KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Center Yellowjackets stood as one of the best high school football programs in the Kansas City area this season, and the team's head coach was honored during the 2022 Simone Awards.
Center High School head coach Bryan DeLong was named 2022 Eric Driskell Chiefs Coach of the Year at the 2022 Simone Awards festival on Tuesday at Park Hill High School in Kansas City, Missouri.
DeLong returned the Yellowjackets to a dominant performance, going 11-1 for the season.
The Yellowjackets were led by a brick wall defense that allowed under 20 points in eight of those games.
"It was an amazing ride," DeLong told KSHB Sports Director Mick Schaffer, "The people at Center are very special."
DeLong credits the players for the success of the Yellowjackets, who had their best record in over 13 years.
"We don't make any tackles or score any touchdowns without those kids," DeLong said, "We have three kids being honored today and a bunch more at Center High School that are special young men."
Among the most notable wins by the Yellowjackets includes a 53-27 victory against Pleasant Hill, when both teams were undefeated at the time. With the win, the team nailed down its first Missouri River Valley Conference West title since joining the league four years ago.
Unfortunately, the team's season ended early as it lost to then-defending Class 4 champ Smithville in the quarterfinals.
The other finalists for the award were Olathe Northwest coach Lorne Clark, Gardner Edgerton coach Jesse Owen and Blue Springs South coach Alan Wilmes.