The Topeka Shawnee County Sports Council at 10 a.m. June 1 announced its announcement of the Class of 2017 high school student-athlete nominees.

“These student athletes have so much to be proud of,” said Doug Reynolds, chairman of the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Council Hall of Fame committee. “Balancing academics and their commitments to their teams and athletic performance is no small task. These young people have achieved excellence. We are proud to recognize them in this way.”

Each year, the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Council recognizes area high school athletes with awards in 10 categories: outstanding male and female athlete in fall, winter and spring sports, most inspirational male and female athlete and most outstanding overall male and female athlete. Student-athletes must be a senior in high school, have a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher and must have demonstrated excellence in sports during the 2016-2017 school year. The names of those students will be released during the press conference.

A recognition banquet is planned for 6:30 p.m. on June 22 at the Capitol Plaza Hotel. In addition to the student athlete recognition that evening, Jocelyn Bentley, Mark Elliott, and Gary Woodland will be named to the Topeka and Shawnee County Sports Hall of Fame. For 12 years, the Topeka Shawnee County Sports Council also has held its Hall of Fame induction during the banquet. The Hall of Fame honors past area athletes who made a lasting mark on the Topeka community through their sport. Tickets to that event are available at Visit Topeka, 618 S. Kansas Ave. or by calling 785.234.1030.

Photos of each awardee will be made available upon request. 

2017 Topeka Shawnee Sports Council High School Nominees

Fall Female

Topeka High School

Mikayla

Keeling

Seaman High School

Bailey

Chinn

Shawnee Heights High School

Jzanasia (Jazz)

Sweet

Topeka West High School

Sarah

Smith

Hayden

Mady

Myers

Silver Lake

Torey

Burkhardt

Highland Park

Imari

Jones

Rossville High School

Sara

Shinn

Washburn Rural

Avery

Munns

Fall Male

Seaman High School

Dalton

Cowan

Shawnee Heights High School

Wyatt

Hubert

Topeka High School

Corey

Thomas

Topeka West High School

Coban

Gonzales

Hayden

Tomas

Stringer

Silver Lake

Dean

Honas

Rossville High School

Jacob

Bradshaw

Highland Park

Phillip

White

Washburn Rural

Hunter

Browning

Winter Female

Seaman High School

Shyanne

Osterhaus

Shawnee Heights High School

Marissa

Patterson

Rossville High School

Amanda

Hill

Topeka West High School

Lauryn

Davis

Hayden

Madison

Weaver

Silver Lake

Kayla

Lane

Highland Park

Tamira

Carter

Washburn Rural

Chelsea

Brown

Winter Male

Seaman High School

Dawson

Podlena

Shawnee Heights High School

Trey

Brown

Topeka High School

Jackson

Palmer

Hayden

Scott

Wilson

Silver Lake

Ryan

Wagner

Highland Park

Lazura'

