2015 Simone Awards Finalists Announced

Finalists for the 2015 Simone Awards were announced live on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel Tuesday night from Arrowhead Stadium’s Hall of Honor. The show will re-air on TWC SportsChannel (TWC 30/323; Comcast Kansas 68/258/913; Comcast Missouri 44/258/913; WOW! Lawrence 37/226) Thursday at 1am, 9am, 12pm, 3pm and 7pm, and Saturday at 6am, 2pm, 9:30pm and 11pm.

The finalists for the 33rd Annual Thomas A. Simone Memorial Award, which is given annually to the most outstanding football player in the Kansas City metropolitan area, are:

Adam Cofield – Running Back/Linebacker – 6’0 205 Sr  Blue Springs South Jaguars:  14-0 Class 6 State Champions

Adam Cofield had a breakout senior season and was a key factor in Blue Springs South turning around a losing 2014 record into a perfect state championship run in 2015. He ran for 1,373 yards and 16 touchdowns, averaging 6.4 yards per carry, and added 18 catches for 284 yards and two scores. Cofield, like the Jaguars overall, got stronger as the year progressed. He ran for over 100 yards in seven games, including the last four. He totaled 149 rushing yards and three touchdowns in the 37-28 state championship win over CBC. He also had a 67-yard receiving score. Cofield was maybe at his best on defense, recording 86 tackles and six sacks as a linebacker. He was the unanimous Suburban Big 6 Defensive Player of the Year and is also a Buchanan Award finalist.

Christian Jegen – Wide Rec./Def. Back – 6’3 195 Sr        

Mill Valley Jaguars:  12-1 Class 5-A State Champions

One of two Simone finalists to be named first team all-conference on both sides of the ball, Christian Jegen proved to be one of the top athletes in the metro in 2015. Also an Otis Taylor Award finalist, Jegen caught 66 passes for 1,288 yards and 16 touchdowns. He was a major threat on the ground as well, rushing 112 times for 805 yards and 14 touchdowns. In each of the first three games of Mill Valley’s state championship playoff run, Jegen had over 100 yards receiving and rushing. A varsity player since his freshman year, Jegen recorded over 2,500 career receiving yards and 1,400 rushing yards, scoring 55 total touchdowns. He has been a first or second-team all-conference performer on offense and defense since his sophomore year with four total first-team designations.

Skylar Thompson – Quarterback – 6’3 195 Sr                    

Fort Osage Indians:  13-1 Class 5 State Champions

Now a two-time Simone Award finalist, Skylar Thompson capped a remarkable high school career by leading Fort Osage to the school’s first state football title with a record-breaking performance. He threw for 253 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 202 and three more scores – a championship game record 455 total yards – as the Indians rolled to a 63-28 win over Chaminade. He finished 2015 with 2,127 yards and 25 touchdowns while throwing just three interceptions. He added nearly 1,100 yards and 21 scores on the ground. A three-year starter after getting some playing time as a freshman behind 2012 Simone finalist Steven McBee, Thompson finished with over 6,200 career passing yards and 71 touchdowns. He is one of the top-ranked dual threat quarterback recruits in the country and committed to Kansas State last spring.

Zach Willis – Running Back – 5’7 185 Sr                 

Belton Pirates:  8-4 Class 5 District Finalists

Zach Willis is another finalist who only emerged as a Simone contender well after the season started. It would have been tough to foresee in August the kind of senior year Willis would have. He averaged well over 200 yards per game, running for 2,628 yards on 308 carries. He found the end zone an incredible 41 times on the year as Belton posted an 8-4 record, the best season for the Pirates since a state runner-up finish in 2007. Though the MSHSAA record book does not differentiate between small and large class records, the yardage, attempts and touchdown totals for Willis are likely all among the 10 best in state history for a big school running back. Willis was named Offensive Player of the Year in the Suburban Small 6 conference.


