Sports in Kansas has released its defensive player of the year honors. A media panel of over 35 members in Kansas vote to compile finalists and winners each and every year.
Capsules are provided by Conor Nicholl of Sports in Kansas. Media day was handled by Bethany Bowman of Sports in Kansas and Chet Kuplen of Sports in Kansas. Photos by Terry Rinehart for Sports in Kansas. Postseason honors are powered by Watco, Mammoth, Nex-Tech Wireless, SAFE, Lewis Automotive Group.
Listed below are large classes defensive player of the year for girls 4A-6A, small classes defensive player of the year for girls 1A-3A. Also listed below are defensive player of the year for boys 1A-3A and boys defensive player of the year for 4A-6A. Finalists list are in the archives on our main home page. Congrats to all of the finalists that were nominated and selected as the top defenders in the state of Kansas.
Sports in Kansas all-state lists will be out later this weekend along with player of the year honors by classification. Congrats to all of the athletes being honored from Sports in Kansas. Be sure to check out postseason apparel from Sports in Kansas (patches, shirts, hoodies) once all of the postseason honors have been released. To order your patches for all-state be sure to email [email protected] and they will provide an order form back by email ASAP along with a link to t-shirts and hoodies. We appreciate the support of coaches and athletic directors providing us with stats and info throughout the season along with our media panel for providing input and selections for our all-state lists and player of the year honorees.
For a list of all finalists for the defensive player of the year. You can visit this link below
Sports in Kansas Large Classes (4A-6A) Girls’ Defensive Player of the Year: Landon Forbes, Bishop Carroll
Landon Forbes was Bishop Carroll’s lone senior and led the Golden Eagles to a state runner-up to seven-time defending champion St. Thomas Aquinas. Forbes won the SIK Large Classes DPOY award in a close race over several girls, including Washburn Rural’s Brooklyn Deleye, Maize South’s Avery Lowe, McPherson’s Chloe Clevenger, Olathe Northwest’s Sky Pierce and Andale’s Maddie Schrandt. Bishop Carroll was ranked eighth in the preseason KBCA top-10 poll. In the latest Massey Ratings that includes strength of schedule, BC was ranked ninth for all classes in defense.
Carroll finished 22-3, including a 60-32 win against high-octane Andover in the state semifinals. BC won the City League title and tied the second-best finish in school history. This marked the sixth championship game appearance in program annals.
Forbes has earned offers from Fort Hays, Emporia State, Mid-America Nazarene and Quincy University. She was one of the most complete players in the state this season as she averaged 14 points, five assists and four steals per game, along with 115 deflections. Forbes finished her career with 757 points, 267 assists, 229 rebounds, 227 steals and 203 deflections. Forbes was most pleased with proving “the doubters wrong” and taking second this season. Forbes was third in ’20 and 13th in state cross country in ’21. BC won the City League in soccer last spring, too. Her sister, Kendall, was a multiple time all-state selection at Sports in Kansas in 5A for softball. Her father, PJ, is a former major league baseball player and former minor league baseball manager, that starred on the 1989 Wichita State National Championship team before a standout prep career at St. Mary’s Colgan in Pittsburg.
Congrats to Bishop Carroll senior Landon Forbes on earning 4A-6A defensive player of the year honors from Sports in Kansas. We are proud of you and the 2023 state runner-up team! Bishop Carroll Athletics and Bishop Carroll High School are proud to support Bishop Carroll!
Co-Small Classes Girls’ Defensive Player of the Year: Lindsay Cure, Goodland/Campbell Hague, Cheney
Cheney’s Campbell Hague and Goodland’s Lindsay Cure, both in 3A, separated themselves from the pack in the Small Classes’ Defensive Player of the Year voting.
Class 3A enjoyed a historically dominating season. The 20 combined losses by the eight state qualifying teams marked the fewest by a non-1A state tournament in more than four seasons. This season, the other six classes all combined for at least six more losses. Goodland and Cheney finished first and second, respectively. Goodland finished 26-0 and allowed 32.1 points per game with its outstanding 1-3-1 defense. Goodland has the state’s longest current winning streak, boys or girls, at 39 straight wins and has won two straight 3A crowns. Goodland returned all but one player from ’21-22 and had four seniors, all at least 5-foot-11.
The 6-foot-1 Cure was at the top of the 1-3-1 defense. Known for her athleticism, Cure was superb with defense, turnover creation and rebounding. At state, Cure helped Goodland outrebound each opponent and hold all three teams under 40 percent shooting. Collectively, Goodland was plus-12 on the glass and held teams to 35 percent from the field at state.
