The winner of the 30th Annual Thomas A. Simone Memorial Award, given annually to the most outstanding football player in the Kansas City metropolitan area, was Dalvin Warmack, junior running back from the state champion Blue Springs Wildcats.
Warmack is just the second junior to win the Simone Award, joining Nathan Scheelhaase of Rockhurst (2007). Scheelhaase was the featured speaker at Tuesday’s Simone Awards ceremony at Blue Springs High School. Warmack rushed for nearly 2,300 yards and a school-record 40 touchdowns. He also set three new single-game Blue Springs marks by rushing for 415 yards and six touchdowns – plus a 50-yard TD catch for seven total – in an 84-62 win over Lee’s Summit. He is the fourth player from Blue Springs to win the Simone Award but the first since Ladell Betts in 1996. Last week, Warmack was named Class 6 Offensive Player of the Year by the Missouri Football Coaches Association (MFCA) after the Wildcats won the state championship with a 13-1 record.
The three other finalists for the Simone Award were Trent Hosick of Staley, Steven McBee of Fort Osage and Brad Strauss of Lawrence.
The Simone Award presentation capped a packed ceremony that included announcing the Fontana, Buchanan, Bell and Taylor Award winners, plus the recipient of the Nathan Stiles Inspiration Award, Metro Sports Missouri and Kansas Coaches of the Year and the Interscholastic League Award winner.
The winner of the 14th Annual Frank Fontana Award, given to the most outstanding small class (MO 1-4, KS 1A-4A) football player in the metro, was Max Mickey of Holden. The award held extra meaning this year due to the recent passing of Victor Fontana, Frank’s father and one of the original supporters of the Simone Award.
Mickey ran for 3,382 yards this year, setting a new Missouri state rushing record. His 45 touchdowns is also among the best totals in state history. He was named MFCA Class 2 Offensive Player of the Year. Mickey is the first player from Holden, located between Harrisonville and Warrensburg in Johnson County, Missouri, to win at the Simone Awards. The Eagles finished 11-3, advancing to the state semi-finals.
The three other finalists for the Fontana Award were Antwynn Beavers of Liberty North, Anthony Sherrils of Hogan Prep and James Valentine of Platte County.
The winner of the 21st Annual Buck Buchanan Memorial Award, presented by the Kansas City Chiefs Ambassadors and given to the best lineman/linebacker in Missouri’s and Kansas’ top two classes (MO 5-6, KS 5A-6A), was Elijah Lee of Blue Springs.
Lee registered 71 tackles, 18.5 sacks and 33.5 tackles for loss in his junior season for Blue Springs. He had 10 tackles and four sacks against Rockhurst in a quarterfinal win that proved to be the Wildcats’ toughest test on the road to a state title. He was on the MFCA’s 1st-Team All-State squad. Lee is the fifth player from Blue Springs to win the Buchanan Award.
The three other finalists for the Buchanan Award were Matt Plank of Gardner-Edgerton, Braden Smith of Olathe South and Mamu Tauiautusa of Fort Osage.
The winner of the 13th Annual Bobby Bell Award, given to the best lineman/linebacker in Missouri’s and Kansas’ smallest four classes (MO 1-4, KS 1A-4A), was Maliek Collins of Center.
Collins tallied 102 tackles, 15 sacks and 43 tackles for loss on the Yellowjackets defensive line this season. He also had 85 pancake blocks on the offensive line. A major college football prospect, Collins currently has offers from Missouri, Kansas, Iowa State and Nebraska, among others. He was named a Class 3 1st-Team All-State defensive end by the MFCA. Collins is the first Center player to win one of the five Simone Awards, although two Yellowjackets, Roland Fuchs in 1970 and Mike Greene in 1960, won the D.M. Nigro Award, a precursor to the Simone Award. Center finished 2012 with a 10-3 record, the most wins for the program in recent history.
The three other finalists for the Bell Award were Nick Becker of Eudora, Joe Dominiak of Smithville and Walter Eastwood of Harrisonville.
The winner of the 6th Annual Otis Taylor Award, presented by C&C Produce and given to the best tight end/wide receiver in the metro area, was Craig Scott of Park Hill South.
Scott finished the year with 1,110 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns. He was named Class 5 1st-Team All-State by the Missouri coaches. He is the first player from Park Hill South to win one of the five Simone Awards. The Panthers finished 7-5, advancing to the district championship game.
