The Butler County Times-Gazette is proud to present the first annual All-County Athletes of the Year selections. Jeremy Costello and Collin Smith went through a painstaking process of selecting the top boy and girl athlete from each of the nine main high schools the newspaper covers. Below is a short description of some of the many great accomplishments these athletes achieved throughout their careers (seniors are favored).
Andover High School:
Chase Oberg was one of the most well-rounded athletes in Kansas this year. Oberg led the Trojan football team to a 6-4 record and finished in the top 10 in the state in passing yards as Andover’s quarterback. Oberg also stood out on the basketball court as Andover’s point guard. His athleticism and ball-handling ability made it hard for defenders to keep him from attacking the rim. Oberg earned first team all-AVCTL II honors for the Trojans. He also contributed to the Trojans second-place finish at the 5A state golf meet. Oberg will continue his football career at Butler next season.
After settling for two third-place finishes in previous trips to State, Grace Ball finally broke through and earned her state championship on the tennis court this past fall. Ball defeated DeSoto’s Issa Sullivan to win the Class 5A state championship singles title. Ball’s semifinal losses her two previous seasons were against teammate Do-hee Lee, who won state three years in a row. Ball was a huge factor in helping Andover win three team championships.
Bluestem High School:
Jordan was a three-sport athlete for the Lions and was a huge asset to every team she was a part of. Stiger helped Bluestem to a 17-3 record and a trip to the 2-1A state tournament this season. Stiger earned all-state and all-league honors this season for the Lions as an outfielder. Jordan will continue playing softball next season at Labette County Community College in Parsons, Ks.
Tritten Beavers helped the Bluestem baseball team earn the school’s first state championship in any sport, while earning first team all-state honors as a first baseman. Beavers was invited to play in the KABC All-Star game in Manhattan and went 2-for 2. Tritten also was the basketball team’s most valuable player as he led the Lions in points and rebounds per game. Beavers will be a member of the Independence Community College baseball team next season.
Circle High School
Cal Hartley was incredibly hard to stop on Circle’s boys basketball team. Hartley crossed a major threshold when he surpassed 1,000 points for his career. He finished fourth all-time on the T-birds’ scoring list. He also set records for 3s in a game (8), season (61) and career (168). He was an All-State First Team selection and two-time All-State Second Team selection. He earned three straight All-League First Team honors. Hartley signed to play for Hesston.
Kali Martin can do it all. She’s athletic and agile with an incredible first step, she’s brilliant on the court, and she has a pure, quick shooting motion that was deadly from everywhere. She led Circle to an 18-2 regular-season record, a sub-state championship and a fourth-place finish at State. She earned two All-Tournament team selections (one MVP), was named First Team All-State and earned a full-ride scholarship to play at Emporia State next year.
Flinthills High School:
Payton dominated the competition on the volleyball court in her time at Flinthills. Gawith was a first team all-league player for three seasons. This season Gawith earned first-team all-state honors as well. Peyton also excelled on the basketball court for the Mustangs in her four years at Flinthills. On the track, Payton placed fifth in the 100m in 2016 and took eighth at Cessna Stadium. this season in class 2A.Peyton will attend Hutchinson Community College next fall as a member of the volleyball team.
Trey was a tremendous all-round athlete for the Mustangs. This season, McNemee earned first team all-league honors as well as all-state honorable mention as a designated hitter for Flinthills’ baseball team. McNemee was also a tremendous line- backer for the Mustangs as he earned all- grasslands honorable mention as a line- backer during his junior and senior season.
Augusta High School:
Dallin Marlnee was simply a beast for the Orioles this past season. Marlnee moved over to middle linebacker, where he basically terrorized runners and quarterbacks across the whole field. He had a knack for finding the ball. Marlnee led the Orioles in tackles this season and earned not only All-League First Team honors, but was named the AVCTL Div. III Defensive MVP. Marlnee went on to earn All-State honors and was selected to the Shrine Bowl All-Star game. Marlnee next will play for Butler.
Taylor Hinnenkamp blossomed into a strong runner during cross country season and played basketball for four seasons, but it was on the softball field where she truly shined. Hinnenkamp was a four-year varsity player and a two-time state champion. She earned First Team All-League honors for the third time this season. She also was named All-State. She was an effective slap hitter and among the best in stolen bases as she utilized her blazing speed. She will play softball at Cowley next year.
El Dorado High School:
Dacota Motter captured the attention of the entire state at the Class 4A state wrestling tournament in Salina. Motter, who was ranked No. 1 all season and only had one loss entering State, lost his father on the eve of the opening round. Motter wrestled with inspiration the next two days as he dominated opponents. He beat Holton’s Tyler Price 7-0 to win the 170-pound championship title. Motter also was a standout football player and an All-League baseball player for the Wildcats’ programs.
Sidney Howland is as accomplished a runner as there is in the state of Kansas. Howland won two straight 4A 400-meter dash championships her sophomore and junior seasons before taking third at State this past spring. Howland also was one of the Wildcats’ top scorers who always gave top-notch efforts for a team that struggled throughout her career. Howland will be running for the Loyola track and field this coming school year.
Douglass High School:
Josh Turner came into his own this season as a leader for the Bulldogs’ boys basketball team this past winter. Turner averaged 12.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.2 steals per game this past season. He shot 54 percent from the floor. Turner earned Class 3A All-State Honorable Mention, First Team All-Central Plains League honors and was the Bulldogs’ team MVP. He previously earned All-State Honorable Mention his junior year, as well.
Madison Woody was a tough, physical presence on the volleyball court for the Bulldogs. Woody is a two-time First Team All-Central Plains League selection who played at State three of her four seasons. She finished with 840 career kills, 212 solo blocks and 90 block assists. Woody also earned KVA First Team All-State honors this year after getting Second Team All-State her junior year. Woody will be playing for Friends University this coming fall.
Dane helped the Jaguar soccer team to a third-place finish at state this fall, while earning second team all-league honors as a defender. Pedersen was also the ace pitcher for the Jaguar baseball team that finished 16-5. Pedersen was selected as a first team all-state pitcher in class 4A-I this season and competed in the KABC All-Star game at Kansas State University. Pedersen will attend Tabor College next year where he will play soccer for the Blue Jays in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Jewell Bolden made her way into the Kansas track and field record books during her time at Andover Central. Bolden ran the 11th fastest 100m hurdle time in state history at the state meet at Cessna Stadium this year. Bolden is also 15th all-time in the long jump. Jewell earned seven career medals as a Jaguar. Bolden also excelled on the basketball court and earned second team all-league honors in the AVCTL-II. Bolden has signed with Southern Illinois University where she will be a member of the track and field team next season.
Remington High School:
Garet Johnson has had a decorated athletic career at Remington dating back to his freshman year. Garet excels in basketball, football, and track for the Broncos. On the basketball court, Johnson was named first team all-league three times and is third all-time in points scored at Remington with 1,119 points. On the football field, Johnson was a second team all-league running back. Track and field is where Garet is most dominant. Johnson won the 3A title in shot put this year and was a four-time state qualifier. He medaled three of those years, and holds the school record in the shot put. Johnson will throw for Hutchinson Community College next year.
Kelcey Hinz’ size and strength along with her athletic ability made her stand out among her competition on the basketball court and also the volleyball court. Hinz earned all-league honors multiple times in the Heart of America League in both basketball and volleyball. Kelcey will attend Neosho County Community College this fall where she will be a member of the Panthers basketball team.