Cure averaged seven rebounds and a steal per game at state, including a career-high 13 rebounds in the quarterfinals against Frontenac. Cure also had a big defensive performance in a regular season win against Hugoton that essentially decided the GWAC title. Hugoton was the eventual third place 4A team and didn’t lose until the state semifinals after the Jan. 13 Goodland game.
Cure averaged three steals a contest and was second team all-GWAC. She is the school record holder in the javelin and second team all-state volleyball (top-14). Cure has signed with Division II Regis (Colo.) volleyball.
Cheney graduated a large senior class from an 18-4 squad in ’21-22, including consensus first team all-state pick Brynn McCormick. Cheney finished 23-3 and earned 3A state runner-up. The 6-foot-3 Hague, a Division I San Diego State University volleyball commit, propelled the Cardinals to the state runner-up finish. Hague, a first team all-state volleyball player, was Central Plains League player of the year in basketball.
Hague delivered 11 points, 8.4 rebounds, three assists, three steals and three blocks per game. She was the state’s only known player to average at least 2.5 assists, steals and blocks per game. In the state quarterfinals, Hague finished with 17 points and 22 rebounds versus Eureka. In the quarterfinals, she had 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Both Goodland and Cheney were top-10 all-classes in statistical defense per Massey Ratings, which incorporates strength of schedule. In her career, she has 628 points, 445 rebounds, 144 assists, 139 blocks and 134 steals. Hague, the first Hague girl in four generations, has 11 varsity letters, including a ’22 state runner-up in the triple jump. Cheney was third in state track last spring.
“Coming into the season, I had no idea what to expect after losing seven seniors,” Hague said. “There were a lot of spots to fill, which meant a lot of newbies on the varsity court. Being a veteran, I had some doubts about what this team would look like. However, I think it’s safe to say that we stunned everyone this year. There was speculation at the beginning of us even making it out of sub-state let alone us advancing to the state championship. I am so incredibly proud of my team this year and all the hard work they put in to get us as far as we did.”
Congratulations to Lindsey Cure of Goodland HS on being selected as SIK Defensive Player of the Year! The Cure family is so proud of your achievements! Congrats on back to back state championships! It has been so fun to watch you play and lock down your opponents! – Cure Land and Cattle, LLC
Congratulations to Lindsey Cure on the Defensive Player of the Year from Sports in Kansas! Your hard work and defensive efforts did not go unnoticed! It has been a fun ride! Good luck on your next chapter! Visit AgEnsure on Facebook for your crop insurance needs!
1-2-3A defensive player of the year!! Congratulations Lindsey Cure! The Black and Gold Booster Club, Goodland High School, and the Goodland Community are very proud of you and our back-to-back state champions! Go Cowgirls!!
Congratulations to Campbell Hague on the 3A-1A Defensive Player of the Year from Sports in Kansas and congrats to the Cheney Cardinals on an outstanding 2022-2023 season from the Cheney High School Alumni Association. We are proud of you, your coaches and teammates!
Sports in Kansas Boys Large School (4A-6A) Defensive Player of the Year: BJ Redic, Andover
Andover’s BJ Redic was AVCTL Division II Player of the Year and was a clear choice for large school defensive player of the year. Redic helped Andover to its first-ever boys’ basketball state championship.
Redic averaged 10.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.6 steals and a team-best 1.7 blocks per contest. He also hit the game-winning free throw with under a second left to beat Highland Park. Andover allowed just 41 points a contest. In the latest Massey Ratings statistics that include strength of schedule, Andover ranked as the No. 3 defense for all classes. A defensive lineman, Redic has a Missouri Southern football offer.
Redic is also a finalist for the 5A Player of the Year and will contend to make several all-state lists this season. He is one of the top multiple sport athletes in Class 5A. Andover had a loaded starting lineup that also features Top-5 All-Classes player Eli Shetlar. Martin Shetlar, head coach of the Andover Trojans, was recently named 5A Coach of the Year from Sports in Kansas.
Sports in Kansas Boys Small School (1A-3A) Defensive Player of the Year: Braxton Lafferty, Little River
Little River’s Braxton Lafferty led the Redskins to 17 wins. Lafferty collected 19 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.5 steals and nearly one block a contest. LR allowed under 40 points per game and fell in sub-state to eventual state champion Macksville.
In his career, Lafferty delivered 13.6 points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists per contest.
Lafferty was also Eight-Man, Division I co-Defensive Player of the Year this fall from Sports in Kansas. LR finished first, second and second in eight-man football the last three falls. Lafferty’s grandfather is LR coaching legend Shane Cordell. Lafferty is one of the states top multiple sport athletes and will play in the Kansas Shrine Bowl this summer. Lafferty is one of the most underrated athletes in the state.
Congrats to Braxton Lafferty on the 2023 SIK 1A-3A DPOY. Peoples Bank and Trust proudly supports all Little River Athletics.