Shawnee County athletes from all levels honored at awards ceremony


TOPEKA (KSNT) – Local athletes from high school, college and professional levels were honored in the Topeka Shawnee County 2021 Awards and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

High school athletes from all the county’s schools were recognized, including awards from fall, winter and spring sports. Silver Lake’s Elington Hogle was given the Most Outstanding Female Athlete Award. Hayden’s Desmond Purnell was given the Most Outstanding Male Athlete award.

Athletes from Washburn University were also recognized. The three Washburn stars honored were Tyler Geiman, who was one of the best division two basketball players in the country last year, Virgi Scardanzan, who recently finished second in pole vault at Italy’s national meet and Andrew Beckler, who was the the MIAA player of the year in men’s golf this year.

The highest honor of the night went to the three newest members of the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame. The three inductees in this year’s class were Kyle McNorton, Kyle Weems and Michael Wilhoite.

McNorton is a 1978 graduate of Seaman High School. He went on to play football at KU and later for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Weems was a Highland Park basketball star, before turning into a Missouri Valley star at Missouri State. Weems is currently playing professionally overseas.

“My dad introduced this game to me at a very young age. I’ve had a great village of people that put me in the right spots and positions to be successful and I’m just very blessed to have been this far,” said Weems.

Wilhoite, also a Highland Park grad, played football at Washburn, then in the NFL for six seasons. Wilhoite is currently the linebackers coach for the L.A. Chargers.

“I just love the fact that I was able to accomplish my dream in the sense that so many people supported my dream and had confidence in me,” said Wilhoite.

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