stormont-vail & cotton-o’neil
three levels of care Stormont-Vail HealthCare provides a variety of levels of care. If a medical need occurs when your primary care physician is not available, you have three options: Mild
The ClinicModerate at Walmart by Stormont-Vail Severe 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays Located inside the north Topeka Walmart and providing minor health services without an appointment for patients ages 18 months and older. Staffed by advanced practice nurses and a physician assistant.
Cotton-O’Neil ExpressCare Severe With three locations in Topeka and one in Osage City, these urgent care clinics, complete with lab and X-ray services, are available to patients of all ages who need treatment for a minor illness or injury. You do not have to be a Cotton-O’Neil patient to be cared for at ExpressCare. ExpressCare – Croco: 2909 S.E. Walnut Dr. 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends ExpressCare – Urish: 6725 S.W. 29th St. 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends ExpressCare – North: 1130 N. Kansas Ave. 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays ExpressCare – Osage City: 131 W. Market 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends
Stormont-Vail Emergency and Trauma Center Open 24 hours a day, every day, and designed for sudden, serious injury or illness. Located one block west of Eighth and Washburn.
Call Health Connections’ Ask-A-Nurse at (785) 354-5225 evenings and weekends for help finding the most appropriate level of care.
contents 4 The Next Level More 2012 Shawnee County high school graduates heading to play at the collegiate level.
8 Fencer Forrest Evans
9 Skateboarder Nathan King
10 Shooter Blake Roberts
11 MMA Fighter Kristen Dalrymple
22 Champion Swimmers While the rest of the country is cheering Team USA in the Olympics swimming competition, Haley Molden and Sammie Schurig will feel a more personal connection.
cyclist Jack Funk 12 Taking the Dirt Path 14 Building the Junior Ranks Sam Smith Topeka Rowing Association
26 Coach Talk Mark Elliott talks with the stateâ€™s all-time winningest football coach, C.J. Hamilton.
18 Black Belts Dante Overbey & Joe McKinney
30 Made in Shawnee County J.B. Bauersfeld interviews Highland Park graduate and 49ersâ€™ Michael Wilhoite.
Thank you to the Combat Air Museum for providing the backdrop for our photos of Emily Wagemaker in the July Issue of MVP Sports Magazine. August 2012
Cover Photo: Dante Overbey
contributors & next level Braden Dimick
NEXT LEVEL More Shawnee County High School students that will be taking their game to the collegiate level this fall. Good luck!
Heritage Christian High School Softball // Southwest Baptist University
paul muzzy Heritage Christian High School Southwest Baptist University Basketball Editor-in-Chief
kayla thayer Rachel Lock
Silver Lake High School Ottawa University Track & Field
Highland Park High School Butler County Community College Cheerleader
andrew "drew" boggs
Washburn Rural High School Allen County Community College Track & Field
Contributing Writers J.B. Bauersfeld // Mark Elliott Lisa Loewen // Karen Ridder Account Executive Tara Dimick // 785.217.4836 PO Box 67272 ▪ Topeka, KS 66667 785.217.4836 ▪ email@example.com www.mvpsportsmagazine.com
Cover Graphic Artist // David Vincent Publishing Company E2 Communications, Inc.
MVP Sports Magazine is published by E2 Communications, Inc. Reproduction or use of this publication in any manner without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Every effort was made to ensure accuracy of the information in this publication as of press time. The publisher assumes no responsibility of any part for the content of any advertisement in this publication, including any errors and omissions there in. E2 Communications, Inc. makes no endorsement, representation or warranty regarding any goods or services advertised or listed in this publication. Listings and advertisements are provided by the subject companies. E2 Communications, Inc. shall not be responsible or liable for any inaccuracy, omission or infringement of any third party’s right therein, or for personal injury or any other damage or injury whatsoever. By placing an order for an advertisement, the advertiser agrees to indemnify the publisher against any claims relating to the advertisement.
Jack Funk Washburn Rural High School // Senior // Cyclist When did you start cycling? “I've been riding my bike since I was six and this is my eighth year of racing.”
What inspired you to become a competitive cyclist? “I started off in Triathlon and just decided I loved biking the best.”
What's your worst injury? “When I was 16 I was rear-ended on my bike by a car going over 60mph. I had a concussion and most of the skin ripped off my back.”
Who is your hero? “Ryan Hall. He's a world-class athlete who's done an awesome job managing life, sports, and his faith.”
Favorite song? ““Friends Like That” by Hawk Nelson”
If you won a million dollars, how would you spend it? “Cinnamon rolls. Lots of cinnamon rolls.”
What was the last meal you ate? “Breakfast. I had a couple bowls of granola.”
What is your favorite part of cycling? “I love being outdoors surrounded by God's amazing creation!”
5x Junior National 2006 Junior National Cycling Champion Triathlon Champion
Been to Belgium twice for international competitions.
Spent a week as an athlete at the Olympic Training Center.
