The excitement of high school sports

For participants and fans alike few things can compare to the excitement of high school sports. At most schools football grabs a lot of the headlines, but football is not the only fall sport worthy of attention. Here’s a brief look at the other fall high school sports. Attend a few competitions and encourage local athletes. These sports all have state championships in or near Topeka.

Cross country competitions take place in some of the most beautiful spots in the city. The courses feature rolling hills, some native woods and challenging hills. As a spectator it’s a great way to get some fresh air and even some exercise as you follow these athletes around the course. Mark down Oct 7, for the city meet to be held at Felker Park. This year the 5 & 6 A championship meets are held at Rim Rock farm in Lawrence, while the 4 A championship meet is held at Wamego Country Club.

Bump. Set. Spike. If your image of volleyball is a game played in the backyard during a summer barbecue, you are missing out on some great competition. High school girls volleyball is a fast-paced game. The girls play with lots of excitement and emotion. Plan to attend the Sept 29 tournament hosted by Topeka West at 5pm. The host Chargers welcome rivals Highland Park and Topeka High to their gym. The Class 5 and 6A state tournaments are set to be held at Landon Arena.

Soccer is a growing sport in the USA and Topeka is no exception. All the local high schools play a full schedule of boys soccer in the fall and the games are competitive. Washburn Rural has long had a great soccer tradition. This season the Jr. Blues look win their 22nd straight Centennial League title. The 6A tournament is at Hummer Sports Complex Nov 3 and 4.

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Mark Twain, is reported to have said, “golf is a good walk spoiled.” With apologies to Mr. Twain, when you are talking about this fall sport any day is a good day to hit the links. The weather is cooler and and a nice fall afternoon is a great time to be outside. The Topeka girls’ golf season is highlighted by the City Golf Tournament on Sept 18 at Shawnee Country Club. You can attend the 4A state tournament at Lake Shawnee Golf Course Oct 16.

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Ace. 40-Love. It seems like each time I pass by the Kossover Tennis Center at Felker Park there is a tennis match being played. The girls’ area high schools city meet Sept 21 at Kossover Tennis Center is a highlight of the fall season. Topeka high schools play many matches at Kossover.

In each of these sports you are going to see some athletes who will receive all-league and all-state honors. Some will no doubt go on to play in college. Over the years there have been standout athletes and a good number are enshrined into their school hall 0f fames. Here are former high school athletes and legendary coaches from these sports who have been inducted into the Shawnee County Sports of Fame:

  • Volleyball – Shelley Foster Duffey, Seaman and Washburn University, and Brenda Shaffer Dahl, Shawnee Heights
  • Women’s Tennis – Sheri Norris, Topeka West
  • Cross Country -Hayden coach Ben Meseke, Topeka West coach Joe Schrag and Topeka High coach Clardy Visnon
  • Golf – Bill McDonald, Topeka High and Topeka West, and Gary Woodland, Shawnee Heights

Good luck to all of athletes and all of the schools for a great 2017 season.

Dave Coleman works in the library's Red Carpet Services helping seniors get the materials they want at the library and at senior living complexes. Dave is also an avid sports fan.