Connect with us


City volleyball: Schmitz steps in to guide perennial power Hayden



TOPEKA, Kan. – Josh Schmitz coached Hayden’s junior varsity volleyball team in 2019, and that was his plan for the upcoming season, as well.

But all that changed shortly before the start of preseason practice when Kathy Allen stepped down as the Wildcats’ head coach without ever coaching a match and Schmitz stepped in to lead Hayden, which has won state titles four of the past five seasons, including the 2019 Class 4A crown.

“This is nothing that was in my plan or nothing that I saw coming whatsoever, but I’m very excited for it,’’ said Schmitz, a 2011 Hayden graduate who teaches theology and is the campus minister at the school. “A couple of weeks before we could start practice and come back to school, I got a message that this was a possibility.

“There was some thought that went into it because I just got married on July 25th, so a lot of things have been happening since then, but at the same time I would rather put more on my plate and give these girls a chance to have a full season. They deserve that.’’

Hayden suffered heavy graduation losses from last year’s team, but will build around returning senior starters Dejah Miller and Alyssa Dinkel.

Miller is a two-time All-City pick who was an All-4A first-team selection last season while Dinkel is a former city newcomer of the year.

Schmitz is also counting on senior Jensen Heideman and juniors Anna Brown, Abby Dodd and Jadyn Paige Falley to step into key roles this fall.

“A bunch of the girls I coached on JV last year I moved up to varsity this year so I know that they work together well and I know they have a strong, strong work ethic,’’ Schmitz said.

Schmitz said he will rely on seniors Dinkel, Heideman and Miller to provide leadership.

“I told them beforehand, ’You guys need to lead this team,’ ’’ he said. “From what we were last year to what we are now, It’s a very different team and I need them to be leaders in a winning way.

“I know that I don’t have to teach them how to win and I don’t have to teach them work ethic because they know how to work hard. My goal here is to help them have the most success they possibly can.’’

City high school volleyball capsules


Coach — Emily Dewalt.

Top returners — Jaley Barkley, jr.; Kylie Cleverdon, so.; Lauren Drum, jr.; Basia Nesbett-Tucker, sr.; Kassidy Napier, sr.; Halle Pavlick, so.; Haddley Taggart, sr.

Top newcomers — Josie Barkley, fr.; Mayah Pridgett, fr.

Outlook — The Lions are set to compete at the KSHSAA level for the first time this season after posting a 23-11 record and winning the Metro Christian Athletic Association title a year ago and going undefeated in league play. Dewalt takes over as head coach from Phil Parker who retired after 27 years as the Lions’ head coach. “We are excited to be a part of KSHSAA this year,’’ Dewalt said. ”The girls are ready to be back on the court and ready to compete.’’

Tentative schedule

September — 1 at Marais des Cygnes Valley, 3 at Mission Valley triangular, 8 NEK Saints, 10 at Topeka West quadrangular, 17 at Bishop Seabury, 19 at Hartford Inv., 22 CHIEF tournament, 24 NEK Saints, 28 Topeka Heritage.

October — 1 at KC Christian, 3 at Shawnee Mission Christian Inv., 5 Veritas, 13 at CHIEF, 20 Regionals, 24 Sub-state, 30-31 State.


Coach — Josh Schmitz.

Top returners — Alyssa Dinkel, sr.; Dejah Miller, sr.

Top newcomers — Anna Brown, jr.; Abby Dodd, jr.; Jadyn Paige Falley, jr.; Jensen Heideman, sr.

Outlook — “Coming off of a state championship year always brings a lot of pressure, but especially this year when we lost eight graduating seniors,’’ Schmitz said. ”That being said, we still have a loaded team, starring returning starters Dejah Miller and Alyssa Dinkel. The rest of the team all played together last year and had a very successful year as well.’’

Tentative schedule

August — 31 Topeka High dual.

September — 8 Hayden triangular, 10 Hayden quadrangular, 12 at Baldwin Inv., 15 at Washburn Rural triangular, 17 at Ottawa triangular, 22 at Seaman triangular, 26 at Seaman Inv., 29 Hayden triangular.

October — 8 Hayden triangular, 10 at DeSoto Spike Fest, 13 at Lawrence quadrangular, 15 at Miege dual, 24 Sub-state, 30-31 State.


Coach — Rene Langer.

Top returners — Isabella Carter, sr.; Emma Fouraker, jr.; Damaris Labrador, sr.; Akira Shutts, jr.

Top newcomers — Serenity Ceja, fr.; Monya Dean, fr.; Samar Phelps, fr.

Outlook — Langer takes over as coach of the Scots, who will be aiming to improve on last year’s 2-26 record. “As my first year coaching volleyball at Highland Park, our season outlook is going to be great,’’ Langer said. ”The girls are here to put in work and show everyone what the Lady Scots volleyball team is made of. Our short time together during summer workouts the girls put in a lot of work as well as bonding as a team. Our girls have a lot of heart and dedication.’’

Tentative schedule

September — 1 at Emporia triangular, 3 at Junction City quadrangular, 8 Highland Park triangular, 10 at Topeka West quadrangular, 15 at Topeka High triangular, 21 Highland Park quadrangular, 22 at Seaman triangular, 24 at Burlingame, 26 at Louisburg Inv., 29 at Emporia triangular.

October — 1 Highland Park triangular, 8 at Leavenworth triangular, 15 at KC-Sumner, 17 Highland Park Invitational, 24 Sub-state, 30-31 State.


