KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Even though the Thomas A. Simone Memorial Football Awards are held at the Simone winner's school every year, it's supposed to be a surprise. And, somehow, in 2017 it still is.
The awards are given out every year to the top high school football players in the Kansas City area.
Take, for instance, this year's winner — Ronnie Bell of Park Hill — whose dad was in charge of the con.
"My room was dirty," said Bell, only the second wide receiver to bring home KC's football player of the year award. "That was my dad's reason for taking my phone. So I thought I was in trouble."
Instead, Bell was in for the day of his life, with the entire Park Hill student body, complete with his teammates, the band, former winners, and live television, all waiting for him to be part of the surprise.
"It was everything. It was everything. The trophy got a little heavy but it felt good, especially to be here with the guys," said Bell, who had one of the most prolific receiving seasons in Missouri history. He caught 89 passes for 1,605 yards and 21 touchdowns. The TD mark is the fourth-highest total all-time in the state. Ronnie is committed to Missouri State, but to play basketball. He also won the Taylor Award, given to the city's top pass-catcher.
Winning the Fontana Award — top small-school player in the city — was Bishop Miege quarterback Carter Putz, who lead the Stags to three straight state championships. Putz is committed to Notre Dame, but also for another sport: baseball.
Blue Springs Daniel Parker won the Buchanan Award which goes to the city's best big school lineman/linebacker. The defensive lineman will play football at Mizzou.
And the best small school lineman/linebacker is Michael Smith of Platte County. Smith had 17.5 sacks from his defensive line position.