Show class, have pride, and display character. If you do, winning takes care of itself. --Paul “Bear” Bryant
Educational Credit Union was selected as this year’s 2012 Capital City Business of Distinction Award recipient, an award given annually by the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce and GO Topeka Economic Partnership. ECU’s selection was based on our history of growth, involvement in the business community, creativity and imagination in its products and services, and contributions made to the community. Become a member of Educational Credit Union today and understand the credit union difference firsthand. Visit, call, or check us out online.
Your savings federally insured to at least $250,000 and backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government
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www.educationalcu.org 785.271.6900 August 2012 MVPSportsMagazine.com 7 facebook.com/EducationalCreditUnion
When did you start fencing? “I started fencing about four years ago, around the start of my freshman year. I needed some sort of physical activity to keep me in shape when my schedule kept me from other physical activities and sports.”
What inspires you to do fencing? “My first source of inspiration is my parents who have a long history of fencing. As far as I can remember, I've been going to tournaments with my parents and watching them fence. Eventually, I was interested enough to do it myself. Another source of further exploration was popular films such as "The Princess Bride," "By The Sword," and even "Zorro."”
Worst injury? “Fortunately, I've never sustained a serious injury from fencing. The worst are minor bruises and welts from hard hits and getting whipped by the blade.”
Who are your heros? “Either Jamey Aebersold or Jim Henson.”
Favorite songs? “Before suiting up, I often listen to "Spain" by Chick Corea, "That Skunk Funk" by the Brecker Brothers, "Lets Groove" by Earth, Wind, and Fire, "The Overture to the Marriage of Figaro" by Mozart, "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, or "Human" by the Killers.”
If you won a million dollars, how would you spend it? “Divide it into savings/retirement, investments (personal/stocks), and charity.”
What was your last meal? “Cajun: Gumbo, rice, fried okra, and hush puppies.”
Forrest Evans Topeka High School // 2012 Graduate // Fencer
“One of things I really like about skateboarding is how relational it is. It is way more fun skating with friends than alone. When my friends and I are skateboarding everyone kind of feeds off each other’s energy and gets pumped to try things we haven’t tried before. I like to help my friends, and anyone that asks, with tricks they haven’t learned that I have. They help me learn new things too.”
When did you start skateboarding? “I have fooled around with skateboards since I was pretty young. I really only started working hard on tricks about a year ago.”
What is your favorite stunt? “Hard flip.” (stunt that causes the board to flip between your legs)
What is your worst injury? “Sprained wrist.”
Who is your hero? “Sean Malto from Kansas City.”
Favorite song? “Probably “Air Waves” by Noisestorm.”
If you won a million dollars, how would you spend it? “Honestly, probably on more skateboarding equipment, like ramps. It would be cool to build an indoor skate park in Topeka!”
Nathan King Cornerstone Family Schools // Sophomore Skateboarder
What was the last meal you ate? “BBQ ribs.”
What is your favorite part of skateboarding? “It’s a really good feeling if you practice something a long time and can finally land it.”
When did you start shooting? “I started shooting guns at eight years old, and have loved it ever since.”
What is your favorite type of gun to shoot? “I like the rifle best. But if it’s a gun I’ll shoot it.”
Who inspired you to take up shooting? “My dad. He took me with him whenever he could and got me excited about hunting at a young age.”
Who is your hero? “My hero is Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.”
Favorite song? “Amazing Grace.”
If you won a million dollars how would you spend it? “I would save $500,000, give $100,000 of it to charity, and spend the rest on trips for my family to Alaska, Israel, Europe, and lots of hunting destinations.”
What was the last meal you ate?
blake roberts Heritage Arrows Homeschool // Freshman // Shooter 10
“Homemade chicken and avocado tostadas.”
What is your favorite part of shooting? “I enjoy being out there with my family and friends, seeing wildlife, and growing closer to God and my family.”
When did you start training in MMA? “I started MMA on January 3rd, 2011. I'll always remember the exact date.”
What inspired you to start MMA training? “I've always enjoyed watching the MMA fights on TV. I saw an ad in a Parks and Rec magazine for Heston's Gladiator Academy, so I decided to give it a shot even though my family really didn't approve of the idea. After the first week of training I realized how much potential I had and how much I loved fighting.”
What has been your worst injury? “Probably the time that my shoulder was pulled out of socket when I was escaping from an arm bar. I was afraid to tell my parents because I knew they would make me quit fighting. So finally two days later I got it to go back into place by myself.”
Who is your hero? “My Grandmother. She is the most inspirational, loving and caring person I have ever known.”
What is your favorite song? “I just like to listen to whatever gets me pumped up to work out or fight.”
What was the last meal you ate? “A protein shake.”
