The season is just around the corner and players across the Metro will start chasing championships. When the dust has settled champions will be crowned and individual honors will be awarded.
No individual honor is bigger than the annual Thomas A. Simone Award given to the top all-around football player in the Kansas City Metro. Since 1983 the award has symbolized excellence on and off the field.
When the season is over all the awards under The Simone Awards presented by The McCarthy Auto group will be awarded at the winner’s high school.
We are a few months away from that happening and games have yet to be played. This season we are going to highlight some of the top players who could be candidates for The Simone Award in our weekly Simone Watch. Each week we will highlight players who are making waves and putting their name in the conversation for all the awards given out by the foundation.
Our first Simone Watch looks at the biggest award of them all the Thomas A. Simone Award. Here are some names to keep an eye on as the season goes on.
The award has been given out times and 30 of those awards have gone to a running back or quarterback. Here are some names to keep an eye on this year.
Sam Van Dyne, Sr., QB, Liberty North
Briggs Bartosh, Sr., RB, Park Hill South
Grant Stubblefield, Sr., RB, Blue Valley Northwest
Hayden Jay, Sr., QB, Mill Valley
Sage Huffman, Jr., RB, Blue Valley West
Mason McGavran, Sr., QB, Olathe West
Dylan Dunn, Jr., QB, Blue Valley Southwest
James Noel, Sr., RB, Park Hill
Quincey Baker, Sr., RB, Lee’s Summit North
Greg Lyles, Sr., RB, Belton
This is a deep pool of talent. Van Dyne was a finalist last year and would look to be one to watch this year. Stubblefield was a key member of Northwest’s state championship team and could be the second straight Husky to win the award after Mikey Pauley took home the honor last season. There are several others that had strong junior seasons and will now look to lead their teams to great heights in 2022.
Receivers and Athletes
There have been a few receivers or overall athletes that have taken home the honor and this year there is a group of very talented players who could break through.
Ricky Ahumaraeze, Sr., WR, Liberty
Jaydin Doss, Sr., RB/WR, Raymore Peculiar
Larenzo Fenner, Sr., WR/KR, Fort Osage
Josh Manning, Sr., WR, Lee’s Summit
Malik O’Atis, Sr., WR/RB, SM Northwest
Linemen or defensive players
There have been just a couple of players who either put their hand in the dirt or play on the defensive side, but it can happen. This year has a group that could make some noise.
Chandavian Bradley, Sr., DE, Platte County
Adepoju Adebawore, Sr., DE, North Kansas City
Cayden Green, Sr., OL, Lee’s Summit North
Melvin Laster, Jr., LB, Liberty North, LB
While it may be rare that a lineman or defense player wins, this could be a group that gets it done. These four are easily the most highly recruited players in the Metro. The three seniors have committed to top 25 programs and Laster was the winner of the Buck Buchanan Award given to the top lineman or linebacker last year as a sophomore.
Small school player
No player from a Class 1-4 team has ever won The Simone Award but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen.
Mac Armstrong, Sr., QB, Bishop Miege
Jacorey Love, Jr., RB, Center
Sean Carroll, Sr., RB, St. Thomas Aquinas
Trevor Klein, Jr., RB, East Buchanan
Carroll was a contender last year when Aquinas was in Kansas 5A. The two junior running backs could be in a position to put up eyepopping numbers on teams that will be very good this season.