Junious “Buck” Buchanan Memorial Award

The Junious “Buck” Buchanan Memorial Award was established in 1992 and is presented annually to the most outstanding lineman or linebacker in the big class (Missouri Classes 5-6 and Kansas Classes 5A-6A) category. From 1992-99, the award was given to one Missouri and one Kansas player, but the award has only been given to the most outstanding player since 2000. Buck Buchanan was the first player taken in the 1963 American Football League Draft. Selected by the Kansas City Chiefs, Buck quickly proved the rave notices that preceded him were not unfounded. Eddie Robinson, his coach at Grambling, where he had been an NAIA All-America in 1962, called him “the finest lineman I have seen.”

Others who had watched Buck in action were equally enthusiastic. Born September 10, 1940, in Gainesville, Alabama, Buck had the physical size – 6-7 and 270 pounds – plus the athletic instincts to be exceptionally successful at his job of foiling opposition offenses. He was particularly effective at intimidating the passer and, in one season alone in 1967, he batted down 16 opposition passes at or behind the line of scrimmage. He was clocked at 4.9 in the 40 and 10.2 in the 100 at Grambling and, with that speed he could range from sideline to sideline to make tackles.

In spite of the weekly pounding he took on the scrimmage line, Buck was extremely durable. He played in 182 career games that included a string of 166 straight. After dabbling briefly at defensive end as a rookie, Buck settled down to his permanent job as the Chiefs’ defensive right tackle. He was named to his first AFL All-Star game after his second season in 1964. It was the first of an eight-season period during which he played in either the AFL All-Star game or the AFC-NFC Pro Bowl. He was a virtually unanimous All-AFL choice from 1966 through 1969 and then won All-AFC honors in 1970 and 1971.

He was a defensive leader for the Chiefs in their losing effort in Super Bowl I and then was outstanding in Kansas City’s 23-7 upset of Minnesota in Super Bowl IV that saw the Buchanan-led defense completely stifle the vaunted Vikings attack.

Buck was a gentle and caring individual who took great pride in working with and helping people throughout the Kansas City community. The recipient of this prestigious award is selected by a vote of the high school football coaches and select media members in the metropolitan area. The award is given to the football player most representative of excellence on the playing field.  In 2011, Evan Boehm (pictured at left) became the first two-time winner of the Buchanan Award.  Along with the trophy, which resides at the high school of the recipient for a period of one year, the Simone-Fontana Foundation presents a donation of $1,000 to the athletic department of the recipients’ high school.

2013 Buck Buchanan
Memorial Award Finalists
Elijah Lee, Blue Springs

Braden Smith, Olathe South

Jimmie Swain, Olathe North

Josh Watson, Blue Springs South

All-Time Buchanan Award Winners

Year Player High School
2013 Elijah Lee Blue Springs
2012 Elijah Lee Blue Springs
2011 Evan Boehm Lee’s Summit West
2010 Evan Boehm Lee’s Summit West
2009 Jordan Chrisman Blue Springs
2008 Andrew Wilson Raymore-Peculiar
2007 “Bear” Hollins Park Hill
2006 Tony Taylor Blue Springs South
2005 Jeff Julian Blue Springs South
2004 Allan Smith Rockhurst
2003 Todd Haselhorst Olathe East
2002 Bruce Ringwood Blue Springs
2001 Kevin Kane Rockhurst
2000 Earl Jack Blue Springs
1999 Dale Long Oak Park (MO)
Micah Minshall Olathe North (KS)
1998 Justin Browser Lee’s Summit North (MO)
Karl Zubeck SM East (KS)
1997 John Garrison Blue Springs (MO)
Rashid Hannibal Olathe North (KS)
1996 Mike Haye Oak Park (MO)
Jeff Debiak Olathe North (KS)
1995 Dan Adams Rockhurst (MO)
Lee Myers Lawrence (KS)
1994 Richard Plattner Blue Springs South (MO)
Nate Williams Lawrence (KS)
1993 Jeremy Martin Liberty (MO)
James Myers Lawrence (KS)
1992 Rob Seeley Oak Park (MO)
Bill Freund SM North (KS)