Kristen Dalrymple Jefferson West High School // Senior // MMA Fighter
What is your favorite part of the fight? “The end, because no matter if you won or lost the fight, you always have a sense of accomplishment and an idea of things that you need to work on in the future to become a better fighter.”
dirt path Sam Smith // Topeka West by Max Rothman Every year to and from the last day of school, Sam Smith rode his bike with his father in any kind of heat. The time spent with his father and his bike, on the day of the last school bell, signaled the beginning of his summer. “I knew I was always going to be on my bike,” Smith said. “I didn’t know how.” When he swerved through his neighborhood streets and jumped on and off curbs as a kid, Smith rode WalMart bikes. When a friend moved out of state, he left Smith a BMX bike. At the time, BMX didn’t mean bicycle motocross or a way of life. To Smith, the bike was just for riding around. After his parents split, Smith was biking a trail one day around his mother’s new house. He stumbled upon a dirt track with several people wearing helmets and jerseys. There were bumpy jumps throughout the brown course and a lofty starting gate. They said he couldn’t ride the track unless he was a member. Smith returned to his mother, told her about the track and returned for a race. He won on the first night he was there at Heartland BMX. “The first race, it was definitely something special,” Smith said. “I knew then that it was definitely something I was going to be pursuing.” On the day of the first race, Devin Walter showed Smith the ropes. Now Smith, a senior at
Topeka West, races with Walter on the Midwest Gunslingers, a BMX racing team sponsored by Gunslinger Bikes. “He’s a fast learner,” Walter said. “He pays attention to what other people do on the track or what I do.” Smith’s Gunslingers jersey is white with blots of lime green. His name rests on the back atop
mate hang time or midair spins. Instead, like a train on a track, Smith guides his wheels along the dirt, corresponding with each change in the course, responding to jumps by forcing his front wheel to the ground. The less time spent in the air, the more time spent pedaling on the dirt. “Smooth is fast,” Smith said.
“I knew I was always going to be on my bike,” Smith said. “I didn’t know how.” number nine. The team enters races that often require several hours of road tripping, but for Smith it’s all worth it. He doesn’t mind that BMX is 11 out of 12 months in a year. He likes prioritizing biking over anything else. “My bike now, it costs more than my jeep,” Smith said. He’s got 20-inch wheels, titanium spokes, a lightweight aluminum frame and a lattice shaped plastic seat. Smith loves the cleanliness of the color white, so he’s got rims, brakes, seat posts, cranks, stickers, handlebars and forks; all white. Smith’s objective with his bike is never to achieve ulti-
Smith said that in his races, BMX bikers cruise 25-35 miles per hour along hills of dirt. Smith and Harrison Watts, team manager of the Midwest Gunslingers, admit that competitive biking can be a daunting thing. “When there’s eight of us going for that one spot into the turn, it can get pretty hairy,” Smith said. However Watts, who has watched Smith progress from a novice into an expert, says Smith is an exemplary student of the sport that requires guts. Watts said that at first, he thought Smith was like any other kid who just wanted to August 2012
hop on a bike and have fun. Now he knows that Smith truly understands bikes not just from riding them, but from the time he has spent working at Capp’s Bike Shop. “He gets it (his bike) to do what he wants it to do,” Watts said. Smith spends Monday and Wednesday evenings at Heartland BMX, helping youngsters get set up so they can ride the track. Once the kids have had their run Smith smoothly speeds through the course. “He just throws it to the wind and goes,” Watts said.
Building the Junior Ranks Topeka Rowing Association by Karen Ridder Word-of-mouth, that is how the Topeka Rowing Association has built its ranks in the past year. It may be an unusual way for a club sport to gain momentum, but it has worked for this unique sport that combines the need for smarts, strength and synchronization. As this fall season starts, last year’s novices are becoming a varsity squad set to take on
the regional competition, and still inviting others to join their ranks. The Topeka Rowing Association has been around since 1969. The club practices on Lake Shawnee, using the former bathhouse as their home base. The Junior Team is made up of high school students that attend several regattas in a year-round season.
While the Junior Team is now strong, in the spring of 2011, through turnover and attrition, the club was down to one junior rower. Then Josh Greene, Washburn Rural High School junior, entered the scene. Greene had been involved in sports. He was looking for an interesting way to get some exercise. He did not know anyone who rowed, but had been to a
regatta before and thought it looked right up his alley. “It just sounded like a fun thing. To be on the water in the skinny boats and go as fast as you can and be as efficient as possible per effort in the boats,” says Greene. He called the club and started going out for practice. When Greene started, he liked the cardio workout and overall good shape it brought
“You can quickly figure out how to do it not well, but it takes a lot of time to figure out how to do it very well.” - Josh Greene // Washburn Rural High School // Junior
Mariah Trupp // Hayden // Senior Katy Trupp // Hayden // Freshman
him. He also liked the fact that it was an individual and a team sport. There was just one problem—not much of a team. So, he became a bit of a pied piper of Topeka rowing, telling everyone he knew they should try it. He wasn’t always successful, and some people who tried
ber Will Katz, Washburn Rural High School junior, laughed when he remembered his first experiences with rowing. “Incredible leg pain. I didn’t walk for two weeks,” says Katz. Success in this sport is often based more on how hard an athlete is willing to work than
Topeka Rowing Association Junior Team
Left to right in back: Josh Greene (WRHS Junior),Will Katz (WRHS Junior), Carter Petty (WRHS Junior), Katie Reynolds (WRHS Junior), Emma Oury (Lawrence High Junior), Miranda Dodson (WRHS Junior), Maggie Murphy (WRHS Junior), Katy Trupp (Hayden Freshman), Jeffery Javier (WRHS Junior), Klaloc Azarte (Topeka West Junior), Kyle Douglas (WRHS Junior), Micah Stiel (WRHS Junior) Left to right in front: Mariah Trupp (Hayden Senior), Louis Weishaar (WRHS Graduate)
