’s Jacob Klemz was third and Robbie Schmidt was ninth.
Girls cross country – Seaman took ninth at 5A state.
Football – Topeka High (7-3) had one of the most explosive offenses in the state, but the Trojans fell to Hutchinson to open the 6A playoffs; Shawnee Heights’ (7-5) magical ride ended a game shy of a 5A state championship, losing to St. Thomas Aquinas by a point, but the T-Birds experienced their best season in school history; Seaman also made the 5A playoffs; Hayden (11-2) took on Bishop Miege in the 4A-DI state title, but fell a touchdown shy; Silver Lake (11-2) ran into rival Rossville and lost in a thrilling game in 3A Sub-State.
Boys golf – Shawnee Heights barely missed on a third-place trophy, losing a tiebreaker at 5A state; Mitchell Lummis took fifth and Cody Foster was 7th; Seaman took eighth as a team; Hayden was sixth at 4A state; Rossville ended up in eighth place at 3A.
Girls golf – Shawnee Heights and Topeka West were eighth and 12th at 5A state; Hayden nearly came out with a championship with a second-place finish; Hayden’s Madison Rezac finished eight; Silver Lake and Rossville took sixth and ninth at 3-1A state.
Boys soccer – Washburn Rural (18-3) fell 2-1 to Olathe East in 6A state title game.
Girls soccer – Washburn Rural (19-2) set school record, but lost to Blue Valley Northwest 2-1 in 6A championship.
Softball – Seaman (23-2) once again entered 5A state with an undefeated record, but settled for fourth after a loss to Shawnee Heights (21-4); Hayden (15-8) lost a heartbreaking, extra-inning game to eventual champion Augusta at 4A-DI.
Boys swimming – Washburn Rural grabbed seventh at 6A state; Topeka High was 20th; Hayden was sixth at 5-1A; Shawnee Heights finished 11th and Seaman ended up 18th.
Girls swimming – Washburn Rural finished sixth at 6A state; Topeka High tied for 19th; Hayden grabbed 12th at 5-1A; Seaman tied for 13th and Topeka West was 16th.
Boys tennis – Washburn Rural took eighth in 6A and Topeka High was 14th; Shawnee Heights and Seaman both tied at 16th; Hayden fell three points shy of a top-three day at 4A state.
Girls tennis – Washburn Rural grabbed third and Topeka High was ninth; Topeka West and Shawnee Heights were 8th and 15th at 5A; Hayden was 11 points away from a third-place finish at 4A state.
Volleyball – Washburn Rural settled for fourth place at 6A state; Seaman couldn’t make it out of pool play, but Shawnee Heights represented the city with a third-place trophy; Hayden started the rivalry with Bishop Miege this year with a loss to the Stags in the 4A-DI state championship game.
Wrestling – Rossville ended up third as a team at 3-1A state.