The 24th Annual Buck Buchanan Memorial Award will be given to the best lineman/linebacker in Missouri’s and Kansas’ top two classes (MO 5-6, KS 5A-6A). The finalists are:

Amani Bledsoe, Sr. OL/DL, Lawrence – Had 82 tackles and 8 sacks. Also had 3 blocked punts and 42 offensive pancake blocks.  Was Sunflower League’s Andre Maloney MVP.  Over 50 FBS offers.

Adam Cofield, Sr. LB, Blue Springs South – 86 tackles, six sacks, 13 tackles for loss and a fumble recovery at linebacker for the state champion Jaguars. Was Suburban Big 6 Defensive Player of the Year.

Chester Graves, Jr. DL, Park Hill – 108 tackles and 12 sacks as a defensive lineman. Recorded 38 tackles for loss. Elite Class of 2017 recruit. Was Suburban Mid 6 Defensive Player of the Year.

Sima Thomas, Sr. DL, Fort Osage – Finished with 83 tackles, 11 sacks and 29 tackles for loss for the state champion Indians. Forced 4 fumbles. Was Suburban Small 7 Defensive Player of the Year.


The 17th Annual Frank Fontana Award will be given to the most outstanding small class (MO 1-4, KS 1A-4A) football player in the metro. The finalists are:

Jabril Cox, Sr. QB/DB, Raytown South – Threw for nearly 1,900 yards and 18 touchdowns and ran for another 1,000 with 13 TDs in just 11 games. Had 21 tackles and an interception on defense.

Dawson Downing, Sr. RB, Bishop Miege – A two-time Fontana Award finalist. Ran for 1,900 yards and 42 touchdowns in just 12 games. Capped his Miege career with 231 yards and 6 TDs in the state title game.

Kobe Hardin, Sr. RB, Odessa – In first year playing high school football, burst onto the metro scene and set an Odessa school record with nearly 2,700 rushing yards and 33 touchdowns.

Logan Hinck, Sr. QB, Kearney – Passed for 1,742 yards, 22 touchdowns and just four interceptions, leading Bulldogs to a state title. Ran for another 1,147 yards and 13 TDs, averaging 6.8 yards per carry. 


The 16th Annual Bobby Bell Award will be given to the best lineman/linebacker in Missouri’s and Kansas’ smallest four classes (MO 1-4, KS 1A-4A). The finalists are:

Cale Garrett, Sr. LB, Kearney– Two-time Bell Award finalist. Had 160 tackles, including 117 solo, for the state champion Bulldogs. 538 career tackles in four varsity seasons. Last year’s Class 4 Defensive POY.    

Jase Hollingsworth, Jr. OL/DL, Odessa – Two-way 1st-Team All-Conference player had over 60 tackles and a defensive touchdown for the state runner-up Bulldogs.

Brock Hughes, Sr. LB, O’Hara – O’Hara’s all-time leader for tackles in a season and career. Tallied 204 stops in just 11 games this year. West Central Conference Defensive Player of the Year. 

Kaelin Key, Sr. DL, Bishop Miege – 72 tackles, 28 tackles for loss and 5 sacks for the state champion Stags. A four-year starter, was the EKL’s Defensive Player of the Year. 


The 9th Annual Otis Taylor Award will be given to the top tight end/wide receiver in the metro area. The finalists are:

Jafar Armstrong, Jr. WR, Bishop Miege – Had 65 catches for 1,262 yards and 15 touchdowns. Had two games with over 200 receiving yards. Has nearly 2,700 receiving yards and 26 touchdowns in two seasons. 

Christian Jegen, Sr. WR, Mill Valley – Also a Simone finalist with over 2,000 all-purpose yards this year for the state champion Jaguars.  

Briley Moore-McKinney, Sr. WR, Blue Springs South – Finished with 672 yards and 15 touchdowns receiving. A two-way starter, also had 26 tackles and three sacks for the unbeaten state champs.

Isaiah Simmons, Sr. WR, Olathe North – Tallied over 1,200 yards on just over 30 catches with 16 touchdowns.  Also ran for 145 yards and two TDs. Holds offers from nearly a dozen Big 12 and Big 10 schools.