it did not want to stick with it. “The amount of people you see doing it, is so much less than the amount of people I tried to get to do it,” says Greene. As friends of Greene told friends of their own, the club steadily grew. This fall, the team goes into their season with about 20 regular rowers. Due in part to the equipment size, the youngest age rowers can get involved is 13. This restriction creates a level playing field for kids who might not normally be star athletes. Junior coach Bill Waugh says, “The first time you get on the water, no matter how athletic you are, you are going to be uncoordinated and not used to the basic motion.” The sport is physically demanding. “You get tired, things start aching and trying to keep it physically going is the problem,” says Waugh. Team mem-
their body type or natural ability. The workouts are not for everyone. Winter workouts and those in weather that prevents the team from hitting the water include lots of cardio and strength training. On the water, rowing requires concentration, strength and endurance. A lot of motions completed in a certain order must be done perfectly together with the other people in the boat. Greene says, “You can quickly figure out how to do it not well, but it takes a lot of time to figure out how to do it very well.” As a team sport, the regattas are a lot like track meets. Rowers compete in a variety of events, singles, quads and eight rower boats, including: men, women, novice and varsity divisions. Participation and placing in each event wins a team a certain number of points. Team members say what they
continued on pg. 16
“The first time you get on the water, no matter how athletic you are, you are going to be uncoordinated and not used to the basic motion.” - Coach Bill Waugh Junior Topeka Rowing Association Coach Bill Waugh
like about the sport is the challenge and the thrill. Louis Weishaar, Washburn Rural High School graduate, says its, “constant excitement, borderline terror.” That terror is about whether or not the boat is going to tip over. Katz says it’s like walking a line all the time between thinking you are going to tip or not, and the boats go fast. “I think it sounds a lot more easy and boring that it actually is,” says Katz. “It’s a lot of working with people, but also individual effort and determination as well.” It doesn’t always go well. Maggie Murphy, Washburn Rural High School junior, says her first experience competing in a single was a disaster. She flipped while practicing before the race. “The rescue people had to come and help me get back in the boat, I could not get back into it myself. Then I decided I would just go down and try the race I was shivering and freezing. I started the race and flipped again, and I was done. No more singles.” Even with all that excitement, the personal concentration required to accomplish the task at hand makes the sport a quiet one on the water. Addison Schauer, Washburn Rural High School graduate, says it requires,
“Determination, physical strength and perseverance.” Each rower spends his or her time in steady state practice, doing the same thing over and over again. That is one reason former swimmers are often good at the sport, they can tolerate the repetition required to build up the endurance needed to do well. For female rowers, there is also the allure of available college scholarships. That is one reason novice Lizzie Penton, Washburn Rural High School junior, is trying her hand at the sport. “My mom was looking at college stuff. They said they give a lot of scholarships to women rowers. So, I decided to try it,” says Penton. Here in the Midwest, there are many women’s varsity rowing programs, Kansas University, Kansas State University and Wichita State University all have programs as well as many other schools in surrounding states like Oklahoma and Iowa. For the men, rowing might be an edge that
could help them get into a better school. “Ivy leagues don’t give athletic scholarships and that’s where most of the rowing programs are for men,” says Waugh. August is a perfect time to get started as a novice. The fall season is just starting and it does not take long to learn the basics. The team is looking for new recruits. A rower who starts now can get a good start in their novice year. *Special thanks to Kathryn Hosfelt, Treasurer of the Topeka Rowing Association
To get involved contact: Topeka Rowing Association | 785.249.4263 or go to www.topekarowing.com
• 160 Acre Park
Hours are Seasonal 785.267.1156 parksandrec.snco.us SW 6th St. & Gage Blvd.
• Historic Carousel • One Mile Mini Train • Helen Hocker Theater • Reinisch Rose Garden • Blaisdell Aquatic Center • Hills Bark Park • Topeka Zoo
G a g e Pa r k Bark Park
One Mile Mini Train
B L A C K B E L T S 18
Dante Overbey // Washburn Rural Joe McKinney // Topeka High by Karen Sipes Forget the school colors, the mascots, the cheerleaders and bands. Martial arts competition isn't a schoolsanctioned sport, with all of those attractions. Still, it's a growing sport that Dante Overbey and Joe McKinney have been involved in for most of their lives, with no intention of ever letting up. For Overbey, who will be a junior at Washburn Rural High School this fall that means tae kwon do while
McKinney, who will be a senior at Topeka High, prefers karate. The two disciplines are similar. Tae kwon
ment of combat, especially useful for selfdefense, but also individual movements. Both Overbey and McKinney have been
“Really it's a team sport,” Overbey said. “You aren't really trying to compete for yourself.” do was developed in Korea while karate comes from Japan. In translation, tae is kick or jump, kwon is fist or hand, and do is the way. Karate translates to empty hand. Both involve hand and foot techniques, kicking and punching, and both involve similar belted uniforms. They have an ele-
competing in their respective disciplines from an early age. Overbey says he has been doing it for as long as he can remember, while McKinney says he started at about age five. Involvement in the martial arts is a family affair for Overbey, who is now a
If you won the lottery how would you spend the money? Charity & homeless What is your favorite meal? Any Mexican food What talent would you want to have that you current do no possess? Dancing, for sure What is your dream vehicle if price didn’t matter? Latest Chevy Silverado, with all the bling Who is your role model? UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre If you could travel to any place, where would you go? South Korea, origination of tae kwon do.
