Blue Springs running back Dalvin Warmack, who won the Simone Award last season, is a finalist again this season for the award given to the top player in the Kansas City metro area.
Warmack rushed for 2,221 yards and 30 touchdowns as the Wildcats went 14-0 and won the Class 6 state championship for a second year in a row. He also had 347 yards and three touchdowns receiving. Other finalists include Gardner-Edgerton senior running back Traevohn Wrench, Lee’s Summit junior quarterback Drew Lock and Kearney senior running back Brock Broughton.
Warmack’s Wildcat classmate Elijah Lee, is a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award (top lineman/linebacker) after winning the award last season. The defensive end made 85 tackles (67 solo), including 12 sacks. Another finalist is Blue Springs South senior linebacker Josh Watson, who racked up 153 tackles (81 solo). Other finalists are Olathe South lineman Braden Smith and Olathe North linebacker Jimmie Swain.
Blue Springs senior Darrius Shepherd is a repeat finalist for the Otis Taylor Award given to the top receiver. Shepherd caught 74 passes for 1,268 yards and 14 touchdowns and averaged 18 yards per punt return with four more touchdowns. Other finalists were Lansing’s Khalil Bailey, Lee’s Summit West’s Monte Harrison and Shawnee Mission West’s Andre Maloney, who had verbally committed to Kansas but suffered a fatal stroke during his team’s game Oct. 3.
Oak Grove junior running back Aaron Graham is finalist for the Frank Fontana Award given to the best small-class player. He rushed for 1,516 yards and 13 touchdowns and finished with more than 2,200 all-purpose yards and 20 TDs. Other finalists are Baldwin quarterback/defensive back Chad Berg, Pleasant Hill quarterback Josh Shewmaker and Holden running back Austin Tevis.
Another Panther, senior Ethan Fugitt, is a finalist for the Bobby Bell Award given to the top small-class lineman/linebacker. Fugitt was the leading tackler (101) on an Oak Grove defense that yielded just 13 points per game. He also rushed for more than 1,300 yards with 20 touchdowns on offense. Other finalists include Raytown South defensive end Casey McDermott, Piper linebacker/running back Colton Beebe and Hogan Prep linebacker Ryan Franks.