The Simone Awards are voted on by the member head coaches of the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association (GKCFCA) and a 12-member media committee.

In addition to the above award finalists, the following awards were presented on the show:

Ryan Schartz of Fort Osage and Joel Applebee of Mill Valley were recognized as the Time Warner Cable SportsChannel Missouri and Kansas Coaches of the Year.  Howard Rice of Southwest and Xanthanus Pierro of East were given the Interscholastic League Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year Awards.  Also, the 6th Annual All-Simone Team was announced and is listed below.  

All of these individuals will also be recognized, as well as winners announced of the Simone, Fontana, Buchanan, Bell, Taylor, Nathan Stiles Inspiration Award, Lifetime Achievement Award and Gordon Docking Award for excellence in high school sports reporting, at the 33rd Annual Simone Awards ceremony Tuesday morning, December 8. It will also be televised on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel live from the school of the winner.

2015 All-Simone Team

The 6th Annual All-Simone Team recognizes the best players in the Kansas City metro area at every position.  

The 2015 All-Simone Team was unveiled Tuesday, December 1 on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel and the team members will be recognized again during the Simone Awards ceremony.  Each will receive a patch for their letterman jacket.  

*Asterisks note two-time All-Simone Team honorees.


Quarterback – Jabril Cox, Senior, Raytown South

Quarterback – Joey Dolan, Senior, Blue Valley North

Quarterback – Logan Hinck, Senior, Kearney

Quarterback – Skylar Thompson, Senior, Fort Osage*

Quarterback – Bryce Torneden, Senior, Lawrence Free State

Running Back – Dawson Downing, Senior, Bishop Miege*

Running Back – Kobe Hardin, Senior, Odessa

Running Back – Howard Rice, Senior, Southwest

Running Back – AJ Taylor, Senior, Rockhurst

Running Back – Norvell Trent, Junior, Center

Running Back – Zach Willis, Senior, Belton

Running Back – JD Woods, Senior, Lawrence

Wide Receiver – Jafar Armstrong, Junior, Bishop Miege

Wide Receiver – Christian Jegen, Senior, Mill Valley

Wide Receiver – Briley Moore-McKinney, Senior, Blue Springs South

Wide Receiver – Isaiah Simmons, Senior, Olathe North

Offensive Lineman – Jared Green, Senior, Shawnee Mission West

Offensive Lineman – Colin Grunhard, Junior, Bishop Miege

Offensive Lineman – Tom Killilea, Senior, St. Thomas Aquinas

Offensive Lineman – Tanner Gulick, Senior, Harrisonville

Offensive Lineman – Achilles Griffin, Blue Springs South

Offensive Lineman – Ben Hecht, Senior, Mill Valley

Offensive Lineman – Zach Birch, Senior, Staley



Defensive Lineman – Cole Morris, Senior, Mill Valley

Defensive Lineman – Amani Bledsoe, Senior, Lawrence*

Defensive Lineman – Chester Graves, Junior, Park Hill

Defensive Lineman – Kaelin Key, Senior, Bishop Miege

Defensive Lineman – Jase Hollingsworth, Junior, Odessa

Defensive Lineman – Sima Thomas, Senior, Fort Osage

Linebacker – William Bradley-King, Senior, Hogan Prep

Linebacker – Adam Cofield, Senior, Blue Springs South

Linebacker – Cale Garrett, Senior, Kearney*

Linebacker – Brock Hughes, Senior, O’Hara

Linebacker – Michael Maffry, Junior, Blue Valley

Linebacker – Price Morgan, Senior, Lawrence

Linebacker – Sam Skwarlo, Senior, Lawrence Free State

Linebacker – Seven Wilson, Junior, Park Hill

Linebacker – Eli Ross, Junior, Staley

Defensive Back – Jordan Salima, Senior, Truman

Defensive Back – Jake Lamb, Senior, Blue Springs South

Defensive Back – Mitchell Miller, Senior, Liberty North    

Defensive Back – Xanthanus Pierro, Senior, East

Defensive Back – Jake Watkins, Senior, Blue Valley