Dante Overbey continued on pg. 20
What is your favorite meal? Soft-shell crab What is your dream car if price didn’t matter? The most expensive one What do you want to be when you grow up? Beneficial to the world Who is your role model? Goku If you could have any super power what would it be? Immortality
“It helps clear your mind,” McKinney says. second-degree black belt. His father, Patrick, is Master Overbey of U.S. Martial Arts in Seabrook Center. His mom is a black belt herself, and his usual training partner is his 13-year-old brother, Elias. His older brother, Alexander, and his 4-year-old brother, Joaquin, also compete. McKinney, who initially got interested in martial arts from watching movies, trains with Ronnie Moore at Midwest Martial Arts in Fairlawn Plaza and is the only one in his family to take up the sport. Although both of them have competed and earned plenty of trophies for their efforts, both Overbey and McKinney tend to
shrug off any personal accolades. “Really it's a team sport,” Overbey said. “You aren't really trying to compete for yourself.” Overbey, who also plays baseball on his high school team and in summer league, says his tae kwon do training has helped him on the diamond, particularly with his footwork. He generally plays middle infield, shortstop or second base. “Martial arts trains so many different parts,” he said. “There are a lot of benefits that come out of it. I just love it.“ Both Overbey and McKinney say those benefits go beyond the competitive and
physical advantages. “It's a big stress reliever,” Overbey said. “It's really helped me keep my focus. A lot of it's mental.” Saying he trains about four days a week, he has found that the discipline involved in the sport also boosts self-esteem, self-confidence, self-control and perseverance. “It helps a lot of aspects of life,” Overbey said. That includes schoolwork, attitude and behavior overall. His dad walked by and chimed in that he has received a lot of e-mails and comments from teachers and coaches about positive aspects they see in students involved in the martial arts. McKinney echoes that he has gained many of the same benefits from karate. Like most sports, karate involves physical exertion, but it also teaches life lessons, like how to be calm in a stressful situation, he said. McKinney also finds the sport relaxing. “It helps clear your mind,” he said. McKinney, who this summer is teaching martial arts nine hours a week and practicing for his third-degree black belt, finds a satisfaction in karate that eluded him in other sports. “I tried soccer, basketball, football … a lot of sports, and I didn't like any of them,” he said. In karate, he has found a sport that has helped him learn more about his physical self. From his experience, he sees the martial arts as a sport that can benefit young children as well as adults. “I think it's for everybody,” he said, explaining the many aspects of the sport make it flexible for individual tastes. As a competitor, McKinney has participated in tournaments, demonstrations and katas, which are set routines. He got a taste for the “flashy side” of karate as an eightyear-old when he was on a demonstration team with high school students. “There's a lot of different things you can do,” he said. Both McKinney and Overbey see the martial arts as a growing sport. Part of the reason may be the popularity of mixed martial arts competitions. Overbey describes himself as a “big junky” of MMA, but he doesn't see himself ever making the jump to that competition. “No way,” he said with a grin. “My mom wouldn't let me.” Neither Overbey nor McKinney expects to be giving up his participation in martial arts any time soon. “It's definitely a life-long involvement,” McKinney said.
CHAMPION SWIMMERS Haley Molden & Sammie Schurig By Melissa Brunner
While the rest of the country is cheering Team USA in the Olympics swimming competition, two Topeka teens will feel a more personal connection. Recent Washburn Rural High School graduate Haley Molden and senior-to-be Sammie Schurig swam alongside the goldmedal hopefuls as qualifiers for the U.S. Olympic trials. Both describe the late June/ early July competition in Omaha, Nebraska as, in a word,
"I can't really put it into words," Schurig said. "You walked in and you just came to the realization that you were swimming there and this was one of the biggest meets in the world." August 2012
The big meet featured all the big names. The pair arrived in time to see Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte in their first big showdown. Schurig actually found herself in the warm-up pool at the same time as Lochte and in the same warm-up lane as 17-year old phenom Missy Franklin. She also chatted with Olympic qualifier Claire Donahue as both were getting ice. Similarly, Molden swam in a warm-up lane with Olympian
Rebecca Soni and found herself on the bleachers next to fivetime Olympian Dara Torres. "She was trying to get someone's attention and making this weird noise and said, 'I do this with my daughter all the time,'" Molden recalls. "She said it to me but I didn't really say anything - I was freaking out!" Rules prohibited asking for autographs or photos to capture those moments, but both girls say the memories and the continued on pg. 24
If you could pick one talent that you didn’t have, what would it be? “To be able to moon walk.” What are your pet peeves? “My dogs growling at each other.” What is your favorite day of the week and why? “Either Friday or Saturday because that means football!” (Sammie’s father is Washburn University football coach Craig Schurig)
Sammie Schurig motivation will last a lifetime. "It's so life changing," Molden said.
