KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Thomas. A Simone Award honors the best all-around player in the Kansas City area.
Some of the biggest professional athletes from the Kansas City area have won the award, from Darren Sproles to Josh Freeman, Evan Boehm and Drew Lock. Now senior Park Hill quarterback Kendrick Bell joins that prestigious list.
Bell becomes the third Trojan to win the award, joining Jeff Kelso, who won the inaugural award in 1983 and his brother Ronnie Bell, who won the award in 2017.
Park Hill had a tough season, going 3-8 for the year. However, despite the team's struggles, Bell was still exceptional this season, passing for over 3200 yards and 35 touchdowns and completing passes at 72%. He was also dangerous on the ground too, rushing for over 600 yards and 10 touchdowns.
The performance by Bell this season broke multiple school records, including in completion percentage, passing touchdowns and passing yards.
While the season was a struggle for the Trojans, the team and Bell showed out when it mattered, including against rivals Park Hill South, where the team would win a 42-35 shootout in that late September game.
Bell was exceptional that game, throwing for 338 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for a touchdown in their win against their hated rivals. That performance was able to help him earn Hy-Vee Player of the Week.
Bell will also play football past high school as he is set to join the College Football Playoff bound Michigan Wolverines next season.
His brother is currently a key wide receiver for the Wolverines, leading the team in receiving yards this season.
The three-star recruit is currently ranked as the 24th-best high school recruit in the state, according to 247Sports.
Other nominees for the award include Lee's Summit North senior offensive lineman Cayden Green, who's set to join Oklahoma next year, Shawnee Mission Northwest running back Malik O'Atis, and senior Liberty North quarterback Sam Van Dyne.
Bell, alongside his fellow candidates, was also named to the 2022 All-Simone Team.
With Bell receiving the award, it wraps up the 2022 Simone Awards. Other winners include:
- Isaiah Coppage, senior Liberty North wide receiver, who won the prestigious Otis Taylor Award, which honors the best receiver or tight end in the Kansas City area
- Center linebacker Dirac Tsafack, who won the Bobby Bell Award, which honors the best linebacker, offensive or defensive lineman in Class 1-4
- Liberty North linebacker Melvin Laster, who won the Buck Buchanan Award for the second year in a row, which honors the best linebacker, offensive or defensive lineman in Class 5-6
- Mac Armstrong, senior at Bishop Miege, who won the Frank Fontana Award, which honors the best all-around player in Class 1-4