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2021 Simone Award finalists revealed on KSHB 41

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Posted at 10:49 PM, Nov 28, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The 2021 high school football season is complete in Kansas and nearly over with in Missouri which means it's time for the annual Simone Awards, the yearly awards that honor the best players in the Kansas City metro area. The Simone Award winner will be crowned during a ceremony at his high school on Tuesday, December 7th. KSHB 41 will reveal the winners of the other awards throughout this week. Here are the finalists for all of the awards.

TOMMY A. SIMONE AWARD (Best Overall Player)
Tre Baker, Sr., QB, Lee’s Summit North
The senior led Lee’s Summit North to its best season ever, going 11-2 and losing in the Missouri Class 6 semifinals to eventual champion CBC. Baker finished the year with 2,274 yards passing with 29 touchdowns. He only had one interception and completed 62.8 percent of his passes. Baker also ran for 263 yards and four touchdowns.

Jet Dineen, Sr., QB/S, Lawrence Free State
The Firebirds leader did it on both sides of the football. On offense he threw for 1,441 yards and 15 touchdowns while rushing for 1,505 scoring 18 more TDs. He was the Sunflower League Player of the Year and led the team in tackles as Free State rebounded a winless 2020 season to go 8-3 losing to Derby in the Kansas Class 6A quarterfinals.

Mikey Pauley, Sr., QB, Blue Valley Northwest
Led the Huskies to their first-ever state championship with a dominant 41-21 win over three-time Kansas Class 6A defending champion Derby. In the title game Pauley ran for 178 yards and four touchdowns and threw for 112 yards and another score. He finished his senior year with 1,788 yards passing and 23 touchdowns and 1,235 yards rushing with 22 more touchdowns.

Sam Van Dyne, Jr., QB, Liberty North
The Eagles reached their first ever state championship game led by Van Dyne’s outstanding play at quarterback. The junior threw for 2,141 yards and 21 touchdowns completing 65 percent of his passes. He triggered an offense that averaged 35.2 points per game and total 4,992 yards of total offense on the season.

FRANK FONTANA AWARD (Best Small School Player)
Keyshaun Elliott, Sr., QB, Richmond
Andrew Hedgecorth, Jr., QB, Smithville
Jackson House, Jr., QB, St. James Academy
John Price, Soph., RB, Lincoln College Prep

BUCK BUCHANAN AWARD (Best Big School Lineman/Linebacker)
Melvin Laster, Soph., LB, Liberty North
Armand Membou, Sr., OL, Lee’s Summit North
Domonique Orange, Sr., DL, North Kansas City
James Williams, Sr., OL/DL, Park Hill South

BOBBY BELL AWARD (Best Small Lineman/Linebacker)
Camden Beebe, Jr., OL/DL, Piper
Caden Crawford, Sr., LB, Lansing
Antonio Jones, Sr., LB, Lincoln College Prep
Cody Simoncic, Sr., LB, Smithville
Wade Spencer, Jr., DL, St. James Academy

OTIS TAYLOR AWARD (Best Wide Receiver/Tight End)
Zach Atkins, Sr., WR, Blue Valley Southwest
Devin Blayney, Sr., WR, Lee’s Summit North
Tyler Claiborne, Sr., WR, St. James Academy
Cannon Clark, Sr., WR, University Academy
Mudia Ruben, Sr., WR, Park Hill South

ERIC DRISKELL COACH OF THE YEAR AWARD
Jason Ambroson – Smithville
Justin Hamilton – Pleasant Hill
Greg Jones – Liberty North
Clint Rider – Blue Valley Northwest