The Road to Gold
Molden and Schurig, who both compete and train with the Topeka Swim Association, are no strangers to success. Molden is coming off a high school senior season where she won two individual state titles (smashing state records in the process) and two more titles with relays. While she thrives on hard work and competition today, her start in the sport was less than auspicious.
"When I was eight, I swam my first 500 free and I was crying on the blocks. I asked my mom not to do it and she made me do it," Molden said. "When you're eight, that's a really long way to go!"
Schurig won two individual and two relay state titles her freshman year, electing to focus on club swimming the past two years. Like Molden, she says she didn't immediately realize she could swim fast. Entering their teenage years, they started winning larger meets and making cuts for junior nationals, which set the stage for larger dreams, like the Olympics. "It's such a big deal representing your country for something you love so much," Molden said. "Just going to the trials and representing Topeka and Kansas is cool because so many people are supporting."
Both girls say the 2012 trials could be a warmup act on the road to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de
If you could travel to any place, where would you go? “London to watch the Olympics.” If a genie granted you 3 wishes, what would you ask for? “A clean room, a closet full of lululemon clothes and a cure for cancer.”
If you could pick one talent you don’t already have, what would it be? “To dance or sing. I sing in practice all the time and they tell me to stop.”
Janiero, Brazil. For all their years of competition, this one had a definite “wow” factor to overcome. “I never usually get nervous, and, before my race, I was shaking so bad I thought I’d false start,” Molden said. “Next time, I’ll know how to react and what mindset I need to be in.” But with the jitters, came a jolt of confidence. “When you’re swimming and walking by (the Olympians), you’re like, ‘Wow!’ They’re at a whole different level,” Schurig said. “I’m at the same meet as them – just knowing I’m good enough to be there and race in that pool.” Both girls swam about where they were seeded at trials, which means they didn't advance to the next round. Molden swam the 100 free, while Schurig qualified in the 200 backstroke. But they say this meet wasn't about where they would finish, but where they have yet to go. Both are diving into the lessons learned from watching the top-tier swimmers. "Everything about their races is perfect, down to the last turn, the last finish," Schurig said. "(I learned) so much from how they compose themselves before races and how calm they are before races. It's motivation to be where they are at some point in my career." "I practiced the day after I raced because I was so excited to get back training again," Molden said. "It motivates you so much. You want to be there in four years making finals." For now, Molden will move on to swim at the University of Kansas. Schurig hopes to make a college choice later this year and will decide then whether she'll rejoin the school team for her senior season. But both know exactly where they want to be in four years. "I want to get back (to trials)," Molden said. "I want to go back and swim again in more events." Schurig agrees. "Just to be at that level in another four years would be a lot of fun.”
What is your dream vehicle if price didn’t matter? “An old truck.” What are your pet peeves? “When people breathe on me. I think it’s really gross!” Who is your role model? “My dad. He keeps me in check, reminds me of my goals, he’s my best friend.” If you could travel to any place, where would you go? “Japan.”
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COACH TALK MARK ELLIOTt of WIBW 580 AM SportsTalk interviews his high school football coach and long-time friend, Silver Lake’s Head Football Coach C.J. Hamilton. Mark Elliott: CJ, you’ve been at Silver Lake a long time, you came here your junior year of high school. You’re the all-time winningest coach in state football history, 344 wins, seven state championships, and nine runner-up finishes. That’s pretty impressive. CJ Hamilton: We’ve been very fortunate and we’ve got great kids; you were a part of that group. The community has bonded into the system, and it makes the job fairly easy. They know what the expectations are and some of the steps it takes to get there.
Mark: You were a 1969 graduate of Silver Lake High. How’d you end up in Silver Lake? CJ: My dad was a Texaco operator. He ran a Texaco station in Topeka and we lived just west of West Ridge Mall. My dad got offered a distributorship to deliver farm fuels. We almost moved to Hiawatha, but land came up in Silver Lake so we bought that and established the Texaco distributorship. My dad and grandparents were all graduates of Silver Lake, and Don Kruger (Lon Kruger’s dad) and my dad went to school together; that was the draw in trying to get us here. Mark: You didn’t end up in Hiawatha; that would have changed things. Talk about your high school days at Silver Lake. Pretty good football, basketball and baseball, how was your time playing here? CJ: My senior class was the first class that got to the state basketball tournament in 1969. Of course we had Lon, who was a special player, and there were only a couple seniors, Steve Shaw and I. The junior class was really talented. Back then you didn’t have play-
• All-time Winningest Football Coach in State History • 344 Wins • 7 State Championships • 9 Runner-Up Finishes • 37 Years Coaching Football offs (in football), so you played a nine game season and it was over, no matter what your record was. We were very competitive; it was a very good league like it is now. Baseball was always good here. We’d go to the state tournament every year. It was a great high school experience for me. Mark: Then off to Washburn. You played football and baseball, and were an all-district second baseman. CJ: When I went to Washburn I wasn’t a great high school player; I was adequate. I was just going to be a student, but your dad (Larry Elliott) talked me into coming out for baseball. Back at that time there wasn’t a lot of scholarship offers, and it wasn’t like it is today. I played baseball my freshman year at Washburn. That following year I played football. I played football for three years and started my last two years at offensive center at 210 pounds. Mark: I remember the football team would come out to the city park every Sunday after the Saturday football games, and the Silver Lake people would come out and bring all the food. I’m not sure if all that was legal.