Osayande

Washburn Rural

Nathan

Iles

Spring Female

Topeka West High School

Savannah

Guy

Hayden

Darian

Hillebert

Silver Lake

Alex

Ferguson

Shawnee Heights High School

Faith

Rottinghaus

Highland Park

Janet

Tellez

Topeka High School

Elena

Almoguera

Seaman High School

McKynley

Larson

Rossville High School

Lora

Shinn

Washburn Rural

Laurel

Haley

Spring Male

Topeka West High School

Zach

Shima

Hayden

Robert

Schmidt

Silver Lake

Dalton

Dultmeier

Shawnee Heights High School

Cole

Emerson

Highland Park

Zion

Meadows

Seaman High School

Reese

Emert

Washburn Rural

Brayden

White

Topeka High School

Christopher

Gernon

Inspirational Female

Shawnee Heights High School

Alyssa

Conway

Hayden

Darian

Hillebert

Rossville High School

Taylor

Bittner

Highland Park

Raven

Meadows

Seaman High School

McKynley

Larson

Washburn Rural

Mallory

Shuler

Inspirational Male

Shawnee Heights High School

Cole

Emerson

Topeka High School

Billy

Wagemaker

Seaman High School

Walker

Bassett

Hayden

Kendall

Sutton

Highland Park

D'Andre

Phillips

Washburn Rural

Nikolas

Connolly

2017 Topeka Shawnee Sports Council Hall of Fame Inductees

Jocelyn Bentley

Jocelyn Bentley graduated from Highland Park High School in 1980.  She was a three-year letter winner in basketball and a three-year letter winner in track and field.  As a member of the track team, Jocelyn set school and state records in the 100-meter, 200-meter and 400-meter runs.  She was state champion in the 440-yard dash as a sophomore, and repeated as state champion in the 400-meter run as a junior and senior.  As a senior, Bentley turned in one of the greatest individual track performances in Kansas history.  She swept the 6A state titles in the 100-meter, 200-meter and 400-meter runs, and anchored the winning 4x400-meter relay team, helping lead the HPHS girl’s track and field team to a state title in 1980.  Bentley was All-City and All-State three years in track and field.  She was a three-year starter as a small forward on the Lady Scots girls’ basketball team.

Bentley was the first girl in Kansas state history to run under 55.0 seconds in the 400-meter run with a time of 54.4 seconds, and also the first girl to run under 24.5 seconds in the 200-meter run with a time of 24.4 seconds.  She still ranks third all-time in Kansas girl’s history in the 400-meter run, and fifth all-time in the 200-meter run.

Bentley attended Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona on a track and field scholarship for two years and was a member of the women’s 4x100-meter and the 4x400-meter relay teams, the only freshman to be on both relay teams.  She later attended the University of Maryland in College Park, MD and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration in 1995.

Bentley entered the United States Navy in 1985.  She served our country honorably for 27 years with assignments in Japan, Diego Garcia, Iraq, San Diego, and Maryland. Bentley retired from active duty in 2011 as a Mass Communication Senior Chief.

Bentley was inducted into the Highland Park High School ‘Wall of Honor’ in 2007.  In addition, in 2011 she was selected No. 53 in the Topeka Capital-Journal Top 100 Athletes of all-time in Shawnee County.

Bentley received a Bachelor’s degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona in 2014.  She currently works as a Promotions Coordinator with Desert Diamond Casinos and Entertainment in Glendale, AZ.  Jocelyn resides in Avondale, AZ, a suburb of Phoenix.

Mark Elliott

Mark Elliott graduated from Silver Lake High School in 1977.  He was a four-year starter in football and baseball.  The Eagles football team compiled a 31-10 record during that time making the playoffs in 1975 and 1976.  Elliott was coached by CJ Hamilton, now the all-time winningest high school football coach in Kansas history.  In football, he was All-League his sophomore year and All-State Class 2A his senior year.  During Elliott’s tenure at Silver Lake, the Eagles baseball team finished 4th, 1st, 4th and 1st at the state baseball tournament, with Elliott playing first base and pitching.  He also played varsity basketball for the Hall of Fame coach, Ken Darting, and was All-League his senior year.

In June 1977, Elliott was drafted in the 6th round of the major league baseball draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers.  He played rookie ball for Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada where the Dodgers farm team won the Pioneer League title.  In 1978, Elliott was in Class A in Clinton, Iowa.  He played with Orel Hershiser (future World Series MVP), Steve Sax (future National League Rookie-of-the-Year) and Ron Kittle (future American League Rookie-of-the-Year), plus 14 other players that made it to the big leagues.  Elliott spent three seasons in the minors as a first baseman, hitting .262 with 12 home runs.

Elliott returned home and played football for Washburn University from 1980-83 and was named an All-Conference honorable mention QB on the 1983 “Dream Team” that won the CSIC conference championship and finished the season ranked 9th in the country.  That was the only season that Mark played for his dad Larry Elliott, the long-time football and baseball head coach at WU.  He received a Bachelor of Education degree from WU in 1984.

