Topeka Ramblers 1936-1949

Topeka Ramblers 1936-1949 – Coaching Staff included Lee Bruce, Lloyd Kistler, James A. Parks, Merrill Ross, and Wilmer Henderson. The players include: Jack Alexander captain 1949, Donald Anderson, Maurice Anderson, Lawrence Barker, Charles Birdwhistle, Albert Blackwell, William Booth, Howard Bradley, Oliver Brown, Coach Lee Bruce, James Brunt, Emmett Burke, Shedrick Burke, James Burns, Curtis Burton, Irving Burton, Arthur Capelton, Leonard Carper, Jack Davis, Richard Douglas, Frank Eagleson, Abner Fisher, Joe Fisher, Joseph Flipper, Robert Gatewood, Howard Hardy, Joseph Harvey, George Henderson, Coach Wilmer Henderson & Player, Howard Hurst, Samuel Jackson Captain 1947, Charles Johnson, Harlan Johnson, Leonard Johnson, Samuel Jolly, Charles Kendricks, Adrian King, Coach Lloyd Kistler, Ralph Knight, Perry Knuckles, John Lane, Edwin Mitchell, Samuel Moore, Samuel Morgan, Druis Moss manager, Lloyd Murphy, James Murray, Stewart Newman, Marion Nicholson, Sheridan Parks, Sherman Parks, Coach James A. Parks, Billy Payne, Thayer Phillips, Anderson Pryor, Donald Redmond, Robert Reed, Sydney Reed, Richard Ridley, Coach Merrill Ross, George Scales, Leonard Scales, Charles Scott, John Scott, Elisha Scott, Jr., Forrest Slaughter, Maurice Stevens, Charles Sudduth, Harold Washington, Willis Wheeler, Charles Williams, Joseph Wright, Philip Wright, and Rudolph Wright. The legacy of the Ramblers has had an everlasting impact on Topeka High School and Topeka Public Schools. They were organized in 1935 to afford African American students an opportunity to participate in high school basketball. The Ramblers represented Topeka High in a separate league that included other all-Black teams in the area. They were very successful and produced many star players. It was through the efforts of Rambler captain, Jack Alexander, and his friend Dean Smith, who played for the all-white Topeka High Trojans, that the administration began considering combining the Ramblers and Trojans. Jack and Dean graduated in 1949, and the two teams were united the next school year.

1981 6A Girls State Championship Team

Head Coach was Ted Juneau. Assistant Coaches were Mary Moak and Ted Hunt. Team Members included: Terri Baylor, Mary Burnette, Tracy Crawford, Angela Herman, DeAnna Kinmon, Kim McMillon, Stacey Perkins, Alicia Revely, Elaine Stewart, Lisa Swopes, Jill Williams, and Cathy Willis. The team went 23-1, ultimately beating Washington High School for the State Championship. In the process, the team won the Topeka Invitational Tournament, the I-70 League Championship, and the 6A Sub-State Championship. The style of this team was characterized as demonstrating aggressive pressing defense, fast breaking offense, and unselfish teamwork. Record numbers of fans attended games and this team will be remembered for their awesome talents, the way they played together, and the big-time attention they brought to Girls Basketball and girls’ sports in general.

1973 5A Boys State Championship Team

Head Coach was Willie Nicklin. Assistant Coaches were Don Reed and Ted Juneau. Student Managers were Mike Renfro and Jim Swenson. Team Members included: Steven Bryant, Alonzo Canady, Mike Cunningham, Garry Cushinberry, James Lewis, Mark Lowes, Gerry Lee, Randy Oakes, Dennis Olds, Clark Smith, Jim Simpson, Bobby Washington, Ed Whitlock, and Dan Wieser. The team went 21-2 during the season and won the League Championship. This was the first of two State Titles under Head Coach Willie Nicklin. This team will always be remembered for their talents as well as their ability to bring a community together, easing the racial tensions that existed at the time. This was the first Topeka High Boys team to win a basketball state championship since 1932.