Benton Smith Sports writer

Benton Smith covers sports and news for The Mirror. Although he hails from the state of North Carolina and graduated from the University of North Carolina, he assures you that neither that place nor the men's basketball team at said university have much or anything to do with him. Benton was a sports writer for the Lawrence Journal-World before coming to Tonganoxie. He is an avid basketball fan and football devotee but finds himself of late enjoying baseball more than he ever thought possible — he is 99 percent certain that is because the Kansas City Royals are actually competitive. Since joining The Mirror staff in February of 2008, Benton has learned that all high school sports, their athletes and coaches are pretty much a blast to cover.

Recent stories

THS trainer excited to see head-injury act passed in Kansas
August 23, 2011
Tonganoxie High athletic trainer Mark Padfield did plenty during his summer vacation this year, but the highlight of his break came almost immediately after the school year ended.
De Soto girls survive against host Tonganoxie
January 18, 2011
Despite holding the De Soto High girls basketball team to no field goals in the final six-plus minutes, Tonganoxie couldn’t capitalize and fell Tuesday.
DHS size, shooting too much for Chieftains
January 26, 2010
Size? Check. Outside shooting? Check. With two crucial facets of basketball covered, the De Soto High boys gave Tonganoxie fits and picked up a 63-57 road win Tuesday night.
Offense flows for THS against De Soto
January 26, 2010
The Tonganoxie High girls basketball team had its best offensive night of the season and rolled to a 60-44 victory over De Soto on Tuesday.
Hustle plays key DHS girls win
January 21, 2010
The De Soto High girls basketball team struggled to convert fourth-quarter free throws but made hustle plays in the final 30 seconds to hang on for a 61-56 win.
Defending champ DHS adjusts, wins
January 18, 2010
In the past week, the De Soto High boys basketball team lost two rotation players to injury. Shorthanded, the Wildcats opened up the Tonganoxie Invitational on Monday night with a 57-45 victory.
Wildcats cruise to tourney title
Boys rout Tonganoxie 52-30 in tourney final
January 29, 2009
The De Soto High boys basketball team came to the Tonganoxie Invitational with visions of vengeance.
Girls drop two at Tonganoxie Invitational
January 29, 2009
Wins are starting to become a rarity for the De Soto girls basketball team. The girls squad went 0-2 at the Tonganoxie Invitational.
De Soto defeats host Tonganoxie for invite crown
January 24, 2009
Already up 13 at the half, De Soto opened the third quarter on a devastating, 19-0 run to cruise to a Tonganoxie Invitational title.
De Soto girls struggle from downtown
January 22, 2009
Nearly half of De Soto High’s shot attempts Thursday night were hoisted from beyond the arc, but only three went through the net.

Full story list

Recent photos

DHS senior John Williams tries to get the ball away from a Tonganoxie opponent during the first round of the 4A playoffs at Tonganoxie on Tuesday. De Soto lost the game 3-0.

DHS point guard Shelbi Petty, the game's only double-digit scorer, shoots against Tonganoxie Tuesday in De Soto's 30-29 win.

Four Tonganoxie High players try to keep De Soto's Ashley Gorman off the offensive glass in the first half of the Wildcats' 30-29 opening-round victory Tuesday at the Tonganoxie Invitational.

De Soto High junior sprinter Jordan Riffel leans forward just enough to win a state championship in the 200-meter dash Saturday evening at Cessna Stadium. Riffel beat out runner-up Joe Fisher of Valley Center by two hundredths of a second, giving him a Class 4A championship time of 21.96.

De Soto High sophomore Leah Lail makes a state pole vault attempt Saturday at Wichita. Lail finished tied for 14th in the Class 4A event.

Full photo list