CJ: That was something that we always had at our house. It might not be legal now; there’d be booster problems. There always seemed to be people at our house. Mark: That’s because Bernice (CJ’s mother) had the fudge stripes always around, and you even had steaks. (Bernice:) “Hey you guys want to stay and eat?” (Mark:) “What’re we having Bernice? (Bernice:) Steaks. (Mark:) Okay, I’m in.” (Laughs) CJ: She enjoyed cooking for all the guys. Mark: What made you come back to Silver Lake right after graduating Washburn? CJ: Silver Lake had been in a transition. They didn’t have a lot of coaches that would stay and it was a very transient time with teachers and coaches. Mr. Snavely was the superintendent at the time. I just went up to him and told him, “I’ll be here for four years. I guarantee it. I will stay. I’m not going to go anywhere else.” I knew the kids and I had coached them when they were 13-14 year olds playing baseball in the Pony League out at Lake Shawnee. It wasn’t a real competitive
continued on pg. 28
situation at the time. I remember my first year’s salary being something like $6,000. When I went to Washburn, I started out in business, but that’s not what I wanted. I had coached you guys in the summer and coached flag football, and that was my passion. I knew I wanted to connect with young kids, and fortunately, I’ve been able to do it for 37 years. Mark: Let’s talk about the two seasons that people don’t really know about, a lot of people think you’ve been here since the fall of 1973. You went with my dad (Larry Elliott) to coach at Washburn for a year.
amazing, that ‘02-‘08 run. You were ‘02, ‘03, ‘04, ‘05 runnerup; ‘06 champs; ‘07, ‘08 runnerup. That’s seven straight trips to the finals in Class 3A in football. Is that one of the more amazing runs that you’ve been around? CJ: Well, yeah, we’ve been blessed. Things have fallen into place for us and we won some games that we maybe shouldn’t have won. I remember in 2005 we were down against Cherryvale, 24-0 at halftime, and we came back to win. Credit to the kids. They were willing to give
CJ: That’s a question I get asked a lot, and I don’t know. Whenever I’m not effective, then it’s time for me to give it up. I still think I can reach young people. When I’m done, I’m done. Somebody should have the same opportunity I have and be a teacher/coach, so if (a student) needs to connect with the coach during the day, he’s there. I think that’s important. The game numbers are there but they don’t mean anything. For me, I remember things in practice. Those are the special moments. That’s when you can
I was the head softball coach too. Mark: I didn’t know that. CJ: I was the head coach the first year they had girls’ softball here. Mark: One of the things I have talked about with the Topeka coaches is specialization. Are the athletes different than they were in 1973?
CJ: I think that coaches are making kids make those decisions, and that is sad. The kids today, that’s all they know, so they do it. We as coaches demand a lot. Like right now, we have sum- C.J. Hamilton mer weight programs that operate over an hour to an hour and a half really connect with the kids. Like during their day. They have to the memory of when you and wake up at 5:30 a.m. after they Derek Sumner were over by the played a summer baseball game light pole playing Oklahoma by until 11:30 p.m. or later. We yourselves while the rest of the don’t give these kids enough team was practicing. credit sometimes for what they have to sacrifice in order to do Mark: That’s because you what they do. I hope that kids wouldn’t let me play defense, enjoy what they do. Not that and I needed to work on my they don’t need to be pushed, game with Derek. but just the idea that sometimes Were you the head baseball we get them so strung out that coach your first four years and they don’t have time to just be then assistant after that? a kid. CJ: You know, I can’t even reMark: Your career’s been member that. I might’ve been amazing. We appreciate the head coach one or two years in time, and good luck. between there. You didn’t know
The game numbers are there, but they don’t mean anything. For me, I remember things in practice.