Elliott went on to teach English and coach football and track for one year at St. Mary’s Junior High.  Then was an assistant football coach for his dad at WU coaching quarterbacks in 1985 and 1986.  In 1987, Elliott headed into the world of golf taking an assistant pro job at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina.  In 1990, he joined the Kansas State University golf program.  Elliott was the head coach of both the men and women until 1995 and then was the men’s coach for two more seasons.  He was named the Big Eight Women’s Coach-of-the-Year in 1993.

Elliott played golf professionally for three years on mini-tours, and then has had a successful career on the local and state level as a senior golfer.  He won the city stoke play four consecutive years (2007-10).  Elliott also won the city match play in 2007 and 2008.  He has double digit trophies earned in Kansas Golf Association events.  Elliott was an alternate in the 2007 US Open at Oakmont and played in the 2013 US Senior Open in Omaha.

Elliott was inducted into the Silver Lake High School Hall of Fame in 2016.  In addition, in 2011 he was selected No. 28 in the Topeka Capital-Journal Top 100 Athletes of all-time in Shawnee County.

Elliott moved to the broadcasting world at 580 WIBW in 2000.  He broadcasted local high school football and basketball games for 14 years, along with Washburn University games and was mentored by Greg Sharpe and Bruce Steinbrock.  In 2014, Mark moved to Advisors Excel and is currently hosting radio shows with the top financial advisors around the world.  Mark resides in Topeka with his daughter Haley.

Gary Woodland

Gary Woodland graduated from Shawnee Heights High School in 2002 where he lettered in basketball and golf all four years.  He played golf for Coach Lynn Riney where he won multiple tournaments including the Topeka City, Centennial League and the 5A Regional Championships his freshman, sophomore and senior years.  During his four years of basketball with Coach Craig Cox, now the coach at Seaman High School, Woodland played both JV and Varsity his freshman year before starting 75 straight games his sophomore through senior years.  He helped lead the T-Birds to State Basketball Championships his sophomore and senior years, and to a fourth place finish his junior year.  Gary was Co-Centennial League Player-of-the-Year in 2002 along with being selected to the Topeka Capital-Journal and Wichita Eagle 5A All-State Teams as well as the All-Class All-State teams.  He also played traveling baseball until the age of 16 when his team won the NBC World Series in Georgia.

To start his college career as a freshman, Woodland played on the Washburn University basketball team for legendary Coach Bob Chipman.  The Ichabods were MIAA Champions for the 2002-03 season.  His first collegiate game was against the Kansas Jayhawks where Woodland later transferred to play golf.  At KU under the direction of Coach Ross Randall, Woodland won four collegiate golf titles along with fourteen other top 10 finishes and qualified each year for the NCAA Regionals.  He was named All-Big 12 in 2006 and 2007.

While attending KU, Woodland played several amateur events and was ranked in the top 25 amateurs in the U.S. in 2006.  He won the Kansas Amateur in 2005 and 2007 and won the Kansas Four-Ball in 2004 and again in 2005 along with winning the Topeka City Stroke Play three times.  After graduating from KU in 2007, Woodland played on the mini-tour pro circuit before earning his PGA Tour card in December 2008.

Since turning pro, Woodland has had two professional wins to-date, the first at the Transitions in Tampa, FL in 2011 and the second at the Reno-Tahoe Open in 2013.  He and Matt Kuchar won the World Cup for the United States in China in 2011.  He has had eight 2nd place finishes and 26 top 10 finishes in 189 tour events where he has made the cut 142 times.  Woodland is currently ranked 20th in the PGA FedEx Cup and 42nd in the world.  He is sponsored by Under Armor and CDW and supports the Folds of Honor Foundation that raises funding for the education of families of fallen or wounded soldiers.  In addition, in 2011 Woodland was selected No. 8 in the Topeka Capital-Journal Top 100 Athletes of all-time in Shawnee County.

Woodland and his wife, Gabby, reside in Lawrence, Kan. part of the year and Delray Beach, Fla. for the rest.  His family continues to live in Topeka.

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