The three other finalists for the Taylor Award were Connor Rellihan of Shawnee Mission East, Darrius Shepherd of Blue Springs and Scottie Wilson of Platte County.
The Simone Awards were voted on by the member head coaches of the Greater Kansas City Football Coaches Association (GKCFCA) and a 12-member media committee.
The 2nd Annual Nathan Stiles Inspiration Award, honoring the memory of the Spring Hill standout football player who died in 2010 after collapsing on the field, was presented to Max Galeassi, a senior linebacker from Harrisonville. Galeassi was diagnosed with testicular cancer in June. He missed the first month of the season due to a rigorous chemotherapy regiment but returned in October, despite losing over 30 pounds, to help anchor a defense that led Harrisonville to the Class 4 semi-finals.
The Metro Sports Kansas Coach of the Year was Tim Callaghan of Shawnee Mission West. The Metro Sports Missouri Coach of the Year was Kelly Donohoe of Blue Springs.
The Gordon Docking Media Award, honoring outstanding achievement in high school football reporting, was presented to Shawn Beldin of Metro Sports.
The Interscholastic League Award was given to Hassan Burnett, a senior quarterback from East High School.
Additionally, the 3rd Annual All-Simone Team, presented by Hot Mix Materials, Inc., was announced, recognizing the best players in the Kansas City metro area at every offensive and defensive position. Team members were recognized during the Simone Awards ceremony and received a patch for their letterman jacket.
The 2012 All-Simone Team (* represents two-time selections):
Quarterback – Montel Cozart, Senior, Bishop Miege*
Quarterback – Trent Hosick, Senior, Staley*
Quarterback – Steven McBee, Senior, Fort Osage
Quarterback – Brad Strauss, Senior, Lawrence*
Quarterback – James Valentine, Senior, Platte County
Running Back – Antwynn Beavers, Senior, Liberty North*
Running Back – Max Mickey, Senior, Holden
Running Back – Anthony Sherrils, Senior, Hogan Prep
Running Back – Brett Sterbach, Senior, Shawnee Mission West
Running Back – Dalvin Warmack, Junior, Blue Springs
Wide Receiver – Connor Rellihan, Senior, Shawnee Mission East
Wide Receiver – Craig Scott, Senior, Park Hill South
Wide Receiver – Scottie Wilson, Senior, Platte County
Wide Receiver – Darrius Shepherd, Junior, Blue Springs
Offensive Lineman – Austin Chambers, Junior, Shawnee Mission West
Offensive Lineman – Jacob Francis, Junior, Liberty
Offensive Lineman – Zach Hannon, Senior, Rockhurst
Offensive Lineman – Tyler Reid, Senior, Lee’s Summit West
Offensive Lineman – Clay Rhodes, Senior, Blue Valley
Offensive Lineman – Braden Smith, Junior, Olathe South
Offensive Lineman – John Keltner, Senior, Blue Springs
Defensive Lineman – Nick Becker, Senior, Eudora
Defensive Lineman – Maliek Collins, Senior, Center
Defensive Lineman – Dan Morin, Senior, St. Thomas Aquinas
Defensive Lineman – Lane Pennington, Senior, Lee’s Summit West
Defensive Lineman – Jordan Willis, Senior, Rockhurst
Defensive Lineman – Elijah Lee, Junior, Blue Springs
Linebacker – Joe Dominiak, Senior, Smithville
Linebacker – Bradley Ivey, Junior, Bishop Miege
Linebacker – Matt Plank, Senior, Gardner-Edgerton
Linebacker – Nick Ramirez, Senior, Lee’s Summit West*
Linebacker – Mamu Tauiautusa, Senior, Fort Osage
Defensive Back – Cole Combes, Senior, Blue Valley
Defensive Back – Walter Eastwood, Senior, Harrisonville
Defensive Back – Andre Maloney, Junior, Shawnee Mission West
Defensive Back – Kyle McFarland, Senior, Lawrence Free State
Defensive Back – Joseph Tuimaseve, Senior, Fort Osage
The Thomas A. Simone Awards aired live on Metro Sports and Metro Sports HD in Kansas City. Replays of the awards ceremony and the Varsity KC Special to announce the Simone finalists will occur in the coming weeks on Metro Sports and Metro Sports 2. Check the TV Listings link at www.kcmetrosports.com for air times.