CJ: Your dad gave me an opportunity to see if that’s what I wanted to do. I enjoyed high school, and I just needed to know if college was where I wanted to be or if I even fit in. It was a great experience. I enjoyed working with your dad and he taught me a lot of things, him and Dennis Bean. When your dad decided that he wanted to do football, I said, “I’m going to go another direction. I’ve got a great opportunity to come back.” That’s where it’s been since 1979. Mark: Seven state championships, nine runner-up finishes. The time I think is the most
up the individual for the team, and that’s something that some schools don’t do. The egos get too strong. Our kids have done a very good job of accepting their role. I’ve been blessed with great assistant coaches that stick around. They don’t get enough credit. My name gets way too much credit for what those guys have done. Mark: You’re only at 344 wins, can you get to 400? Can you get to 500? I mean, are you just going to keep going until it’s really no fun anymore or what? Until you can’t walk?
at Fun activities you donâ€™t want to miss! Free food and drinks All are invited to attend! aUGUST 31: kc SCHLAGE VS. TOPEKA WEST free t-shirt to first 200 topeka west fans
sEPTEMBER 7: hAYDEN VS. tOPEKA hIGH free t-shirt to first 200 hayden fans and first 200 topeka high fans
sEPTEMBER 14: tOPEKA hIGH VS. tOPEKA wEST wear your t-shirt or team colors and receive a prize
sEPTEMBER 21: sHAWNEE HEIGHTS VS. TOPEKA HIGH jousting match and carnival fun
MADE IN SHAWNEE COUNTY J.B. Bauersfeld, WIBW-TV Sports Anchor, talks with NFL San Francisco 49er and Highland Park High School standout Michael Wilhoite. Michael Wilhoite graduated from Highland Park High School and Washburn University. At Highland Park, Wilhoite was an All-City quarterback and a standout basketball player. Following high school, Wilhoite played football for the Ichabods, garnering All-MIAA honors as a linebacker. He is currently in San Francisco as a member of the 49ers practice squad with fellow Washburn Alum Joe Hastings (wide receiver). J.B. Bauersfeld (JB): Take me through the process of landing on the practice squad for the 49ers. Michael Wilhoite (MW): I was playing in the UFL and San Francisco was one of the three or four teams that was really attracted to me after the Cactus Bowl (College All-Star Game). I was staying in contact with them about every other week until the UFL season ended. After that I was wondering if I should start planning for the future (without football), but at the same time I was still keeping the faith, just making a plan B. It was a Monday night when I got a call from Joe (Hastings) and he told me that he had given my number to Tom Gamble, the director of pro personnel. (Tom) was trying to call my agent, but I had just changed agents. So I called Tom Gamble myself and left him a message. I honestly didn’t think too much of it. JB: Kinda like when you have that girl you like and don’t want to get too excited?
MW: Yeah, yeah, you don’t want to jump to conclusions. I tried to go to sleep, but at one o’clock (am in Kansas) my phone lit up and I checked it. I got a text message from my (new) agent, “The 49ers want to work you out Wednesday.” They called me the next day and said, “Come ready to compete.” We flew down there later that day, woke up the next morning and had a physical and a workout that went really well; well enough for them to say, “We’ll cut a guy, sign this other guy (me) and move forward with it.” JB: So you’ve accomplished the dream of making an NFL team, now comes the next step of playing in an NFL game; what do you need to accomplish that dream? MW: Every day here is an evaluation process. We have some of the best linebackers in the NFL, so my role won’t probably be on the defense.
They had me play a little fullback in the off-season there. It’s all about doing more, learning the playbook and not making the same mistakes over and over again. I think what it comes down to now is: How do I perform in the
preseason? Do I do my job every time on special teams? Do I make a few tackles? Then, when I go in a Linebacker, limit the mistakes. That’s the key to making the team and playing week one in Green Bay. JB: In high school, you played quarterback and then tossed it to the running back and became the lead blocker. How is the move to fullback different than that? MW: [Laughs] Here, in the huddle, our QB might say three plays, so I have to have all of those in my head. It gets to the point where, at this level, it’s all about the fundamentals; and knowing where I’m supposed to go. When I’m playing linebacker, there’s no hesitation. But once I get some more reps in fall camp (at fullback), I think it’ll come to me. It’s an honor that they even asked me... I mean, how many guys get to
play two spots in the NFL? JB: How did your transfer from Manhattan High affect you and shape your athletic life? MW: I think, more than anything, it was more about the people that I was around at Highland Park. To be honest with you, I don’t have contact with anyone I went to school with at Manhattan, other than a few guys. But when I go back to Topeka, I’m in contact with Coach (Ken) Darting; I’m in contact with his wife (Karen). I have a good base with the media there, you know, with you, with Jake Lebahn (580 Radio). I have a good relationship with “Mom” (former Highland Park “Mom” Pam Berry). I enjoy going back to Highland Park and just visiting. I think athletically, it all would have turned out the way it was going to turn out. But, I think the best thing for me was coming to Topeka. The thing that I’m more grateful for than anything is the relationship with the people. JB: With Joe (Hasting) in San Francisco ahead of you, how much did that help your transition? MW: A ton. When I first got here it helped a lot. I knew exactly what to do and what NOT to do. Now that I’m here, I see the rookies all wide-eyed. I don’t feel like I had that because I had someone giving me all of the secrets. You can’t put a price on that.
-- Photo provided by San Francisco 49ers
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Bringing our patients the best cardiac care isn’t just a passion … it’s an obsession. For more than 100 years, St. Francis Health Center has been focused on bringing the people of Topeka the absolute best care available. In fact … you could say it’s all we can focus on. It’s why we’re a recognized leader in cardiac and vascular care, and why we’re consistently ranked as having the best quality of care in the area. More importantly, it’s the kind of dedication that shows in everything we do.