Coach — Tatiana Schafer.

Top returners — Drew Baxter, jr.; Hailey Minger, sr.; Camryn Turner, sr.

Top newcomers — Taylin Stallbaumer, fr.

Outlook — The Vikings posted a 27-11 record last season. Turner was the city and Centennial League player of the year last season and has committed to Kansas while Baxter was a second-team All-City pick. “We lost our ball control when we graduated four seniors last yer and we have a lot of work to do defensively to get to where we need to be,’’ Schafer said. ”We are a pretty young team for the most part, so we will work hard to try to make up for our lack of experience.’’

Tentative schedule

September — 1 Seaman triangular, 3 at Lansing triangular, 8 at Topeka West triangular, 10 Seaman quadrangular, 12 at Lansing tournament, 15 at Emporia triangular, 22 Seaman triangular, 26 Seaman Inv., 29 at Topeka High triangular.

October — 8 at St. James Academy dual, 13 at Topeka High quadrangular, 17 at Emporia tournament, 19 at Olathe West triangular, 24 Sub-state, 30-31 State.


Coach — Sami McHenry.

Top returners — Paige Donahoe, sr.; Taylor Hawkins, sr.; Bailey Hughes, sr.; Kali Henry, jr.; Claire Olson, sr.

Top newcomers — Elise Curry, so.; Tarryn Dial, jr.; Peyton Hack, so.; Emily Loy, so.; Abby Schulte, jr.

Outlook — The T-Birds are coming off a 29-7 season. “We are excited to get the season started to get back to feeling a little more normal,’’ McHenry said. ”We’ve got a lot of new faces, but we have great returners who have improved so much in the offseason.’’

Tentative schedule

September — 8 DeSoto dual, 10 at Seaman quadrangular, 15 KC-Turner dual, 17 at Ottawa triangular.

October — 6 at Leavenworth dual, 8 at Hayden triangular, 10 at Manhattan tournament, 13 Lansing dual, 15 Shawnee Heights triangular, 17 at Olathe Northwest tournament, 20 at Basehor-Linwood dual, 24 Sub-state, 30-31 State.


Coach — Bridget Bargmann.

Top returners — Navaeh Brooks, sr.; Chenoa Malone, jr.; Belle Simecka, sr.; Quincy Smith, so.; Americka Whetsone, sr.; Aubrey Zimmerman, sr.

Top newcomers — Siena Boiteau, fr.; Mariyona Yates, jr.

Outlook — “We’ll turn to our four seniors for leadership this season,’’ Bargmann said. ”We’ve got a great group of girls who are ready to compete and hope to continue to improve each match that we play.’’

Tentative schedule

August — 31 at Hayden dual.

September — 1 at Emporia triangular, 3 Topeka High quadrangular, 8 at Hayden triangular, 15 Topeka High triangular, 22 at Manhattan quadrangular, 29 Topeka High triangular.

October — 1 at Highland Park triangular, 10 at Manhattan tournament, 13 Topeka High quadrangular, 15 at Olathe West triangular, 17 at Abilene tournament, 24 Sub-state, 30-31 State.


Coach — Alyx Nash.

Top returners — Adina Davis, sr.; Kylie Eldridge, sr.; MaKinsey Jones, so.

Top newcomers — Kayleigh Humphrey, so.; Jaya Miller, fr.; Laurel Parhomek, so.

Outlook — The Chargers are coming off a 15-20 season. “We are a young team with developing skills and talents,’’ Nash said. ”Even through the setbacks of our current state, we have already built strong team chemistry and drive, something I believe will catch eyes, not just this season, but those to come.’’

Tentative schedule

September — 3 at Junction City quadrangular, 8 Topeka West triangular, 10 Topeka West quadrangular, 15 at Washburn Rural triangular, 17 Topeka West triangular, 19 at Russell tournament, 22 at Manhattan triangular, 29 at Emporia triangular.

October — 1 at Highland Park triangular, 13 at Topeka High quadrangular, 24 Sub-state, 30-31 State.


Coach — Kevin Bordewick.

Top returners — Katelynn Brogan, jr.; Katie Borough, so.; Brooklyn DeLeye, so.; Cassidy Doll, sr.; Izzy Entz, sr.; Alysa Ladson, so.; Taylor Russell, so.; Lillian Ziegler, so.

Top newcomers — Zoe Canfield, fr.; Baylee Dial, jr.; Jada Ingram, fr.; Trenna Whitmore, jr.

Outlook — The Junior Blues posted a 40-6 record and finished second in 6A under Bordewick, who is 861-212 at the school with seven 6A state titles. DeLeye was an All-6A pick last fall as a freshman. “We are still going to be a pretty young team, playing sophomores and freshmen a lot of the time,’’ Bordewick said. ”We will have great chemistry and a lot of toughness, which will help a lot. We are going to learn from some of the things we went through last year to hopefully get a shot at the league title and going to state and do well there.’’

Tentative schedule

September — 2 Lawrence, 8 at Highland Park triangular, 15 Washburn Rural triangular, 17 at DeSoto triangular, 22 at Junction City triangular, 26 Washburn Rural quadrangular, 29 at Topeka High triangular.

October — 6 at Olathe Northwest dual, 10 at Derby tournament, 13 at Lawrence quadrangular, 15 at Olathe West triangular, 17 at Emporia tournament, 24 Sub-state, 30-31 State.